We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Hot Springs

antrim
Level Contributor
104 posts
65 reviews
Save Topic
Hot Springs

We will be touring from Vancouver to Banff in RV with 3 children aged 8,6 and 4 in August. We would love to let them try an experience in the hot springs. Which would be pleasent and child -friendly? We do not mind going a bit off our route to get a good one and then we can stay locally.

Appreciate your ideas

bristol uk
Level Contributor
1,021 posts
122 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Hot Springs

We are driving this in reverse with our 2 children. I too wanted this sort of experience. We have booked in at the Canyon Hot Springs, in between Revelstoke and Golden, for three nights. I think it's mainly a camping/RV place but they do have some cabin accomodation and a hot springs fed pool. I did need to telephone them as they don't book cabins over the net but from memory pitches can be booked over the net. Hope this hepls

Calgary, Canada
Destination Expert
for Waterton Lakes National Park, Nelson
Level Contributor
2,681 posts
93 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Hot Springs

Hi folks,

We stayed at Canyon Hot Springs last summer and we were a little disappointed with it.

If I were you, I would ask when you reserve for a treed site. We got stuck in an open area that was wall-to-wall RV's and it was fairly disappointing. There are a lot of nicely treed sites that are very private, I'm not sure what you have to do to get one. But I suppose you could request one of these sites when you reserve.

This park is in a nice location, in terms of visiting other points of interest along this section of the Trans Canada.

The other thing is that the hot springs are an "extra" charge, on top of your camping fees, and it was fairly pricey.

With children that age, I would be inclined to detour south to Radium Hot Springs for an afternoon there. They have a hot pool and a regular swimming pool, as well as a little "surprise" pool. (You never know whether the water coming into this one will be hot or glacier-fed cold!) It is really tiny - just hot tub sized - but it is fun to try for a minute or two. They have plenty of RV parking as well.

lost in Ohio
Level Contributor
2,255 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Hot Springs

The hot springs are generally "out of favor" and show it. The best of the lot is in Banff itself. You might just want to tour the original hot springs -- the Cave and Basin -- in Banff rather than go in. Just a thought

Calgary, Canada
Destination Expert
for Waterton Lakes National Park, Nelson
Level Contributor
2,681 posts
93 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Hot Springs

Actually, I would be inclined to disagree with CanadaRockiesNut. I think the best of the hot springs is in Jasper (Miette Hot Springs). But since you are not going to Jasper, I suggested Radium, since I think it is the next best choice, out of the 3 developed hot springs in the parks.

I'm not sure what "out of favor" means.... certainly Miette and Radium are both very well maintained.

There are also some nice hot springs in the Kootenays, which I did not suggest to you because I wasn't sure how far "off our route" you are willing to go. If you want some info on them, let me know.

=:>)

antrim
Level Contributor
104 posts
65 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Hot Springs

We will be in both Radium and the Kootenays over the 11 day trip. I have tooked at the Radium Hot Spring website and it looks good,but perhaps there would be better elsewhere. I would also like to show them some geothermal action, would there be any hot-springs or geysers around to show them where the hot water really comes from??

antrim
Level Contributor
104 posts
65 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Hot Springs

We will be in both Radium and the Kootenays over the 11 day trip. I have tooked at the Radium Hot Spring website and it looks good,but perhaps there would be better elsewhere. I would also like to show them some geothermal action, would there be any hot-springs or geysers around to show them where the hot water really comes from??

lost in Ohio
Level Contributor
2,255 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Hot Springs

(1) I agree that Miette is the best of the lot -- but hellie is going to Banff not Jasper, so I dont know why Miette makes it into the discussion.

(2) Out of favor means that they are clearly no longer the major attractiion that they once were, and are not especially "attractive" to the modern, 21st century head set. The same could be said for "baths" anywhere -- My overwhelming feeling at the hot springs in Banff was one of being distinctly down market.

If someone is looking for the "history" of the hot springs, I again recommend Cave and Basin.

If someone believes that there is a therapeutic effect from the "Radium" at Radium Hot Springs -- well, I guess that's ok with me.

lost in Ohio
Level Contributor
2,255 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Hot Springs

Helliedoc -- The Cave and Basin has a good explanation about the history of the Cave and how everything works geothermally.

I promise you one thing -- your kids will NEVER forget the smell.

ENJOY

Calgary, Canada
Destination Expert
for Waterton Lakes National Park, Nelson
Level Contributor
2,681 posts
93 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Hot Springs

If you will be in the Kootenays, then you may want to consider Ainsworth Hot Springs, just north of Nelson. (Nelson is a town well worth visiting, by the way - it's one of my favorites!)

Ainsworth has the traditional "developed" springs - swimming pools full of hot water. But it also has a more-or -less undeveloped hot springs as well. There is a cave there which you can go into and soak in the hot springs. Apparently, miners dug the caves after they discovered the hot springs there. They were trying to increase the flow of water coming out of the ground. It didn't work for them, but the end result is a "grotto" that offers a very different hot springs experience. Their website is at

www.hotnaturally.com

There are several campgrounds near here as well where you could overnight. This area is absolutely beautiful, in my mind and if you go this route you will end up taking a couple of really short (free) ferry rides between here and the Okanagan as well.

Here is a link to info on all of BC's hot springs:

http://www.bchotsprings.com/

I hope that helps you decide which hot springs you would like to visit. I also hope you have a really great vacation!

sydney australia
Level Contributor
548 posts
32 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Hot Springs

We visited the Rockies a few years back with 2 kids around the same age as yours are now. I want to agree with other posters here that Nelson is a lovely town, and the drive north from there is great, with a couple of free ferry rides across the lakes. Golden and Cranbrook are totally forgettable, in my opinion, and at that time I didn't think much of Canmore either - don't know if anything has changed in the past few years. Banff is very touristy but good for the kids, and has quite a buzz.

We stayed at Radium and visited the hot springs there, which I really enjoyed. There had been a cold snap (it was the end of September when we visited) and it was amazing going from 0 degrees outside to the heat of the hot pool. Radium is a tiny place but quaint (IMHO), and there was a great mini golf place there. I'm not sure if it still exists, though.

We are now planning to go back this September to visit Jasper, and the other places we missed on our first visit. The scenery is stunning.