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Cozy up with a fall journey to Revelstoke hot springs

fall_road_2A trip to the local hot springs around Revelstoke is a failsafe way to spend the day. We have options of natural hot springs or facilities focused on getting you to the peak of relaxation.

Take advantage of the fall colours at this time of year and head out for a road trip. We’ve been fortunate this fall to have some stunning bluebird days but even if the weather isn’t the best, hot springs shrouded in steam amongst enchanting forests is still an all-weather type of activity.

There’s minimal planning needed to go. Pack a team of friends or family with an adventurous spirit and enjoy your day out.

A trip to Halfway Hotsprings

I drove along Highway 23 south with a car load of two friends and two dogs, our bags packed with towels and supplies and a cooler packed with goodies. We were heading for the Shelter Bay ferry port from Revelstoke, aiming for the 12 o’clock ferry.

We were on our way to check out the natural, and free, Halfway Hot Springs. The province’s Recreation Site and Trails department renovated them recently due to abuse of the site — people leaving rubbish behind and staying too long — and we wanted to see how they had changed.

I was hoping we could make the ferry, meaning an extra hour to soak in the pools before we had to be back in Revelstoke, but we underestimated the time and missed it. From Revelstoke, Google Maps advises allowing about 4o minutes for your journey. The Upper Arrow Lake Ferry (see schedule here) leaves on the dot on the hour…or very close after. And as I like to say; if you want to make up time, leave early.

Waiting it out at the port turned into a blessing in disguise.

After parking the car in the line-up, we took the dogs and strolled along the nature walk at Shelter Bay. Here, a rocky headland rises up, allowing for stunning vantage points of the lakes. We took the chance to relax, soak in the sun and take some fun photos.

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Take a silhouette yoga photo. Photo: Emily Kemp
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Or better yet, a Lion King inspired pose. Photo: Emily Kemp

You don’t have to be too worried about checking the time as you can see the ferry coming around the bend from the left. This gives you enough time to wander back, stop at the facilities before loading onto the ferry.

Once on the ferry, you are free to wander around and take in the views.

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The ferry comes around the bend to the left. Photo: Emily Kemp

 

 

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On the M.V. Columbia, taking in the stunning fall weather. Photo: Emily Kemp

Once you pull into the port at Galena Bay, clear your odometer and drive for 22.5 kilometres.

A left turn from here onto the logging road Halfway Road is where the rocky part of this journey begins to the hot springs. 2wd vehicles can make it up here, but with about 10 kilometres of constant potholes, it makes for slow going. Take note of how long it takes you to account for your journey back to make the ferry on the half past the hour.

Reaching the hot springs site, with the new renovations it’s clear that the secret is out. There’s proper signage, a marked trail and a car park. While this might be disappointing to locals, the experience still seems the same — people from all walks of life enjoying the hot pools.

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Clear signage has been installed at Halfway Hot Springs and camping fees of $12 a night charged. Photo: Emily Kemp
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The hot tub and shelter at the Halfway Hot Springs, a short drive from Revelstoke. Photo: Emily Kemp

 

From the top car park, the walk down to the hot springs is steep and muddy.

At the bottom, you will come across the first set of springs at Halfway, which are fed by an amateur tube network. Here there is a manmade hot tub next to a stage shelter and a warm rock-lined mud-bottom pool. Steam lifts mystically from the waters.

Further down the track is a few more rock pools next to a ice-cold river. The whole setting is picturesque, calm, out of cell service, and geared towards some much needed relaxation and enjoyment of nature.

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Halfway Hot Springs. Photo: Emily Kemp
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Riverside hot pools at Halfway Hot Springs. Photo: Emily Kemp

The journey to Halfway Hotsprings is an easy afternoon day trip. But it does take some effort and once you’re there truly relaxing, camping seems an attractive option to make the most of your time. Halfway Hot Springs is now $12 a night to camp.

We soaked for about two hours before giving ourselves an hour to make the trek up the hill, down the logging road and back to the ferry, making it onboard the 5.30 p.m. ferry in the nick of time.

Please remember to “pack out what you pack in.” These hot springs have recently seen a huge clean up and we would like to keep them that way!

Other Revelstoke hot springs

Halcyon Hot Springs

Avoid the hassle of journeying up a logging road and head to the experts of relaxation at the Halcyon Hot Springs. Here you can enjoy the view of Upper Arrow Lake from your perch within Halcyon’s steamy pools. They have a hot pool, a warm pool, a mineral swimming pool and, for those who like to get the body tingles going, a cold plunger pool.

Halcyon, from Revelstoke, is also accessed via the Upper Arrow Lake Ferry, 13.5 kilometres from Galena Bay. On arrival and parking, take the opportunity to stretch your legs with a walk down to the lake. Then head in for some relaxation. Halcyon is a complete experience with camping, deluxe accommodations, a spa and a fine-dining restaurant.

  • 5655 Hwy 23, Nakusp, B.C.
  • Toll Free 1-888-689-4699
  • Adults $13, students & seniors $12, children (aged 4 to 12) $9, family (2 adults, 2 children) $40.

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Crazy Creek Resort

The water at Crazy Creek’s hot pools is drawn from a well with the source coming from the base of Eagle Pass Mountain then geo-thermally heated and conditioned. This resort, which also has options for a waterfalls and suspension bridge walk plus camping and accommodation, has four pools of varying temperature

  • Crazy Creek Resort, 6162 Trans-Canada Highway, Malakwa, B.C.
  • Toll Free  1-855-836-4097
  • Adults $9.50 (17 & older), children $5.70 (aged 3 to 16), age two and under free.

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