Down a brutally bumpy and potholed road in the Kootenay Mountains near Nakusp, British Columbia we found Halfway hot springs. We were on a bit of a Kootenay hot spring tour at this point. We had just enjoyed Ainsworth Hot Springs a few days earlier, Lussier a few days before that and Fairmont and Radium before that. From Ainsworth we decided to drive north to Trout Lake to camp on its shore for the night before driving the long dirt road around a set of mountains to Halfway. We arrived mid day with plenty of time to enjoy the steamy water. It was getting cool in the Kootenays at the end of September so we greatly enjoyed the natural waters warmth on our cool bodies.
Halfway hot springs is a BC Recreation Site, with a camp host. He collected the $12 for us to camp their for the night and use the several different pools. Many BC rec sites are free primitive camp sites deep in the mountain forests but Halfway was understandably paid. The maintenance and upgrades of the tubs by the camp host and the general upkeep of the campsite is what the small fee pays for. Each site has a picnic table in its small clearing and there is one outhouse for when nature calls.
After parking our van at our very own campsite we quickly put our trunks on and did the short hike down to the pools and river. As we approached the first stone pool came in to view. It is quite large and could fit many people, although we had it mostly to ourselves. There are then a few more pools on the way to the river as the water trickles from the first large pool into the others before finally mixing with the river. There is also a wooden pool that is lined with a slimy green tarp to keep the water in. The icy mountain river is butbling close by for a quick cold dunk after a long hot soak.
While enjoying the tubs we chatted with a young Kootenay man who previously zipped past us on the bumpy road in. We picked his brain on what life is like in the Kootenays and chatted about our journey through his homeland. Around the tubs the Kootenay forest looms large. Massive evergreen trees tower over the tubs, throwing shade across the forest floor. Hot water trickles out of the mountain and into the man made rock pool. Other bathers relax in the pools around us. Conversation and positivity flows as the waters melts away the stresses of life.
At night, once we were finally soaked out, we enjoyed an amazing sleep in our silent, dark and forested campsite deep in the Kootenay mountains. The stars twinkled above us and the hot water continued to trickle through the hot pools on its perpetual journey to join the cool river.
We had a great experience enjoying the rustic charm of Halfway Hot springs and its natural water and stone and concrete tubs within the beautiful Kootenay Forest. Mingling with the laid back Kootenay folk truly made this a hot spring to remember.
Cleanliness = 3
Amenities = 3
Exclusivity = 4
Scenery = 5
Community = 3
Camping = 5