13 September 2009

Outdoor Natural Hot Springs


Hot, volcanically-warmed, geothermal magic; all in 3 outdoor natural pools of varying temperatures, by the side of the creek.

And with this view.

What a treat. We finally made the trek yesterday, and boy was it worth it. This has been on our to-do-list for some time. And we'll be going back for sure.

The directions we got were a bit hit-and-miss and so here I document what we learned so we can do better next time. And maybe someone else will find it useful.

In short, you are looking at about a 2 hour drive from Whistler, BC, Canada [which is about 1.5-2 hours from Vancouver, BC]. One hour is on paved road. And the last is on dirt road, some of which is pretty smooth and fine and some is not so great. We drove an all wheel drive but lots of people made it in small sedans and we even saw a little sports car with California plates.

1. From Whistler Village, go north on the Sea to Sky Highway for about 30 minutes.
2. Once you've reached Pemberton, turn left at Portage Road [almost a switchback]. Look for a gas station on the corner on your left. Travel for about 1 minute.
3. At the roundabout, take the Birch Street exit.
4. Continue on Birch Street until Prospect Street. Turn right.
5. Continue on what is now, Pemberton Meadows Road, for about 3 minutes.
6. Turn left to stay on Pemberton Meadows Road and continue for about 35 minutes.
7. Turn right at Lillooet River FSR.

OK, so once you've crossed the bridge, that's it for paved road. Now, it's all dirt road. And you are half way there.

8. Then you reach a fork in the road that isn't well marked at all. Take the low road on the left.

9. Continue keeping an eye out for kilometre markers on your right. At the 37 K marker turn left and cross the bridge.

10. Then go to the man in the trailer. He takes your $5 [each] fee. Our 5 year old was free.

11. 7K more. Drive until you get to the parking lot and then walk across the bridge.

12. Then trundle along the well groomed path for a just a few minutes

And you are there!

· Apparently clothing is optional. We didn't actually see anyone choosing this option but we heard about it
· There is a change room and a toilet
· There are nice floating tables made from logs right in the pools so bring a beverage!
· Bring flip flops for pool hopping
· Read below about possible risks and dangers in the area
· There's some pretty but rustic camping [forestry reserve] on the way, about 8K before the springs

Photo slide show of a cute family taking their wee one on his first camping trip and to the springs.