What makes hot springs water unique?
Like gourmet blends of coffee, a hot spring’s water features a signature mix. Each Rocky Mountain Hot Spring has its own unique blend of minerals, gases and temperature.
Even the different hot springs on Sulphur Mountain show variations in mineral content and temperature. Banff Upper Hot Springs is the hottest of these springs.
The top five minerals found in the Banff Upper Hot Springs are:
Sulfate 572 ppm
Calcium 205 ppm
Bicarbonate 134 ppm
Magnesium 42 ppm
Sodium 6.6 ppm
At 1,585 meters of elevation (5,200 feet), Banff Upper Hot Springs is the highest operating hot spring in Canada. Thermal waters enjoyed at this facility must be pushed vertically over 2000 metres through a big crack in the layers of rock, called the Sulphur Mountain Thrust Fault.
It is the remarkably long journey of a raindrop; first seeping deep into the earth’s crust, then being heated, pressurize and laden with minerals before returning to the surface that makes hot springs so unique.
The water volume from the hot spring is affected by its unique location and local precipitation. The highest volume is in spring when the hot spring flows at over 900 litres per minute. This would fill your bathtub over 4 times with a minimum temperature of 27°C/81°F!
The lowest volume rate is in late winter when the flow drops down to 500 litres per minute, but can have temperatures up to 47°C/116°F. Heated municipal water is used in winter when the seasonal flow is reduced.
Air temperature, wind and the number of people enjoying the hot springs can also effect the temperature of the pool – especially during the winter when the Upper Hot Springs are impacted by a seasonal drought.
When the temperature of the hot springs drops below 37 °C Parks Canada staff will close the Upper Hot Springs early. Unplanned closures are infrequent, but happen – especially if it is - 20°C or colder. When an unplanned closure occurs, a closure messages and information about when the Upper Hot Springs will reopen are posted on our homepage as soon as possible.
Current Spring Water Conditions
100% natural mineral water is flowing at the Banff Upper Hot Springs. Water temperature is currently between 37 and 40 degrees Celsius or 98 and 104 Fahrenheit.