Panorama Mountain Village

Soak away those winter aches at Radium Hot Springs

Historic hot springs a relaxing way to ease into mountain time


Radium Hot Springs is the perfect place to relax after a day on the slopes
Photo by Paula Worthington

PAULA WORTHINGTON

RADIUM, BC - It’s a welcome sight as you enter Sinclair Canyon at the edge of Kootenay National Park in British Columbia on Highway 93 - the soothing, steaming waters at Radium Hot Springs. For years, I had simply driven by the springs, en route to one of many B.C. ski destinations.

This time, I was looking forward to making the destination Radium. As I pulled into town at the Prestige Inn, I was already looking forward to a hot soak after a long week of work. The skiing could wait until Saturday; this Friday night would be used to ease me back into mountain time.

Radium sits at the crossroads of Highway 95 and 93, where outdoor adventures await in every direction. To the north sits Golden, to the southwest, the slopes of Panorama, south to Fairmont and onward to Kimberley, and to the east, the natural bounties of Kootenay National Park. Perfectly perched on the “warm” side of the Rockies, Radium is an ideal launch pad to four seasons of adventure.

Soak in the natural mineral waters
Photo by Paula Worthington

There’s something beautiful about entering the valley near Radium — Rocky Mountain sheep abound, white snow sticks to the red walls of Sinclair Canyon, while the Purcells beyond beckon.

“With soothing hot mineral water, steam and the incredible park setting, many people find the experience truly unique,” says Donna Cook, marketing coordinator for Canadian Rockies Hot Springs. “You’ll often see Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep up in the canyon, you can even spot them on the slopes when you’re relaxing in the pool.”

My first soak at Radium was late in the evening, when the pools are quieter, and gazing up, I could spot stars through the steam on the clear winter night. The pools were remarkably quiet; just a few others occupied the large pool. While many were still on the road to their weekend destination, I was already feeling worlds away.

I had the chance to return again the following afternoon after a day of skiing and fat biking, where, under a cold, blue January sky, frost-encrusted trees leaned in above the pool, turning the canyon cove into a true winter wonderland. Day or night — I couldn’t decide which springs soak scenario was better.

Admission to the hot springs is only $6.30 - Affordable for everyone
Photo by Paula Worthington

 "There are a number of hot springs throughout the Canadian Rockies, but the springs at Radium are unique in that they are odourless. This is because of the hydrogen sulfide gas has already dissipated when exposed to oxygen before it reaches the outlet of the spring. The pools are kept at a very comfortable 39C, and the top five minerals, including sulphate, calcium, bicarbonate, silica and magnesium, are thought to have healing properties."

The pools are kept at a very comfortable 39C, and the top five minerals include sulphate, calcium, bicarbonate, silica and magnesium.

Hot springs have always been a draw in the Rockies — explorers and visitors in the 19th century were drawn to the springs, and the Canadian National Parks system was first started in Banff thanks to the springs. “Today, doctors recommend hot springs for the stress relieving properties and soothing sore muscles or the aches of arthritis,” says Cook. Not only is it therapeutic, it’s good value. A single adult admission is just $6.30. 

Feeling nervous about that cold Rocky Mountain winter walk to the hot pool? Never mind, the locker areas are heated, and a warm hallway leads to a covered walkway, which allows the bather to slip into the springs without catching a chill. 

There’s plenty of complimentary parking in the vicinity of the pools, making the stop an easy one for both west and east traffic. The next time I make my way down Highway 93, a stop and a stay at Radium Hot Springs is a must. 

Getting there

From Calgary or the town of Banff, take the Trans-Canada highway (Highway 1) to Castle Junction in Banff National Park. At Castle Junction, take Highway 93 to Kootenay National Park and the Hot Springs.

Where to stay

The Prestige Inn, located in Radium, is perfectly situated at the crossroads of Highway 95 and 93. The hotel offers clean and spacious rooms, an onsite restaurant, lounge, pool and hot tub.

Ski at Panorama, soak and stay at Radium Hot Springs, for as little as $96 per person.

Share this story with your friends so that they can get excited about the natural wonder that is Radium Hot Springs too!

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