This post is sponsored by Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort
The hot springs at what is today Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort north of Nelson, B.C., were first visited by the Ktunaxa First Nations peoples who experienced the waters as a welcome respite after a long day of hunting, fishing, and gathering roots and berries in what is now known as the Kootenay region.
Since time immemorial, the Ktunaxa people have utilized this site as a place for healing. After battle, warriors would soak in the spirit waters (nupika wu’u) to ease the wounds sustained in the fight to defend their beautiful territory.
The hot springs continued to heal resort visitors with their soothing and relaxing water for hundreds of years. Originating around the Cody Caves, above and to the east of the resort, the water flows down through fractures in the rock, increasing in temperature at a rate of 40°C per kilometer until it hits a lakeshore fault—a rock layer on a 45 ° angle. Hydraulic pressure forces the water up along the fault until it emerges at the resort. The warm mineral water enters the hot springs system at a temperature of 117°F before it is cooled to an average of 108°F for the 150-foot horseshoe caves and an average temperature of 96°F for the main lounging pool.
Today Ainsworth Hot Springs is owned by Yaqan Nukiy, the Lower Kootenay Band of Creston, B.C., returning the Ktunaxa peoples to this significant land so that they may share their appreciation with others. The soaking pool and cave are open for public entry by reservation only Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. (last entry at 6 p.m.) and Mondays from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Registered hotel guests have complimentary access to the hot springs between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. while staying at the resort. // (Sponsored by Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort)
Ainsworth Hot Springs Mineral Content
Unlike a spa, the hot springs at Ainsworth contain the following minerals (in parts per 100,000), which many value for their alleged healing properties. The relaxing, mineral-rich waters are also free of the sulfur odor associated with some natural hot springs.
- Calcium Carbonate – 35.25
- Calcium Sulphate – 68
- Magnesium Carb – 35
- Magnesium Sulphate – 74
- Sodium Carbonate – 57,60
- Sodium Sulphate – 31
- Sodium Chloride – 6.08
- Potassium Chloride – 5.42
- Lithium Chloride – 28
- Silica – 11.70
- Iron and Alumina – 2.44
Cover photo courtesy Ainsworth Hot Springs