The best hot springs in Canada come in all sizes and can be found in both developed and primitive areas. Even though the country is enormous, there are certain places that soaking enthusiasts know to seek out.
Natural hot springs are more common in western Canada, so there are many more locations there versus the east. Tourists and locals have been fascinated by these magical waters for decades now, and even the hardest ones to find are rewarding. Soaking in a geothermal pool is a fantastic way to relax and see beautiful parts of this North American country.
In no particular order, here are Canada’s best and highest-rated hot springs, baths, and pools.
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Banff Upper Hot Springs
Located in Banff National Park, close to the top of Sulphur Mountain, Banff Upper Hot Springs has been a developed soaking destination for over 100 years. The year-round pool operates on a first-come, first-served basis and offers visitors stunning alpine views while melting away the aches and pains of sore muscles.
Water temperatures and levels vary throughout the year. In the springtime, there’s most flow, and water is dispensed at 900 liters per minute while maintaining a temperature of about 81°F/27°C. It drops to 500 liters per minute in the winter but can heat up to 116°F/47°C.
When there isn’t enough water to fill the pool on its own during colder months, heated municipal water is added in. The Canadian Rockies Hot Springs site is a good reference for current conditions.
An entry fee and swim attire are required for soaking at Banff Upper Hot Springs, and swimsuits are available for rent if needed. Locker rooms, a terrace, a cafe, and a gift shop are also at the facility. Hours of operation are 10 am to 6 pm daily, with the last entrance at 5 pm.
While there is no camping on-location, the Camping Banff and Tunnel Mountain Campgrounds are nearby for overnight stays.
Liard River Hot Springs Provincial Park
Situated along the Alaska Highway in British Colombia, Liard River Hot Springs is a popular stop for travelers to and from The Last Frontier. This is Canada’s second-largest hot spring and a fantastic year-round place to unwind in a gorgeous natural setting.
Getting to the springs is a short walk from the parking area, and facilities include a toilet and changing rooms. The Alpha Pool is for public soaking and has temperatures ranging from 107℉/42°C to 125℉/52°C.
Whether staying at the campground or just stopping by for the day, visitors are asked to use the boardwalks when going to the geothermal waters. There is an abundance of delicate wildlife in the warm swamps along the path that shouldn’t be disturbed, as well as possible moose feeding in the water.
A small fee is charged to use the springs and parking lot. Camping is very popular during the summer, so reservations should be made in advance.
Lussier Hot Springs
Set in southeast BC close to Whiteswan Lake, Lussier Hot Springs is a rural gem for soakers and outdoors enthusiasts. Using the pools is free of charge, the water is easy to access, and it’s open all year long.
Some visitors would argue that the best time to visit these springs is in the dead of winter when the hot water feels so much cozier in contrast to the air temperature. There are three pools with natural rock walls and range from 94℉/34℃ to 118℉/47℃.
Surrounding by lush forest and a cold flowing river, these baths are the cream of the crop when it comes to primitive soaking. The pools are just a short walk from the parking lot, but watching wildlife encounters is essential.
This area is rarely empty, so expect to see other people at all times of the day. Clothing is required when soaking, no pets are allowed in the water, and no camping is permitted on-site.
The Whiteswan Lake Provincial Park Alces Lake Campground is about five minutes away by car and seasonally open from May to September. Park rangers regularly patrol the area to enforce the rules and maintain the integrity of the open country.
Fairmount Hot Springs Resort
Fairmount Hot Springs in southeastern British Columbia is Canada’s most extensive natural geothermal springs area. The property is famous for its swimming and soaking, but it’s also a full-scale property with lodging, dining, and recreation opportunities.
As of September 1, 2022, Fairmount Hot Springs pools are only open to resort guests and those who purchase memberships to use the facility. The diving, swimming, and soaking pools are kept at comfortable temperatures ranging from 86-102℉/30-39℃.
There’s also an indoor heated pool exclusive to overnight guests with a capacity of 50 people. About 1.2 million gallons of fresh, pure mineral water are pumped through the pools daily, and only a minimal amount of chlorine is used to maintain cleanliness.
Accommodation options at the property include resort rooms, lodges, cabins, villas, an RV campground, and the Spruce Grove Campground. Three on-site restaurants serve a variety to suit different tastes, along with four smaller eateries around the pool, golf course, and ski hill.
With numerous activities like golf, seasonal snowmobiling, bird watching, hiking, and full-spa services, guests will never have a dull moment during their stay.
