The soaking pools of Radium Hot Springs steam invitingly, 2km north of the eponymous town and just within the boundary of Kootenay National Park. First used by aboriginal people, they were developed as a spa in the 1890s due to the presence of supposedly therapeutic traces of radium.
Today bathers arrive by the thousand – up to 4000/day on peak summer days – to take a dip in the odourless 45°C waters. However, when the pools are at their best and most useful – in the cool evenings and chilly off-season when the hot pool steams invitingly – things are far less busy and far more soothing.
The complex includes a hot pool and a cool pool, as well as a spa with massages and various treatments.
The dated lodge opposite the pools is run-down and pretty dreadful – avoid staying here.