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Explore Hot Springs Cove

Alberni-Clayoquot C, British Columbia

based on 1 reviews


Added by Brenda Lin

Distance: 2 km (1.2 miles) one-way to the hot spring. Minimal elevation gain. Ride a sea plane and take a boat through Clayoquot Sound. Amazing wildlife: whales, bears, bald eagles, sea otters. Easy hike through a dense rainforest with coastal views. Soak in a hot spring right on the edge of the ocean.

Hot Springs Cove is a splendid hot spring located in Maquinna Provincial Park on Vancouver Island, in the remote northern end of Clayoquot Sound. The undeveloped natural hot mineral spring pools are still enjoyable in their natural state, reached via a pleasant two-kilometer boardwalk through old-growth rainforest from the landing on Openit Peninsula.

Getting to and from the hot spring is an adventure in of itself. The peninsula is only reachable by seaplane or by boat. If you happen to have either, lucky you! If not, charter one through one of the many touring companies located in Tofino. The seaplane is highly recommended - to be able to get an aerial perspective over the ruggedly beautiful area is such an absolute thrill. The whole tour lasts around six hours.

Once you dock at the landing, it's pretty straight forward as to where to go. You will see the park sign located above the landing and the boardwalk that leads to the hot spring. The boardwalk trail itself is a pretty cool and easy trek through the rainforest with coastal views peaking their way through the trees. It's a pretty unique experience, as you can hear the waves crashing while walking through a dense tropical jungle.

You’ll know you are getting close to the Hot Springs when the boardwalk crosses over a very steamy creek. Of course, depending on the wind direction, you may smell it first. At the end of the boardwalk, there is a change house to get into your suit and restrooms for your convenience.

The hot water spills from the creek over a waterfall into a number of rocky pools that make up the Hot Springs. As you get closer to the ocean, the water gets cooler until you are right at the ocean’s edge, and the Hot Springs’ water is mixing with the sea water with each ocean swell. For maximum heat, make your way back to the waterfall to be pummeled as the water free falls onto your head and shoulders.

Don’t forget to enjoy your picnic lunch while taking in the wild and natural views all around you. And do a little exploring while you are there. Just be aware of the time because although you can literally spend the entire day exploring, your return boat will be waiting at the dock at a designated time. They firmly express that they won't come get you if you are late!

The return trip by boat is no ordinary boat ride. Often times wildlife can be seen, such as whales, bald eagles, sea otters, and bears along the shores. The captain of our boat took the time to explain the natural and human history of the area as well.

If you ever do find yourself on Vancouver Island (and everyone should at least once in their life), you owe it to yourself to make the trip up the coast to Tofino and get to Hot Springs Cove, a very unique and BC hot spring. And if you can, take your time on the journey and explore the natural, wild beauty of the place.

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Hot Springs
Picnic Area
Swimming Hole

Explore Hot Springs Cove Reviews

This is a really special adventure. It can get very busy here in the peak season (July and August) when whale watching outfitters from Tofino run groups here multiple times per day. This doesn't spoil the experience by any means, but you will have to compete for the coveted waterfall spot! At one point it was also possible to camp overnight in the park near the springs (the camping area was at the trailhead, not on the rocky bluff where the springs sit). It can be tricky (and pricey) to organize transportation to and from the springs if you choose to camp overnight, but the location is idyllic and camping out enables you to monopolize the springs once the day-trippers head back to town!

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


Hike to the Ahousat (Flores Island) Warm Springs

Hike Lone Cone

Tuna Fish Off of Tofino

Hike to Tonquin Beach

Take a Stroll at Mackenzie Beach

Sunset at Mackenzie Beach