Lake Louise in Banff National Park is famous for a lot of reasons. One of them is its abundance of amazing hot springs and spas.
Some of the most sought after activities in Banff National Park include hiking, rock climbing, glacier climbing, and mountain biking. Having a dip in a hot pool at the end of the tiring, yet the thrilling experience is one of the best possible ways to relax and unwind while preparing for the adventure that awaits you the next day.
Some people prefer having a bath in the hot pools in the morning to shake off the cobwebs and start the day full of energy. No matter what time of the day you decide to enjoy a bath in the hot pool, this guide attempts at giving you 10 of the best hot springs and spas to relax those chilly bones around the Banff National Park and Lake Louise.
1. Banff Upper Hot Springs
If you ask any of the people from around Banff about the hot spring that you should visit, there’s a perfect chance that this is the one that they’ll end up recommending. The Banff Upper Hot Springs welcomes about 300,000 visitors annually, which shows it’s popularity among people. The pool is located at an altitude of 5,200 and is the highest hot spring in Canada.
The water is claimed to be 100% natural mineral water, and the pool temperature is at around 37-40 degrees Celsius. While relaxing in the pool, guests have a beautiful view of Mount Rundle that lies across the valley stretching out in front of them. The Banff Upper Hot Springs can be found near the top of Mount Sulphur, which is about 4 kilometers south from the town of Banff.
This place has everything that you would need to have a memorable experience, with an open gift shop to purchase souvenirs and a cafe that offers full-fledged meals along with a fantastic cup of coffee for the visitors. The Cave & Basin National Historic Site can also be visited by purchasing a Thermal Waters Pass. Rates of entry and other facilities can be found here.
2. Emerald Lake Lodge
Emerald Lake Lodge offers you a more privy place than most other lodges, which is one of the reasons why it’s preferred by couples a lot more than other sites. The outdoor hot pool is open throughout the year and offers you a brilliant view of the mountains that it lies among, as well as Emerald Lake, which the lodge is named after.
If you’re keenly looking to get away from the rush and the noise of the cities and want someplace secluded and silent for you to recharge, then this is the best place for you. There are real fireplaces in the rooms so that the guests can keep themselves warm and cozy when it starts snowing. There are two restaurants, the Kicking Horse Lounge and the Mount Burgess Dining Room, both of which offer European cuisines primarily.
Owing to the theme of peace and quietude, the lodge has it’s own trails that guests can walk along to avoid the tourist crowd. The hostel also has indoor recreational activities like a pool table and a game room. Skiing facilities are also provided by the lodge.
3. Deer Lodge
Located at just a five-minute walk from the shores of Lake Louise itself, the Deer Lodge is a somewhat historic building, which follows the theme of old and rustic housing. The outdoor pool overlooks the Victoria Glacier, and as you can imagine, the view is simply amazing!
A great way to make the most of your experience of the hot springs at the Deer Lodge is to step into the pool at night, so you can stargaze while you relax in the warm waters. The Caribou Lounge and the Mount Fairview Dining Room are the two restaurants at the lodge, which are really well acclaimed. The staff is amicable and welcoming, and for the location and convenience, it’s hard to beat Deer Lodge.
4. Fox Hotel
The Cave and Basin National Historic Site were one of the first natural mineral springs on which the fame of hot springs in Banff National Park was based on. The hot springs inside the historic site aren’t available for swimming, but that is where Fox Hotel’s amazing warm pool grotto comes in.
It is a brilliant replication of the hot springs at The Cave and Basin National Historic Site, which offers guests a chance to unwind in one of the most unique experiences that the hot springs in and around Banff have to offer. It’s located downstairs and provides an authentic cavern-like interior to those who step into the warm waters.
This place has excellent coffee, and meals are provided by the world-famous Chili’s Grill and Bar. Another great feature, where it’s ahead of the other lodges in that it allows pets! The staff is fantastic here and really prioritizes customer satisfaction above all else.
5. Fairmont Banff Springs
Built-in 1888, the “Castle in the Rockies” is for those who are looking for a formal, royal experience and wouldn’t mind a good pocket pinch. There are two different pools, which include a 30m lap pool and a 19m hot pool for relaxing after a long day of exploration and discovery. The lake offers a breathtakingly mesmerizing view of the Bow Valley, which is surrounded by the Tunnel Mountain and Mount Rundle.
The Willow Stream Spa offers guests a plethora of different treatments and is the pinnacle of indulgence at the Fairmont Banff Springs. You get access to a private outdoor whirlpool, along with an indoor mineral pool, and a choice of one of three waterfall treatment pools when you invest in service at the Willow Stream Spa.
There’s a broad selection of rooms to choose from, and the hotel caters to pets as well. Which, if you’re considering taking your furry friend along, can sometimes be an absolute deal-breaker.
