By Tracey Rayson, Travel Writer
Curative Waters to Buoy Your Body & Soul
As you slip into the natural spa pool of chest-deep thermal waters, the soothing warmth will glide over your body like a smooth silk spun cocoon. Stretching out against the water’s soft resistance, you’ll feel the blissful rhythm of your breath in harmony with each fluid and flexible movement from limb to limb.
Experience a soak in the restorative properties of thermal waters containing naturally occurring elements from surrounding rocks and soil, which helps promote regeneration and a sense of general well-being. Of course, being veiled in the beauty of nature and breathing fresh crisp air is all part of the meditative escape to relax and rejuvenate.
Tapping BC’s natural resources, the nourishing hot springs of the Kootenay Rockies are situated in their natural environments so you can drench yourself in hydrotherapy amidst mineral-rich caves, flowing rivers, deep canyons, old-growth forests, and towering mountain peaks. These storied spots have powerful energy to be unleashed.
If you’re looking to recalibrate your body, these bliss-inducing and health-oriented hotspots offer various hot springs and mineral pool benefits, spa treatments, and amenities ranging from accommodations and swimming pools to hot and cold plunge pools, steam rooms, and saunas, just to name a few.
Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort
Located near Nelson in the heart of the Kootenay region, Ainsworth Hot Springs offers hot mineral waters that originate from the Cody Caves area—east of the resort—which flow through fractures in the rock. A natural horseshoe-shaped cave under a ceiling of stalactites highlights the springs, where falling mineral water forms into a pool (42 Celsius) and provides a natural steam bath.
The Ktunaxa—local First Nations people—has long revered these waters for their healing power. A high mineral content includes magnesium, known for its detoxifying properties, and potassium, which supports blood pressure, cardiovascular health, and contributes to a sense of wellness. Three odourless pools, a main lounging pool, and a stream-fed cold plunge offer exhilarating health properties. Luxuriate in the pools while surrounded by stunning views of the glaciated and rugged Purcell Mountains and clear waters of Kootenay Lake. Within the resort, adjacent to the hot springs lobby, the Spirit Water Spa provides a variety of body treatments for additional healing effects.
Radium Hot Springs
Photo Credit: Destination BC / Kari Medig
Expect the calming effects of deep relaxation in the odourless geothermal pools of Radium Hot Springs, tucked into the south entrance of Kootenay National Park in the Village of Radium Hot Springs. With a reputation for its therapeutic properties, the all-natural, outdoor hot springs pools are set amidst the rugged red rock walls of Sinclair Canyon (watch for Big Horn sheep sightings), integrating outdoor wilderness with premier spa facilities.
Unearth a new sense of vitality and balance with a dip in the relaxing 25-metre ‘cool pool’ (27 Celsius). For soaking, a larger pool (39 Celsius) contains the healing powers of sulphate, calcium, bicarbonate, sodium, and magnesium to help purge toxins, relieve stress, soothe aching muscles and leave you feeling rested. Enhance your well-being with day spa services available at Pleiades Spa & Wellness. The hot springs plunge pool is complementary with any spa service.
Fairmont Hot Springs Resort
Photo Credit: Destination BC / Kari Medig
Near Invermere on the east side of the Columbia Valley, the 1,000-square-metre pool at the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort beckons bathers with its medicinal benefits and curative powers. It’s visually stimulating, too, as the Fairmont Ridge surrounds you, the most prominent peaks in the Stanford Range of the Rocky Mountains. Once the billows of steam rise and drift above the warm waters, exquisite alpine scenery is exposed to reveal snow-laced summits, and immeasurable expanses of aspens, pines, and spruces.
The resort boasts Canada’s largest odourless natural mineral-rich pools, where fresh spring waters with calcium, sulphate and magnesium flows daily through two Nordic-style hot and cold plunge pools: the hot pool (39 Celsius) and the dive pool (30 Celsius), plus the large swimming pool (32 Celsius). Renewal extends to the Natural Springs Spa, positioned in the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort lodge lobby, where the restorative and naturally heated waters are used in a number of their treatments to promote further healing and rejuvenation. Other highlights include the steam room, sauna, and the eponymous hotel.