For those seeking an adventurous jaunt to a hot spring that looks like it could make Canada’s top ten list of natural wonders, Keyhole Hot Springs in British Columbia is a must-visit. This fascinating destination boasts a series of hot spring pools nestled adjacent to the Lillooet River.
This crashing river showcases some of the most extraordinary color schemes one will ever lay eyes on. Sitting among the shadows of Mount Meager, Keyhole Hot Springs (also referred to as Pebble Creek Hot Springs) is clear evidence of the immensely powerful volcanic eruption that occurred 2,400 years ago.
Today, Mount Meager and the surrounding area are known to be one of the “most geologically unstable regions,” making it a thrilling spot to step foot onto.
Natural Hot Spring Pools
Keyhole Hot Springs features a series of thermal pools designed for utter peace and relaxation. The higher pools are the warmest, while the lower pools are cooler – and may be too cold depending on water levels, while the upper ones may be too hot.
Situated along the whirring Lillooet River, it’s easy to close your eyes, sit back, and get lost in the sounds of the crashing waters. Yet, you’ll likely spend less time with your eyes closed and more time taking in the vast scenery surrounding you.
At Keyhole Hot Springs, you’re met with some of the most glorious views you could imagine. While relaxing in the thermal waters, you’ll indulge in the magnificent sights of the Lillooet River, from the swirling waters to their lovely hues.
In the shade, the waters are a mysterious and enthralling milky turquoise hue. But once the sun graces it, it becomes an unnatural yet unbelievably beautiful emerald green shade.
Aside from the bustling river bursting with intricate colors, you’ll also enjoy glancing at the mountains and rocks encompassing you in every direction – including the jagged, almost violet-looking peak of Mount Meager.
Needless to say, the Keyhole Hot Springs is an all-natural delight that offers a wonderland of landscapes for your eyes to relish. But don’t try to visit from April 1st to November 15th, as the area is closed to preserve the grizzly bear population.
The Keyhole Hot Springs are mesmerizing pools designed to intrigue the mind and relax the body and soul – but you’ll have to work for it. After all, these hot spring pools aren’t the easiest to get you. You’ll need a good pair of hiking boots and plenty of patience to navigate the paths leading to Keyhole Hot Springs. Double-check weather conditions before embarking on these trails.
There are two hiking trail options to suit your needs.
Lillooet River Trail
First is the Lillooet River Trail, the original trail that leads to the Keyhole Hot Springs. It is marked by a small sign and an accompanying, permanent outhouse. This trail is known for being faster but far more challenging, with many steep spots standing in your way.
Keyhole Hot Springs Trail
The “new” Lillooet River Trail – or as some call it, the Keyhole Hot Springs Trail – is a bit longer but far easier to accomplish compared to the old trail. Built-in 2014, this 2-kilometer-long trail zig-zags through lush forests and occasional truck-sized boulders. There are flag tapes and tree markers to ensure you don’t get lost, while viewpoints are clearly marked to ensure you get the most out of your experience.
Regardless of which trail you end up taking, you’ll be happy to know that strolling a few more kilometers will lead you to the celebrated Keyhole Falls. This colossal, undeniably stunning waterfall is a glorious sight you’ll want to add to your bucket list.
When you find yourself immersed in the majesty of the Keyhole Hot Springs (and the surrounding area), you won’t want to leave. And you don’t have to. The Keyhole Hot Springs campsite is an inviting, gorgeous, and unmaintained campground five minutes from the springs and Upper Lillooet River.
Here, you will find enough room to accommodate at least 12 tents, if not more, with each camper having plenty of room to sprawl out and enjoy themselves. While there are no facilities at the campground, there is an elaborate yet rustic area to store food away from bears. There are also some rural fire rings to enhance your stay.
Address: Squamish-Lillooet, BC V0N 2L2, Canada
Season: November 16th – March 31st (Closed April 1st to November 15th due to grizzly bears)