Liard Hot Springs

No drive up the Alaska Highway would be complete without a stop at Liard Hot Springs, so I had to oblige. The area is super popular with hundreds of people roaming around taking photos and generally being tourists.

Massive boardwalks have been built to take you right out to the main soaking area, “Alpha Pool”, the pool we have all seen photos of. It was a great pool, really big, deep and clear. At one end the hot water flowed in too hot too touch, and right next to it was a cold waterfall. Further down the pool the water had all mixed making for a great soak. The water continued to flow, forming a river that could be explored – the further you went the colder and muddier it got, with overhanging vines and submerged logs. The Alpha Pool was always busy, but it’s obvious why – it really was fantastic.
I didn’t get a very good photo of this one because I was too busy soaking.

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Alpha Pool

Another 5 minutes down the boardwalk was “Beta Pool”, an entirely different thing. Here, hot water was bubbling up from the bottom of a 3 meter deep, 5 meter across hole in the mud. The water was not very clear thus the pool was almost always empty. It was also slightly cooler, which meant you could soak for a lot longer without overheating. This pool was good in it’s own way, but I do prefer a nice gravel bottom.

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Liard Hot Springs Beta Pool

I camped a night at Liard and soaked in the springs 5 times simple smile
I highly recommend it to anyone passing through.


6 Responses

  1. Pax says:

    Hey man,

    I saw your posts on the ADV site. Good luck with your trip. Do you have a thread going on I know those guys would love to keep up with this, plus you might find guys that can help you out.

    I live in Mexico, near Mexico City, but I know most of the country pretty well. If you need anything, drop me an email.

    Good luck.

  2. Bill says:


    Really enjoying reading this. You look like you’re having WAY too much fun. 😀


  3. Andy says:

    Exactly how clear was the Alpha pool? The Beta pool looks very clear, and you mentioned it was the darker of the two.

    Can’t wait to finish reading. Good luck.

    • Dan says:

      Like a lot of Hot Springs, the Alpha pool was 100% crystal clear.
      The beta pool looking clear like that is a trick of the HDR photography, it was actually quite milky – I couldn’t see the bottom at all.

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