Radium Hot Springs is a perennial highlight in Kootenay National Park, BC, Canada.
Although the original hot springs were undoubtedly enjoyed by indigenous people for hundreds of decades prior, the first recorded visit by settlers occurred in 1841 when Sir George Simpson, Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company stumbled upon the natural oasis. The first commercial development at the hot springs consisted of a developed pool, a bath house, a small store and a caretaker's home near the beginning of the first World War in 1914. Newly formed Kootenay National Park expropriated the property in 1922 and many developmental improvements have been completed in recent decades to bring Radium Hot Springs to it's current level of development.
A formidable and non-associated gazebo stands prominent above the tunnel entrance beneath Banff - Windermere Parkway (Highway 93) providing entrance to Radium Hot Springs. There is a short walk around the upper, developed, cold-water pool to the entrance for the lower hot springs. The facility is wheelchair accessible.
Rental bathing suits and towels are available at a nominal charge above reasonable entrance admission. Change rooms and coin operated rental lockers are a short distance downstairs. Soaking in the water of the hot springs soothes the soul and reverses fatigue following the short hike from the Village of Radium Hot Springs via the Juniper Trail.
Radium Hot Springs are open year round and great effort is made to ensure the Banff - Windermere Parkway remains open. Enjoying the ice-coated rock walls of Radium Hot Springs in winter's frigid air, while immersed in warm water, is a unique and perpetually memorable winter experience, however it is worth noting the expeditious entry and exit between the change room showers and the hot springs can be an exhilarating and compromising experience.
The warm water from the hot pool soothes the soul and reduces the perceived pace of the day. Following a relaxing therapeutic soak in the warm water of Radium Hot Springs there are two additional opportunities immediately available nearby prior to the return hike to the Village of Radium Hot Springs.
The sidewalk along the Banff - Windermere Parkway (Highway 93), which passes above Radium Hot Springs, continues northeast towards the traffic tunnel and hosts a delightful, tree-lined, creek-adjacent, gravel trail beneath steep cliffs to the large overflow parking area. This short, interpretive walk is worth the time prior to the hike back to the Village of Radium Hot Springs.
The short, interpretive walk adjacent to Highway 93 passes the abundant water source feeding Radium Hot Springs and the dramatic Redwall Fault which created the water source eons ago.
Highway expansion created a conundrum which resulted in the construction of a transportation tunnel to preserve Iron Gates Canyon. The scenery here in this photographic paradise is incredible. Echoes of cascading water reflect from impressive rock walls along Sinclair Creek and provide an easily accessible retreat from the nearby hustle and bustle of commercial enterprise.
Prior to the return from this idyllic oasis to the Village of Radium Hot Springs, there is one additional and worthy exploratory option for a random wander above Radium Hot Springs where Radium Hot Springs Lodge stood between 1925 and 2012.
Radium Hot Springs near the Village of Radium Hot Springs in Kootenay National Park, British Columbia, Canada is one of three developed hot springs locations in adjacent Canadian National Parks. The other two are Banff Hot Springs near the base of Sulphur Mountain above the Town of Banff in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada and the warmest water at Miette Hot Springs east of the Municipality of Jasper resides in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada. Books of tickets reduce the cost of individual admission and provide entrance to any of the three natural and developed hot springs.