What could be a better reward after a journey through nature than a soak in warm, soothing water? Even better, water that’s been naturally heated by molten rock? If you’re looking for such a luxury, then head to one of Canada’s many hot springs; the west is filled with bodies of water that have been heated by the Earth’s crust. And because hot springs can contain a range of minerals, including sulfate, calcium, magnesium, bicarbonate, and sodium, many people seek them out for more than just warmth—they can also have therapeutic benefits. Below we outline how to find a few of the country’s most inviting hot springs, so you can design your next winter adventure accordingly.
Hotspring Island, Gwaii Haanas National Park
Take a multi-day kayaking adventure to reach Hotsprings Island, exploring ancient Haida villages and the wilderness of the Queen Charlotte Islands on the way. Once you reach the springs, you might spy a pod of orcas in the Pacific Ocean as you soak in the warmth. The hot springs can also be reached by floatplane or boat if you're hoping for a quicker trip.
Hot Springs Cove, Maquinna Provincial Park
On the west coast of Vancouver Island in Maquinna Provincial Park, you’ll find an untouched succession of hot pools known as Hot Springs Cove. You can journey to the remote hot springs from Tofino, either by taking an hour-long boat ride or a 20-minute plane ride. Once back on land, a 30-minute walk down a forest trail will lead you to the pools, which cascade down to the Pacific Ocean.
Lussier Hot Springs, Whiteswan Lake Provincial Park
Campers in the Kootenay Ranges of the Rocky Mountains sometimes come across wildlife during their hike to the Lussier Hot Springs. But be warned that these springs on the Lussier River can sometimes run cool due to environmental factors.
Takhini Hot Springs, Yukon Territory
Journey north to the Yukon to enjoy the natural minerals in the Takhini Hot Springs. Iron in the water gives it a unique red or brown hue, and if you go at night you may be treated to a show of the northern lights while you soak. These springs are located just north of Whitehorse and have an onsite campground for easy access.
Miette Hot Springs, Jasper National Park
The Miette Hot Springs, nestled in a picturesque mountain setting about 60 kilometres east of Jasper, Alberta, are the hottest in the Canadian Rockies. Mineral water flows out of the springs in a narrow canyon at 54C but is cooled to a more comfortable 40C as it enters the pools. The relatively new facility, built in 1986, is accessible by car on a mountain road in the Fiddle Valley. But a short one-kilometre hike from the parking lot will lead you to the source of the springs, where you can also see the ruins of an historic bathhouse.