I arrive in Pemberton a day before my brother Mike, so there is plenty of time to do some odd jobs; I clean and organize the Jeep, sew up holes in my tent, do a couple of workouts and read in the sun. Mike rides into town in the early afternoon and we both can’t stop talking and grinning as we organize and drive out to Pebble / Keyhole Hot Springs.
We pack camping gear and food into backpacks and hike down the very steep trail to a great camping area close to the river. A group of seven already at the site welcome us to join them. They turn out to be more interested in drinking than soaking, so we have the springs to ourselves.
Hot water comes out of cracks in the rock for a few hundred meters almost a the water line of the Lillooet River In some places, pools have been made out of sand but they are hardly used and slimy.
A lot of effort has been made to capture the hottest water, again off the scale on my little thermometer. People have built soaking tubs out of rock and concrete that are stuck to the side of the rock face much like swallow’s nests.
The pools are connected by a series of hidden pipes and taps that can be used to divert the hottest water directly to any tub, or to let it drain into the river. Although it shows a lot of human intervention, the tubs are really great.
The star gazing while we soak at night is the best I have seen all trip, mostly because the sky is now fully dark. The river roars by just a few meters beside us while we lie in the perfect temperate soaking pool.
I soak again in the morning and we both comment on how clean we feel after soaking for a few hours – not just clean on the outside, but clean all the way through.
We drive further along the gravel road in an attempt to find Keyhole Falls. The river is constricted in a very narrow canyon for a few hundred meters then spews out and down 23 meters to the valley below. We hike a small trail and wind up directly on top of the falls, not the best for viewing but great for seeing who can get closer to the edge