Canada’s first national park began with the discovery of natural hot springs now infamously known as the Cave and Basin National Historic Site. These springs are naturally heated through geothermic activity from deep within the Earth’s crust. This phenomenon became a mecca for people seeking healing properties and therapeutic benefits.
Although it’s prohibited for visitors to take a dip in the springs at the Cave And Basin, there are other beautiful hot springs located throughout Banff and surrounding national parks that visitors can relax in. Below are some of the most spectacular hot springs to visit during your stay in Banff.
1. Banff Upper Hot Springs
Nestled on Sulphur Mountain beside the Banff Gondola, the Banff Upper Hot Springs is a short 5-minute drive from downtown Banff. Enjoy a relaxing dip in hot mineral water that is fed from the same springs as the Cave and Basin. These outdoor pools are the perfect way to wind down and enjoy the views. These hot springs are a popular tourist spot and, if you’re looking to avoid the crowds, we recommend visiting in the morning for a quieter experience.
2. Mist Mountain Hot Springs
If you love nature, hiking, and route finding, then Mist Mountain hot springs might be the perfect springs for you! Mist Mountain is located in Kananaskis Country, about a 1.5-hour drive east from the Town of Banff. This breathtaking hike has recently gained in popularity – and for good reason. It’s a 5km hike with 500m of elevation gain before you reach the Springs.
GPS route-finding and previous experience hiking in the mountains is recommended for this adventure. The reward is great with a stunning natural hot spring to be enjoyed on the side of a mountain while taking in the unreal views of the surrounding peaks. Be prepared for a challenging hike up and reserve some time to soak in the natural hot springs.
3. Radium Hot Springs
Located on the outskirts of Kootenay National Park, approximately 1.5 hours drive from the Town of Banff, Radium Hot Springs is a family-friendly facility perfect for parents and small children. These developed pools are fed by natural mineral water and feature a hot pool, surprise plunge, and a cooler swimming pool. A diving board and 2 slides make this irresistible to children and adults alike. In addition to the aquatics area, this facility also features an onsite Spa and Wellness Centre known as the Pleiades.
4. Ram Creek Hot Springs
If you’re looking for a less touristy experience and an adventurous day trip during your stay in Banff, Ram Creek Hot Springs requires a bit of work but is worth the experience. Considered a “hidden gem”, these secluded natural hot springs are located in British Columbia, Canada and is a 3-hour drive from the Town of Banff.
Getting to these hot springs requires a 9km moderate hike on an old logging road. . You’ll come across the springs, which are perched on a ridge and overlooking stunning views of surrounding mountains and the meadows below. A true nature lover’s journey that will leave you feeling refreshed for the 9km hike back to the car!!
5. Lussier Hot Springs
Lussier Hot Springs is located beside the Lussier River in Whiteswan Provincial Park. These undeveloped natural hot springs are meant for the outdoor enthusiast looking for a road trip adventure while staying in Banff.
To access these Lussier Hot Springs, visitors must drive up the Whiteswan Forestry Road for approximately 18km, park, and hike a short distance to the Lussier River. What awaits is a private and secluded paradise!