With an abundance of natural, mineral-rich hot springs around the Canadian Rockies, “taking the waters" is a treasured tradition in the area.
There are many beautiful hot springs in and around Banff and Jasper where you can soak amid scenic splendour. Feeling intrigued? Check out these five springs where you can try it for yourself.
Located just a ten-minute drive from Cave and Basin near the base of Sulphur Mountain and the Banff Gondola, Banff Upper Hot Springs sits at the highest elevation of any operating hot spring in Canada. Its thermal waters, created by rainfall and snowmelt that seep into the earth's crust, are naturally heated and pressurized, then bubble to the surface rich with minerals. Slip into the springs' soothing warmth and soak up the spectacular views of Mount Rundle. Afterwards, refuel with a snack in the picnic area, or visit the cafe on the second floor.
Take the scenic drive to Fiddle Valley, about an hour from downtown Jasper, for a relaxing plunge in Miette, the hottest natural spring in the Canadian Rockies. Picturesque trails showcasing Jasper National Park's hallmark mountain scenery surround the large thermal mineral pool.
Explore the easy Source of the Springs trail to learn all about Miette's warm mineral water. Or head up the challenging 7.1-kilometre Skyline Loop for show-stopping panoramas. Pack a picnic, or grab a bite on the Fiddle Valley Cafe's poolside patio. Unlike the open-year-round Banff Upper Hot Springs or Radium Hot Springs, Miette operates only during the warmer months, typically from early-May to mid-October.
Set off on a Kananaskis Country adventure with an epic mid-hike reward. The best hiking conditions for the 6.4-km (out and back) Mist Mountain Springs Trail are between June and October, when the rocky terrain is relatively snow-free. Due to its steep elevation, the trail is rated as difficult, making the warmth from mineral hot springs a welcome reprieve for your hard-working muscles. While the scenery is expansive, the two natural pools accommodate just two bathers each at a time. The tradeoff, however, is a soak in the Mist Mountain Hot Springs is free of charge and offers an unforgettable Instagram-worthy backdrop.
Venture out to the Canadian Rockies' largest hot springs in Radium, British Columbia. Nestled in the Columbia Valley, about 90 minutes west of Banff, Radium Hot Springs offers two expansive outdoor mineral pools. Slide or dive into the 25-metre cool pool kept at a comfortable 27 to 30 degrees Celsius, or relax in hot spring-fed water, averaging between 37 and 40 degrees. There are also plenty of hiking trails surrounding the hot springs if you wish to explore more beautiful scenery nearby.
Indulge in a treatment at the Willow Stream Spa to rejuvenate the mind, body and soul. The luxurious wellness sanctuary in the iconic Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel offers an elevated soaking experience, with an outdoor hot tub, indoor mineral pool and three waterfall treatment whirlpools. The steam room, sauna, eucalyptus inhalation room and fireside lounge further enhance relaxation before and after your treatment. Continue the tranquillity with the Fairmont’s elegant Rocky Mountain Afternoon Tea, complete with scones, preserves, finger sandwiches and delicate pastries.
Before you venture out, make sure you’re prepared
Start planning your Canadian Rockies hot springs adventure in Banff and Jasper national parks today. Check closures, restrictions and hours ahead of your trip, and get ready to experience the joys of “taking the waters.”