Canada’s hot springs – a spa town existence

As winter begins to wind up it’s time to think about jumping into one of Canada's hot springs, perhaps armed with a beer, or possibly a flute of champagne.

There’s nothing quite like a bubbly hot sitz after a day’s skiing to caress chafe marks and sooth weary muscles followed by a roll in the snow to reinvigorate the senses.

Whistler is surrounded by bountiful array of delightful hot springs.

Scandinave Spa

Let’s kick off with an escape to the Scandinave Spa Whistler, the perfect destination to relax in the heart of nature in British Columbia, Canada.

You can rejuvenate after a long hike or day skiing on Whistler Blackcomb's slopes at the 20,000 square foot outdoor spa, just minutes from Whistler Village.

Retreat to this Nordic-inspired oasis of calm engulfed in a peaceful spruce and cedar forest on the edge of Lost Lake.

Scandinave Spa, Canada
The beauty of Canada's spa towns seen at dawn

Soak in the calming hot water while you enjoy the natural splendour of Whistler's incredible mountain vistas.

Scandinave Spa is dedicated to creating a space of wellbeing where you can relax in the heart of nature.

Breathe in the exhilarating mountain air; invigorate and cleanse your body, mind and soul.

Enjoy hot baths, wood burning Finnish sauna, eucalyptus steam room and refreshing waterfalls and melt away with a relaxing massage in Whistler's most unique Health & Wellness Spa.

Scandinave Spa, Whistler,Canada
Scandinave Spa by night - too cool.

Specialising in hydrotherapy (contrasting water temperatures, said to rev up circulation and “produce the effect of increased wellness and intense relaxation.”), this place is amazing.

Besides an adorable little eco-spa and other out-buildings that look like they’re from Middle Earth, there are woodsy, manicured grounds and sparkling pools. The Scandinavian Bath experience includes a eucalyptus steam room, traditional wood-burning Finnish sauna, hot baths, cold plunges, and a thermal waterfall.

Glory in the Keyhole

Then there’s the magnificent Keyhole, Sloquet Hot Springs, and the Skookumchuck.

Sloquet Hot Springs is a series of small, artificial pools fed by a hot waterfall.  The pools stretch from the waterfall to the big cascading Sloquet River.

Skookumchuck Hot Springs is a well-liked and picturesque campsite along the banks of Lillooet River.

The Skookumchuck hot springs and campground are waiting along the highway just near the road marker indicating kilometre 48.

The campsites are laid out in a figure eight, and if you snag one of the many campsites on the Lillooet River itself, you can fall asleep to the sound of rushing water and wake up to the sun coming up over Fire Mountain.

The hot springs are at most a two-minute walk from any of the campsites.

The main pool, which is far too hot to bathe in, feeds a series of motley tubs of varying size and shape that are connected by boardwalks and river stones.

Though the odd-looking tubs lack the natural charm of nearby Sloquet hot springs, the tin awnings and A-framed shelters give the goofy-looking tubs a warm, rustic appeal.

According to First Nations legend, the water from the hot springs has healing properties for those who bathe in and drink it.

For those who want a more unrefined, natural experience, drive another hour and a half up the logging road to the Sloquet hot springs.

The Sloquet campground consists of 15 or so sites with picnic tables and fire rings.

It’s a short descent down a well-marked trail leads to the springs, and you can hear the crashing river and smell the sulphurous aroma before you get there.

When you finally reach the bottom, you will find yourself surrounded by massive greenery and abrupt cliff faces while you dip your toes in natural rock pools of steaming water.

While the trip to Skookumchuk and Sloquet hotsprings is not without its fair share of dirt roads and white knuckles, a chance to get out of the city and do some stargazing from Mother Nature’s jacuzzi is worth the effort.

It is the base to a quirky set of hot baths fed by warming natural springs.

The hot springs at Keyhole, (also known as Pebble Creek Hot Springs) 100km from Whistler, rise from the surface near the colourful ice-melt water of the Lillooet River.

If you like waterfalls, the spectacular Keyhole Falls is located just a couple kilometres upriver from the hot springs.

Jonathan Porter

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