In the heart of the Columbia Valley, Fairmont Hot Springs Resort boasts Canada’s largest natural hot springs pools, hiking and biking trails, ziplining, kayaking, horseback riding, three golf courses, and more! Here’s how to spend an amazing weekend at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort.
With Canada’s largest natural hot springs pools, a spa, dining, outdoor activity centre (Base Camp), and guided activities, Fairmont Hot Springs Resort is fun for everyone! Whether you crave a relaxing getaway or mountain adventures, you can do it all at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort where cozy rooms, condos, and cabins await.
This story features summer fun at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort. For winter fun including skiing, see our story: Why you should visit Fairmont Hot Springs this winter.
Partnership Disclosure: Fairmont Hot Springs Resort generously hosted us, but all words and opinions are my own.
Day One: Mini Golf, History, and Hot Springs
“The mini golf looks cool, Mom! Did you see it?” my eldest daughter asks excitedly as we approach Fairmont Hot Springs Resort. “I did! Do you wanna play before dinner?” I reply. After checking in, we pick up some clubs and golf balls, and wander past the playground to “Base Camp,” home of the mini golf course, tennis and volleyball courts, and archery range (admission is included with your resort stay). Set in the hillside, with panoramic mountain views and a waterfall fountain, the scenic 9-hole course has some cool obstacles that require your attention but won’t put little golfers too far over par. We give up on keeping score and give in to the fun, going back to replay our favorite holes once the other families have left.
Next, we walk up the hill to the Indigenous Historical Baths (shallow tubs carved out of rock and a historic stone bathhouse).* Springs flow from cracks in the tufa (carbonate deposits) and the water gets hotter the higher we go. On a plateau, hikers are soaking their feet in a warm, shallow pool, enjoying the amazing view of the Columbia Valley. It’s a peaceful and pretty spot, but we can’t wait to visit the resort’s hot spring pools where we can swim and play. *To learn more about Fairmont Hot Springs’ history, sign up for a guided History of the Hot Springs Tour.
After dinner on the patio at Bear’s Paw Bar & Grill, it’s finally hot springs time! We return to our cottage to change and put on plush robes, then make our way to the resort’s hot pools. While the girls splash in the swimming pool (32ºC / 89°F), I soak in the hot pool (which is a comfortable 39ºC / 102°F) and watch the sunset. Sun peeks through the clouds bathing the mountaintops in golden light. It’s the perfect place to relax after a day of playing outside!
Day Two: Ziplining, Hiking, BBQ, and Hot Springs
Mornings in the mountains are bright and chilly, but we’re warm and cozy in our cottage. As I make breakfast, I remind the girls to “wear comfy clothes you can put a harness over” because we’re going ziplining for the first time! We can’t wait to check an item off the old bucket list!
At Mineral Mountain Ziplines, located next to Fairmont Hot Springs Resort, guides Leyla and Lucas get us outfitted for the zipline tour and let us know what to expect. We’ll be going on six progressively longer and higher ziplines, and crossing Fairmont Creek three times. The longest zipline is a whopping half a kilometre long and 60 metres high! After a short (5-minute) shuttle ride to the staging area, the adventure begins. Every zipline is different, but each one is super fun! Our favorites were the last three lines because we could do tricks (hang upside down, do torpedoes and cannonballs) as we zipped across the canyon. The spectacular scenery added to the thrilling experience!
- Know before you go: Allow two hours for the Mineral Mountain Ziplines Tour. Participants must be 50-265 pounds. Masks are required in the shuttle to the zipline course.
We return to Bear’s Paw Bar & Grill for lunch, then drive 10 minutes to the Hoodoo Trail (3.2 km round trip, 120 m elevation gain). After a few wrong turns – the trail has no signage – we arrive at the viewpoint which is at the top of the hill and southwest of the parking lot. From the viewing platform, we can see the tops of the hoodoos, Columbia Lake, mountains, and Fairmont Hot Springs Resort!
- If you go: Hoodoo Trail is best done in the morning or evening during the summer as the trail does not have a lot of shade. Hike on the old road to the viewpoint, and stay behind the viewing platform railings as there is a huge drop-off below. Get ice cream at Fairmont Pizza & Ice Cream Parlor on your way back to the resort!
Evening is time for ice cream, board games, barbecuing, and hot springs. Who needs wifi when you’re staying in the mountains?
Day Three: Kayaking and Hiking
“There was a bear and two cubs right there!” an Antlers Restaurant guest tells his server, pointing out the window. “Oh I believe it, there was a bear by the front door at the start of the week,” she replies. I love seeing bears – from my car – and hope I won’t see any on the walk back to the cottage with takeout in hand. Fortunately for me, the trip is uneventful; I don’t even spill my coffee!
