Traversing around Whistler, BC can provide all sorts of unique adventures.
Everything ranging from overlanding to fly fishing is available right at your fingertips. However, there should always be time for relaxation on a full trip. In Whistler, relaxation can continue to happen in the great outdoors. Visit some of the hot springs near Whistler and you’ll find yourself exhilarated and calmed all at the same time.
Whistler has hot springs only accessible by your feet as well as hot springs attached to local resorts. Take your pick and you’ll find a hot spring that fits your needs.
1. Keyhole Hot Springs
Keyhole Hot Springs is an adventurer’s dream. If you’re not a huge fan of modern amenities and more eager to earn your rest, this is the spot for you. The journey to make it to the hot springs is well worth the effort. There are three pools located at Keyhole Hot Springs, but usually only one or two are tolerable due to the extreme heat of the others.
Keyhole Hot Springs are a bit of a trek from Whistler. You’ll find them about 62 miles (99km) north of Whistler, but not all 62 of those miles are easy. You’ll take BC 99 north out of Whistler and head west on Pemberton Meadows Road until you hit Lillooet Forest Road. From here, accessibility depends on the time of year and capabilities of your vehicle.
The Hot Springs are subjected to a seasonal closure from April 1st to November 15th in an effort to support the recovery of the local Grizzly Bear population. These dates are subject to change!
Depending on the road conditions and the opening of the road, you may find yourself snowshoeing 26km one way if it’s entirely closed! If the road is open, then you have the possibility of getting to the Keyhole Hot Springs Trail parking lot and only have to hike around 2km. Along the way, if the road is too challenging, you’ll have to park on the road and make your way by foot. A 4×4 or Sedan is recommended.
The trail isn’t easy! It’s rocky, steep and you’re going to find yourself working quite hard to get where you would like. Thankfully, it’s not overly long and if you take it slow, you definitely should be able to manage. You’ll find yourself maneuvering through all sorts of different terrains while still viewing the Lillooet River along the way. It’s a remarkable hike and it makes all the effort worth it.
If you’re choosing or wanting to camp near the hot springs, there are numerous locations along the trail that allow this! There’s a Keyhole Hot Springs Campsite that has food hanging resources available to you. These campsites are first-come first-served!
There is no price to enter these hot springs!
Tips & Tricks
Make sure to check on the local weather forecasts before you make it to the water. You don’t want things to be overly flooded because it can cool the pools down and make your travels that much more challenging.
Stay away from the hot springs on the weekends! They can get very busy. Also, make sure you’re paying close attention to local regulations to find out when the road is actually going to be open.
2. Skookumchuck/T’Sek Hot Springs
The Skookumchuck Hot Springs also happen to be located on the Lillooet River. You may find that these hot springs are also known as the T’Sek Hot Springs. Don’t get them confused! These hot springs are a bit more modernized compared to the Keyhole Hot Springs.
Due to Coronavirus and recent renovations, the dates and times it is open are subject to change, so be sure to check their social media and website to find the most up to date information.
The Skookumchuck Hot Springs are located about two hours north of Whistler. They’re only 59 miles (95km) away from Whistler, but the majority of that drive is on old logging roads. You’re able to access the hot springs with the majority of vehicles, but make sure you take it slow and are smart about driving. It’s doable, but take your time.
Once you’ve arrived, you’ll find that accessing the hot springs isn’t challenging at all. You are required to pay a fee to access the hot springs, but it doesn’t break the bank, and it helps keep things more modernized.
Once there, you have 12 tubs all together to visit. Four of the tubs are hot water, one is cold water and there are seven tubs that allow you to adjust the temperature depending on what temperature you’re wanting. There are clear marked trails and the pools are fairly easy to get in and out of.
Perhaps the best feature of these hot springs are the camping options. You have 30 campsites to choose from, but you’re going to have to carry your gear in to get it all situated. You’re able to reserve campsites a couple weeks ahead of time, and that’s definitely recommended especially during the busy season.
To access the hot springs for a day trip, you’re going to pay $8 a day for adults and $5 a day for seniors. Camping is $15 per night per person for adults. Yes, you’re going to pay a bit of money to enjoy these hot springs, but they’re well worth the tranquility.
Tips and Tricks
The T’Sek Hot Springs are seen as a spiritual place. Therefore, it’s not necessarily known for its party scene. There are other hot springs that are more acceptable of those things, but the T’Sek Hot Springs definitely are not. Be respectful and enjoy all that there is to offer!
