Visiting Miette Hot Springs
Enter The Past By Visiting The Famous Miette Hot Springs
One of my favorite stops when I am in the area is Miette Hot Springs. Touted as the hottest natural hot springs (54C) in the Rocky Mountains is really not to relevant as the water is filtered. treated and cooled to a comfortable 40C. What I like about the Miette Hot Springs is the deep pool. Some places I've been I have to crouch down into the water to bring the water up to my neck.
The scenery viewed from the pools is awesome. Nestled in a narrow canyon, you have steep geological formations all around. There is also hiking trails in the area that show the different formations and what they mean. Follow the one that goes to the source and you'll see the ruins of the original Miette Hot Springs site as well as some neat geological formations and fossils of sealife from 85 million years ago.
Using The Hot Springs In Style
When these hot springs were all the rage the bathing costume were also a fashion statement. Make a statement yourself and reclaim the past.
This is what they wore at the turn of the century. That's 1900's. The perfect costume for reliving the past at Miette Hot Springs.
180 Million Years Ago Everything Swam Here - - "Under the sea..."
As you can see in the near-by rock formations the power of the Earth as if pushes up the old seabed into what is now the eastern front of the Rocky Mountains. The rocks are full of seabed fossils. You can walk a trail from the hot springs to the source of the waters by Sulphur Creek. Another leads from the parking lot up to a lookout point.
Melt water and rainwater flows down through the cracks and fissures of the rock to be heated by geothermal action and forced back up through several vents along the narrow canyon into Sulphur Creek. At this point the waters have been known to reach 54C or 129 F.
Minerals are dissolved into the water like calcium, sulphur, magnesium and sodium. There is hydrogen sulphide as well and that;s what gives it the rotten egg smell. Most of the smell is gone by the time the waters have been chlorinated and filtered and cooled down to a nice 40C or 104F.
I've visited quite a few hot springs and soaking in Miette you don't smell the hydrogen sulphide like you do in others. Banff Hot Springs has more of a sulphur smell, but it is not unbearable.
How Do You Do... The Hot Springs - - double dip and dash?
Traditionally the mineral springs or hot springs were culturally accepted as places for therapeutic bathing. "Taking the waters" cured what ailed you. It seems to be lost in these modern times and most people now just view the hot springs as giant hot tubs.
The therapeutic routine was 3 minutes in the hot pool followed by 30 seconds in the cold pool repeating three times ending in the deep hot pool to relax and enjoy the invigorating tingle of increased blood flow.
I tried this when I was at Miette but the cold pool for thirty seconds sounds like a quick dip. It is cold and thirty seconds takes forever. The only way I would do that is if I was forced.
Would You Follow the 3 cycle therapy in the Hot Springs?
My Day At Miette Hot Springs
I get there early and plan to make a day of it. I check in as soon as I get there and get a day pass not a single use pass. This way I can soak for 30 minutes to ease the driving muscles tense from driving that switchback road to get here. Okay maybe 45 minutes.
Then it is off down the hill to the parking lot to the trail that leads down to the source of the springs water. Along the way you can look at the old ruins of the original 1934 Miette Hot Springs pool site. Breathe in the clean air and listen to the wind in the trees and the sound of Sulphur Creek flowing by.
Relax. You traveled all this way to relax.
Take it all in. The information back at the entrance to the pool talked about the "Miette Reef". Take a look around and see of you can see the signs in the rocks or sea life that is 85 million years old.
Back To the cafe for a soup and salad or a bit of chocolate cake. Maybe a bit of pie. Ready for another swim? No you just ate. Back to the parking lot and do the short hike up to the lookout point. Take your pictures here.
Okay now you can go back and soak in the pools. Don't just laze in the hot pool either. Do the circuit. 3 minutes in the hot pool 30 seconds in the cold pool. Do that 3 times then end up in the deep hot pool and relax. Feel the tingle of the increased blood flow. It's good for you.
Now it's time for a nice sit down meal at the Miette Hot Springs Resort Restaurant, or head down the hill and so ends the day. During the summer months the sun lights the sky well after the pool closes so you can get down the mountain before it gets dark. Drive careful.
Sulphur Mountain? Phew!
Miette Hot Springs are one of the hottest natural springs in the Rocky Mountains. At 53.4 C, far too hot to bath, the water is collected from the springs, filtered and chlorinated and piped down to the present day pool facility. There is a collection of three springs on the Sulphur Creek that make up the waters for the Miette Hot Springs complex.
There is a trail that leads up behind the present day location that leads up to the source springs and the old 1930s bath house. You can see the ruins of the old place along the trail. Although the local Indians introduced the fur traders to the springs in the 1800's it wasn't until a trail was pushed through in 1910 that regular visitors started showing up.
A rough bath-house was constructed in 1913 and expanded in 1919. The visitor were mostly locals, coal miners from the town of Pocahontas. As the area of Jasper National Park was advertised as the place to be, more and more people came to visit these springs. In the 1930s a make work project was commissioned and permanent road and large bath house and pool facility similar to the world famous Banff Springs site, was constructed. The ruins of this structure can still be seen along the trail leading up behind the present day site.
Miette Hot Springs, Jasper National Park
What I Do When At Miette Hot Springs
Get there early.
Pack a lunch.
Bring your own towels two per person if you plan to use the pool more than once
Bring Sunglasses and a water bottle
Buy a day pass.
Enjoy the pool.
Take a hike and see the old site and fossil formations.
Picnic at the lookout.
Enjoy the pool again.
A Day At Miette Hot SpringsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Vintage Print Ads
I love having these types of ads hanging in a shadow box frame. I think they bring a nostalgic air to a room.