Bubbling up from beneath the Canadian Rockies at a toasty temperature of around 102°F (39°C), Banff Upper Hot Springs have been drawing visitors to Western Canada since the late 19th century. For weary travelers, a soak in the warm mineral-rich waters of the pools, which overlook Mount Rundle, is the ultimate tonic for sore muscles.
Featuring a restored 1932 bathhouse, the Banff Upper Hot Springs blend historic character with modern amenities. Many visitors come to the springs to relax and rejuvenate after hiking, biking, or skiing excursions in Banff National Park or Jasper National Park. Other visitors come to reap the purported health benefits of the historical spa’s mineral waters, which contain sulphate, calcium, bicarbonate, magnesium, and sodium.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Banff Upper Hot Springs are a must for active travelers looking to unwind.
- The site features changing rooms, washrooms, shower facilities, lockers, and a café.
- You can rent swimsuits and towels for a small fee.
- The hot springs are accessible to wheelchair users.
How to Get There
Banff Upper Hot Springs are situated at an elevation of 5,200 feet (1,585 meters) in Banff Town, Alberta, about 37 miles (60 kilometers) from Lake Louise. If driving from Banff, follow Banff Avenue over the Bow River, turn left onto Spray Avenue, veer right onto Mountain Avenue, and follow the road until you reach the parking lot. As parking is limited, you may prefer to use public transportation instead; the Roam Banff Local Route 1 bus stops here.
When to Get There
Banff Upper Hot Springs are busiest during the summer season, particularly July and August, and around Christmas. If you are traveling with a large group and want to avoid the crowds, consider renting out a pool for private use. The natural hot springs, whose water temperatures are warm year-round, are especially magical in winter, when you can watch snow falling on the surrounding peaks.
Hiking on Sulphur Mountain
For a fun day out, park in the hot spring’s parking lot and then embark on a hike along one of the walking trails that lead up Sulphur Mountain. After a couple of hours’ in the wilderness, admiring the spectacular alpine scenery and perhaps stopping for a picnic, relax upon your return with a soak in the soothing pools of Banff Upper Hot Springs.