Fairmont Hot Springs
Kootenay people used these springs, south of Invermere along Highway 93/95, as a healing source for eons prior to the arrival of Europeans, but they wouldn’t recognize the place today. Surrounding the site is FAIRMONT HOT SPRINGS RESORT (250/345-6311 or 800/663-4979), comprising a sprawling residential and resort complex, three golf courses, a small ski resort, a strip of shops and restaurants, and an airstrip. Despite all the commercialism, the hot springs (5225 Fairmont Resort Rd., 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily) are still the main attraction. Their appeal is simple: Unlike most other springs, the hot water bubbling up from underground here contains calcium, not sulfur with its attendant smell. The pools are a magical experience, especially in the evening. Lazily swim or float around in the large warm pool, dive into the cool pool, or soak away your cares in the hottest pool.
Immediately south of Fairmont, the highway approaches and passes the weirdly shaped DUTCH CREEK HOODOOS, a set of photogenic rock formations carved over time by ice, water, and wind. You can see them from below, or hike the Hoodoos Trail from Westside Road to see them from above.
Fairmont Hot Springs Hotel
FAIRMONT HOT SPRINGS RESORT (250/345-6311 or 800/663-4979) is right at the hot springs and provides accommodations for all budgets, including older Lodge rooms, cabins, and modern Resort Rooms. Guests enjoy access to the hot springs, so if you stay one night, your rate includes two days of pool access.
Fairmont Hot Springs Campgrounds
FAIRMONT HOT SPRINGS RESORT RV PARK (250/345-6311 or 800/663-4979, April-Oct.) is just beyond the main entrance to the hot springs. The campground has full hookups and showers, but no fire pits and the sites are not particularly private.
Just south of the resort is SPRUCE GROVE CAMPGROUND (Hwy. 3, 250/345-6561 or 888/629-4004, www.sprucegroveresort.com, Apr.-early Oct.), where campsites are spread through a tree-shaded area and along a quiet eddy in the Columbia River. Amenities include an outdoor pool and playground.
Fairmont Hot Springs Webcams
Fairmont Hot Springs Webcams are all operated by Fairmont Hot Springs Resort, including at the lodge, ski resort, and golf course.