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Adventures at Wilderness Hot Springs

 

Story & photos by Amber Lidstone

Brtiish Columbia has a variety of amazing hot springs. Ones like Harrison or Nakusp Hot Springs are developed, but many others lie in our wilderness, accessible only by sailing or kayaking to, or driving up dusty or sometimes muddy logging roads, and hiking in. These primitive hot spring pools may have had some rudimentary rock building done to them over the centuries, but mainly they are much the same as when they were formed by primordial thermal underground activity.

 

Here's Amber Lidstone's poetic description of Meager Hot Springs, a beautiful wilderness sanctuary, with some walk-in camping, about 70 km north-west of Pemberton, BC.

 

As I am luxuriously soaking up the healing waters in a pool at Meager Creek Hot Springs, the travelled miles melt away in the distance, and I am grateful for the new bridge that has allowed me access once again to the most beautiful place in my world to rejuvenate in.

 

Breathing in the smell of the water is fresher and cleaner than laundry hung out to dry on a sunny windy day. I am in awe of the force of nature as I listen to the tumbling crashes of boulders in the powerful biting cold white water glacial fed creek, in contrast to the steaming water of the hot springs, side by side.

 

One of the pools is filled with a sandy mud, and we cover our bodies with it to soak up the nutrients and draw out impurities in our skin that produces an enjoyable tingling sensation.

 

At the end of the day, sitting around the fire at a campsite nearby, a soothing sleepiness takes a hold of me while I dream about getting back to the relaxing hotsprings again, first thing in the morning.


In 2003 Meager Creek was flooded by heavy October rains and the only bridge that gave access to the hot springs was washed away. It wasn't until 2008 that a new and sturdier bridge was constructed.


The Meager Creek hot springs and nearby campground are managed by the local Lil'wat Nation, and there is a changing room and nominal fee to stay there.

 

It probably need not be mentioned that there are certain etiquettes followed at these remote sites. Clothing is optional, staring is not. People come here to relax, rejuvenate their bodies, commune with natural elements, not to hear CDs, radios and other reminders of the world they came to escape, if only briefly.

 

And just for interest, the healing qualities are probably caused by the presence of Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S) which is released by bacteria attracted to the heat. Sometimes this process gives off that sulphur smell. However, Meagre Creek's pools are fresh and enticing.

 

Wilderness Travels has a page devoted to some of BC's hotsprings, which is accessed on the left side of this article under guides, or click here.

 

For further information:
http://members.shaw.ca/co-bc/?co-squamish.html


See video:
http://howesound.wordpress.com/2009/06/15/meager-creek-hot-springs/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pentacube/2945914485/