Exploring Radium Hot Springs, BC

It had been 20 years since I last visited Radium Hot Springs so I decided to take the family for a 3-night trip in July. Located in the east Kootenays, Radium Hot Springs is an ideal stopover while traveling through the Kootenays, or as a holiday destination, as there is something to do for everyone.

Radium Hot Springs | Photo Alan & Flora Botting via Flickr

We stayed at a partial hookup site in Redstreak Campground, Kootenay National Park. The site was spacious, clean and extremely quiet. While there we were ‘entertained’ by a family of wild turkeys wandering around the campground each evening as well as some bighorn sheep.

Big Horn Sheep in Kootenay National Park | Photo Karen Reid

Leading from the campground is a 1.8 km walking trail that took us into the village. As we walked, we were delighted to see many more bighorn sheep grazing on the grass in an open field in the forest beside the trail.  Once we reached the village, we found a great café with delicious coffee and the children were fascinated with the old-fashioned candy available. Once we had finished our morning cup of java we decided to explore the area and found some unique gift stores filled with interesting local souvenirs.

Radium Hot Springs Mineral Pools

Approximately 3 km east of the village in Kootenay National Park is Radium Hot Springs Mineral Pools Natural Hot Springs. We took the 2.7 km winding and somewhat challenging trail from our campground that led us right to the hot springs. Since we arrived fairly early in the day the pools were pretty quiet and we were able to enjoy a peaceful soak in the hot pools. We were impressed with the stunning treed surroundings and the views of Sinclair Canyon. A wonderful respite to relax and rejuvenate.

Kootenay National Park | Video by K. Walker

In addition to the hot springs, there are an array of outdoor activities, such as hiking and kayaking. One of our favourite hiking trails was the historic Old Coach Trail, which was traveled by model T-Fords in the 1920s. It is a scenic 9 km trail that starts at the visitor centre in Radium and ends at Dry Gulch. We also went kayaking on the Columbia River and enjoyed seeing the many bird species in the area.

Rock Formations near Radium | Photo by Karen Reid

While staying in Radium Hot Springs, we decided to take a couple of day trips. One of our favourites was Windermere Lake, about 15 minutes south of Radium Hot Springs. We packed beach chairs, our kayaks and a lunch so we were able to relax and spend the day swimming and paddling. We also really enjoyed visiting Fort Steele Heritage Town, which is just over an hour south of Radium. Fort Steele dates back to the gold rush in the 1800s. Throughout the town, we viewed heritage buildings, tried gold panning and stopped into the candy store. Since Fort Steele is pet friendly, we were also able to bring our dog with us to explore!

Fort Steele Heritage Town | Photo by Jasperdo via Flickr

No matter how long you decide to stay or what activities you choose to do, Radium Hot Springs is sure not to disappoint! We definitely plan to return in the near future to experience some of the activities that we didn’t have a chance to do on this first trip.

For other campgrounds in the Kootenay Rockies or elsewhere in BC check out the Camping Map.

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Published: July 18th, 2019

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Karen Reid by Karen Reid

Karen is a passionate camper who has been camping for over 40 years. She has lived in British Columbia almost all of her life and could not imagine living anywhere else. When Karen is not camping, she can be found walking her dog, biking or on her computer planning her next adventure.

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