Radium Hot Springs
Nestled in British Columbia’s Rocky Mountains, Radium Hot Springs is a haven for soakers during all seasons of the year. This thermal water area is commercially developed with stunning natural surroundings, making it the perfect spot to relax after a day of outdoor activities.
At this location, there are two mineral pools: a hot one that hovers around 98-104℉/37-40℃ and a cooler one that’s kept at about 80-84℉/27-29℃. Parking is free, and there are changing rooms with lockers and restrooms inside.
Clothing is required, but if you forgot your attire, you could rent swimsuits and towels on-site. Visitors must shower with soap before entering the pools to maintain their integrity.
Radium Hot Springs is open daily but is busiest on the weekends and holidays. Ages three and up must pay an admission fee, with the last call being half an hour before closing. No public transportation currently goes to the pools; everyone must get a ride another way. Reservations are not offered; everyone must gain entry on a first-come, first-served basis.
Miette Hot Springs
Showcasing the hottest geothermal springs in the Canadian Rockies, Miette Hot Springs in Alberta’s Jasper National Park is a great place to soak and relax. There are two hot pools and two cold pools open seasonally from May through about mid-October, available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Pool areas have change rooms and one-time lockers for guests spending a few hours at the facility. Visitors are asked to shower before going in the water, which offers some of the best tree views in the area.
The natural hot mineral water pours out of its source at 129°F/54°C, but by the time it reaches the hot springs pool and cools to a pleasant 104°F/40°C. Parking is available on-location for standard cars, motor homes, and RVs.
Miette Hot Springs is a hidden gem in Jasper National Park, and many locals like to take advantage of the season passes each year. There is also an on-site cafe, which is closed for the 2022 season. Local accommodations include the Miette Hot Springs Bungalows, within walking distance of the soaking pools.
Keyhole Hot Springs
Located 62 miles/100 km from Whistler, BC, Keyhole Hot Springs is a paradise for outdoor lovers who love bathing in remote areas. The handful of small pools are surrounded by breathtaking woods views alongside a river and are only open seasonally from November 15 – March 31 due to grizzly bear activity.
Visitors have to hike the 2.4 miles out-and-back Lillooet River Trail to get to the springs, which can be a bit tricky in the winter. The forest service road that gets there can experience harsh weather, although the road is in decent condition.
Many hikers bring durable boots with spikes for possible trekking in the snow and ice. These pools are trendy among locals in the area, so there’s a high chance of seeing others, especially during peak times.
The three biggest pools are the most popular ones for soaking, the hottest being the furthest at the top. They’re formed by natural rock and mortar with pebble bottoms and are large enough to fit about three people. The lowest pool is also the coolest as it occasionally gets splashed by the river.
Although winter camping isn’t too popular, an unmaintained campground sits above the hot springs and is about a 10-minute walk away.
Kraus Hot Springs
Kraus Hot Springs can be found in the southwestern part of the Northern Territories, about 310 miles/500 km to the west of the town of Yellowknife. These small steamy pools in Nahanni National Park Reserve are some of the most challenging to get to, but the reward and remote bathing are worth every effort.
Named after a couple who resided in this rural area during the mid-20th century, Gus and Mary Kraus, these springs feature a rock wall pool about 9 feet long. It’s based against the South Nahanni River.
It offers soakers impressive cliff and forest views while relaxing in these pure natural waters. When the water levels are high in the river, it can overflow and fill the hot pools, but it still maintains a lot of diluted minerals that can cause a sulfur smell.
These pools are not very doable for a day trip; visitors must be willing to wilderness camp or arrange a plane ride from Yellowknife. Always be sure to pack in and pack out, especially because there are bears that live in this region. In August and September, camping is discouraged due to a high level of black bear activity, but grizzlies are also in the area.
Nakusp Hot Springs, Chalets, & Campground
Based in the Arrow Lake Valley in British Columbia, Nakusp Hot Springs boasts two cozy naturally-sourced pools in a beautiful tree-dense setting. This charming property is the perfect respite from city life, as there are plenty of outdoor activities to do all year long before or after relaxing in the heated waters.
Both pools are refilled daily with pure thermal water straight from the earth and have an incredible blend of minerals. The hotter of the two is 103°F/39°C in the summer and a steamy 107°F/41°C in the winter, while the other hovers around 97°F/36°C in summer and 100°F/38°C in winter.
Repeat visitors return to these waters during all seasons and enjoy a soak after a long hike, bike ride, skiing, and sledding.
