The natural beauty of British Columbia is undeniable. The ocean, the mountains, the forests… it’s all perfect. And the best way to enjoy it all? From the comfort of a natural mineral hot spring. One of the province’s best-kept hot spring secrets is Hot Spring Cove. There’s a good reason it’s a lesser known spot to visit than, say, Liard Springs, though… it’s only accessible by float plane. Or boat, of course.
Visiting Hot Spring Cove
There are two ways to reach Hot Spring Cove, located in Maquinna Provincial Park. A 20-minute float plane ride, or an hour-long boat trip, each from Tofino. The trip out takes you through Clayoquot Sound, a famously stunning stretch of ocean. It’s home to majestic whales, otters, sea lions, and more. While most people make their visit to Hot Spring Cove a day trip, there’s a campground nearby for those who want to make the most of the trip. You can find a list of approved outfitters who can shuttle you to and from the springs on the park’s website.
Enjoying the springs
Once you arrive, you’ll have to take a 1.2-mile stroll on a boardwalk trail through forests of massive trees to reach the springs. It’s a temperate rainforest, so expect lush beauty. Once you reach the rugged shore, you’ll see a warm, 10-foot-tall waterfall flowing into the rocky pools, filling them with spring water. The pools closer to the ocean are cooler, and the ones nearer to the waterfall are warm. You’ll get to listen to the waves and enjoy the breathtaking scenery as you relax in the springs.
More to know
Most people make this a day trip; leave in the morning, back to Tofino by the end of the day. This isn’t the only option, though. You can make use of the primitive campsite near the springs. Sites cost $20 and are available on a first-come, first serve basis. If you’re feeling really fancy, there’s also the InnChanter B&B. The hotel is on board a 1920s-era vessel that got a facelift. Onboard are 5 staterooms, a library, a salon with a fireplace, and a spacious sundeck. Oh, and there’s a gourmet chef as well, and dinner and breakfast are included. Plus, visitors get free use of the kayaks!
Many guides also suggest that you pack in your own lunches and snacks. Again, this isn’t always the only option. Copper Moon Cafe is a little seasonal joint run by a couple from their boat. They’re known for their coffee, baked goods, and halibut burgers. They live on the boat, moored to the dock, and cook everything from their kitchen. The B&B and the Cafe are totally unexpected gems that you wouldn’t think to find in the middle of nowhere. But even though you might not expect to find gems like these in the middle of nowhere, friendly faces and top-notch service are always welcome.
More natural beauty to discover…