The village of Ainsworth Hot Springs is located in the traditional territories of the Ktunaxa First Nations (pronounced ‘K-too-nah-ha’) in BC’s Kootenay Forests and Mountains. Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort is nestled into the mountainside, overlooking Kootenay Lake and the Purcell Mountains, and features three odourless baths, a unique 150-foot horseshoe-shaped cave, lounging pool, and glacier stream-fed cold plunge. The horseshoe cave, where mineral deposits and humidity combine to create an amazing atmosphere, is the highlight of the natural hot springs.
The hot springs are open all year and include a 150-foot horseshoe cave, a big lounging pool, and a stream-fed cold plunge. The resort, which was renovated in 2012 and expanded in 2019, also has accommodations, a restaurant, and the Spirit Water Spa. Book online or call 1-800-668-1171 for more information.
For hundreds of years, the hot springs have been healing tourists with their mineral waters, and the cave adventure is worth a visit in and of itself.
A hot steamy shower of mineralized waterfalls falls from the cave’s roof and forms a tub, offering a rejuvenating natural steam bath. Gallons of hot mineral water flow into the pools, naturally changing the water three times every hour. The hot springs are naturally heated and range in temperature from 40-42°C in the Cave to 35-38°C in the Pool and 4-10°C in the Cold Plunge.
Water seeps into the porous rock to a depth of 1 1/2 to 2 kilometres. The temperature rises at a rate of 40 degrees Celsius per kilometre until it reaches the lakeshore fault. This fault is an impenetrable layer of rock that runs from Ainsworth Hot Springs to a point directly underneath the Cody Caves at an angle of 45 to 50 degrees. The water is forced up along the fault by hydraulic pressure and emerges at Ainsworth Hot Springs.
The caves are old mine shafts that miners dug out in order to maximise the flow of hot water from the springs. Visitors can explore the cave’s tunnels and stalactites, relax on a hot ledge, take a natural hot shower, or relax in a natural sauna. Ainsworth is open all year and is popular with families and locals who want to relax in the calming waters and play in this exhilarating wilderness playground. The pools are the ideal place to unwind and take in some of West Kootenay’s breathtaking scenery, including the Purcell Mountains and Kootenay Lake.
Ainsworth Hot Springs was first discovered by First Nations People, who came up to Kootenay Lake in the late summer mainly to take advantage of the Kokanee Salmon run and the ripening of the huckleberry crop. Native use of the soothing pools probably continued for decades until they guided the first prospectors to the pools. In 1882, George Ainsworth of Portland, Oregon, applied for pre-emption of the townsite that is now Ainsworth Hot Springs.
Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort
P.O Box 1268
Ainsworth Hot Springs, BC