The second-largest hot spring in Canada, the Liard River Hot Springs is located along the world-famous Alaska Highway. Naturally occurring due to a fault line, anyone making their way through Canada to Alaska should plan a stop. A historic site, there are plenty of opportunities to spot unique wildlife as the springs are open year-round and boast incredible hikes at the wetlands nearby.
A beautiful place to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights, the Liard River Hot Springs allow the park to remain open year-round, a feat not many parks in Canada can claim. The ideal spot for soaking, make sure to add a detour to this hot spring.
Natural Hot Springs in British Columbia
Nestled in a lush boreal spruce forest, the Liard River Hot Springs is a popular stopover for tourists, especially during the summer. Unlike many sites that fill tubs with mineral-rich water, the Liard River Hot Springs is fed from the naturally occurring hot river. On-site, there’s a public pool, called the Alpha Pool, which is usually between 42-52°C (107-125°F).
Boasting a shallow area for kids and benches in the water for relaxing, guests facilities are located near the Alpha Pool and include a changing house and composite toilet. Leading up to the springs, there’s a boardwalk that leads guests through the warm water swap. It should be mentioned that visitors are required to remain on the boardwalk at all times so as to not disturb the habitat.
Liard Hot Springs Provincical Park
Founded in 1957 and open throughout the year, the Liard River Hot Springs is like an oasis along the Alaskan Highway. Home to moose and bison as well as 14 varieties of orchid, the park was originally called the “Tropical Valley”. Draining into the surrounding swap, the hot spring waters help create a climate that enriches the area’s ecosystem.
American history buffs may also find an interest in springs, as it has been home to many fur trade and exploration routes. A significant stop on the Yukon trade route before being abandoned in 1870 due to treacherous waters further north of the Liard River, the park’s first boardwalks were built by the American army in 1947.
A popular site for camping in the summer, visitors who would like to stay in the area have a couple of options. The Liard River Hot Springs Provincial Park has both reservable and first-come, first-served campsites. During the summer, the first-come, first-served sites tend to fill up, so you’ll need to show up early.
Although not affiliated with the park, nearby, there are lodges that can provide comfortable accommodations for the night.
The Liard Hot Springs and surrounding park area are located on Alaska Highway 97 at kilometer 765, which is about 3 hours north of Fort Nelson and around 38 miles north of Munch Lake Provincial Park. The Rocky Mountain Lodge is a convenient spot for car trips, RV trips, and camping trips yea-round.
Address: 75100-81198 Alaska Hwy, Northern Rockies B, BC V0C 1Z0, Canada
Phone: 250 776-7000
Cost: User fee from April 31 – October 31 | Annual passes available | Cash only
Camping Reservation Website: camping.bcparks.ca