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Explore BC - A Journey to Sloquet Hot Springs

Spring is finally here, and the weather is getting more beautiful every day! This is the perfect time of year to explore our beautiful province, and to take a moment to appreciate all of the hidden gems that we possess so close to home. My husband and I have a deep love for nature and adventure. We spend most of our weekends and holidays exploring our province, with our canine companions by our sides.

Outdoor adventure is especially rewarding when you can hit up a hot spring along the way, and soak in a warm, tranquil, natural pool. No, I'm not talking about Harrison Hot Springs, or any of the resorts you have heard of or visited before. I'm talking about natural springs, that have been unobstructed by man. The springs I talk of cost you nothing for your visit, and are far more relaxing than a trip to a commercialized hot spring could ever be. They are often an adventure on their own to find, and offer an experience that is hard to surpass. One of our favorite spots that we have discovered over years of adventure together, is Sloquet Hot Springs. We have traveled to these springs half a dozen times, and even have a trip planned to visit them later this month.

There are two routes to get to Sloquet- one from Harrison and another from Pemberton. There is a logging road connecting the two towns. The turnoff towards the springs can be found right around the middle, near the logging camp of Tipella. This road can be accessed by car, but a 4x4, truck, or otherwise lifted vehicle is highly recommended, especially if you choose the route from Harrison. Until recently, this particular route was 4x4 access only, and driving along the trail was a gnarly, heart-wrenching adventure in itself! However, in the summer of '16, intense maintenance and upgrades were done to the road, making it significantly more accessible than it had ever been before. On our last visit, we even saw a very low Audi brave the trail, making anything possible (but definitely not recommended if you care about your car!). The route from Pemberton is much smoother than from Harrison, but in my opinion- the bumps and groves from Harrison make the journey a lot more fun!

Once you reach the destination, 49° 43.81'N, 122° 19.63'W, there are plenty of great spots to pitch a tent for your stay. There are absolutely no amenities close by. Be sure to bring plenty of food and water for the weekend, and a little bit of cash for your campsite. My hubby recommends a case of beer, too. There is a caretaker who regularly maintains the area, and he will likely come around to collect a small campsite fee from you during your stay. Pack warm clothes and layer up, as the journey is high in the mountains, can get a lot of shade, and the hike to and from the springs can be chilly. The springs are only a short hike from the campsites, under 10 minutes, and the path to them is easy to find and follow. There are a few steeper spots, but if you are in good physical shape it is an easy downhill trail. Hear my advice, and don't rely on flip flops alone as your footwear; injured feet or broken sandals are not fun in the woods! I suggest wearing a good pair of hiking shoes, as the trail can get slick and muddy in the rain, which is plentiful this time of year. All that rain, however, can be a good thing! The only thing better than hot springs in the snow, is hot springs in the rain, making spring the perfect time to venture here.

Lush ferns, moss, and deep forest green leaves surround the springs. It is a lush oasis that will only deepen your love and admiration of the province we call home. You will see a scalding hot waterfall flowing from the rocky cliffs, filling the top pool. The number of pools you will find will depend on the flow and height of the river and waterfall. We have been lucky enough to see all of the possible pools when we have visited here in the past. There are at least 10, each a different warm to hot temperature. The atmosphere and tranquility found from these pools is like nothing else. Some are so hot that you would only want to touch the tip of your toe in, while others are the perfect temperature to soak in all day. We once met a man who legitimately spent an entire weekend in one of the warm, soaking pools. He mused over the people sweating away in the hotter pools, who would get too warm and have to leave from time to time. We didn't see him leave his perfect spot once while we were there. We prefer to go from the hot pools directly to the icy cold river, which is just below the springs. The shock of the cold plunge is incredibly refreshing, and can do wonders for your body's circulatory system.

A journey to these springs makes for the most incredible gathering of adventurous minds, and peaceful escape from the fast pace of our daily lives. The warm, mineral-rich waters rejuvenate the mind, body, and soul. We are so lucky to call this province home, full of wondrous gems like Sloquet Hot Springs. We truly do live in paradise.

- Crystal Price, Outdoor Enthusiast.

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