Monday, July 12, 2021

Miette Aquacourt and Hot Springs

Hello! Even though I have a love for abandoned things...I have not abandoned this blog. I just wasn't up to anything really blog worthy. I hope you are all doing well and thanks for reading!

We spent the day in Jasper National Park. This beautiful park is located in the Rocky Mountains, about 20 minutes from the border to British Columbia. I recommend making plans ahead of time though if you want to hike or do other outdoor activities. I had no plan and just stopped wherever looked interesting. Also, normally the mountain views would be amazing but they were a bit hazy when we visited. Likely due to smoke blowing in from a wildfire. 

One of the places we stopped was the Miette Hot Springs and Cabins. After a very windy road in, and then a short walk from the main parking area, are the ruins of the original Miette Aquacourt which operated from 1938-1984. 

According to the Parks Canada Website, the history of the Miette Hot Springs goes back to the 1800's when First Nations persons showed the locations of 3 hot springs to members of the Hudson's Bay Company and the North West Company. In 1910, a foot or horseback only trail brought in only the most determined bathers. 1913 brought the construction of log bathhouse and sleeping shelter. In 1919, striking miners from the nearby (and now gone) town of Pocahontas, build a temporary bathhouse and 2 sweat houses.

Finally, in 1934, the increasing popularity of the hot springs in the area, prompted the construction of a proper road and permanent 'aquacourt' facilities. Built as a depression unemployment relief project, it opened up work to several hundred men who completed the facility in 1938. 

By 1984, the aquacourt was closed due to unstable rocks on the surrounding slopes, weakening concrete, aging equipment, over crowding, and poor access. The new and current facility opened about a kilometer from the original in 1986.

Here are some images from the Provincial Archives of Alberta:

Exact date unknow but after 1909

c1934-1938 during construction

c. after 1938

c. 1950 from Parks Canada 

Now that you've seen the 'then' photos, here is the Miette Aquacourt today (or yesterday to be exact...). I would have loved to be here in the winter, it must have been beautiful!


Notice the cement border around the grass and trees on the left side of the photo, that
was the pool. Now filled in and with trees. This part of the trail is actually the old pool deck. 



Around the back of the ruins.

Continue on the path, and you will reach the source of the hot springs. 

There are actually 3 hot springs along here but this is the largest and fastest flowing. It was very hot (55C) and had a very strong Sulphur smell. This water comes from about 1500ft down. 

I really enjoyed this detour and wish I could stay longer. One day in Jasper National Park is not enough. 

21 comments:

  1. It is a beautiful park for sure. Wish we’d stayed longer too. Welcome back!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Even though it's 'close' to home, this was my first time there. I must go again and see more!

      Delete
  2. ...a lack of maintenance I'd say!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Tom, with only a walking path to reach it, I can't imagine having to build or maintain it!

      Delete
  3. Jasper is certainly my favorite mountain park. I also like Miette hot springs. I must have gone there a long time ago as I was the only one in the pool.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Red, that would be amazing being the only one in the pool, beautiful surroundings and solitude!

      Delete
  4. When I first moved to Alberta about 20 years ago, I went to the Miette Hot Springs (the new facilities of course!) I didn't even know the old ruins were there. It was the first time I ever experienced natural hot springs. I also loved driving to and from Miette up and down the mountain -- all those switchbacks! It was fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Debra, I will have to go back once the pools are open again. The road in was fun, I'd like to go in the winter but can't imagine that road in winter!!

      Delete
  5. Even concrete can look interesting when it's had enough time to weather and decay. interesting to see the before and after photos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I love it when I am able to find the 'before' images!

      Delete
  6. I remember in my younger days visiting the old Miette Hot Springs. That place had so much character. I would sit up top above the pool and watch mountain goats climb next to the pool. It felt and looked like an alpine pool. I was the first person into the new pool on its grand opening. It was naturally larger and more efficient but it has no character whatsoever. It could be any swimming pool in a city. To me the new pool was a big disappointment. Ah but that's progress and now I sound like an old man.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would have loved to visit the old one, I can only imagine how it was!
      The first person into the new pool....how cool is that? I can see how it wouldn't compare to the old one. Thanks for commenting Glen!!

      Delete
  7. Jasper is one of the treasures of the country.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks William, it really is! Kind of embarrassing that I live so close and had never been.

      Delete
  8. Great photos both the before and now. Looks like a great place to visit and explore. Thanks for sharing, Jenn. Good to see you post even if it's here and there. Take care!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Bill, I love a good now and then series!

      Delete
  9. Great photos Jenn! I wanted to visit those hot springs at some point. I had plans so many years ago of travelling by RV across Canada! Nice to see your photos since I never actually visited! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Rain! I have seen images of people in the snow in one of the warm pool that is still in the river....I can imagine driving that windy road in winter.

      Delete
  10. Welcome back Jenn...and with some great photos! You know, sometimes a road trip is just a short jaunt away from home. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Michael, so true! I am feeling a fall colour trip in my near future.

      Delete
  11. Great post. I used to be checking constantly this weblog and I'm impressed! Extremely useful information.

    Regards,
    Online Dissertation Help

    ReplyDelete