Hot Soak in a Cold Rain in Kootenay National Park

Who wants to go for a swim in pouring cold rain in 50-degree weather?  Why, we do, when it’s in a luxurious 103-degree hot spring!

Theresa enjoying the Radium Hot Springs in a cold, pouring rain

Theresa and I soaked in our first-ever hot springs in Kootenay National Park.  Radium Hot Springs is the largest hot springs pool in all of Canada.  The hot springs were key to forming the national park in 1922.  The natural, mineral-rich water is full of sulphate, calcium, bicarbonate, silica, magnesium, sodium, chloride, fluoride, nitrate, and iron oxide.  It even contains a slight amount of radioactive Radium, from which the springs derived its name.  But not to worry, the radioactivity in the water is less than what you would receive from an ordinary glow-in-the-dark watch dial.

It was cold, rainy and dreary on the day we were to leave Kootenay National Park, so we were hesitant to visit the outdoor pool.  But since neither of us had ever soaked in hot springs, and many locals told us these are the best hot springs in all of Canada, we decided to pay the $6.50/person fee for a dip in the pool, even if only for a few minutes.  Forty minutes and twenty shriveled fingers later, we reluctantly emerged from the soothing hot water.  For about half that time, the cold rain first dribbled and then poured on our chilly heads, as shown in the photo above.  But if your head is cold, and your body is hot, on average you’re feeling pretty good.

To see more about the Radium Hot Springs and Kootenay National Park, please check out our Kootenay photo tour.

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