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Halfway Hot Springs – A Natural Oasis

Halfway Hot Springs – A Natural Oasis

The phrase “hidden gem” gets used too often, but there are times when it really fits. Halfway Hot Springs in the Kootenay region of British Columbia is a secluded, undeveloped off-the-beaten-path set of natural hot springs that really are a hidden gem. These hot springs are different from other hot springs, because they are rustic, rugged and all natural. They are very popular in summer. We visited them in early spring when there was still snow on the ground. Getting to these hot springs was challenging, but it was well worth the effort to soak in the serenity and beauty of Halfway Hot Springs.

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Why are They Called Halfway Hot Springs?

The hot springs are located halfway between Nakusp and Revelstoke along the Halfway River. The hot springs are named after the river upon which they sit. These natural hot springs bubble out of the hillside along the river into mud bottomed pools that are lined with stones. Halfway Hot Springs is a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city – a place to disconnect and relax.

An image of Halfway Hot Springs in British Columbia, Canada.
Halfway Hot Springs are serenely beautiful. The nice thing about visiting in early spring is we had one of the pools completely to ourselves. Photo by Garrett Iverson.

Getting to Halfway Hot Springs

From Revelstoke, the trek to Halfway Hot Springs involves some pre-planning. Getting there involves crossing the Shelter Bay Ferry about 54 km (33.6 mi) south of Revelstoke on British Columbia Highway 23. The ferry is free of charge and leaves every hour. Check out the ferry times here: Ferry Schedule Once you have arrived at Galena Bay, you will continue on Highway 23 for another 22 km (13.7 mi). The turn off for Halfway Hot Springs will be a logging road directly after you cross the Halfway River. Once you reach the logging road, your adventure truly begins.

An image of the road leading to Halfway Hot Springs in early spring.
The logging road that leads to Halfway Hot Springs is not plowed in winter. It’s best to park and hike or snowshoe into the trailhead in winter or early spring. Photo by Kelsey Olsen.

What’s the Deal with this Logging Road?

The logging road up to Halfway Hot Springs is unpaved and not well maintained. Even in summer, you are best to drive it in a SUV or a truck. A small car would have a difficult time on this road. In winter and early spring, it is unplowed and can be impassable. We visited near the end of March and the road was basically undrivable due to the snowy conditions. We made it about 3 km (1.9 mi) up the 11 km (6.8 mi) road before parking and hiking the remainder of the road. During our hike, we passed several other groups of people who attempted to make the drive and got stuck. One group even told us they had been stuck there for two days! We were glad that we made the choice to stop earlier and make the trek up by foot.

An image of a woman hiking through snow to get to Halfway Hot Springs in B.C., Canada.
We hiked along the logging road for 8 km (5 mi) through deep snow to get to the Halfway Hot Springs Trailhead. Photo by Garrett Iverson.

More Adventures With Kelsey Olsen: Read Kelsey’s post about hiking Nihahi Ridge.

An image of a woman standing near the trailhead for Halfway Hot Springs in winter.
After you reach the trailhead, it’s another 0.7 km (0.4 mi) to get to the hot springs. Photo by Garrett Iverson.

What to Expect When you Visit Halfway Hot Springs

Once you arrive at the trailhead, it is a 0.7 km(0.4 mi) hike down to the hot springs. The hike is steep, and ice covered in the winter and spring, but there are ropes tied to help make the descent safer. The trail is well maintained with handrails and stairs as well. Once you finish the descent, there is a short walk through the trees. When you see the cedar changing room hut on your left, you’ve made it to Halfway Hot Springs! The changing room is a handy area to pop on your bathing suit and store your bags. A sign on the change room reads, “There is no place, like this place, near this place, so this must be the place.” This saying truly captures the essence of Halfway Hot Springs. There are three hot pools located in the vicinity so try them out and see which one is your favourite! We loved the first one because it was the hottest and we needed to warm up after the cold 8 km (5 mi) hike to the hot springs.  

An image of stairs on the trail that leads to Halfway Hot Springs in British Columbia, Canada.
It’s a bit steep and slippery getting down to the hot springs when there is snow on the ground. Photo by Garrett Iverson.
An image of a woman and a dog near the changerooms at Halfway Hot Springs in B.C., Canada.
When you reach the change rooms, you know you’ve arrived! Photo by Garrett Iverson.

Visiting Halfway Hot Springs in the Summer

It’s easier to get to Halfway Hot Springs in summer, because you can drive up the logging road instead of hiking up it. The road is drivable in the summer, but four-wheel drive is still recommended, however, many people have made it just fine without. The hot springs become much busier in the summer. You can beat the crowds by going early in the day.

An image of a woman soaking in Halfway Hot Springs in British Columbia, Canada.
Soaking in the Hot Springs was wonderful – especially after a chilly 8 km (5 mi) hike. Photo by Garrett Iverson.

Visiting in the Winter and Spring

When visiting in the winter or spring be very careful not to get stuck on the logging road. It is very difficult to get a tow truck and often takes a few days. Many people bring snowmobiles and ride up but if you’re like us and don’t own a snowmobile, hiking is your best option. The hike up involves trudging through deep snow and snowshoes are recommended. If you don’t have snowshoes, waterproof shoes and microspikes would also be helpful.

Camping at Halfway River Hot Springs

From May 1 to October 31, you can camp at Halfway River Hot Springs. The site is managed by B.C. Parks and there is an onsite campground manager. There are 20 vehicle accessible campsites available and 10 more sites for dispersed tent camping. There are six outhouses, but no garbage receptacles, so you have to pack out what you pack in. The fee for camping is $15 per night ($7.50 per night for seniors).

