If you are driving to Radium Hot Springs from Banff National Park you will travel through the Canadian Rockies by way of the 104 km Highway 93, known as the Banff-Windermere Parkway.
Its official opening on June 30, 1923 marked the beginning of the tourism industry in the Columbia Valley and for that reason alone, the history of this road is a tale worth noting. It is a story of First Nations and mountaineers, of hard labor by men and horses as they cleared the forests and carved the road, literally out of the sides of the mountains.
The final descent into the Columbia Valley and Radium Hot Springs BC is through the spectacular Sinclair Canyon. This narrow passageway was widened with pick axes, shovels and dynamite. A wooden bridge was built over the creek with a single lane created for vehicles.
The Village of Radium Hot Springs is the mountain vacation destination you’ve dreamed of. Bordered by the upper Columbia River on the west and Kootenay National Park on the east, its scenery, everywhere you look, is absolutely breath-taking.
The Hot Pools
The name ‘Radium Hot Springs’ came from the discovery, in 1913, that the water in the now world-famous open-air, odorless mineral pools contained radium. Thousands come annually to bathe in the warm waters, surrounded by the natural rock walls. There’s no place better to soak your tired muscles at the end of a busy day.
Tourist accommodation in Radium Hot Springs is plentiful, with a major hotel, several motels, campgrounds, cabins, timeshares or B & B’s.
In autumn, hundreds of Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep descend from the higher elevations into the village where they make their winter homes. You will see them wandering across the roads and dining on the lawns of the residents. Drivers are urged to be ever alert for the animals.
In Kootenay National Park, you may come across bears, white-tailed deer, moose, wolves, coyotes, and other species.
You can enjoy a variety of dining experiences in Radium, everything from a freshly-brewed cup of locally roasted coffee in a quaint café, to a delicious pizza, a great burger or authentic European cuisine. If you decide to eat in, everything you need can be found at the Mountainside Market.
Every outdoor recreational activity is available in Radium Hot Springs or the area. Pack up your skis in winter or your golf clubs in summer, but be sure to add a pair of walking shoes and don’t forget to bring your camera!