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Canada’s best hot springs are concentrated in the western provinces, namely Alberta and British Columbia, where subterranean thermal activity is part of the mountainous terrain throughout the region. Some of these naturally-occurring springs are popular vacation destinations, while others are more remote and cannot be so readily accessed. Here are some of the most beautiful hot springs to experience in Canada.
With temperatures ranging from 42 to 52°C, this is the largest natural hot spring in Canada. Amenities include wheelchair access, change houses, a playground, and an environmentally-friendly compost outhouse. The pool is located inside Liard River Hot Springs Provincial Park.
Prophet River Hotsprings Provincial Park can be found about 60 kilometres west of the Alaska Highway, and about 250 kilometres northwest of Fort St. John. Note that these hot springs cannot be reached by road; instead, visitors need to hike or ride in on horses—or otherwise, come by helicopter. The scenic setting makes the extra effort worth it.
The remote Hot Springs Cove is located on Vancouver Island, at Maquinna Marine Provincial Park. This is only accessible by air or sea, and visitors additionally have to hike two kilometres further to reach the hot springs. The cove is composed of a sequence of 47°C natural hot pools that are cooled by the Pacific Ocean.
The Ahousat Hot Springs can be found on the shores of Matilda Inlet, on the south side of Flores Island, in Gibson Marine Provincial Park. The natural spring flows up into a concrete tank and is clear and tasteless with a maximum temperature of 25°C. From the springs, visitors can also access the beaches of nearby Whitesand Cove via a historic and non-maintained natural route. Wilderness, backcountry or walk-in camping is permitted around the springs.
The Frizzell Hot Springs is a privately-owned area situated on the southern bank of the Skeena River, near Prince Rupert. The spring is extremely difficult to get to and is only accessible by boat during high tide.
Conveniently located less than two hours from Vancouver, the Fraser Valley town of Harrison Hot Springs, less than two hours from Vancouver, is home to two natural hot springs: Potash Springs (40°C), and Sulphur Springs (62°C), which are then cooled and mixed into a public mineral hot springs pool to a relaxing temperature of 38°C.
On the shores of Arrow Lake near Revelstoke, Halcyon Hot Springs Village & Resort has four pools: a hot 40°C pool, a 30°C mineral pool, and a 13°C plunge pool. Visitors can also take a dip in the refreshingly cool waters of Arrow Lake nearby.
Located in Whiteswan Lake Provincial Park in the Kootenays, between Invermere and Kimberley, the Lussier Hot Springs involve a cooler pool of around 34°C and a main hot pool that reaches a steamy 43°C. The water cools as it flows through the rest of the pools towards the Lussier River. It’s an underdeveloped, natural spot, popular among hikers and campers trekking through the Lussier Gorge.
The Dewar Creek hot springs are within the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy Provincial Park, near Kimberly. They are only accessible by horseback or hiking, but they are a lovely spot for their natural seclusion. Many of the pools are too hot for bathing, reaching temperatures above 80°C.