Halfway Hotsprings

Spending my week in an office makes me want to be outside that much more on the weekends.  Sitting around sucks, dudes – it makes me anxious and sometimes a little bit sad.  To get those stillness jitters out, Dani and I drove to Halfway Hotsprings – yes, halfway between Revelstoke and Nakusp.  Here’s my trip guide so that you, too, can feel like a Sitka ad.

Expect a four hour drive from Kelowna – we left at about 10:00 AM and got to the hotsprings by about 2:00 PM.  Directions:

  1. Google yourself to Nakusp.  From Kelowna, that’s up to Vernon and then right on Hwy 6, which takes you all the way to Nakusp.  There’s a (very short, free) ferry involved, which is always fun.
  2. From Nakusp, head out of town towards Revelstoke.  From downtown Naksup, that means turning right at the Overwaitea and following Hwy 23 out of town.  Stay on Hwy 23 for about 25 kilometres.
  3. About 4 or 5 kilometres before your turnoff, you’ll see a really great waterfall on your right.  Wave at it, and then keep driving.
  4. The turnoff itself is one of two dirt roads, one before and one after the Halfway River bridge.  Take the SECOND turn – the one just over the bridge.  It’s marked with ribbons and signs.
  5. Follow the pot-holed dirt road for 10 or 11 kilometres.  We took my dad’s truck Jerry, but there was a car or two in the parking lot – just depends how you feel about your suspension, I guess.
  6. The hotsprings turn off is on the left and well-signed.  Drive to the second of two turn-offs (about 100 metres apart) – the first is narrow and precarious, while the second quickly leads to a fair-sized gravel parking lot.
  7. From the parking lot, there’s a trail on the left that leads down to the hotsprings – it’s a five minute hike down the steep hill.

I didn’t take many pictures of the hotsprings as a whole, because there were naked people, and I didn’t want anyone to feel like I was going to be selling their nudes for cash on the internet.  You’ll have to take my word for it – there’s a big wooden tub with a pipe to fill it as well as a number of natural pools nestled alongside the river.  When we were there (the Friday of a long weekend in November) it was pretty busy, but the crowd was a mix of ages and everyone was friendly.

We stayed for a couple of hours – long enough to try all of the different pools (all different temperatures) and for Dani to bruise herself profusely (she will climb anything, no matter how precarious) and then headed back up and out as it started to get dark.  A few groups were tenting at the site – although camping within 100m of the hotsprings is officially prohibited.

After some post-hotsprings hot wings at a pub in Nakusp, we fired up Jerry and drove south to our Airbnb in tiny Edgewood, just on the other side of the ferry.  This is a dark, quiet part of the world – total pitch black solitude on the highway – and it wasn’t even 7pm.  We were one of three cars on the ferry, which is (fascinatingly) run on underwater cables – no engine involved.

After a few more dirt roads and a warm welcome from our sweet host Jutta, we settled into a little round cabin for the night.  I know Airbnb is already extremely popular, but if you’re not using it, you should be.  I love the anonymity and fluffy robes of hotel life as much as anyone else, but Airbnb lets you stay places you’d never otherwise see – like Edgewood, BC (population 145).  We saw a group of large and in charge wild turkeys, a herd of elk leaping over a fence on their way to the river, and mountains curled into the clouds.  That shit was pretty (except for the turkeys, which were terrifying).

After drinking all of Jutta’s coffee and eating cheese and fresh rye bread, we rolled back to Kelowna.  The interior of British Columbia, my friends.  I’m frickin’ thrilled to call this place home.

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