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Visiting Miette Hot Springs

Updated on August 22, 2013

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.

Victorian Vintage Bathing Costume Pattern
Victorian Vintage Bathing Costume Pattern

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

Miette Hot Springs, Jasper National Park
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.

Relax!

A Day At Miette Hot Springs

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Miette Hot Springs, Jasper National Park in Alberta Canada.Miette Hot Springs pool with Ashlar Ridge in the distance.Another shot of Ashlar Ridge showing the folds in the layersThe vertical part of Ashlar Ridge. The rock at the top of the ridge is dated at 350 million years old.We met this one coming into the Miette Hot Springs area just passed the Sulphur Creek Bridge. It is important to not feed the wild life. They get accustomed to being near people and that makes it dangerous for both animal and human alike.These Bighorn sheep were here before us. It is we humans that are invading their territory. Be kind and don't feed them They live just fine on grazing the wild areas.If you look closely you can see in the rock that was once ancient seabed.One of the original hot spring outlets tapped for the Miette Hot Springs pool. The temperature at the mouth is close to 53C or 129F. It smells heavily of sulphur but it tastes good.The ruins of the old Miette Hot Springs Aquacourt ( 1938 - 1984 )A photo of what the old aquacourt looked like when it was active.The trail down from the old ruins and the source of the hot springs back towards the parking lot and the new Miette Hot Springs. 1.5 kilometer walk on paved paths and boardwalk. An easy stroll.Enjoying the new Miette Hot Springs aquacourt.
Miette Hot Springs, Jasper National Park in Alberta Canada.
Miette Hot Springs, Jasper National Park in Alberta Canada.
Miette Hot Springs pool with Ashlar Ridge in the distance.
Miette Hot Springs pool with Ashlar Ridge in the distance.
Another shot of Ashlar Ridge showing the folds in the layers
Another shot of Ashlar Ridge showing the folds in the layers
The vertical part of Ashlar Ridge. The rock at the top of the ridge is dated at 350 million years old.
The vertical part of Ashlar Ridge. The rock at the top of the ridge is dated at 350 million years old.
We met this one coming into the Miette Hot Springs area just passed the Sulphur Creek Bridge. It is important to not feed the wild life. They get accustomed to being near people and that makes it dangerous for both animal and human alike.
We met this one coming into the Miette Hot Springs area just passed the Sulphur Creek Bridge. It is important to not feed the wild life. They get accustomed to being near people and that makes it dangerous for both animal and human alike.
These Bighorn sheep were here before us. It is we humans that are invading their territory. Be kind and don't feed them They live just fine on grazing the wild areas.
These Bighorn sheep were here before us. It is we humans that are invading their territory. Be kind and don't feed them They live just fine on grazing the wild areas.
If you look closely you can see in the rock that was once ancient seabed.
If you look closely you can see in the rock that was once ancient seabed.
One of the original hot spring outlets tapped for the Miette Hot Springs pool. The temperature at the mouth is close to 53C or 129F. It smells heavily of sulphur but it tastes good.
One of the original hot spring outlets tapped for the Miette Hot Springs pool. The temperature at the mouth is close to 53C or 129F. It smells heavily of sulphur but it tastes good.
The ruins of the old Miette Hot Springs Aquacourt ( 1938 - 1984 )
The ruins of the old Miette Hot Springs Aquacourt ( 1938 - 1984 )
A photo of what the old aquacourt looked like when it was active.
A photo of what the old aquacourt looked like when it was active.
The trail down from the old ruins and the source of the hot springs back towards the parking lot and the new Miette Hot Springs. 1.5 kilometer walk on paved paths and boardwalk. An easy stroll.
The trail down from the old ruins and the source of the hot springs back towards the parking lot and the new Miette Hot Springs. 1.5 kilometer walk on paved paths and boardwalk. An easy stroll.
Enjoying the new Miette Hot Springs aquacourt.
Enjoying the new Miette Hot Springs aquacourt.

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.

Important Guestbook Comments - Do you visit off the track places?

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    • Northerntrials profile image
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      Northerntrials 4 years ago

      @timo5150 lm: Being a popular site has it drawbacks. Try going at different times to find out when the crowds are least or ask the staff. There are probably so wild undeveloped hot springs in the area as well that are not advertised. These give a more natural setting and experience but may be harder to get too.

    • timo5150 lm profile image

      timo5150 lm 4 years ago

      As often as I can. I went to the hot springs here in Colorado once but it was way to crowded I did not care for it.

    • Northerntrials profile image
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      Northerntrials 4 years ago

      @MBurgess: You can rent them at the Hot Springs too :) They are a treat.

