Between the towns of Nakusp and Revelstoke, you’ll find the breathtaking, off-the-grid destination of Halfway Hot Springs. Here the mineral hot springs bubble right out of the ground on a hillside along the Halfway River, before flowing down to multiple magical pools.
This lightly developed hot spring offers several pool choices and local camping. Make it a long weekend by visiting Halcyon Hot Springs Resort too, located just east of the Halfway River, a twenty-minute drive between locations.
Natural Hot Spring Pools
The Main Pools are near the base of the main trail and feature a nearby, semi-private changing station. These are the three largest pools and the most-visited ones at Halfway. The top pool is about 24″ deep and has natural rock seating around the perimeter, with small gravel and sand across the bottom.
An open-air pool below that one is 36″ deep, with a rock perimeter and sandy bottom. The shallowest pool, located under the cedar trees, is perfect for lounging in, at 16″ deep with a silty bottom and lovely shade.
The River Pools are an easy 50-yard walk through the trees from the Main Pools. There are numerous pools; all carved out of the Halfway River beach. Depending on the time of the year, these pools will vary in both temperature and size. Closest to the river is a pool that goes up against a rock wall from which mineral water seeps out.
The pool is also fed by a small creek of extremely hot water as well as cool water from the river, so be alert for rapid changes in water temps. A smaller nearby pool is much cooler, and ideal for taking a plunge in warmer months.
Pools at the Gorge
The Pools at the Gorge are your reward for taking a rather rough 7-minute hike downriver on the severely sloping hillside. Once you reach the riverbank, you’ll hike another 75 yards or so on flat ground. As the name implies, these pools lie at the mouth of the gorge, just above the Halfway Waterfalls.
Again, the temperature of these pools varies with the time of year and water level; the top pool is the hottest. A word of warning: Be very careful not to slip and fall into the gorge, as you could be carried over the waterfall (likely a fatal trip).
Finally, the Waterfall Pools are right below the main camping area. These are best accessed via the campground path, as again, hiking over the gorge can be fatal if you fall in. Depending on the time of year and water level, the Waterfall Pools may be practically non-existent. When full, they are great little lounging spots, with fish swimming nearby in the river.
Halfway Hot Springs was developed for public use as a forestry recreation site in 2016 by the British Columbia parks department. Camping is first-come, first-served from May 1 until October 31 and requires a permit.
Camping is no longer allowed next to the hot springs pools. There are 20 vehicle-accessible sites and ten hike-in tent sites in the surrounding forest. Some areas have fire pits, picnic tables, and tent pads. A few outhouses are provided.
A full-time attendant lives onsite during the camping season.
Halfway Hot Springs is popular in the winter months for those with snowshoes. Snow can make the service road impassable by car from mid-October through mid-May. At that time of year, visitors must park on the highway and hike down the service road (about 7 miles) to reach the springs.
From Nakusp, BC – Take Canyon Road North (Highway 6) out of Nakusp and drive 15.8 miles to the Halfway River bridge; turn right, before the bridge, onto a very rough, poorly maintained dirt forest service road; drive slowly for 6.8 miles to a fork where you will see park signs.
Address: Central Kootenay K, BC V0G 1R1, Canada
Season: Year-round, but unattended from November 1-April 30 (see above)