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Rent Hiking & Camping Gear Whistler Vancouver Squamish

The drive to Sloquet Hot Springs is a bit long and three plus hours north of Whistler.  It is very beautiful though as the gravel road runs along the huge Lillooet Lake.  The drive also takes you past Skookumchuck Hot Springs, which is an ideal pit stop as it is two thirds of the way to Sloquet.  The last 8k to Sloquet is on an unmaintained logging road so can get a bit sketchy.  You do see cars at Sloquet, but the rough, last 8k must take a toll on them.  In the winter months this 8k is not plowed of snow, so you must hike in.  But of course you will almost certainly have them to yourselves from December to mid May.  For more info, maps and directions to Sloquet Hot Springs click here.

Keyhole Hot Springs - Vancouver Hiking

Keyhole Hot Springs(aka Pebble Creek)


Sometimes called Pebble Creek Hot Springs, Keyhole Hot Springs is a very beautiful hot springs.  All natural, except for some cementing modifications to create two beautiful spring filled tubs on the edge of the loud, crashing, and wonderfully beautiful, Upper Lillooet River.  Located just 7k past the old, and now destroyed Meager Creek Hot Springs turnoff and bridge, Keyhole Hot Springs is the only realistically viable hot springs for over 100k.  The next closest, nice, well known, and easily accessible hot springs are back past Pemberton and up along and past the huge Lillooet Lake.  Which of course is where the Upper Lillooet River flows into.Falls Across from the Trail to Keyhole Hot Springs

Keyhole Hot Springs is named after the beautiful Keyhole Falls that can be seen up river a couple kilometres.  If you drive a bit higher than where you park for the hot springs you will be able to see them.  There are a few keyhole-looking falls you will notice if you hike the area.  In fact on the hike into Keyhole Hot Springs there is an amazing viewpoint five minutes into the trail with a view across the river valley to a beautiful keyhole-looking falls.  The frequency of these types of falls in the area  is evidently the reason for the old, Pebble Creek Hot Springs name fading away.  Pebble Creek is located about 5k south of the hot springs and was the location of the old trailhead which was a nasty, though pretty hike along the boulder filled rivers edge to Keyhole Hot Springs.

The springs at Keyhole are incredible and varied.  From the two luxury pools at the rivers edge, to the more serene and varied, do-it-yourself pools you dig into the sand with the resident shovel.  This area of sand is beautifully located just steps from the rushing river and has plenty of room for a fire, several cut log chairs and interesting rock features everywhere.  The water temperature is close to perfect and easily adjustable.  Though the taps in the two cemented pools are not functioning.  They just let hot water flow through.  The temperature can be cooled by adding river water with a bucket provided.  Originally the taps could be closed and opened to moderate the temperature.

The 15-30 minute hike to the falls is fairly steep and some may have difficulty with it as it requires using branches and tree roots at times to lower yourself down the trail, which is often on loose and steep dirt.  If you can manage to carry all your things in a pack on your back you will be happier and safer on the hike.  Although bears are in the vicinity, sightings are extremely rare between the trailhead and springs. There are however, frequent deer sightings in the area.  The campsite has a safe cooler up a ladder to a bear-proof loft that can be readily be used to avoid bear conflicts.  For more info and directions to Keyhole Hot Springs click here.

Meager Hot Springs - Vancouver Hiking

Meager Creek Hot Springs - Vancouver Trails in July


Still Visible Debris Field from the 2010 SlideMeager Creek Hot Springs is located 93k northwest of Whistler, was beautifully developed into gorgeous pools, with a caretaker and usage charge.  At its height of popularity, Meager Creek Hot Springs had 30,000 yearly visitors.  Unfortunately, due to two recent avalanches it seems unlikely to ever officially reopen. After several years of being closed, access reopened on 2009 with a nice, expensive, new bridge.  Only to be dramatically obliterated from another slide in 2010.

The access bridge over the Upper Lillooet River which cost nearly a million dollars was wrecked in seconds in 2010.  There was considerable wrangling and negotiating to get it built in in 2009, but now it will almost certainly never be rebuilt.  The area is far too active.  Access to the springs is now reached by the new Harrison Trail via the south side of the the Upper Lillooet River, above and beyond the still visible, mudslide carnage.

With the catastrophic mud and debris slide let loose from Devastator Peak in 2010, the nice new (in 2009) million dollar bridge to the Meager Creek Hot Springs was destroyed.  Though destroyed doesn't even begin to describe it.  Looking on the now, dead end road, where the bridge once stood, the place still looks a mess.  "Meager Creek FSR is closed indefinitely; no access to the hot springs."  This is from the BCParks Upper Lillooet Provincial Park site, and evidently quite accurate.

Meager Creek Hot Springs River CrossingDead and still dying grey ghosts of trees still stand as they did in piles of forest wreckage.  Even the road in looks bizarre.  The road was simply bulldozed back to life.  On either side, hemmed in by piles of dirt and dead trees.  The mudslide that did this seems beyond belief.  This river valley in the midst of a beautiful, green forest, is a sea of brown.  Mud, dirt, and dead trees.

At its peak of popularity in 1994, Meager Creek Hot Springs had 30,000 visitors a year.  With the unrestrained numbers, vandalism and violence broke out at the springs often so the BC Forest Service stepped in.  They hired an on-site supervisor, limited vehicle access and charged a usage fee.  Then the big slide of 2010 happened and now of course it only gets a few, very motivated visitors.

In 2014 a new route was built to Meager Creek Hot Springs by the UBC Varsity Outdoor Club.  The new VOC Harrison Hut Trail regains access to the much prized Harrison Hut, but also opens up an excellent access trail to Meager.  The trail is long and not too easy, however, and getting to the trailhead is quite an adventure.  The logging road deteriorates quickly on the last couple kilometres and you find yourself dodging basketball sized boulders strewn across the road.

Meager Slide Devistation Aerial Video

The old access route to Meager ran along the far(north side) of the Lillooet Forest Service Rd.  This new trailhead is located on the near(left or south) side of the Upper Lillooet River and you simply continue along the Pemberton Meadows Road (almost) until you can't go any further.  From the middle of Pemberton to the trailhead is 64 kilometres.  The easy to miss trailhead is marked with a small trailhead sign for "VOC Harrison Hut Trail"  No mention of Meager Creek Hot Springs on it.Meager Creek Area Geothermal Activity

The landscape in the valley debris field is hypnotizing.  Every inch is mangled and wrecked looking.  Twisted trees, extraordinary looking rocks.. and nothing is where it looks like it should be.

Both river and creek are fairly shallow, even during the spring runoff.  But then again the Upper Lillooet River has only had a couple years to erode back into a conventional river through the debris field.  If you are into adventure Meager is still an option, but the whole access route is fraught with peril from another all-to-possible mudslide or trouble at one of the river crossings.

The Meager Creek area in general and Mt Meager in particular is an extraordinarily active area under the ground.  There have been massively destructive landslides and the inevitable debris flows that follow in 1931, 1947, 1975, 1986 as well as the brutally enormous one in 2010.  Four geologists were never found after being killed in the 1975 debris flow.  Below is a picture of the bridge to Meager over the Upper Lillooet River, that was destroyed in 2010.

Below is a picture of the bridge to Meager over the Upper Lillooet River, that was destroyed in 2010

The Route to Meager in 2009

The Route to Meager in 2012

Wedgemount Lake Aerial Views

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Rent Hiking & Camping Gear Whistler Vancouver Squamish