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The Real Banff Blog / Published: Fri, 03/03/2017 - 11:51

Your complete guide to hot springs and spas in Banff National Park

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When visitors arrive in Banff and Lake Louise, there is no doubt that they are awestruck by what they immediately see: Grazing elk, tucked under the shadow of a soaring peak. It’s exactly what you saw on the postcards, but even more grand than you could have imagined.  

Archaeologist have discovered evidence that would place humans on the shore of nearby Vermillion Lakes around 10,300 B.P.; likely staring up at the same view you’re enjoying today. 

In 1883 when three rail workers re-discovered the Banff Hot Springs at the base of Sulphur Mountain, it’s unlikely that they could have imagined the legacy that would follow. 

After being designated first as The Banff Hot Springs Reserve, the hot pools would eventually become the catalyst for creating Canada’s first national park. During the late 19th century, “the waters” in Banff became a mecca for those seeking healing properties. 

Even today, the salutary feeling of slipping into a pool filled with water that has been heated and filtered from deep within the crust of the earth is undeniable. 

Visitors to Banff in 2017 have a nearly unlimited amount of options to seek out these healing properties in the form of modern spa settings or the historic pools themselves. 

Historic Hot Pools 

At 1585m, the Banff Upper Hot Springs are the highest in Canada and still allow visitors the chance to enjoy the healing waters that have been visited by those in The Bow Valley for hundreds of years. Bring your own bathing suit or don a heritage onesie suit for the authentic 1800’s experience. Visit early in the day for the most relaxing dip.   

Noel Hendrickson

The Willow Stream Spa at Fairmont Banff Springs 

Regularly listed as one of the top spa destinations in the world, The Willow Stream spa at Fairmont Banff Springs offers guest a full spa experience alongside a modern take on the historic Banff hot springs, including three waterfall pools and a European mineral pool.  

The Meadow Spa and Pools 

Unwind in the sauna or soak in mountain views from a rooftop whirlpool while enjoying Banff’s newest spa at The Moose Hotel. The Meadow also offers a full spa experience including massage, facials and full body experiences. 

Mountain Spa 

With a central location in downtown Banff, Mountain Spa offers guests 360 degree views of the Canadian Rockies from their stunning rooftop terrace. Offering everything from body wraps to massage, guests can expect nothing but excellence from this spa which has been taking care of visitors for over 25 years.  

The Red Earth Spa  

Featuring six treatment rooms and a full service spa, The Red Earth Spa at Banff Caribou Lodge has something for everyone. Explore a variety of rejuvenative packages, including massage therapy and full body treatments. 

The Grotto Pool and Spa  

Located in the The Delta Royal Canadian Lodge, The Grotto Pool and Spa offers a wide array of treatments for those in search of relaxation. Explore their vegan and organic products or try their mineral and salt pools. 

The Rimrock Spa 

Extend the luxury of your stay at The Rimrock and enjoy a menu focused on relaxation and well being. Registered hotel and spa guests have access to an indoor pool, sauna and whirlpool, or take some time to kick back and unwind on the pool deck with panoramic mountain views.

The Spa at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise 

A visit to the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise wouldn’t be complete without a little rejuvenation in the spa. Explore the stunning surroundings of Lake Louise and then enjoy a menu of signature treatments like the Hiker’s Foot Therapy or Ultimate Couples Massage. 

BONUS: The sauna at Shadow Lake Lodge 

Those in search of adventure can make their way 14km into the backcountry and visit the sauna at Shadow Lake Lodge. Enjoy a relaxing weekend at the historic Shadow Lake cabins and unwind in a wood fired sauna deep in the heart of Banff National Park. 

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