There are many reasons to visit Canada. It’s a country with everything from cosmopolitan cities to outstanding natural beauty. Another great reason is its hot springs; British Columbia has the vast majority of them, but there are plenty to enjoy around the country. Here’s a list of the top 15 hot springs to visit while on your trip to Canada.
Lussier Hot Springs, Whiteswan Lake Provincial Park
A great one for the adventurous. Completely undeveloped, these springs are very popular with hikers trekking the Lussier Gorge. A series of connected rock pools next to the Lussier River, the hottest pool gets up to 43°C and as the water trickles down into the other pools, the pools become cooler. As these springs are extremely popular, it’s recommended to visit either in the early morning or before sunset.
Miette Hot Springs, Jasper National Park
Offering visitors a superb view of the Fiddle River Valley, the Miette Hot Springs are known for being the hottest in the Canadian Rockies, naturally heating to 53°C and then cooled to around 39°C. A spring with a long history, employees of the Hudson’s Bay Company and the North West Company were introduced to the springs by the area’s indigenous population back in the mid-1800s.
Banff Upper Hot Springs, Banff National Park
Discovered in 1883 which then led to the development of Banff National Park, the Banff Upper Hot Springs have been used for their health and healing properties for over 100 years. The outdoor pool looks across the valley to Mount Rundle and the views are particularly spectacular in winter when the area is covered in snow.
Ainsworth Hot Springs, Kootenays
As well as being a town with a population of only 20, Ainsworth Hot Springs has a fantastic resort with a horseshoe-shaped cave pool naturally heated to 42°C plus a lounging pool and a cold plunge pool. If you’re feeling peckish after relaxing in the pools, the resort also has a restaurant, the Ktunaxa Grill, which gives you glorious views over the Kootenay Lake.
Radium Hot Springs, Sinclair Canyon
Consisting of two pools, one for relaxation and one for swimming, these hot springs also have an on-site spa if you want to take your relaxation to the next level. Located just outside the Kootenay National Park, there are also many activities to take part in, including dog sledding and snowshoeing in winter and golf and rafting in the summer.
Hot Spring Cove, Maquinna Provincial Park
Not only is this spring one of the most beautiful in the country, it’s got the extra bonus of being free to visit. Due to its location on Vancouver Island, it’s only accessible by sea or air followed by a 30-minute hike. But the effort is worth it as it is one of the most natural springs, made up of warm waterfalls which flow into seven rocky pools.
Spa Scandinave, Mont Tremblant
For a more luxurious experience, head to Spa Scandinave in Quebec, situated among the Laurentian forest close to the Diable River. Offering a wide range of baths and massages, this is a great option if you have money to splurge. There are also three other spas run by the same company in Whistler, Blue Mountain and Vieux-Montreal.
Temple Garden Mineral Spa, Moose Jaw
There are many reasons to visit this opulent spa. There are indoor pools which, via a running water tunnel, lead out onto a rooftop outdoor pool heated to a perfect 45°C all year round. If you’re staying in the area, make sure to check out the popular Tunnels of Moose Jaw, an award-winning attraction mixing history with entertainment, which is only a five-minute walk from the spa.
Takhini Hot Springs, Whitehorse, Yukon
If you’re venturing into the wilds of North Canada, these hot springs provide the ultimate relaxing experience. Because of its chemical makeup of iron, magnesium and calcium, the water which runs from the spring into the pools is reddish in colour. If you are there in February, be sure to catch the annual hair-freezing competition.
Kraus Hot Springs, Nahanni National Park
Although the Nahanni National Park has several hot springs, Kraus Hot Springs are considered to be the ones offering the best views. Due to its difficult-to-get-to location, it gets fewer visitors than other springs and is all the more attractive because of it. As well as the hot springs, the Nahanni National Park is known in Canada as a secret paradise and is a UNESCO Heritage Site with its pristine alpine lakes, canyons and waterfalls.
Harrison Hot Springs, Fraser Valley
Only two hours away from Vancouver, the Harrison Hot Springs have exceptional healing properties, known to alleviate rheumatism and arthritis. There are two natural springs, Potash Spring and Sulphur Springs, and for the active there are also plenty of hiking opportunities in the immediate area.
Liard River Hot Spring, British Columbia
The largest hot spring in the entire country, the most astonishing thing about Liard River Hot Spring is the tropical climate. Various kinds of tropical plants flourish, including 14 different species of orchid. There are two pools, Alpha and Beta, set in the grounds of a boreal forest. There are many opportunities for wildlife spotting as the forest is home to bears and moose.
Spa Le Nordik, Chelsea
A luxury spa with an exotic feel, they have a number of outdoor baths at varying temperatures, meaning you’ll find the perfect pool for you. They are passionate about reducing their environmental impact, making it a great option for the environmentally-conscious. They also offer a variety of spa treatments, including massage.
Prophet River Hot Springs, Alaska Highway
Located 60 kilometres west of the Alaska Highway, Prophet River Hot Springs aren’t accessible by road; to get there, you can have to either hike, horse ride or, if you’re feeling particularly flush, arrive by helicopter. One side of the springs is surrounded by black spruce, making for a very scenic setting. Aside from the springs, there are a multitude of activities to take part in, such as hiking, fishing and wildlife viewing.
Canyon Hot Springs, Albert Canyon
Situated between Glacier and Mount Revelstoke National Parks, Canyon Hot Springs has one of the most picturesque surroundings. Supposedly discovered by railway workmen back at the turn of the 20th century, there are now two luxury pools offering amazing views over this mountainous region. There are plenty of accommodation options, including log cabins, chalets, suites, a campsite and campervan park. The area offers a multitude of sports, such as whitewater rafting, hiking, boating, and mountain climbing, making relaxing in the springs even more satisfying.