A Summer 2015 Yukon Prospector Web Extra
Go to Liard Hot Springs. Go when it’s cold and the forest glistens with wet. Go when the hoarfrost dangles from the trees in -40 and the northern lights ripple overhead. Go at midnight in the blazing hot sun of the northern summer if you have to. Just go.
There won’t be any pictures here. I’m not even going to describe the place in great detail. If I did I feel like I’d be cheating you out of something. Like spoiling all the Christmas gifts the day before Christmas Eve. And maybe if I took you there with words and images you might not feel like you needed to go. But you do. Physically. As soon as you can.
In general, my experience with hot springs has been disappointing. I show up expecting some magical grotto that will soak up all worldly troubles. Instead I find mundane, over-developed bogs seething with a potential staph infection.
Liard was a surprise. The designers of the project knew the value of wild spaces. They did their best to keep it as raw as possible. There are change rooms, and a boardwalk, and benches in the spring—but all this is done in such a gorgeous, organic way you’d think the forest spat them out for your personal enjoyment.
There will be people there. There are people everywhere, even this far North, and Liard is a big draw. But they will be quiet. The gravity and beauty of the spot forces semi-hushed tones on even the most rambunctious children.
You can camp there for $26/ night. High by camping standards, but worth every penny. Or, you can just go for a soak in the springs for $5 and camp on one of the many pull offs in the area. There is also Liard River Lodge across the road.
But be forewarned. There is no beer within an hour’s drive. Not even at the lodge. If you’re coming from the south and want a wobbly-pop after your soak, you’ll have to stop in Fort Nelson. If you’re coming from the north you best load up in Watson Lake.
Likewise with gas. Fill up in either of those two town before heading out. Everywhere else you’ll end up paying at least an extra $.10/Litre.
Now you have a choice to make. You can close this article and immediately google Liard Hot Springs. There are pictures a plenty. Or you can just take my word for it. Do what I did and hop in your vehicle. Let the anticipation and mystery sweep you off your feet. Experience Liard. Don’t dream of it.