A Route That's Bound To Get You
Into Hot Water
If you've never had the pleasure of soaking in hot springs, you're
in for a real treat. There are three to try along this route,
along with a little golfing and sightseeing.
The Hot Springs Tour
1 Start your tour in the beautiful Invermere/Windermere
area, located between two hot spring resorts. North along Highway
93/95 is Radium Hot Springs. Here you can soak in two outdoor
pools. The temperature of the steamy, odourless mineral water
averages 35C (95F). To the south along the same highway lies
Fairmont Hot Springs. Open year round, it has two hot springs
mineral pools which average 40C (104F).
2 From Fairmont Hot Springs,
travel south along Highway 95 to Kimberley, the highest city
in Canada. A ski resort paradise in winter, it offers incredible
skiing. In the summer, the Sullivan Mine & Railway Historical
Society provides a narrated 7.5 km (5 miles) rail journey between
downtown Kimberley and the Alpine Resort. Learn about Kimberley's
3 Head south again on Highway
95A towards Cranbrook to Fort Steele, an 1890s gold rush town
and one of the first headquarters of the Royal Canadian Mounted
Police. Fort Steele offers horse-drawn wagon rides and live shows
at the Wild Horse Theatre.
4 A side trip to Fernie Alpine
resort, east on Highway 3, offers some of the best powder ski
conditions anywhere in winter. And in summer, there's the beauty
of the Elk Valley and abandoned mines to explore.
5 At Creston, turn north on Highway
3A to the Crawford Bay/Kootenay Bay area. Here you can golf on
a championship course, the "Emerald of the Rockies",
before taking a free, 45-minute ferry ride across Kootenay Lake
from Kootenay Bay to Balfour. From Balfour, head north to explore
the Cody Caves Provincial Park. From June to October, guided
tours take you on an easy 20-minute hike to explore the stalagmite
and stalactite-filled caves. Then, enjoy a soothing soak in the
Ainsworth Hot Springs.
6 Head south on Highway 3A to
Nelson, a charming turn-of-the-century town with beautifully
restored Victorian buildings. Situated on Kootenay Lake and surrounded
by the Selkirk Mountains, Nelson is like a tiny, perfect jewel
in a spectacular setting. Browse art galleries, relax in outdoor
cafes and ride a streetcar on a tour of the waterfront.
7 Continue southwest on Highway
3A and end your tour in Castlegar, where you can visit the Doukhobor
Historical Village and see how these Russian refugees lived.
If you haven't had your fill of soothing mineral soaks on this
hot springs tour, there are three more in the region to try at
Nakusp, Halcyon and Canyon.
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