Liard Hot Springs and Provincial Park (Alaska Highway miles 432-471) – June 2018

We left Muncho Lake and headed off to Liard River Hot Springs, a provincial park in British Columbia. It is home to the largest natural hot springs in Canada. It is a natural river of hot water rather than a spring fed man-made pool. To get to it you follow a wooden boardwalk path from the parking lot or campground for about a half-mile through a warm-water swamp and boreal forest to soak in the beautiful pools. Of course, water is hottest at the source and cools down as it goes into the second pool. The board walk is an easy walk and is handicapped accessible. There is a changing house by the pools and toilets nearby. You can stay at the park in the campground, or stay in the private lodge or campground across the street, or simply make a stop for a couple of hours. There is an admission fee, but no extra charge if you are camped in the provincial park.

On the way to Liard Hot Springs

Our drive was pretty short, but we lucked out again and saw about eight more stone sheep. Although some were on the shoulder again, there were others in grass and several on a rocky slope where they blend in and can be very difficult to see from a distance. We really enjoyed getting an opportunity to photograph them with a more natural background, even if they are harder to see against the rocks.

Three stone sheep on the slope

We stayed in the adjoining provincial park. We pulled into the campground at about noon and were surprised to see the long line to get in and find that there were only a few spots left. The attendant said, “find an empty spot that you like, pull in and come back to pay.” There really wasn’t time to be choosy, but we found three in a row available (and I think that’s all there was). We got a beautiful wooded spot. The sites were maintained meticulously and even raked every day. There are no hook ups, no wi-fi, and no cell service, but there are pit toilets near by and plenty of bear proof waste containers (they even polish the waste containers daily). It’s a beautiful and amazingly clean place to camp.

The boardwalk through the marsh to the hot springs

After lunch, we headed to the hot springs and soaked for quite a while. Well, to sit in those pools after traveling for a while is simply wonderful! I preferred to sit in the warm pools and work my way up. It is easy to stay in too long and get hyperthermia, so you must bring water along and take breaks. Not only does it feel good but the surrounding flora is gorgeous too. But watch out for bear and moose! They love the area as well.

The lower (cooler) pool

After returning, while we were sitting in our motorhome, I saw a moose meandering through the campground. It walked right by people talking and through the campsite next to us. What a treat. Wish I could have gotten a photo. Later, we visited with the folks in that site and made new friends for traveling.

Water flowing from the springs into the pools

We had a good sleep that night. In the morning, we got things ready for travel as usual but headed for a nice morning soak at the springs before we left. What a great start to the day! And then we moved on.

Day 25 (Day 19 in Canada)

Miles: 39*
Driving time: 1:00
Roads: Alaska Highway (BC-97)
Road conditions: Good
Overnight: Strawberry Flats Campground, Muncho Lake
Weather: Partly sunny (42/68)
Total miles since crossing Canadian border: 1,690*
Total miles: 3,258*
* Since our motorhome is our only vehicle, mileage includes side trips.

 

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