Finding yourself in hot water in Canada can be a wonderful thing. There are plenty of natural, soothing hot springs to choose from in idyllic, calming locations. Here are some of our favourites...
1. Harrison Hot Springs, BC
Just 120 kilometres from Vancouver, you’ll find the village of Harrison Hot Springs basking on beautiful Harrison Lake.
The town’s hot pools have been attracting wellness travellers since 1886. Originally used by the Salish Coast Indians for medicinal purposes, the hot springs have since attracted an impressive list of famous guests, including Clark Gable, John Wayne, Michael Bublé, Robin Williams and Liam Neeson.
There are five mineral hot pools to choose from at Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Spa: a crescent-shaped Indoor Pool that’s perfect for stretching and de-stressing at 32 to 35 degrees; the small circular Indoor Hot Pool, which, at 38 to 40 degrees, is a place of deep relaxation; the large, mineral rich Outdoor Family Pool, which attracts people of all ages at 28 degrees; the 28 degree Outdoor Lap Pool for a work out beneath mountaintops; and an outdoors Adult Pool with 37 degree water and an underwater seating ledge.
The centre of the village also has a Public Pool with 38-degree waters that are open to everyone.
2. Miette Hot Spring, AB
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Miette in Alberta’s stunning Jasper National Park has the hottest hot springs in the Canadian Rockies. The water flows from the mountain at 54 degrees, and the water is then cooled to a comfortable temperature of 40 degrees as it enters the hot springs pool.
Its heath-giving benefits were first appreciated by First Nations people, who went on to introduce members of the Hudson Bay Company to the three hot springs in Sulphur Creek, a tributary of the Fiddle River.
Whether it is the quiet, peaceful panorama surrounding the hot springs or the scenic drive along Fiddle valley, a visit to Miette Hot Springs is a unique experience – and it’s great for your wellbeing too – as the waters are rich in sulphate, calcium, bicarbonate, magnesium and sodium.
3. Radium Hot Springs, BC
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Located in BC’s beautiful Kootenay National Park – and featured on the Canadian Register of Historic Places – Radium Hot Springs features Canada’s biggest hot springs pool.
Sir George Simpson, the governor of the Hudson's Bay Company, made the first recorded visit to the springs back in 1841, and in 1922 they became part of the then new Kootenay National Park.
Rich in sulphate, calcium, bicarbonate, silica and magnesium, the mineral water of Radium Hot Springs is uniquely odourless and clear, making a soak there especially pleasant. On its way to the surface, the hot mineral waters encounter oxygen, which causes the scented hydrogen sulphide gas to dissipate. The soothing mineral-rich warm water and the stunning Rocky Mountain scenery combine to relax tired muscles and bring peace of mind.
There is also a shallow lounging area that’s perfect for kids, a 25-metre-long cool pool and a luxurious day spa complete with plunge pools and a steam room.
4. Banff Upper Hot Springs, AB
Located in the town of Banff in Alberta’s Banff National Park, these springs offer all the amenities of a modern facility in a splendid historic spa and bath house – against the backdrop of the park’s spectacular alpine scenery.
Discovered in 1884, Banff Upper Hot Springs provide the perfect opportunity to chill out in the comfort of soothing, natural hot springs where travellers have gone to "take the waters" for more than a century.
At 1,585 metres of elevation, these are the highest springs in Canada. This is significant because its thermal waters must be driven vertically over 2,000 metres – an unusually long journey from deep in the earth’s crust, where it is heated, pressurized and laden with sulphate, calcium, bicarbonate, magnesium and sodium.
5. Hot Springs Cove, BC
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You won't stumble across Hot Springs Cove by chance, because these untouched geothermal hot springs are situated in Maquinna Provincial Park, around 27 nautical miles northwest of Tofino on Vancouver Island.
It takes a little over an hour to get there by boat, or just 20 minutes by seaplane. The experience begins with an easy 30-minute walk down a cedar trail to the hot springs, which are located in rocks along with small hot-water waterfalls.
Hot Springs Cove features a succession of pools that cool down as they cascade towards the ocean. Hot water bubbles up from deep in the earth and cascades down a small cliff into a series of natural layered rock pools. There the water is cooled by the incoming Pacific Ocean surf, so that each pool is slightly cooler than the one above it.
6. Temple Garden Mineral Spa, SK
Located in Moose Jaw, Temple Gardens Mineral Spa Resort has been named one of the world’s ‘Top 10 Spas for Mineral Springs’.
The resort features a unique indoor/outdoor rooftop geothermal mineral pool that draws its waters from an ancient seabed more than 1,350 metres below the earth’s surface. The waters relax muscles, ease joint pain, hydrate skin and detoxify the lymphatic system.
And for something a little different, check out the resort’s Sun Tree Spa yoga program, where the classes take place in the mineral waters.
7. Halcyon Hot Springs, BC
For more than a century, people have been drawn to the natural healing waters of Halcyon Hot Springs on the edge of Arrow Lake in British Columbia.
These hot Lithia Water pools – rare Lithia Water is mineral water that is high in Lithia salts – are perfect for swirling away all of your stresses while you gaze over the Monashee Mountain range. The resort features an upper pool deck with a warm pool with jetted swim channel (38 degrees), a relaxing hot pool (42 degrees), and a cold plunge (12 degrees). The lower pool deck hosts a mineral swimming pool (32 degrees) and a kids’ spray park.