If you don’t mind an arduous trek to an unbelievable destination, the Kraus Hot Springs of the Northwest Territories may be the spot you’ve been looking for. Sometimes spelled “Kraus Hotsprings”, it’s located about 310 miles (500 kilometers) from Yellowknife in the stunning Nahanni National Park Reserve.
It delivers sensational views with steamy temperatures designed for utter relaxation.
The Kraus Hot Springs got their name from the original founders, Gus and Mary Kraus – who is fondly referred to as the “First Lady of the Nahanni.” Mary and her husband lived in the rural Nahanni region for approximately 30 years during the mid-20th century. Their original generator shack is now used as a check-in station for tourists.
Natural Hot Spring Pool
The hot spring pool is the main attraction for bathers. It stands an impressive nine feet long, ensuring plenty of space for adventurous soakers. Of course, you likely won’t run into too much traffic, considering this is one of the most challenging hot springs to reach in the Nahanni National Park Reserve.
The troublesome trek it requires is well worth it, though. Kraus Hot Springs is not only liked for its exhilarating steamy temperatures but it’s known for offering some of the most impeccable sights. With invigorating cliff views and soothing, lush forest scenes in every direction, it’s the perfect combination for the eyes and soul to feast on.
There is one significant thing to note, though. While this enchanting rock-wall hot spring pool offers inviting temps and lovely views, one thing that stands out is the noticeable sulfur smell, derived from the high concentration of minerals, including chloride, sodium, and sulfate.
If you can withstand the scent, you will reap the immense benefits these minerals offer, from soothed joints and muscles to flawlessly smooth skin.
Wilderness camping is encouraged in the surrounding areas of the Kraus Hot Springs. In fact, it’s recommended, as these springs aren’t known for being a “day in and day out trip” due to the extensive journey to reach them.
However, it is imperative to note that no camping or hot spring use is allowed from August to September. This is due to the large population of black bears (and some grizzly bears) that frequent the area during this time.
Don’t wish to camp? You also have the option of staying in nearby Yellowknife. There are many top-notch accommodations, including the Explorer Hotel, Chateau Nova, and Bayside Bed & Breakfast (affiliate links). Note that you’ll need to fly into Fort Simpson to access the hot springs pool for a day trip.
Address: Fort Smith, Unorganized, NT, Canada
Open: October – July (Closed August – September)