When we first came within striking distance of Lussier Hot Springs, British Columbia was under a back country ban. Forest fires raged through much of the Kootenay Mountains and the government had banned any unnecessary travel to the back country, which meant that we couldn't even drive down a gravel road. As a result, we had to wait at beautiful Horseshoe Lake (See future fave camp spots ranking!) for the ban to be lifted. Horseshoe Lake is very small and is surrounded by camp sites with epic views of an impressive, brooding mountain range to the east. We would sit and look across the lake and watch clouds crashing into these mountains, freezing and coating the tops in frost. The cold weather finally came in mid-September 2018, the forest fires waned and the back country ban was lifted. We drove north towards Canal Flats before turning eastward in the direction of White Swan Lake Provincial Park and Lussier Hot Springs.
From the highway we drove up a fantastic, if narrow, gravel road as it wound into the mountains. We parked on the side of the road along with the other soakers before walking down the steep pathway to the natural tubs and river.
Halfway down the pathway the beautiful tubs came into view. Massive boulders have been positioned to catch the crystal clear hot water trickling from the mountain side. There are three tubs on the side of the mountain, the hottest is at the top, the second catches the runoff from the first so it is a bit cooler, and the third catches the runoff from the second and is also mixed with the icy cold Lussier River making it the coolest in temperature. The river is also available for a cold dunk, should you be so brave.
We relaxed in the hottest of the tubs and took in the beauty of the surrounding mountains and the burbling river below. Tourists came and went while we relaxed in the tubs. The hot water mixed with the cool air and steam rose into the huge trees across the river. There is little to no algae growing on the rocks like we have experienced at other natural pools. These are immaculate!
As the soaking went on and our bodies began to overheat we moved to the lower tubs and their milder temperatures; first to the second, and then finally to the third and lowest for a prolonged lukewarm soak. From time to time the creek water would flow strongly into the lowest pool and encircle our bodies with cold mountain water, causing us to shiver briefly before the warmth of the springs above returned us to a comfortable temperature. Meanwhile, the majestic mountains and the trees that grow on them stood watch over us, the trees swaying in the breeze mingling with the steam from the tubs, the mountains standing strong. The views around the tubs are simply magical!
Lussier Hot Springs are easily one of my all time favourites. They are amazingly clean, the location and its beauty are stunning, the water is perfect, and the gravel road in is in pretty good condition when we were there. I got the impression it is heavily used by logging trucks and is therefore well maintained. There is a portaloo where the cars are parked but there is no shower. There is no camping at the tubs themselves, although we talked to other travellers who drove a bit into Whiteswan Lake and camped for free on the shore and there is a paid campground in the park as well. We drove back to Horseshoe Lake to camp which was a bit of a drive but is an amazing place. Overall, I love Lussier! The natural rock tubs are amazing, the water is crystal clear and the temperatures are just right. Combining that with the epic Kootenay mountain scenery and the icy river below make this a favourite.
Cleanliness = 5
Amenities = 2
Exclusivity = 3
Scenery = 5
Community = 2
Camping = 1