The village of Radium Hot Springs is situated on the eastern side of the Rocky Mountain Trench, with the Purcell Mountains to the west.
The Radium Hot Springs pools are located inside the Kootenay National Park boundary, 3km/2mi east of the village in the narrow valley of Sinclair Creek. The road between the two, Highway 93, passes through an impossibly narrow canyon before commencing its climb into the wilderness landscape of the national park.
The section of the valley between Radium Hot Springs and Canal Flats is historically known as the Windermere Valley, named for the pleasantly warm lake that lies south of Invermere. It should be noted, however, that the dominant waterway in the valley is the Columbia River, which rises at Columbia Lake and ultimately develops into the largest river system in the Pacific Northwest.
Columbia River Wetlands
From Invermere north to Golden, over 180km/112mi of marshes and sedge meadows constitute the Columbia River Wetlands, the largest stretch of intact wetland habitat in North America. Teeming with birds and other wildlife, the area is best explored from the water on a guided float tour, or independently in a kayak or canoe.
Across the valley and slightly to the south, the jade-green water of Toby Creek cascades down its narrow valley from the Purcell Range to join the fledgling Columbia River.
Climate & Weather
This is a semi-arid zone, with cactus occurring on some southern slopes. Average July temperatures range from a high of 26°C/79°F to a low of 8°C/46°F. The village enjoys 2,000 hours of sunshine per year, and an annual rainfall of just 241mm/9.5in.
Typical January temperatures run between a high of -5°C/23°F and a low of -15°C/5°F. The Windermere Valley's average annual snowfall is 111cm/44in, although snow accumulation in the valley bottom is typically very small.