Fairmont Hot Springs Resort
The Canadian Rockies are famous for their hot springs. These warm, mineralized waters have been drawing people to relax and heal for over 7000 years, and they remain popular with locals and travellers to this day. But what’s so special about these so-called healing waters?
The hot springs in the Canadian Rockies were formed roughly 80 to 55 million years ago, alongside the formation of the mountains themselves. As the mineral-rich limestone was thrust into the sky, large fissures formed in the rock. Water collected high in the mountain peaks, in the form of rain or snow, and entered these fissures, which travelled deep beneath the surface. The deeper the water travelled, the warmer it became.
As water warms, it expands. When water confined within rock expands, it creates pressure. Under this pressure, the water is forced back up to the surface through fractures in the rock. The now-hot water, which has absorbed many minerals from the limestone along its journey, reaches the surface in what we call a hot spring. As this water reaches the surface, more water is drawn from surrounding rock, rainfall, and snowmelt to replace it, creating a continuous flow of hot, mineralized water.
People have long been drawn to natural springs, seeking comfort in the warmth and touting healing properties of the rich minerals. The water's rich mineral content is often called a “multivitamin for your skin”, and it leaves you feeling refreshed and relaxed. Mineral content changes from one area to the next, but usually includes a combination of sulphate, calcium, bicarbonate, silica, and magnesium.