Vancouver Island has a number of hot springs, one of which – Hot Springs Cove – is considered to be the finest in Canada. The hotsprings on Vancouver Island are situated in some of the most scenic and natural areas in British Columbia, with no development around them, so visiting them is an adventure in itself. The two main hot springs are reached by boat or floatplane on the rugged west coast of Vancouver Island, with access from Tofino.
Hot Springs Cove
Hot Springs Cove is a splendid hot spring still enjoyable in its natural state, located in Maquinna Provincial Park in the remote northern end of Clayoquot Sound. The boiling spring water bubbles up from deep in the earth and cascades down a small cliff into a series of natural layered rock pools, cooled by the incoming Pacific Ocean surf. The spring water is very hot, and is clear with just a faint smell and taste of sulphur.
Ahousat Hot Springs
Tofino provides access to a second, cooler spring at Ahousat Hot Springs, located on the shores of Matilda Inlet in Gibson Marine Provincial Park, on the south side of Flores Island. Ahousat Hot Springs is a natural warm spring, considered to be of therapeutic value, that bubbles up into a concrete tank. The spring water is clear and tasteless, with just a faint smell of sulphur, and has a maximum temperature of 25° C (77°F).
Other hot springs reported to be on Vancouver Island include; springs on the Mate Islands, the small group of islands located across from Hot Springs Cove; a hot spring in Kyuquot Sound, close to Fair Harbour; hot springs near the lower rapids of the Kennedy River, near Tofino; and Pipesteam Inlet, on the north shore of Barkley Sound north of the Broken Group Islands.
Relaxing soak at Hot Springs Cove, Vancouver Island. Photo: West Coast Aquatic Safaris, Tofino