We crossed into British Columbia via the Eastport Checkpoint between Idaho and BC. It is heavily used crossing hence, we were prepared for a considerable wait. However, much to our delight, it took a total of 12 minutes and we were on our way. We met Canadian friends on their way home from Calgary. We caught up with them at a rest stop about 40 minutes inside BC.
After our little meet and greet, we kept barrelling down the road. Our first order of business was to find authentic Poutine. As we drove, we were looking for anything that resembled a town. Specifically, a town that would house some delicious poutine. Then, about 70 miles past the border, we found Cranbrook. Guess where we bought Poutine? A & W. It was cheap, fast, and easy.
That night we found the most beautiful rest stop alongside the hwy to crash. There was a tiny pond and the views were stunning. In the distance you could see the vast and enormous Rocky Mountains. So pretty.
The next morning, we rose early and drove to Windemere. And then on to Invemere, BC where there are legit tons of cool things to do in the summer with kids. We spent two nights in the parking lot of James Chabot Provincial Park. While Brody, Kenny and Dally (and Dan and Kady) ran Toby Creek, I spent the lazy days chilling at the lake with the kids The second morning we were given a serious tongue lashing and we knew it was time to move on.
That’s how we knew it was time to move on and hit Radium Hot Springs.
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Town of Radium Hot Springs
The town of Radium lies smack dab on 95. It’s situated a convenient 90 minutes west of Banff, Alberta and this picturesque town is literally the beginning of the Kootenay National Park system. The town of Radium Hot Springs is a quaint, peaceful mountain town with something fun for everyone. For the cultured there is fine dining, golf, and art. For the more adventurous there is always kayaking the epic Toby Creek, or Kootenay National Park and all its adventure. In fact, if you plan to continue on to Banff, it is recommended that you purchase a yearly Parks Pass. We also hiked up into the mountains in search of the supposed elusive “Red Chairs” … don’t bother. Nothing much to see as these red chairs are, unbeknownst to us, a short jaunt from the parking lot.
We paddled HorseThief Creek and explored the town Saturday-Sunday am. Saturday night we saw a live band play, at a local bar, just down the street from the Visitor’s Center. They were nothing short of awful. And then Sunday morning, we went to St Joseph’s Church and were treated to a delicious (and free) pancake breakfast. Winning!
Then we booked it to the reason for our stop … The Radium Hot Springs Pool. Time for some R&R, right.
Radium Hot Springs Pool
We had learned about the Radium Hot Springs Pool online. It was on our route and I knew that at just about that time we’d be ready for some pampering. What better than a Hot Springs Pool I thought.
It was … fun. The first hour or so it was refreshing and invigorating. It felt amazing to be clean. And quite luxurious to be chilling in a Hot Springs after being on the road for EVER. The water was warm and enveloping. It calmed my every nerve. There was also a small-er cooler pool with two slides and a diving board. A great spot for kids to play and let off some steam, for sure.
The locker rooms were clean, I am particularly a fan of the Canadian practice of removing shoes prior to entering the washrooms! Also, the locale was crazy convenient and, my favorite …it’s Canada, so no-one is on you like hot glue re: your kids escapades.
However, beware. This pool is kinda sketch, in that current information about it is not readily available. So call and verify everything.
While researching Radium Hot Springs Pool, we read there was a restaurant. I figured we could spend a day at the pool, eat and drink there and be merry, right? Like splurge and not worry about anything. So, we purchased single entry passes for $7.30/per person, as opposed to $11/person to be able to come and go.
Now, unbeknownst to us, massive construction was occurring and the restaurant was no more. So, when we went to find food, there was none. Nothing. To Eat. And we had not packed anything because I planned to spend all our money there. When I explained the situation to the front desk, I was told, sorry. Like, she wouldn’t even let me upgrade to a multi-entry pass. Nor could we, after sending Brody to Subway, eat out on the deck, because that was outside. Kinda ruined the experience, ya know …
Now while I was at the Radium Hot Springs Pool, Brody and Max played shuttle driver for Horsethief Creek. Dan, Kady, Kenny, Dally, and Cardy all went and kayaked Horsethief Creek. They had a blast, it was way more mellow than Toby, short of the Class V 100′ slide. Kenny and Dally sent it and claim it was definitely the highlight of the run. They said the whole run is more of a III-.
Right above the slide is a Class VI waterfall. Kenny and Dally spent quite awhile scouting here and they swear it was runnable at that flow. But Dan was with them and absolutely wouldn’t entertain any thoughts of them running anything like it. It was rowdy and had never been run. That was all Dan had to know to shut them down.