September 04, 2012 | Tips from Travellers >
Pemberton, Hot Springs
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Labour Day weekend marks the end of summer and the beginning of fall in BC, and is usually one of the last weekends for fair-weather campers to head out before the cold weather sets in.
To make the most of the long weekend, a few friends and I decided to head far enough away (ie: meaning no cell reception), but still close enough to Vancouver that we weren't driving the entire time. We decided on St. Agnes' Well/Skookumchuck Hot Springs -- a remote campsite with natural hot springs located four hours north of Vancouver along the Lillooet River.
The campsite had the usual BC elements -- big trees, snow-capped mountains, situated along a rushing river (and a couple nearby lakes) -- with a dash of the Gold Rush History that's present in this part of the province: it's accessed by a gravel logging road that makes up a section of the historic Gold Rush Trail, and two small, overgrown cemetery plots along the way had headstones dating back to the 1960s.
The hot springs were the biggest draw (and such an affordable luxury for camping!). Fed from a natural spring, they've been developed into a series of rustic, outdoor thermal baths located in the middle of the campsite. There's a single- to two-person barrel, a few multiple-person "canoe-like" tubs, and one sheltered A-Frame bath house. The baths stay open 24-hours and at night are lit by candles.
We also brought rods to cast for fish in the river, and took advantage of the Sea to Sky Highway on the drive back: in Pemberton, we stopped for coffee and lunch, and outside Squamish, we jumped off the dock into Alice Lake, then tested the waters over at Murrin Lake.
There's certainly no shortage of things to do or scenery to take in along this slice of the province -- it was the perfect "official" end to summer!