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A Road Trip of a Lifetime: Kootenay Rockies Hot Springs

With long, winding highways running along deep river valleys, over long mountain passes and through picturesque communities, a road trip through the Kootenay Rockies fulfills that deep desire for the freedom of the open road. 

Kootenay Rockies Hot Springs Road Trip, Highway #23/6; photo by Mitch Winton

There are few better sensations than cruising the highways, fresh mountain air streaming through the open windows with your family and friends along for the ride.  Perhaps the only thing that comes close to that feeling is relaxing in the warm waters of mineral hot springs.

Why not combine both of these experiences with a road trip through six of the most iconic hot springs in the Kootenay Rockies.  Take the circle tour of our highways and hit up a new hot springs resort each evening. 

Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort

Start your trip heading north from Nelson along the shore of Kootenay Lake, and you’ll soon be at your destination of Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort.  Take a plunge in their horseshoe-shaped cave, lined with stalactites and stalagmites, then relax in the pool and take in the views of Kootenay Lake.  When you’re not enjoying the pools, take a caving tour of the nearby Cody Caves.  Luxury resort accommodations and fine dining fare in the Ktunaxa Grill complete the experience.
(The pools are now open to the public by “reservation only“, Wed to Sun, from 10am to 5:30pm. It is recommended to book your accommodation in advance, too.)

Enjoying the Ainsworth Hot Springs pools with a view of Kootenay Lake; photo Kari Medig

Nakusp Hot Springs

Cross the Selkirk Mountains via Highway 31A and head north to Nakusp Hot Springs.  Their two pools are fed by natural hot springs found deep in the forest surrounding the grounds.  Stay in their campground or private cedar chalets located mere steps from the hot spring pools.
(These hot springs are open to travellers and residents.)

Soaking at Nakusp Hot Springs; photo by Mitch Winton

Halcyon Hot Springs Resort

For the ultimate luxury experience, stop in at the Halcyon Hot Springs Resort between Nakusp and Revelstoke.  Located right on the shores of Arrow Lake, Halcyon Hot Springs Resort has four pools for your healing pleasure.  Visit The Spa at Halcyon to get a soothing massage from one of their expert practitioners.  Enhance your spa experience with a soak in the mineral rich waters of Halcyon.
(The Hot Springs are open to registered guests at the Hotel and Spa. It is recommended to book your accommodation in advance.)

Soaking in Halcyon Hot Springs pools; photo by Andrew Penner

Canyon Hot Springs

Tucked within Albert Canyon between Glacier and Mount Revelstoke National Parks, Canyon Hot Springs has two natural mineral hot pools available for your use.  For a romantic stay, book a night or two in their Honeymoon Chalet, an exquisite log cabin complete with Jacuzzi Tub.  If you prefer more rustic accommodations, book one of their campsites and pitch your own tent.
(These hot springs are open from May to September. It is recommended to book your accommodation in advance.)

Radium Hot Springs

After the long drive over Rogers Pass and down the Columbia River Valley past Golden, stop in at the Radium Hot Springs just inside the boundaries of Kootenay National Park.  Used for centuries by the Indigenous Ktunaxa people –  the pools are situated in the stunning Sinclair Canyon.
(These hot springs are open to travellers and residents.)

Enjoying a soothing soak in Radium Hot Springs, photo by Kari Medig

Fairmont Hot Springs Resort

Finish off your road trip in fashion at the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort.  Their natural mineral soaking pool is kept at an average of 39C, with their swimming pool and dive pool slightly cooler to the touch.  Accommodation offerings include rooms in the resort, family villas, and an RV & Campground.  Between soaks in the springs, get in a round of golf or hike the local trails. The pools will be waiting for you when you return!
(These hot springs are open to hotel guests. It is recommended to book your accommodation in advance.)

Photo courtesy of Fairmont Hot Springs Resort

To assist you with other wellness getaways & retreats that are available to you in the region – check out our community partners: Arrow Lakes/Slocan Valley, Castlegar, Cranbrook, Columbia Valley, Creston Valley, Elkford, Fernie, Golden, Invermere/Panorama, Kimberley, Nakusp, Nelson Kootenay Lake, Radium Hot Springs, Revelstoke, Rossland, Sparwood and Trail.



Know Before You Go – Plan ahead so you can travel safely and responsibly. Familiarize yourself with weather, road conditions, general alerts for travellers and provincial health orders & recommendations.

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Top/cover photo by Mitch Winton, driving in between Halcyon & Nakusp Hot Springs.

Words by Mark Locki. Mark is a photographer and writer based in Kimberley, BC. An avid traveller throughout the Kootenays and abroad, he enjoys exploring the natural world, camera in hand, seeking out compelling stories. He’s often found deep in the backcountry, running, climbing or on skis, challenging himself to discover new scenes and viewpoints. 

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