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Find yourself in hot water in B.C.

It can cure what ails you, people say, and they don’t mean Grandpa’s “cough medicine.” They’re talking about British Columbia’s ultimate hot tubs — from the ones Mother Nature created to the ones humans have perfected.
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Radium Hot Springs in the Kootenay Rockies region boasts a wealth of natural hot tubs

It can cure what ails you, people say, and they don’t mean Grandpa’s “cough medicine.” They’re talking about British Columbia’s ultimate hot tubs — from the ones Mother Nature created to the ones humans have perfected.

B.C.’s natural hot tubs — hot springs that bubble up from deep within the earth’s crust — are situated at some of the most scenic places on earth: in mountain valleys surrounded by jagged peaks, aside sparkling lakes, even a stone’s throw from the Pacific Ocean.

In British Columbia, there are as many ways to experience the province’s natural hot springs as there are springs themselves.

The Kootenay Rockies region soaring mountain vistas and world-class alpine ski terrain, also boasts a wealth of natural hot tubs, including Canada’s largest mineral springs pool, Radium. Here, a sheer rock face — the base of Redstreak Mountain — soars skyward above two sulphur-free (read: odourless) and developed pools. Minerals in the water are said to pass into the skin where they are absorbed and utilized by the body’s cells to soothe and detoxify.

Offering among its attributes a shallow lounging area ideal for children, full wheelchair accessibility, a 25-metre long cool pool, change rooms, shower facilities, and a day spa, Radium’s pools are historically this area’s main attraction.

That said, there’s still plenty to entertain post-soak: head into town and raise a glass at one of Radium’s local favourites, including traditional pubs, a wine bar, and a host of delectable restaurants.

For a burgeoning après scene, make your way to nearby Panorama Mountain Village ski resort. Scrumptious notes include a gooey cheese fondue at Summit Hut atop Panorama Mountain, and the famous T-Bar & Grill — a magnet for those who have been relaxing in the Panorama Springs Hot Pools, the country’s largest slopeside hot pools, situated at the resort’s base.

Several hours northwest, the wilderness resort of Halcyon Hot Springs Village & Spa beckons with its serene, natural healing waters. Perched above Arrow Lake, the hot springs, complete with striking mountain vistas, are famed for their unique blend of minerals; a potent mix that proves relaxing and, at the same time, soothing to those suffering an array of ailments. Two pool decks are home to a warm pool, hot pool and cold plunge open year-round, and a mineral swimming pool that is open seasonally.

Less than two hours drive from Vancouver, on the edge of a sandy lakefront, Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa has two naturally heated and mineral-rich indoor pools and three outdoor pools, each with varying temperatures.

You can’t drive to Vancouver Island’s best-known hot spring, but getting there by ocean or air is surprisingly easy and half the fun. Hot Springs Cove lies 50 km northwest of the tiny surfing town of Tofino.

Here, at high tide the chilly Pacific Ocean meets five natural hot tubs fed by a burbling sulfur water brook and waterfall. Although the region’s epic annual rainfall can cool the interconnected, magma-heated pools, they are accessible, weather-permitting, year-round. Hot Springs Cove is doable in a day trip but many visitors loathe to leave quickly, choosing instead to spend the night on Innchanter, a floating B&B in the quaint community’s harbour.

The health and healing merits bestowed by B.C.’s mineral-rich natural baths upon those who dip in them are considerable. Little surprise, then, that hot tubs and hydrotherapy take on the form of tranquil destination spas in British Columbia, as well.

At Scandinave Spa in Whistler, a heat-cool-relax sequence in a network of mineral-enriched pools cleanses the skin, improves physical conditioning and promotes a sense of well-being. Heating the body can be done in the eucalyptus steam bath, wood burning Finnish sauna or hot baths, to open pores, stimulate blood circulation and release toxins. When the body is cooled in a Nordic waterfall, cold bath or shower, pores close and the immune system is strengthened.

Regardless how you take your water — hot, cold, or evaporating — using it to heal is an ancient touchstone for creating whole body wellness. Whether you do so from a luxury property, or by following an almost indiscernible track into the wilderness, hot springs may be Mother Nature’s “gift to northerners,” but it’s British Columbia’s gift to everyone who visits.

For more information on B.C.’s ultimate hot tubs and hydrotherapy experiences, visit www.HelloBC.com/hotsprings.



About the Author: Black Press Media Staff

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