Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Ainsworth Hot Springs, British Columbia, Canada

Today was a cloudy and cold day in the Kootenay area of British Columbia, so we decided to warm our spirits in the Ainsworth Hot Springs. From Creston we again went north on the 3a highway to the ferry terminal at Kootenay Bay and then took the ferry across Kootenay Lake to Balfour. (This is the same route as described in yesterday's post). Once in Balfour we headed north along the west side of the lake to the town of Ainsworth and their hot springs.

What makes the Ainsworth Hot Springs unique is that it has great views of Kootenay Lake from the pool area, as well as a second pool with a horseshoe-shaped cave which goes back into the side of the mountain. This is the origin of the hot water. You can go in one side of the cave to exploring the chambers and come our the other side. Inside the cave the ceiling is covered with stalagmites and the water seems to get hotter the deeper you swim into the cave. The inside of the cave is very steamy and not will lit, so take it slow until your acclimate. To cool down a little, we proceeded to the larger pool which felt only warm in comparison to the cave pool (kept at 106 degrees). Both pools have ledges along their side to sit and soak. There is a small third pool (it's the size of a small hot tub) was the cool pool. This was way too cold for us so we skipped this adventure while remembering our purpose was to soak and relax, and goosebumps didn't support that goal.

This hot springs is smaller than the ones we have been to, but with the cave and the views it's worth a stop. The change/shower rooms were very small and crowded. There are no lockers, but you are given a bag for all your personals and then you check the your bag into at the desk for safe keeping. (This service is free.)

As a bonus on our trip, we found out that a Letterbox was hidden at the hot springs. So after our soak we followed the clues and found it. Check out this link to the Letterbox website to find out what it's all about. We have found it has encouraged us to go a few additional places during our travels that weren't in our initial plans, plus that bonus of finding the actual letterbox!

1 comment:

Jenny Johnson said...

You are in a beautiful area - have been there many times - Just found your blog thru RV Dreams - you are now on my list of everyday reads. Are you coming south thru Bonners Ferry and Coeur d'Alene. If so, give a shout. I am in Spokane WA
Jenny J

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