After a day of fun in the sun and snow, draw the tightness from your body and the tension from your soul with a long soak at a natural hot spring.
The Inland Northwest has many hot springs, ranging from rustic getaways to full-service resorts. Most of the resorts are located near winter recreation playgrounds, such as snowmobile trailheads, nordic ski centers and alpine ski resorts.
Relaxing and rejuvenating your mind and body is the natural thing to do at the mineral hot springs. Muscles that are cold and tired from a day of snow sports will quickly and gently relax in hot water.
Here are some locations to sample for their restful soaks and nearby outdoor activities. Swimsuit and towel rentals are available, in case you left yours at home. All prices for Canadian locations have been converted to approximate U.S. dollar equivalents and include applicable taxes.
Fairmont Hot Springs Resort is east of Anaconda, three miles off Interstate 90 and 8 miles from the I-90 and I-15 interchange, Exit 211.
The four-season resort offers Ski & Slide packages for its guests who want to ski at Discovery Basin Ski Area, a 35-minute drive from the resort. One-night lodging/ski packages start at $95, based on double occupancy, and include two full-day lift tickets. There are many miles of cross-country ski and snowmobile trails in the nearby national forest.
The resort has two swimming pools and two mineral soaking pools; one of each are located indoors. Registered guests have 24-hour access to the naturally heated Olympic-sized hot springs pools. The public is invited to use the pools and the 350-foot-long enclosed waterslide. The slide offers an exhilarating wet, wild ride through a cloud of steam and empties into the outdoor swimming pool. Mid-week pool rates are $4.75 for adults (11+) and $2.50 for children ages 10 and under. Weekend rates are $6.50 and $3.50, respectively. There is a separate admission charge of $8 for all day, $5.50 for half-day or $1 per ride for using the waterslide. A pool and waterslide package is offered on weekends to the public for $11.25 for adults and $8.50 for children.
Fairmont Hot Springs Resort: Out-of-state, (800) 443-2381; in-state, (800) 332-3272; (406) 797-3241.
Anaconda Chamber of Commerce: (406) 563-2400.
Lolo Hot Springs Resort is located on Highway 12, about 38 miles southwest of Missoula and 7 miles east of Lolo Pass at the Montana/ Idaho border. The hot springs were used by the Lewis and Clark expedition and other explorers and traders crossing the Bitterroot Mountains.
The four-season resort is a popular snowmobiling and cross-country skiing destination during winter because trails lead directly into the Bitterroot Mountains.
The resort complex includes a restaurant, saloon, natural mineral pools and The Fort at Lolo Hot Springs for overnight lodging. The full-service restaurant is noted for its barbecued ribs.
The hot mineral pools are open daily. Pool fees are $4 for adults and $2 for children ages 12 and under.
Lolo Hot Springs Resort: (406) 273-2290.
Missoula Convention and Visitors Bureau: (406) 543-6623.
For Montana vacation information and a free copy of the Winter Recreation Guide: (800) 847-4868 (outside Montana) or (406)444-2654.
Kah-Nee-Ta Resort is located on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation near Warm Springs, about 18 miles north of Madras. The four-season resort is off the beaten path, but it is well worth the 40-minute drive from Mount Hood, where winter playgrounds abound.
The pools are located at the Village area. Pool use is free for guests of the resort. Cottages by the pools rent for $90-$110 a night, based on double occupancy. Accommodations at the resort range from $100 for rooms to $275 for suites.
Kah-Nee-Ta Resort: (800) 554-4786 or (503) 553-1112.
For Oregon vacation and winter recreation information: (800) 547-7842.
Ainsworth Hot Springs is located about 30 miles north of Nelson. It is famous for its beautiful horseshoe-shaped cave with stalagmites and stalactites. The cave is small, steamy and dimly lighted, and its water temperature is near 112 degrees Fahrenheit.
The pool inside the cave is part of a series of pools at the hot springs complex. Just outside the cave is the Jacuzzi Corner pool. The glacier-fed Cold Plunge is nearby for the stout-hearted, who want to cool off quickly. The main swimming pool is cooled to 90 degrees.
The pool fee for an all-day pass for the public is about $6 for adults (15+), $5 for seniors (65+) and youth (13-15) and $4 for children (3-12). The pools are open daily.
Lodging guests of the resort receive a complimentary pool pass. The resort has accommodations ranging from $62 and up, based on double occupancy.
Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort: (800)668-1171 or (604) 229-4212.
Nelson Chamber of Commerce: (604) 352-3433.
Nakusp Hot Springs are located 7 miles north of the town of Nakusp, which is located on the eastern shore of Upper Arrow Lake. The temperatures of the pools range from 100 to 106 degrees.
The pools are open daily and are owned by the town of Nakusp. A day pass is about $5 for adults (19+), $4 for seniors (65+) and students (15-18), and $3 for children (7-14). No charge for children ages 6 and younger. (604) 265-4528.
Nakusp Hot Springs Cedar Chalets offer accommodations at the hot springs. Rates range from $39-50, based on double occupancy. (604) 265-4505.
Nakusp Chamber of Commerce: (604) 265-4234.
Fairmont Hot Springs is located about 14 miles south of Invermere. As early as 1841, the hot springs were touted for their healing powers. By the 1920s, the springs were a popular resting stop for the stagecoaches passing through the valley. Today, the hot pool complex is Canada’s largest, and water temperatures range from 104 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
The public hot pools complex is open daily. There is one hot soaking pool kept at a temperature of about 103 degrees and an 80-degree 12-foot-deep diving pool and lap pool. Day passes are about $5 for adults (19+), $4 for seniors (65+) and teens (13-18), and $3 for children (3-12).
Fairmont Hot Springs Resort offers rooms at the lodge and a full-service RV park. Room rates range from $92-135, based on double occupancy. (800) 663-4979 or (604) 345-6311.
Kimberley Chamber of Commerce: (604) 427-3666.
Radium Hot Springs is located about nine miles north of Invermere. The location of the hot springs along Highway 93, which leads into Banff National Park, makes it a popular rest stop for travelers because of its easy, quick access.
The public pools, owned by the government of Canada, are separate from the facilities at the nearby Radium Hot Springs Resort. The large swimming pool has plenty of room for diving, splashing and lap swimming, and it has temperature of about 80 degrees. The waist-deep, hot soaking pool is kept at a temperature of about 103 degrees Fahrenheit. An all-day pass is about $5 for an adult (16-64), $4 for seniors (65+) and $3 for children (3-16). (604) 347-9485.
Radium Hot Springs Resort has a health center and offers accommodations ranging from $59 to $147, based on double occupancy. (800) 665-3585 or (604) 347-9311.
Radium Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce: (604) 347-9331.
For southcentral British Columbia vacation information:
Kootenay Country Tourism Association, (604) 352-6033.
For southeastern British Columbia vacation information:
Rocky Mountain Visitors Association, (604) 427-4838.
For British Columbia tourism: (800) 663-6000.
Banff’s Upper Hot Springs Pool is located on Sulphur Mountain just above the Banff Springs Hotel. The pool is open daily year-round and is a favorite spot for winter recreationists wishing to soak their tired muscles after a day on the slopes at the nearby ski resorts of Mount Norquay/Mystic Ridge, Sunshine Village and Lake Louise.
Pool rates are about $3 for adults (17-64) and $2 for children (3-16). The popular aroma-therapeutic blanket wrap is available by appointment for about $11.
Upper Hot Springs Pool: (403) 762-1515.
Banff Information Center: (403) 762-1550.
Alberta Tourism: (800) 661-8888.
MEMO: Winter Recreation Guide pull-out section