These mountainside, steaming sulfur pools are a soothing tradition for locals and visitors as they soak away their skiing and ... More
Upper Hot Springs
These mountainside, steaming sulfur pools are a soothing tradition for locals and visitors as they soak away their skiing and hiking aches. Especially inviting in winter and on cold rainy days, the pools are open year round. You can rent lockers, bathing suits and towels if you are unprepared and there's a cafe for refreshments if you get lightheaded from all the steam. And for a touch of extra luxury, there are spa services, where you can get a massage or choose a facial or body treatment. The pools are two miles south of downtown Banff.
After finishing skiing at Banff Feb. 17/08, we decided to go to the Upper Hot Springs...a big mistake! First, we were informed that most of the locker keys were missing but we were welcome to try to find one with a key! And if you did spot one with a key, you had better be quick because there may be two other guys looking for the same thing (like a parking space at Wal-Mart).
The locker room was crowded, filthy and sloppy wet and the showers were “ice cold” (imagine no hot water at a hot pool). Forget about wearing sandals...gum boots may be a better choice! And don’t drop your towel.
To make it worse, we made our way to the hot pool only to find it was absolutely packed…I mean “standing room only”! I know why I didn’t see any lifeguards…it’s because it would be impossible to drown in that “shoulder to shoulder” environment. By the way, I wonder what the “regulations” are regarding the number of lifeguards versus the number of bodies in a pool. Perhaps they don’t apply to a “National Park”!
We were careful not to get our heads wet because there were strange things floating in the water…including at least one “yellow cloud”. How many of those people would have showered with “ice water” before entering the pool? Talk about a “breeding pot” for disease! We felt like pulling into a truck stop for a shower on our way back to our home in Calgary. I still get “itchy” just thinking about it!
As a kid at the neighborhood pool almost 50 years ago, I remember we had rules about how many were allowed in the pool at one time. And we even had hot water showers in those days!
The Canadian government should be utterly ashamed to offer this disgusting facility to people from all over the world. In the private sector it would have long since been condemned! Less time should be spent on bilingual signs at the Banff Upper “Pot” Springs…”dirty” is “dirty” in both French and English!
The great thing about these springs is first of all, they are natural. Another thing is they are surrounded by majestical, tall, rigid mountains so you feel like you are in the middle of nowhere. My favorite time to go is in the winter when there is snow all over the mountains and big flakes of snow are falling down on you but you don't mind because you are in a nice, hot natural pool full of hot springs water. Mmmmm, wonderful!!!
Nice facility, good secruity and lockers, okay showers. Honestly, I don't think it's got an NATURAL Hot spring action going on. I enjoy it best in the winter time, when the snow is falling, it's wonderful place to sit relax and enjoy the altitude. YOu can get nice massges here also.
If you are looking for a Natural Hot Spring check out the ones on the BC border. It's a little hike and there is no where to lock you gear...But the are real.
Banff Hot Springs = Warm Pool with out the natural
There is nothing better thatn to soak up the cold wintery air than a soak in the Sulphur Mountain hot springs, especially after a long day on the slopes. If you get to do nothing else in Banff, make sure you visit this place... you will never forget it.
After moving to Banff, one of the first things I had to try was the hot springs. I’ve heard of them, seen pictures, but never experienced them before. And what a wonderful experience it was. There is nothing better than soaking in the soothing waters while enjoying the beautiful view of the mountains. The change rooms were clean and spacious, and there is an indoor hallway that leads you right into the pool so you don’t have to freeze outside before getting in!
It can get pretty busy later on in the day, but on a weekday morning the pool had only a few other people and was very quiet and relaxing; perfect for someone who doesn’t like large crowds. I will most definitely be coming here again.
the water is the perfect temperature. The place is well maintained , though converting the spring into a swimming pool makes you wonder how this is different from any other pool at home. Actually i would have preferred a more natural setting .Tthere were around 200 people in the pool when we went.
Otherwise for $8 its quite a good way to relax after a long day of hiking or sking. Despite the crowd the place is clean and well maintained.
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