After a delicious hot breakfast in our kitchen, we meet Patty and Matt for a guided kayak tour on the Columbia River (included in resort stay – reservations required). Since we don’t paddle on moving water that often, I’m a little concerned about the kids paddling solo, but Patty reassures me that “In all our history at Fairmont Hot Springs, we’ve never used our throw [rescue] bags.” However, she advises, “Please hang on to your paddle if you do an accidentally swim.”
The kayak tour (for 10 & up) includes transportation, instruction, and rentals so it’s the best way to get on the water if you don’t have experience or equipment (and saves you a car shuttle and loading/unloading boats if you have them). After a paddling lesson in the lagoon, we paddle/float 2.4 kilometres downstream; past the campground, golf course, eagle’s nest, and riverside homes. The current is gentle, the water is crystal-clear, and our guides tell us this is a salmon spawning stream that will be full of salmon in a couple weeks. We’re tempted to return for the salmon run because the paddling was so wonderful.
- If you go: The 2-hour Guided Kayak Tour is for ages 10 & up. Sign up in advance at the Recreation & Experience Centre.
Heading home: There are several beautiful hiking trails and beaches in the Columbia Valley, but we usually stop in Kootenay National Park on to break up the drive. Marble Canyon (1.6 km loop) and the Paint Pots (2 km round trip) are two fun, short hikes approximately halfway between Fairmont Hot Springs Resort and Calgary.
We loved visiting Fairmont Hot Springs in summer and will definitely do it again! With tons of onsite activities and adventurous tours that depart from the resort, it’s easy to keep everyone in the family busy and happy. Just make sure you save time to relax on a patio, in the hot springs, or at the spa.
More Fun Things to do at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort (Resort Activities for Lodging Guests)
Make the Recreation Experience Centre your first stop! Friendly staff can help you choose/book fun activities from scavenger hunts and crafts, to guided hikes and ziplining. Here are some of Fairmont Hot Spring Resort’s Resort Activities for lodging guests:
- Play mini golf, tennis, volleyball, or horseshoes at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort’s Base Camp. Archery lessons are available during peak season (May to late August).
- Guided Kayak Tour: Transportation, rentals, and instruction are included in the Guided Kayak Tour (ages 10+).
- Complete The Hot Springs Heist adventure: “Part Scavenger Hunt. Part Escape Room. Part Amazing Race.”
- Mountain bike or hike: There are over 50 kilometres of trails on resort property.
- Go on a guided hike / snowshoe
- Take a gentle yoga class
- Sign up for games and crafts!
- Unlimited access to the Riverside Driving Range (seasonally, clubs not included)
- Soak in the hot springs pools: Choose from the public hot springs pools or exclusive Resort-guest-only Natural Mineral Hot Springs Pool
Other Activities in the Area (fees apply)
- Zipline with Mineral Mountain Ziplines until September 12, 2021.
- Tube the Columbia River: Tube rentals are available (transportation not provided).
- Play a round of golf at one of three golf courses in the area: Riverside, Mountainside, and Creekside (par 3, 9-hole, “big hole” course is perfect for families).
- Relax at the Natural Springs Spa: massages, mani-pedis, facials and more!
- Go for a trail ride with A Bar Z Mountain Adventures (open May until late August)
- Go on an ATV tour with Toby Creek Adventures (35 minutes from Fairmont Hot Springs)
Lodging Options at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort
Fairmont Hot Springs Resort boasts a wide range of lodging options from hotel rooms and loft suites to cottages and villas. We had a cute 2-bedroom cottage (sleeps 6) this time and loved having our own entrance, deck, and BBQ; two beds in the kids’ rooms so they didn’t kick and fight; and a kitchen. The bbq and kitchen made it easy to prepare healthy meals when we didn’t feel like eating out. When you need a break from cooking, however, the onsite restaurants are a short walk away! Fairmont Hot Springs Resort’s cottages are conveniently located between the main building and Base Camp (mini golf, tennis courts, etc.).
To read about our winter stay in a loft with kitchenette, see our story: Why You Should Visit Fairmont Hot Springs Resort this Winter.
Dine at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort
Get breakfast at Steamers Café (grab & go) or Antlers (dine in or takeaway). For lunch and dinner, head to Bear’s Paw Bar & Grill (indoor / outdoor dining and takeaway) or Dapper’s Landing (at Riverside Golf Course – indoor / outdoor dining and takeaway).
Know Before You Go
- As of September 13, 2021, BC Hotels require Proof of Vaccination and valid government ID from everyone 12 & over.
- The public hot springs pools are only open to registered overnight guests of Fairmont Hot Springs Resort and RV Park until further notice.
For more details, visit Fairmont Hot Springs Resort.
Fairmont Hot Springs Resort is located about 3.5 hours from Calgary / 22 minutes south of Invermere. Note that Castle Junction is your last chance to fuel up before you head south on Hwy 93 and there is no cell service for most of the way between Castle Junction and Radium.
For More Information / Book Now
To start planning your perfect Columbia Valley getaway, or to book now, please visit Fairmont Hot Springs Resort.