I don’t know if they’ve suddenly become a thing or if they always were and I was just oblivious to it. Or maybe I took them for granted because they’re all over the East Kootenays and I’ve always enjoyed them, but people are really into hot springs. And rightfully so. They’re magic, and this Earth Day I’m appreciating them even more.
Banff, Radium and Fairmont. All awesome in their own right and all tourist packed. The Lussier ones up Whiteswan Road in the East Kootenays used to be an annual stop for us on the way home from camping at Top of the World. They were quiet, often abandoned. Now they overflow with cars, Albertans road-tripping out for the day, there are even change rooms. You can still find secluded hot springs only soaked in by locals (a secret we’re keeping for now) but here’s a spot outside Radium and Fairmont where your only admission fee is crossing the stream on a couple of logs.
I wouldn’t soak in them for hours per se, but if you park in the Fairmont Hot Springs parking lot and walked towards the RV park, crossing a footbridge then turning right to follow a path along the stream, you will find a majestically human-encouraged waterfall – the outflow from the resort and some sweet natural pools to dip in.
Ignore the first set where you can actually see the pipe the water is coming out of and keeping heading down stream until you find the place where the pools have been created. You can smell the chlorine, yes. But take comfort in knowing that these were a creation of the earth and the resort hot springs truly are the product of a warm spring harboured by the ground.
It’s a sight nonetheless and a fun place to stop. The search for hot springs is an adventure, and this Earth Day, I am truly appreciative for it.