3. Meager Creek
The Meager Creek Hot Springs have been through quite a bit of turmoil throughout the past decade and a half. The area is susceptible to landslides, but local authorities attempted to make the hot springs more accessible and family friendly. In 2010, these hopes were wiped away after a massive landslide took away a bridge and other modern amenities.
If you’re into adventure and privacy, these are a great option for you. There is one primary pool that isn’t very deep, but it’s almost always at a great temperature for you to use. It feels great after the long adventure.
The Meager Creek Hot Springs Trail is located a couple hours north of Whistler northwest of Pemberton. From Pemberton, you’re going to head on to Pemberton Valley Road and drive to the Harrison Hut Trail. This is about a 60 km drive. The final 5 to 7 km are tough and you’re going to need a 4×4 to get to the trailhead! Depending on rock slides, you may have to stop a bit short and do some hiking to get to where you need to go.
Accessibility to the Meager Creek Hot Springs isn’t easy. It’s going to take some challenging driving and hiking if you want to get to the hot springs. Depending on the time of year, you may be able to bike or ski to get to where you want to go at a much faster rate. If you are able to make it to the Harrison Hut Trailhead, you’ll have about a 10km hike to the hot springs themselves.
While there are no designated campsites, it’s possible for you to find camping along the way. You are responsible for your own safety and there are bears in the area, so make sure you’re smart with your food storage. You’ll find that you are far in the wilderness and feeling quite alone on this adventure.
There are no fees to access these hot springs!
Tips and Tricks
Local knowledge is always best if you’re planning on accessing the Meager Creek Hot Springs. While it’s doable, it’s going to take quite a bit of effort. Make sure you are prepared with camping supplies due to the long journey to the springs themselves!
4. Harrison Hot Springs
Now, if you’re looking for some easily accessible and luxurious hot springs, the Harrison Hot Springs are for you. It’s technically considered a town! You’ll have resort style rooms and luxurious hot springs to visit after a long journey. On your way to the hot springs, you’ll be treated with a stunning drive!
Harrison Hot Springs is a little less than three hours south of Whistler. It’s along Highway 1, so access is not nearly as challenging as some of the other hot springs on the list. You’re not overly far from a variety of attractions and Harrison Lake is close by as well.
In terms of accessibility, it’s a great spot for people of all ages. You’ll have comfortable hotel rooms, restaurants and a variety of pools for you. There are adult only pools that offer more privacy and a less rowdy of an experience. It’s an older resort, but it keeps its rustic charm.
You have all sorts of rooms and cottages to choose from if you’re going to stay at the Harrison Hot Springs Resort. Rooms range from around $200 per night to upwards of $400 per night. Again, depending on your group and your interests, you’ll find something for you.
Tips and Tricks
Make sure you book far in advance because this location does have a tendency to fill up. During the week is going to provide you with more peace and quiet than a weekend.
5. Sloquet Hot Springs
The Sloquet Hot Springs are located in the midst of Xa’xtsa First Nation territory. Similar to the T’Sek/Skookumchuck Hot Springs, this is more of a tranquil experience for visitors. There is one large pool for you to access during your time. It’s truly one of the most beautiful places on earth.
The Sloquet Hot Springs are a bit of a trek from Whistler. The drive is going to be around 3 hours. It’s only 81 miles, but the travel is on active forest roads and some landslides have made it difficult to maneuver. The final forest road access from the south is via Sts’ailes Forest Road.
If you’re coming from the north, the access is via in-SHUCK-ch Forest Service Road. Either way, you’re going to find that services are limited, so be sure you’re properly equipped in case something goes wrong.
In terms of accessibility, once you’re at the parking lot, it doesn’t take too much work to get to the hot springs themselves. This site was built with campers and adventurers in mind! Be sure to keep your site clean and pack-in and out all of your garbage. It’s rustic, but it still feels like a home.
There are over a dozen campsites for you to choose from if you choose to visit Sloquet Hot Springs. All of the campsites are first-come first-served, so you aren’t able to reserve anything before you make your trip. If you want access to a campsite, you’re going to want to arrive in the mid-week to ensure you can properly reserve a spot. You’re able to drive right up to your spot and unload as necessary.
The camping fees are $15 per group for up to 6 people per night. If you’re doing a day trip, it’s $5 per person.
Tips & Tricks
Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, conditions and supervision is a bit more limited. In order to keep things clean, it’s going to be on the guests to keep things in top shape! Be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem.
Grabbing the Towels – Whistler Hot Springs Conclusion
Hot springs are some of the most amazing things nature has to offer. Combining the natural hot springs near Whistler and the beauty of the area make these hot springs some of the most remarkable places in the entire world. Plan your trip accordingly and you’ll find yourself having once in a lifetime experiences.