Calling all adventure seekers and nature lovers! After a hike through a seemingly remote forest, we found the definition of paradise at the Ram Creek Hot Springs. Secluded natural hot springs in the middle of a forest like something out of a fairy tale.
Imagine being able to soak away your stresses in a pure and unadulterated natural setting. You can do that here!
I’m not sure what took my breath away more. The stunning view that revealed three small pools of healing waters surrounded by lush groves of thick spruce trees? Or was it the uphill hike coupled with the constant fear of running into a bear and the suspenseful anticipation?
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Overview of Ram Creek Hot Springs
These remote springs sit happily perched on a ridge at the base of a mountain, overlooking striking views of the verdant meadows below. There are truly fewer places in the world more spectacular than this.
The Ram Creek Hot Springs are undeveloped rock pools found just off of some forestry logging roads.
They’re considered natural hot springs as there is no infrastructure here beyond a faint trail and pools of water that have been modestly dug out and shaped with rocks.
I’d call them more of a warm spring. When we visited in early August, the water temperature could be compared to when you’re soaking in the bathtub and the water just starts to cool off.
Honestly though, the water is Goldilocks temperature. Not too hot and not too cold. Perfectly warm enough to soak in all day if you wanted to.
Apparently the water was much warmer ten years ago. According to one of the locals we met, there was a fault shift and then a landslide which destroyed and covered up the large pools.
They used to be much warmer, larger and deeper. They have since been rebuilt, but aren’t quite as deep.
Currently the water level is a little shallower than waist deep. I was sitting on my butt on the bottom and the water was just below my neck. Perfect lounging depth!
Where Ram Creek Hot Springs Are Located
They’re pretty hard to get to, but not impossible. These natural springs are located in British Columbia, Canada and you will have to hike in. If you’re planning to visit Lussier Hot Springs, Ram Creek is on the same road, just further down.
If you’re going to be anywhere near Radium Hot Springs, Fairmont Hot Springs, or Invermere, you should definitely check this place out.
To give you an idea, If you’re visiting Banff National Park and the Lake Louise area, these springs are about 3 hours driving time away.
If you’re on a road trip from Vancouver to Calgary (or visa versa), this is going to be a 2.5 hour detour from Golden, BC. But a side trip well worth it in my opinion. This section takes you down Highway 93, which is the gateway to the Kootenay Rockies.
You could combine a visit to Ram Creek Hot Springs with a Canadian Rockies off the beaten path experience and make a great 2 or 3 days .
What You Need
You will need a car and the ability to hike – make sure you’ve got proper hiking gear as this place is pretty remote.
The length of hike depends how far you’re willing to drive your vehicle on the final stretch of ‘road.’ The last 6 miles (10 kilometers) is more of a quad or ATV trail.
And it could look different every spring depending on the spring thaw and how much rain the area receives. Some parts of the road can become washed out or may have large rocks blocking certain areas.
A pickup truck or a jeep will get through here no problem. We had a GMC Acadia and made it halfway. We probably could have gotten farther, but we borrowed the vehicle and didn’t want to push it.
If you’ve got a small car or a sedan (or anything lower to the ground than an SUV), you’re going to be hiking a fair distance.
How to Get to Ram Creek Hot Springs
Let me start by saying I hesitated writing this post. I might get backlash from locals or those who want to keep this place a secret. But here’s the reality. If I don’t write it, sooner or later someone else will.
The amount of people searching for hidden gems like these is only getting bigger. And the availability and amount of information online continues to expand.
My education and career background started in rural tourism and responsible travel, so I figured I would write the damn post, while educating the masses.
You see, eventually, these secret local spots always get discovered. That’s human nature.
We love exploring and discovering new places. So why not write about my experience, what I learned and share some wisdom about the importance of respecting our natural landscapes and precious wildlife habitats.
You want to get yourself to Whitesawn Lake Provincial Park. Off of Highway 93 you will turn east onto Whiteswan Lake Forest Service Road. It’s a gravel logging road.
You will see many signs saying it’s an active logging road, and it most definitely is. Always yield to these large trucks. You will follow this road for almost 12 miles or 19 kilometers. You will see yellow signs marking each kilometer. Watch for these.
Your first time on this road might seem like it’s never going to end, but the yellow markers help.
Gaining altitude and getting closer to marker 19, the road narrows as you hug the cliff a little closer. This portion of the road is not for the faint of heart.
After at least half a dozen visits, I still have to close my eyes and hang on for dear life on this section of road. Since it’s so narrow here, there’s only room for one vehicle to pass through safely.
Always yield to oncoming traffic. If you’re on your way in and there are vehicles coming toward you, stop at a safe distance away and let them pass first.
Eventually, at marker 19, you will arrive at the small parking lot for the Lussier Hot Springs. This is almost the halfway point. You have another 10 miles to go.
When you come to the campground labeled Alces Lake Campground, watch for the road called Lussier River Forest Service road. Look for it on the right. It will seem narrow and through some trees, but that’s the one.
