Dewar Creek Hot Springs Located in the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy, The springs are reached by trail (about 3-4 hours)19.2 Km out and back trail from the end of the Dewar Creek Forest Service Road (four-wheel drive recommended). Due to snowmelt and pack in the early spring, the Hot Springs are usually flooded until mid-June early July.
This area can be accessed following an old outfitting route Travel 47 kilometres west on the St. Mary’s forest service road to the intersection of the West Fork St. Mary’s road and the Dewar Creek road. Follow the Dewar Creek road until it ends at 27 km (the last 4 km is a rough road, and high clearance vehicles are recommended).
At the start of the route, there is a trail register. Continue for about 1.5 hours after crossing Wesley Creek. If you are riding a horse, before you reach the creek the trail will cross the creek.
If you’re on foot, climb up the east bank and follow a rugged hiking path that leads back to the old outfitting trail. Continue to Dewar Creek Hot Springs. Total time: 3-4 hours.
The path contours over the springs area at Dewar Creek Hot Springs and continues another .5 kilometres to Bugle Basin, a large slide area where hiker camping is permitted. Follow the trail that crosses Dewar Creek immediately after emerging from the forest to reach an existing horse camping area across the creek to the west.
Do not camp above the springs or walk through the bog forest. in order to allow these areas to regenerate. Using the horse trail above the bogs or the rocks along the stream to get to the hot springs. Water flowing through cracks through the substrate is heated to temperatures above 100 degrees Celsius, or the boiling point. It rises to the surface with many minerals in solution, especially calcium, magnesium, and sulphur compounds.
The temperature of the hot water at the surface vents exceeds 80 degrees Celsius. Over the years, visitors to the springs have built a number of pools out of both natural and manmade materials. With the exception of one tiny tub, all have been removed. BC Parks will continue to withdraw new construction and ask for your help.
The fundamental value of the springs for wildlife use greatly outweighs the benefits of modifying the springs for recreational bathing. Other places in the Kootenays provide much greater, more affordable opportunities for hot spring soaking.
During the birthing season, May through July, the minerals brought to the surface by the hot mineral springs form important licks for five species of elk, goat, whitetail deer, mule deer, and moose, providing them with high absorptions of minerals and nutrients.
Many rare plants grow in the side hill bog immediately above the springs: Western St. John’s-wort, a yellowish orange-flowered herb. Slender Muhlenbergia, a small grass found in dense mats near hot springs vents, and Hot–springs Panicum, a grass found only in hot springs ecosystems. At Dewar hot springs, a red-listed damselfly Argia vivida, also known as the “Vivid Dancer,” was discovered.
Blue in color, it is sometimes seen clinging to the rubble and boulders near the hot springs.Engelmann spruce and subalpine fir dominate the Engelmann spruce-subalpine fir (ESSF) region around the springs. Popular plants include false azalea, white-flowered rhododendron, and huckleberry. The Dewar hot springs and the surrounding Bugle Basin region form a complex and interdependent ecosystem. Predators such as grizzly bears, wolves, and wolverines depend on productive ungulate populations in the same way that ungulates do.
Featured photo and the mid page gallary by @karengoforth16