Three Things to Watch Out For

  • If you visit this site in summer, watch out for Poison Ivy. The area surrounding the hot springs is covered in it.
  • Nude bathers – Nude bathing is against the law. Bring your swimsuit.
  • If you go in winter, plan on hiking in along the logging road. If you get stuck, it may take several days for a tow truck to rescue you.
An image of a couple soaking in Halfway Hot Springs in British Columbia, Canada.
Halfway Hot Springs are a real hidden gem. They’re a bit of work to get to, but they were worth the effort.

Why You Should Visit

Whichever time of the year and however you manage to get to Halfway Hot Springs, the trip is nothing short of spectacular. There is nothing that can quite compete with sitting in a natural hot spring completely off the grid. It truly is magical!

More Natural Hot Springs

St. Leon Hot Springs are just south of Halfway Hot Springs on the side of a wooded hill. They are on private property. Another natural hot spring very similar to Halfway Hot Springs is Lussier Hot Springs in British Columbia’s Whiteswan Lake Provincial Park. These hot springs have a single pool rimmed with rocks. The pool sits right beside a river and is accessed via a logging road. At this time, Lussier Hot Springs is closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but it will open again when it’s safe to do so. Make sure you visit the park’s website to check for updates before you head out.

Looking For More Amazing Adventures in British Columbia? Read our post about Sturgeon Fishing on the Fraser River.


Hello! Were you allowed to bring your dog or did you have to sneak them in? I’m wanting to bring our pet but don’t want to get turned away once we get there.

Hi Amanda! Kelsey traveled during the winter and there were hardly any people at Halfway Hot Springs. She didn’t have any issues bringing her dog. They don’t allow dogs to swim in the hot springs and her dog was just hanging out nearby. I hope that’s helpful. All the Best, Debbie

If you have to walk is there somewhere to park your car on the other side of the ferry, or just at the forestry road on the same side of the hot springs? I was planning to go end of March and heard it is possibly still covered in snow. I don’t mind a hike on the way to the springs, just curious where I can park a Honda Hatchback, or if I should wait until no snow.

Hi Marie, Thanks for your question. We went around that same time last year and we were able to make it about 2 km up the forestry road before it became too snow covered to continue. We found a spot to pull off to the side and just parked there and hiked the rest of the way up the logging road. The hike was through deep snow, so snowshoes are recommended. Also, there were many people who tried to make it further up the road and ended up stuck there for several days- so just make sure you don’t push it too far. If you’re prepared to do the hike then it’s definitely doable and there are spots along the logging road to park. Hope that helps! -Kelsey

We are planning to go camping in May and I saw there is charge per night, and Im wandering that how should I pay for it, Its online payment or there is gatekeeper over there and pay as we going and first come first serve??
Can we choose the camp spot as well if we go early??
and is little gas burner can be use in the camping area?
Looking forward to enjoy the natural!!!!

Hi Brian! Camping is on a first come first serve basis, and Halfway Hot Springs does not take reservations. The campsites cost $15 per night and must be payed for in cash to the site host when you arrive. The campsites fill up so you should definitely try to arrive in the early afternoon to ensure you get a spot. Camp stoves are allowed as well.
Enjoy your time at the hot springs! -Kelsey

Is there any avalanche risk? I was thinking about renting a sled

Hi Adam! Despite the road being undrivable in the winter due to the massive amounts of snow, there is no active avalanche risk in this area. In fact, many of the people who visit in the winter rent or own sleds to get up to the springs, it’s the quickest way to reach them. Thanks, Kelsey

Just wondering about camping sites. Do small trailers fit? Can you book ahead?
Thank you!

Hi Erin, Thanks for your question. There are 20 vehicle accessible campsites and 10 more sites for tents. A small trailer would fit in the vehicle accessible sites. The fee for camping is $15 and the campground is open from May 1 to October 31. There are no advance reservations. It is first come first serve and there is a campground attendant. The road into the site is really bad in winter and the campground is technically closed then. Watch out for poison ivy in summer. There’s a bunch of it around the area. There’s a shelter for changing and 6 outhouses for day visitors and campers. Hope that helps. Please let us know if you have any more questions. All the best, Debbie

Actually, it is not illegal to be nude at the hot springs , that is false information.. indecent exposure is illegal and has been determined by the courts of Canada that being naked in itself is not indecent exposure.. many people have won cases against this prudent action, that has been reported to the police, because they don’t know the law .

We should not be so uptight about social nudity in Canada This is where all our problems start ..

Thanks for your comment. It’s not uncommon to find nude bathers at Halfway Hot Springs, but it is still technically illegal in BC to skinny dip on public land. Getting a fine and then fighting it in court takes time – even if you were to ultimately win the case. Also, nudity can make other bathers uncomfortable. The pools are small. For those reasons, we don’t recommend it. On another note, poison ivy is plentiful in the area. Whether you’re in a swimming suit or not, you’ll want to make sure you know what it looks like and avoid it. You should also bring bear spray. -Debbie

Hi Debbie! Is the road possible with an off-road Jeep that regularly goes on forestry roads? Are the vehicles that get stuck typically regular trucks? Just trying to decide if we maybe rent a snowmobile. Thanks 🙂

Hi Lindsay, I would not recommend taking a vehicle down there. We came across a variation of vehicles including some bigger trucks. If you don’t want to trudge through the snow (like us), I think a snowmobile would be a good idea. Plus, it would be fun to go up and down that forrest road! 🙂

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