Liard Hot Springs

British Columbia is home to a couple of well known natural Hot Springs yet one is not so easy for just anyone to enjoy.

Holidays were upon us and we decided to head north to Liard Hot Springs which is North of Ft. Nelson just below the Yukon boarder.

I have heard from many in my area of the Northern Peace Region that the springs are a true natural gem and their remoteness keeps them this way.

It took us a couple of days to get to the Springs from Fort St John. We spent the night in Ft Nelson and took our time as we wanted to stop at sights as we came across them. We realized quickly how removed you are from society as we quickly lost cell service and were with out service the trip so make sure you are well prepared as you will be relying on the good nature of people if you need help.

We were now on nature’s terms and she showed us her beauty in vast and abundant landscapes.

It was very clear with the distance we were travelling I strongly suggest taking advantage of online reservable sites at the park. There are sites you can get into if passing by yet the park fills up quite quickly. Some campers leave as early as 6am so be prepared to be there early. Don’t fret though as there is an overflow lot across from the park which helps you get a head start.

This is a British Columbia Provincial Campsites and they are known for being beautiful, clean and private. We were at the springs for 6 days and were able to have campfires for the greater portion of our stay yet local forest fires quickly changed this status.

The main attraction of this park is obviously the Hot Springs. You can visit the Springs for a $10 entry fee or it is part of your camping site fee. There are change rooms and washrooms as well as picnic tables for day use visitors.

The boardwalk to the springs is 700 metres in length. It is steady and well maintained and you are expected to stay on the boardwalk to protect the surrounding flora and fauna. This park is open all year and I feel the springs would be an equally amazing experience in the winter.

Following the board walk there are several interpretation placards to tell you about the surroundings of the springs.

As you round the final bend of the boardwalk the sound of water falling and the smell of sulphur greet you.

This beautiful oasis opens before your eyes, cedar structures that compliment nature drawing you into her medicinal pools of relief.

Bodies of every shape and colour, coming together to bath in the waters. Testing the temperatures of both the upper and lower pools. Some float, some find the underwater benches. Some nestle into the division of the pools where there is a water fall.

No matter which way the body is, you can see happy eyes and content postures that show everyone is having a nice time.

Over the several days spent here I would learn the water temperature fluctuates as does the visitors. The pools can go from being very private to super busy. Not one pool is more or less popular than the other.

Suggested times to be submerged are 15-20 minutes in the hot pool as this pool can reach temperatures of 53C (137.4F) at its source. You are advised that over use can cause hyperthermia which is the opposite of hypothermia.

Ladies please know if you are wearing your jewellery into the pools it will temporarily tarnish due to mineral content in the water.

Liard Hot Springs is truly a natural hidden Gem we are truly lucky to have access to. As it was first discovered by the Kaska First Nations people as they lived and hunted in the area. In 1835 Trappers and prospectors would then come across the hot pools recorded by The Hudson’s Bay Company.

It would be the construction of the Alaska Hwy in 1942 that would see the first boardwalk constructed to enable access to the pools yet it was not until 1957 that this area was officially designated as a park to protect this very unique and special place.

If you have the good fortune to travel north, make sure you include the springs on your list of destinations.

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