Guests that want to stay on the property can reserve one of the enchanting cedar chalets, which can be booked individually or together for traveling groups. One unit can fit a maximum of eight occupants while the others do four, and pets are welcome for a fee. RV and tent campsites are also available near the hot springs.
Another accommodation option is to stay in the town of Nakusp and use the pools during operating hours.
Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort
Located in the Kootenay Mountains of British Columbia, the Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort is a unique destination for soaking in thermal waters. The property features a hot spring swimming pool and a hot spring cave pool, both of which are very popular with tourists.
People have been drawn to Ainsworth’s healing mineral waters for hundreds of years. The source originates near Cody Caves, which flows towards the resort and cools down a bit while filling the lounge pool and 150-foot horseshoe-shaped caverns.
There’s also a cold plunge that’s fed by Munn Creek, perfect for refreshing after a session in the sauna-like cave or cozy hot pool. The lounging pool keeps a temperature in the range of 97-100℉, while the hot springs cave hovers around a steamy 104-110℉.
Day passes and overnight stays are both offered at Ainsworth Hot Springs. Reservations are required to use either of the water features, and visitors pay a single-entry rate that comes with a locker. Swimsuits are required and while there aren’t rental suits, you can borrow a towel for a fee.
Accommodations at the on-site motel include standard hotel rooms and suites, and guests enjoy using the on-property spa and restaurant.
Canyon Hot Springs Resort
Located near Revelstoke, British Columbia, Canyon Hot Springs is a 200-acre resort with lodging and hot springs in the Selkirk Mountains. The geothermal pools only open during the summer from mid-June to mid-September, but the campground opens a month earlier in May.
The property has two springs pools with pure mineral water pumped into them from a source about two miles away. The hot pool is kept at 104°F/40°C while the swimming pool is cooler at 86°F/32°C.
Day users or camping guests are welcome to use the waters for an entry fee; pool passes are not included in overnight reservations. After taking a dip, swing by the trading post and cafe for supplies or a snack.
There are over 200 campsites at Canyon Hot Springs Resort, suitable for RV campers and tent camping. Cabins and chalets are additional lodging options for people who want to immerse themselves in the great outdoors. Pets are not allowed in the structures or on the campground.
Harrison Hot Springs Resort
Harrison Hot Springs Resort in British Columbia’s Fraser Valley is a luxury venue in the southern part of Harrison Lake. The property’s five mineral pools are for overnight guests only, and they are given wristbands to give them access to all the water.
There are two indoor and three outdoor pools at the facility, including one specifically for adults and another that’s family-friendly. Water temperatures range from 83-104°F/28-40°C, with the coldest one being the outdoor lap pool.
The waters have one of the most significant amounts of dissolved mineral particles in any thermal spring, averaging 1,300 parts per million. While this might be a lesser-known gem to some, big celebrities like Robin Williams, Clark Gable, Liam Neeson, and John Wayne frequented these waters for some rejuvenation.
Since these springs are in proximity to Vancouver, this could make the ideal weekend trip. Visitors interested in staying a while can make reservations in one of the hotel rooms, suites, and cottages. The west wing and cabins are pet-friendly. In addition to lodging, there are also three restaurants, a spa, and a bar on-site.
Halcyon Hot Springs Resort
Located in Nakusp, BC, on the Upper Arrow Lake, Halcyon Hot Springs features four geothermal pools overlooking the Monashee Mountains. This property has a very relaxing overall atmosphere, as guests travel from near and far to escape the bustle of hectic schedules and heal themselves.
The warm and hot pools are kept at 99-104°F/37-40°C, and the cold plunge is a consistent 58°F/14°C. There’s also a seasonal mineral pool that is between the others with 86°F/30°C.
The mineral content of these waters is powerful, and they were bottled and used as a health tonic at one point. High lithium concentrations are present in this spring water, which has been shown to help with ailments like depression, arthritis, and even traumatic brain injuries.
Visitors are welcome to soak on a first-come, first-served basis for day use or during overnight stays. Accommodation options include chalets, cottages, and studio suites, which are spread out in the beautiful forest setting. Guests also love taking advantage of the on-site spa, yoga classes, full-service spa, and delicious restaurant.
Nearby activities are available for the whole family, including biking, hiking, paddleboarding, golf, and more.
On your next journey to beautiful Canada, keep this top hot springs list handy. Even if you are an avid hiker or skier, there’s no better way to recover than with a soak in steamy pools tucked in the gorgeous scenery.