    • Northerntrials profile image
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      Northerntrials 4 years ago

      @Coffee-Break: Do the hike(s) before you take a dip. Make the most of your trip up the mountain.

    • MBurgess profile image

      Maria Burgess 4 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      This is a very lovely area! We have several hot springs around our home but I haven't been in one for years. This may be an idea for a nice day off! If I am ever near your springs I will make it a point to visit! Oh - that vintage bathing suit is hilarious! I should get one to walk around Vegas in. lol Great lens!

    • Coffee-Break profile image

      Dorian Bodnariuc 4 years ago from Ottawa, Ontario Canada

      I think I am going to visit Miette Springs. Looks like a great place to recharge your batteries. Sulfur is great for our bodies.

    • Northerntrials profile image
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      Northerntrials 4 years ago

      @ValerieJoy: Visiting New Zealand is on my bucket list. I'll make sure to visit Rotorua. Thanks for visiting my lens

    • ValerieJoy profile image

      Valerie Smith 4 years ago from New Zealand

      Thank you for this nice lens. From your description of Miette Hot Springs and the Rocky Mountains it sounds very like the thermal area in the North Island of New Zealand, named Rotorua. There are hot mineral springs, lakes, mountains and lots of sulphur. Lovely relaxing areas to enjoy in both countries!

    • Northerntrials profile image
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      Northerntrials 4 years ago

      @happynutritionist: Thanks for visiting here with me. I hope you get back to visit a hot spring near you soon.

    • profile image

      happynutritionist 4 years ago

      Great pictures and information...I had never been to hot springs until visiting my husbands family in Colorado and it was a unique experience for me.

    • profile image

      micvert 4 years ago

      Thanks for the great pictures and the detailed visit. Never been to Jasper`s Miette Hot Springs... yet.

      Feels quite exciting... and enticing !

    • Northerntrials profile image
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      Northerntrials 4 years ago

      @OhMe: You're welcome. I am glad you took the time to visit.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 4 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I've never been to the Miette Hot Springs but I think I would really like it. I sure enjoyed this visit. Thanks.

    • Northerntrials profile image
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      Northerntrials 4 years ago

      @grannysage: Yah he was a lazy old bear and very close. I didn't even resort to telephoto on that shot. And I agree with you on the crowds but is was a sunny Sunday afternoon. When we were there on a Tuesday there were only a handful.

    • profile image

      grannysage 4 years ago

      I love the bear picture. Where I grew up in Michigan we had bears walking down the street. I'd love to go to a hot springs but not sure I would like the crowds.

    • Northerntrials profile image
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      Northerntrials 4 years ago

      @NC Shepherd: During the week it had very few people. This photo was taken on a sunny Sunday afternoon. I agree. Too crowded.

    • Northerntrials profile image
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      Northerntrials 4 years ago

      @SteveKaye: Thanks for visiting I had fun taking the photos as well.

    • profile image

      NC Shepherd 4 years ago

      I'm always off-track. LOL! I definitely look for the odd and out-of-the-way places to go. I'm afraid this hot spring looks too crowded for me.

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 4 years ago

      Thank you for this wonderful tour. I especially enjoyed your photos.

    • Northerntrials profile image
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      Northerntrials 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Look out your back door. What is everyday normal to you may be extra-ordinary to someone else. Thanks for visiting.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I hope someday I can visit places like this, thanks for sharing, have a nice day

    • Northerntrials profile image
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      Northerntrials 4 years ago

      @RinchenChodron: Next time you'll have to try the alternating hot/cold cycles. It really enhances the visit and as you are paying for the visit, you might as well get the most out of it.

    • Jogalog profile image

      Jogalog 4 years ago

      I love little-known places. These springs look wonderful.

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 4 years ago

      I live in the Rockies too - but in the US! And I love hotsprings! Haven't heard of the 3 steps? Just give me water at 105 degrees!

    • Northerntrials profile image
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      Northerntrials 4 years ago

      @clevergirlname: We spent another wonderful day there yesterday. saw lots of wild life and visited the old ruins. It is well worth the walk before going into the pool.

    • clevergirlname profile image

      clevergirlname 4 years ago

      How lovely the springs are!

    • Northerntrials profile image
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      Northerntrials 4 years ago

      @DuaneJ: Yes I am going back today for more photos... I can't believe the camera didn't take any pictures of the pool... I'll have to buy a new camera or threaten it or something. :)

    • DuaneJ profile image

      DuaneJ 4 years ago

      What a beautiful place!