At the crossroads of British Columbia’s Highway 93 & 95 lies a natural oasis: Radium Hot Springs. When taking a trip to Columbia Valley, adding a stop to take a dip in one of these relaxing pools can help you relax and feel rejuvenated.
The largest and most accessible hot springs swimming pool in Canada, Radium Hot Springs is located within the boundaries of the Kootenay National Park. It’s 1.5 hours west of Banff National Park, and 3 hours from Calgary. The village is set between the Purcell Mountains, and the Canadian Rockies, and must be entered through Sinclair Canyon.
Radium Hot Springs History
While the first recorded visit to the springs occurred in 1841 by the owner of Hudson’s Bay Company, George Simpson, Radium Hot Springs is said to have been used by the Ktanuaxa for years to help treat battle wounds and ease ailment pain. Purchased for $160 by an English man, a bathing pool, log bathhouse, a house for caretakers, and a store were built on-site.
In 1914, McGill University discovered the presence of radium in the water. The land was eventually bought by the government, which was then converted into Kootenay National Park.
The hot springs were opened to the public in 1925 and included a new bathhouse, a new pool, an expansion of the original pool, a gift shop, and changing area. An Aquacourt was also later added to the facility.
Visiting the Hot Springs
Soaking in hot springs waters is a tradition that has been practiced for hundreds of years, proving to be healthy for the body and mind. Today, visiting the Radium Hot Springs is a great way to relax and unwind after an adventurous day in the great outdoors. It also has some of the best views in the park.
Radium Hot Springs does not take reservations, instead of working on a ‘first come-first serve’ basis. Open daily and on major holidays, the last entry is at 8:30 pm. The hot springs pool boasts temperatures of 37-40°C (98.6-104°F), meanwhile, the 27-29°C (80.6-84.2°F) cool pool is open on weekends.
Visitors should try to limit their stay to 1-2 hours, especially during peak hours. Weekends are usually the busiest, and the morning is the best time to visit to avoid crowds. There are rental towels and swimsuits available. Remember to dress for the weather, as there are times you may be asked to wait outside due to a high volume of visitors.
The springs themselves do not offer overnight accommodations, but there’s lodging close by in Radium Village. The region surrounding the town has more to offer than the hot springs themself. Visitors can enjoy the Kootenay National Park and take part in activities such as hiking, fishing, skiing, and biking. Don’t forget to end your day at the Brewery in Radium village!
Address: Forest Landing Road, Radium Hot Springs, BC, Canada
Hours: Monday – Friday (11:30 am – 9 pm) | Saturday & Sunday (10:30 am – 9 pm)