There are as many as five restaurants in the hotel, each offering their own different style of food to guests. Additional facilities include a tennis court, a golf court (about a couple of miles away), horseback riding, bowling, cycling, and skiing among a lot of other offerings.
6. Sunshine Mountain Lodge
You drive into most hotels. This one is special because you take a twenty-minute gondola ride to the hotel after reaching the base parking lot of the hotel. And the gondola ride is the only way that you can contact the hotel premises in the summer and winter months. The location is of ultimate convenience and is recommended especially for people skiing at the Sunshine Village.
The hot tub outside is an absolute treat. To spice up your hot springs experience a little more, you should try taking part in the hot-tub bingo while you calm yourself in the warmth of the tub.
The hiking trails near the hotel are an absolute must-see for visitors. Meals are offered throughout the day by the five restaurants on the premises.
If you’ve always wanted to ski, but never had the chance to learn, then the Sunshine Mountain Lodge has you covered. They have a ski school to teach people how to slide along the snow and a plethora of other skin-friendly facilities that make this place the best respite for those who go to Banff for the skiing.
7. Moose Hotel and Suites
Moose really takes the hot springs experience at Banff to a whole other level of comfort and relaxation. The most fantastic section about this place is the immense variety of spa and wellness facilities that it offers. A stay here can mean a complete upgrade in the way you feel on your vacation.
There’s not one but two rooftop hot pools where you can kick back and chill while counting stars in the inky black sky. Should you prefer indoor soaking, then they have you covered there as well. The indoor hot pool comes with a sauna facility as well, which only extends the wide variety of services that are offered.
There’s a fireplace equipped in the cabins, and the property is located right along the mainstream for convenient travels. Food is taken care of by the Italian restaurant, Pacini, which contributes significantly to offering guests a hot and welcoming feeling to the place.
8. Mountain Spa, Banff
They boast of offering spa services at some of the best prices that you can find in the rather expensive town of Banff and have about twenty-five years’ worth of history to show for it.
The location only adds to the brilliant experience that the mountain spa offers and the rooftop 360-degree view of the Canadian Rockies are best enjoyed with a beverage that you can get right there.
They offer all sorts of services, including massages, facials, hair removals, body wraps, manicures, and pedicures, so that their customers leave feeling like the best version of their physical self.
9. Radium Hot Springs
I know we’re supposed to be sticking to areas that are within the Banff/Lake Louise area, but the sheer awesomeness of the Radium Hot Springs deserves mention on this list. It’s about a one and a half-hour drive from Banff to here, so it does count as relatively close. But the experience makes all the traveling worth it.
The Radium Hot Springs is Canada’s largest mineral hot springs pool. There’s also a more relaxed swimming pool at the premises should you decide to cool it off, or just take a few laps to polish those tired feet. The water has a lot of essential minerals in it, and it makes up for a truly enriching experience. Along with the Radium Hot Springs, the town of Radium itself is a treat to wander along.
A lot of the places are from the World War 2 era, and it can be a significant detour should you choose to make it.
10. Hidden Ridge Resort
Coming to the final entry on our list of the best hot springs to check out in Lake Louise, let’s talk about the Hidden Ridge Resort.
It’s a really homely place, with slanting roofs and two big hot pools for the guests to enjoy. The property is located in a somewhat secluded area, which is a plus for the people who like to get away from the world when they decide to go on a vacation.
The views from the resort are considered to be some of the best in the Banff area. You can see the Bow River and the town of Banff in all of its glory from here. The sauna that the resort only recently converted deserves a special mention because of how refreshing it is.
Located about four kilometers away from The Cave and Basin National Historic Site, there are facilities for shuttles into the town for convenience as well.
Hot Springs are naturally created due to the heating of water on the surface due to the heat trapped in the interior of the earth. The water that is used in the hot springs came down as rain once upon a time but has now found its purpose as the relaxing factor in the heated pools located all around Lake Louise.
The discovery of the hot springs in the Lake Louise region goes back to around 1883 when three railway workers discovered steam and hot water flowing out of a cave in what is now known as Sulphur Mountain.
This led to the end of the 19th century become obsessed with a trip to have a dip in the mineral-rich waters of the hot springs of the Banff National Park and Lake Louise area, as the hot water was supposed to have healing properties.
The locals in Banff really enjoy a dip in the hot springs themselves, and call the practice “taking the water.” No wonder the people of Canada are so lovely! People have been known to turn to the hot springs for cures to aches and pains for years and years now. Stiffness in joints can also be helped immensely after some time in the warm waters, so it’s an excellent way for the seniors to have a day out as well.
There are a number of memorable things that you can do at Lake Louise and Banff National Park. Read more about the immense variety of offerings right here.
If you’re curious about where Lake Louise is located, then check this out.