Fairmont Hot Springs Resort
The world’s largest outdoor mineral hot pool drew the first visitors to Fairmont Hot Springs more than 100 years ago, and they haven’t stopped since.
At the heart of the community is the 140-room Fairmont Hot Springs Lodge, offering a full range of services including fine dining and spa treatments. Since the lodge was founded in the early 1900s, other types of accommodation have sprung up in the low-lying valley just south of Lake Windermere. Now the focus has shifted towards timeshare accommodation, with thousands of visitors spending part of their year here. There is also a choice of rental homes, mountain bungalows, motels, condominiums, camping or recreational vehicle parks.
Travellers driving between Radium Hot Springs and Fairmont Hot Springs might not realize that by taking a short detour off the highway, they will find one of the most beautiful towns in the world.
Invermere-on-the-Lake is a community of 3,500 permanent residents on the northern shore of Lake Windermere.
There are two public beach areas—Kinsmen Beach near the downtown, and the James Chabot Provincial Park at the north end of the lake.
The name “Windermere” has become synonymous with the entire Columbia Valley, but in fact it refers to a tiny community on the eastern shore of Lake Windermere.
This area has long been a favourite destination for Albertans and other visitors from around the world. It is now primarily a community of second homes.
Windermere boasts a long history. It was christened Windermere in 1883, along with its namesake Lake Windermere. The first hotel was built in 1888 and the first church arrived in 1899. St. Peter’s Church is called “the Stolen Church” because Rufus Kimpton moved it via rail, wagon and riverboat from another community for his wife, Celina and reassembled it in 1900. The little white church with the red roof has been lovingly maintained and is still used for summer weddings.
Radium Hot Springs
From Kootenay National Park, drive through Sinclair Canyon’s narrow gorge and enter the charming mountain community of Radium Hot Springs.
The Village of Radium is a true resort, since attracting and keeping visitors is the village council’s mandate. A full range of services is offered here with hotels and motels, restaurants, shops and world-class golf courses. A number of large real estate condominium projects are attracting second homeowners from around the world.
Text provided courtesy of the Columbia Valley Pioneer. Photo courtesy Gerry George. Maps provided courtesy of and copyright the Columbia Valley Map Book.