Soak Your Feet
If you’ve searched for photos of British Columbia on Pinterest or Instagram it’s guaranteed you’ve spotted pictures of some of our famous hot springs.
Some are rustic, others have been developed just enough to provide safe and environmentally managed experiences. Whichever version you fancy there is little doubt that you’ll soak up the healing properties of these geothermal pools and give your hiking muscles a real treat.
It’s also worth mentioning that many of these spots are camper friendly and have basic facilities like pit toilets and waste disposal. Hurray! But regardless of which experience captures your attention be mindful of your impact on the local environment. Some of our beloved hot springs have had to be closed due to littering and the attraction of bears. No-fun-zone for anyone!
Located in Whiteswan Lake Provincial Park the Lussier Hot Springs is a series undeveloped pools along the Lussier River. It’s only a short hike from the Whiteswan Forest Road (FSR) before you reach three natural pools that average in temperature 44°C/111°F. If you’re the kind of person who fantasizes about relaxing in the pools all to yourself, or as a romantic getaway, then consider heading out for a sunrise soak before other weary travellers. During the summer this is guaranteed to be a popular spot!
Whiteswan has several lakeside or riverside campgrounds, boat launches and hiking trails. People have even spotted moose while fishing in the area!
Once known as the St. Agnes Well during the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush, the T’Sek or Skookumchuck, meaning “strong water” in Chinook, hot springs is on the traditional lands of the Skatin people. The water has been pumped into wooden barrels and small pools for easier access and more flexibility of use. With camping next to the rushing river and some basic amenities available, this makes a visit to Skookumchuck worth the trek along the In-shuck-ch Forest Service Road (also known as Lillooet lake road) South from near Pemberton, or North from Harrison Lake. It’s open year-round.
Home of the traditional territory of Xa'xtsa or Douglas First Nation the Sloquet Hot Springs have been used since before settlement and are still used today for traditional ceremonies.
Considered a much more rustic and remote natural hot spring, visitors are asked to be careful while entering and exiting the pools and to be respectful of its spiritual significance. That means absolutely no dogs, no booze and no smoking.
Since the Sloquet Hot Springs are further afield you’ll be happy to know that there is camping available for $15 a night per site and that includes the use of the springs. To get here follow In-shuck-ch Forest Service Road (also known as Lillooet lake road) South from near Pemberton, or North from Harrison Lake. Since you won’t be close to amenities like gas or grocery stores, make sure you stock up in advance!
The second largest hot spring in Canada the Liard River Hot Springs are located off the Alaska Highway near the BC/Yukon border in the Liard River Hot Springs Provincial Park. The main Alpha pool has water temperatures ranging from 42° C to 52° C. creating an unusually warm microclimate where tropical and exotic plants (including 14 species of orchids) flourish, and moose are frequent visitors. This earned the area the nickname “Tropical Valley.”
There are camping and changing facilities that are accessible year round. But you can be sure to expect that the summer months will be a busy time and it’s worth looking into booking a site if your journey takes you this far North.