I’d been to Ram Creek a couple of times before and had scoped out some really great camping spots. I packed up the new Jeep for her first adventure and headed out on my own.
The road up was much worse than it was in winter. Potholes were a-plenty and about 20 cm deep. I started to dobut the likelihood of a sedan making it up there. I spent the first afternoon & evening at Ram, soaking my heart out. A few people came and went but I was the only person staying up there.
In the morning, it was time to hunt down Mutton Creek Hotspring. This spring is mentioned in the Geothermal Resources of BC report and so is also mentioned in Glenn Woodswoth’s book “Hotsprings Of Western Canada”. I found nothing on the ‘net so went out with not much to go on.
So, looking at the Geothermal Resources of BC report, the co-ordinates given are 50 00.000N 155 40.000 W. Now, immediately, there is a problem here. 155 W is not even in BC.. maybe a typo? maybe something else.
Estimating from where the dot is placed on the map, I get 50 00.000N 115 41.000 W (notice 115, not 155)
These co-ordinates are about 1.6km north of the Ram Creek road, and about 1.2 km SE of Larsen Lake.
Interesting, this is not even close to the “Mutton Creek” that is passed Lussier Hot Spring.
So I headed out looking for these co-ordinates. Not far up the Ram Creek road, there is a pull-out on the left, that goes down to a locked gate, with “Private” marked on it. I didn’t go further, but the old old road seems to wind it’s way down into the lush green valley, directly towards Larsen Lake. Farm land is down there. There is a name on the gate, so it’s a possibility to call the owner to ask about any knowledge of a spring, or even if they’d mind us wandering around on their property. I’m starting to doubt the spring is there, but who knows.
Onto day two, and I started hiking up the Mutton Creek that is about 1km east of Lussier. There is an excellent logging road following the creek, although it’s gated. I have also seen cars parked in front of this gate in the past. I didn’t get far up at all (maybe 1km) when I ran into a medium black bear. He ran off, but I thought about it for a while and turned back. I decided not to push my luck.
On reporting this to the ranger near-by we got into a chat about the spring, and she was really keen to hear what I knew. She’d definitely heard of a rumor of a spring on Mutton Creek, and knew plenty of people that had looked for it. Supposedly the “old timers” of the area knew of the rumor. Her brother-in-law (or something) had also spent a good amount of time looking for it.
Nobody has ever found it, as far as she knew.
At that time, we both suggested that maybe it’s on Mutton creek, south of the road. It hadn’t even occurred to me to look there, so maybe others have overlooked it too. Mutton creek continues for about 800m south of the road before flowing into Lussier River. Hmmm.
After all this effort I had a nice long soak in Lussier River Hot Spring – always a favourite even though it can sometimes be too busy.
I met a really cool German backpacker, Marcel, who I gave a ride all the way back to Canmore. We talked endlessly about travelling, meeting people and generally having fun. An awesome sunny day driving around with no roof.