It’s a romantic idea: a hot spring, secluded and private in the mountains. There’s no one around, just you and the beautiful mountain views, all yours to take in while you soak in warm water and fresh mountain air.
It turns out, such a place exists.
Earlier this year, we made a commitment to make the most of our weekends this summer. Things have been busy around the Logee-Lemmer household. Between school, planning markets, and then the everyday stuff like working, we haven’t had a lot of time to just enjoy life. It’s not that these things aren’t fun or fulfilling, but downtime has been a low priority.
The journey to get to the Wild Horse Warm Springs began with an old logging road outside of Fort Steele, about an hour from Fernie, BC. A mess of potholes, boulders, and washed-out gravel, the 20 kilometre road takes about two hours to drive. As we moved slowly along the road, we met a couple of men clearing fallen trees. They took one look at our beloved Pontiac Vibe, they smiled and said, “You’ll never make it on this road in that thing.”
I’m sure if they’d seen how far we got, they would have thought twice about knocking our sturdy little car, but sure enough, we did have to walk the last third of the journey. The hike in to the spring was a little twisty, we struggled to find a real path and just sort of felt our way through brush and meadow until we reached a beautiful clearing, filled with tiny streams.
It was like a fairy garden. Summer blooms mixed with rich grasses and little streams coalesced into bigger ones. As I crouched to take photo after photo of the beauty, Stephen forged on ahead and after a few minutes I heard a triumphant, “I found it!”
I followed the sound of his voice, tripping over little rocks and getting water into my shoes until I saw the spring for myself. Bubbles were popping up through the water, a light roll of steam on the surface in the cool air. We stripped down and hopped in, feeling extremely accomplished in having found what we were looking for & lucky that we had the place all to ourselves.
The water was warm, but not hot, the bubbles coming up from the ground made for an excellent foot massage. It was quiet, beautiful, and serene. The Wild Horse spring was one of the big highlights of the summer.
If you’re hoping to find this place yourself, I recommend Hot Springs of Western Canada by Glenn & David Woodsworth. The book is full of great hot springs, and I can’t wait to go find more of these lesser-known springs!