Soaking it up at Lussier Hot Springs, Kootenay Rockies, BC
This year we set out to explore as many hot springs in the Kootenays as we could squeeze into a four-day road trip. We started with Radium and Fairmont in the East Kootenay area and finished up with Ainsworth and Halcyon, both in the West Kootenays. All of these are developed hot springs, but one that we had at the top of our list was Lussier Hot Springs. These natural springs are located in Whiteswan Lake Provincial Park. Back in the early 1990s we lived in Windermere, just south of Invermere, so this was a place we visited often and always loved it.
To get to Lussier, head south from Invermere (on Highway 93/95) and just south (4.5 kilometres) of Canal Flats, turn east onto the Whiteswan Forest Service Road. Be super careful on the road as this is an active logging area and the big trucks come up and down pretty fast. The gravel road was easily accessible with my little Mazda 3 but would definitely recommend a 4×4 in the winter. Just past kilometre 17, you will see the parking lot for the hot springs on the right side of the road.
There is a short hike down to the hot springs from the parking lot/outhouses. The trail is not difficult but it may be a bit steep for anyone with mobility issues. New, since we used to come in the early 90s, are the outhouses which double as change rooms. Depending on the time of the year, you may find that you have the hot springs to yourself and other times it can be quite busy. This trip we met a family from Holland exploring the area.
As you get close to the river, you will pick up on the sulfur smell which is common to most natural springs. There are three pebble bottom pools, with the hottest pool being further away from the creek. I can remember going there in the winter; it is absolutely beautiful to see the steaming water with the snowy background. If it’s cold, it does not take long for ice crystals to form on your hair and if you are really brave, you can take a dip in the frigid Lussier River. This trip, we did not dip in the river; it was a beautiful warm day, so the pool closest to the river was comfortable enough to stay in; whereas in the winter, it is pretty cold. If you look closely, you can see the hot bubbling water flowing into the pools from between the rocks.
If you continue on the forest service road to kilometre 25, you will find Whiteswan Provincial Park with the beautiful Whiteswan and Alces lakes. Reservations are not available but there are 114 campsites located at the five campgrounds either along the river or lake.
Alces Lake which is the closest to Lussier at kilometre 21, is a good lake for swimming and fishing for rainbow trout, with 28 sites, pit toilets and lakefront sites. The other campgrounds are located at Packrat Point, Inlet Creek, White River and Home Basin.
Another beautiful area is the remote Top of the World Provincial Park, with the trail-head at kilometre 52. We have done some amazing hikes in this area.
After your visit to Lussier, if you are still looking for more hot springs, check out the Radium Hot Springs about 45 minutes north and Fairmont Hot Springs about 30 minutes north on Highway 93/95, both worth a visit.
For campgrounds and RV parks in the Kootenay Rockies and elsewhere in British Columbia go the Camping Map.
Share your BC camping pictures using hashtag #campinbc.
Published: September 12th, 2019
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