It goes uphill right away but eventually levels out and opens up to the similar type of gravel road you were on.
Continue on this road until you reach the intersection pictured above Turn right onto White Ram Forest Service Road. This is where it gets fun!
This section is a little over 3 miles, but can be somewhat treacherous for your vehicle if you’re not careful. We only made it about a kilometer before we decided we didn’t want to push it any further with the SUV.
Between the massive potholes, jagged rocks, and mud pits, we made the call to walk the rest of the way.
The above photos show sections of the ‘road.’ You can see why we decided to hike the rest of the way!
Apparently there have been a few occasions in which people’s vehicles have been pushed into the trees or ditch area by locals who couldn’t get by. Wherever you leave your vehicle, pull over as much as you can to avoid this.
The rest of the hike is quite easy. It’s mostly flat, but with random large rocks to dodge (which is easier on foot). Soon you will arrive at a bit of a dead end.
This is a small area that’s big enough to turn your vehicle around if you were able to drive all the way in.
The Hike In
You’ll see a faint but noticeable trampled down trail, this is what you want to follow. The trail feels like you’re walking more on the side of the hill rather than up it, but you’re going the right way.
Eventually the trail brings you to a small clearing and you can start to hear water. Head uphill toward the right. You will squeeze through some trees and then paradise reveals itself.
What to Expect at Ram Creek Hot Springs
Remember, these are undeveloped and natural hot springs. There are no facilities, and definitely no washrooms, You can find flat spots or large rocks to set down your personal items.
And don’t expect anywhere discreet to change. There are a few trees you can go hide behind, or just be stealthy with your towel. Better yet, bring a towel poncho to easily change underneath when you’re out in the open – a game changer for situations like these or when you’re at the beach!
This is often a place that people bathe in the nude, so be open to this type of clientele!
How Many People You Can Expect
We were there for the first week of August, which is peak travel season. That being said, we were here on a Saturday in the middle of the afternoon and there were only 6 or 8 other people at any given time.
This is considered busy to locals. Any other time should be much quieter. Especially if you arrive in the morning.
What to Bring
Weather changes fast when you’re in the mountains. The rain came down hard the last few minutes of our hike back, so be prepared for any weather.
Since it’s quite the adventure to get here, plan to spend at least a couple of hours and enjoy it! Pack a towel, a lunch and some cold drinks and you’re set.
This insulated backpack makes it easy to keep your food and drinks cold, without having to carry a cooler by hand.
Be Bear Aware
This area is in the heart of bear country. Bears are wild animals (apex predators) and can be extremely dangerous if you come across them.
You should always carry bear spray and know how to use it.
I always attach a bear bell to my backpack that I’m hiking with.
And sometimes if it’s only the two of us, I’ll throw my bluetooth speaker in the mesh part of my backpack and play music the whole time.
At the very least, the most important thing is to make noise the entire way.
I was part of a group of 4 adults who hiked into Ram Creek Hot Springs. We spoke loudly, sang and whistled the entire way and didn’t run into a bear.
Bears prefer to stay away from humans, so if they can avoid a confrontation, they will. If they can hear you and know you’re in the area they will usually leave you alone.
Hot Springs Etiquette
Natural untouched hot springs are a gift from mother nature and should always be respected. Please never leave any garbage behind. And if you see someone else’s trash, collect it and leave the area nicer than when you arrived.
If you’re bringing beverages or snacks, leave no waste behind and definitely no glass.
If you bring your kids, don’t let them misbehave. We saw parents let their kids throw rocks around, dig holes and drop fruit snack wrappers into the water (the mom eventually picked up the garbage). Places like these aren’t playgrounds for kids.
That brings me to my next point. Rowdy and obnoxious people, this isn’t the place for you either.
People visit natural hot springs to relax and enjoy a peaceful soak surrounded by nature. No one wants to hear about your drunken Tinder escapades…or maybe I’m just getting old.
These springs are in an area that’s designated as an ecological reserve. This is meant to protect the land, the ecosystems and the animals and species that call this forest home.
Be very careful where you step and don’t stray off the footpaths in an effort to protect the flora and fauna.
Where to Stay Near Ram Creek Hot Springs
Your first option is to camp! This will be the closest type of accommodations. There’s a campground called Alces Lake Campground within the Whiteswan Lake Provincial Park, or you can head out on your own and find a back country camping spot.
I always love to stay in cabin-style accommodations when we’re in the area. My first choice is always at the Fairmont Mountain Bungalows. It’s all studio style cabins or 1 and 2 bedroom cabins tucked away in a nice forested area.
You get your own kitchen and BBQ so it’s really nice to be able to cook your own meals to save money instead of eating out.
There’s also a brand new pool and hot tub on the property. The bungalows are a little over an hours’ drive to get to the hot springs.
Timbers Resort would be another similar option, and about 10 minutes closer. Or stay in a large Log Cabin-style home at the Lodge at Bella Vista. is more like a traditional bed and breakfast style and overlooking Columbia Lake.
Enjoy your visit to Ram Creek Hot Springs!
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