British Columbia Travel Guide
The unofficial BC Travel & Tourism Guide
Surrounded by the majestic Purcell Mountains and the ideal water playground of Kootenay Lake, the small village of Ainsworth Hot Springs is regarded by many "spring seekers" as a sublime rejuvenating destination.
The springs actually originate in the Cody Caves area and the hot waters beneath the surface seep through deep underground faults until they reach the caves. As the water drips in through the roof of the caverns it forms icicle-shaped cones containing the earth's minerals. These unique formations and the waters are an enchanting place to relax and awe at the wonders of nature. There are also surrounding pools and natural saunas. Some are accessible via resorts on the site. The waters in the caves can reach 40 - 42 degrees Celsius and are especially pleasurable during the winter months situated in the frosty or even snow coated wilderness setting.
Located in the Selkirk Mountains of the West Kootenay region is Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park, one of British Columbia's oldest provincial parks. The park covers an area of over three hundred square kilometers, which includes three unique glaciers; Kokanee, Caribou, and the Woodbury. Together these glaciers feed over thirty various lakes and multiple creeks. One of the access roads to the park is directly out of Ainsworth.
Passionate mountaineers take note of Bugaboo Provincial Park with over twenty-five mountain peeks to choose from and hiking trails there are several highlights, which include more well know peaks such as; Bugaboo Spire, Howser Spire, and Flattop Peak.
Kootenay Lake, late summer - the Kokanee Salmon run
Kootenay Lake, dive for relics at Kaslo to the north of Ainsworth.
Kokanee Creek Provincial Park
Morning Mountain, Nelson - ski hill, family or couple fun
Kokanee Creek and Kootenay Lake - great fishing stocks
Cody Caves Provincial Park - ancient collection of limestone, 3 hour tours available.
Kootenay Lake was a familiar seasonal fishing ground for the First Nations Kootenay Bands - the Ktunaxa people, 'Kokanee' means 'red fish', referring to the Kootenay Lake's abundant salmon runs which occur near the end of summer. The members of these bands lived throughout the region for over 5,000 years. Undoubtedly they would have found the hot springs rejuvenating for healing sore bodies after their long travels.
Ainsworth Hot Springs gained its name from Captain Ainsworth, who founded the Oregon Navigation Company and had interest in the mineral deposits located on the western side of Kootenay Lake. From 1885 to 1893, the town had six hotels and approximately 3,000 residents - the mining boom was on! After that period, Ainsworth and many surrounding towns ran out of mineral and the mines began closing. Many remnants of the good old days stand as ghost towns today.
Summer average 24 degrees Celsius
Winter average -6 degrees Celsius
Ainsworth Hot Springs Accommodations
Ainsworth Hot Springs Things to Do