Monday, October 03, 2022

Immerse yourself in late Autumn Fun at Fairmont Hot Springs

Late autumn is always a challenging period when the prime hiking season is behind us, but ski season hasn't yet begun. There's always a month or more of down time when it's hard to get enthusiastic about adventuring and playing outside.

This year, the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort is adding some excitement to the late October/November season with a brand new 37-day Immersion Festival that will take us from Halloween to an early celebration of Christmas in November.

Combine hot springs + fun festivals + fresh mountain air, and a fun weekend getaway is guaranteed! 

Disclaimer: This story was written in 2022 to promote the FHSR Immersion Festival. As of the moment, nothing has been published for 2023. Check the website to find out what events the resort is planning for this fall.

Immerse yourself in late Autumn fun at Fairmont Hot Springs (Photos: FHSR)

Weekend Getaways to the Columbia Valley 

It's just over 3 hours to Fairmont Hot Springs from Calgary (Google Maps link) and very doable on a Friday evening after work. Enjoy two days playing in the sunny Columbia Valley and come home late Sunday in time for bed (and work the next day.)

For a more relaxed getaway, make it a 3-day long weekend, perfect for Halloween when many kids have the Friday off school, or for the "wine in the alpine" festival which kicks off on the Friday of Remembrance Day. Many students also have the last Friday of November off school which falls over the "Christmas in November festival."

Holidays are fun at the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort (Photos: FHSR)

Immersion Festival 2022 at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort

The Immersion Festival is a series of short themed events, many family-friendly, and others perfect for a romantic getaway or a weekend trip with a group of friends.

The festival starts with "Beer Weekend" October 22nd - 23rd before moving on to the family-friendly Halloween festival from October 24th - 31st.

Halloween family activities include kids' movie nights, resort trick or treating, costume contests, scavenger hunts, a pumpkin carving contest, daily hikes, and themed crafts.

Halloween will be a very fun holiday to celebrate at Fairmont Hot Springs (Photo Credit: FHSR)

November starts with a "Wellness Week" from Nov. 3rd - 5th wrapping up with a wellness retreat on November 4th - 6th where instructors will guide you through a series of workshops designed to nurture your physical, mental and spiritual health. Topics on the schedule include yoga, healing, drumming, dancing, nutrition, and general health.

Those with an artistic side will enjoy the Creative Expressions Retreat that occurs from November 7th - 10th. Instructors will lead a series of workshops which will encourage participants to explore their creative side exploring both visual and performing arts. No experience is required.

Moving through November we come to the festival I'm most excited about: "Wine in the Alpine!" Book a resort package for this event from November 11th - 13th and attend a fabulous wine pairing dinner the Friday night along with tickets to the Wine and Spirits Festival on the Saturday evening.

Wine in the Alpine will be a popular festival at the resort this fall (Photo Credit: FHSR)

First Responders and Health Care Providers receive discounted stays the week of November 14th - 19th, and then the resort celebrates the Grey Cup on November 20th. 

The festival concludes with "Christmas in November" which runs from Nov. 21st - 27th. Activities include daily hikes and scavenger hunts, family Christmas themed crafts, a candle making workshop for the adults, chocolate making, cookie decorating, mini gingerbread house making, elf story time, and a clay ornament making workshop.

The popular "Holiday Lights and Winter Nights" display will also launch for the Christmas season this week, there will be a Christmas market on the Saturday, a winter wonderland Christmas dinner the Saturday night, followed by a brunch with Santa Sunday morning.

Launch the Christmas season in November at Fairmont Hot Springs (Photo Credit: FHSR)

Full information on the Immersion Festival can be found on the Fairmont Hot Springs website. 

Questions you might have:

Do we have to stay at the resort to participate in the festivals?
Tickets will become available to non-resort guests 35 days prior to the event (subject to availability). 

Can we book a resort + festival package?
Packages (hotel rooms and events tickets) are available to book right now on the website. 

Will all events happen at the main resort?
Some events will happen up at the Fairmont Hot Springs ski hill. There will be free shuttle service available to take you up there. 

Do we have to sign up in advance for family activities during the festival?
Yes, many activities will require that you sign up ahead of times on the website.

The Holiday Lights and Winter Nights event is popular every winter at Fairmont (Photo Credit: FHSR)

Fairmont Hot Springs is magical at Chrisstmas!

Accommodations at the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort 

On one of our recent trips to Fairmont Hot Springs we had a loft room with kitchenette in the main lodge. It worked well for us, and our son could go to sleep upstairs while my husband and I stayed downstairs to quietly read or play a game of crib.

Our room had two queen sized beds on the main floor with two single beds upstairs in the loft (perfect for a girls' weekend getaway as well!)

And while we didn't do any cooking in our room, we did have a basic kitchenette that would have worked well for breakfast and lunch (honestly for dinner you want to eat out at one of the resort restaurants.)

Kitchenette loft room at Fairmont Hot Springs 

On a previous trip we got to try one of the mountain view cabins (open year round,) located beside the resort in the upper campground. And lest you think you'll be "camping," these cabins are pretty comfortable. Each cabin has a kitchen with a full sized fridge, a dishwasher, microwave, Keurig coffee maker, stove, and oven.  There's also a barbecue located on the deck of each cabin. 

The cabins sleep four people and have two bedrooms, one with a queen sized bed for the parents, and the other with bunk beds for the kids. I loved the separate bedrooms because it meant us adults could stay up later after kids had gone to bed.

Mountain view cabins at Fairmont Hot Springs 

Other accommodations at Fairmont Hot Springs include:

Lodge rooms and suites - sleeping up to 6 people in a family suite or loft room (8 people in a pool facing loft with attached bedroom.)

Juniper Lodge rooms (with kitchenettes) - they sleep up to 4 people and some are dog friendly. 

Family Villas overlooking the  Mountainside Golf Course - they sleep up to 6 people and include fully equipped kitchens, a barbecue, and high-speed WiFi.

* All stays include access to the hot springs pools during your visit including a private hot pool for resort guests only.

For more information, please visit the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort website.

Check into the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort for a late Autumn Getaway! (Photo Credit: FHSR)

The Fairmont Hot Springs RV Resort is also located next door to the regular resort and we've stayed here many times for long weekends. While the hot springs are not included with RV stays, you do get discounted admission and you'll be able to purchase day passes allowing you unlimited access to the pools per day.

We love camping here because there are many hiking and biking paths that start right from the campground and we can use the hot pools mornings and evenings when it's chilly outside. And to splurge, the resort is a short walk away for a decadent restaurant meal or even afternoon appies and drinks at the family-friendly pub.

There are sites available year-round (even through the winter) and every site has full hook ups.

For more information on the campground follow this link. 

Note that the RV resort does not allow tents. You must have a trailer, RV, or van set up for camping.

The Fairmont Hot Springs RV Campground is open year-round! (Photo Credit: FHSR)

Enjoy Unlimited Access to the Hot Springs Pools with your Resort Stay

We spend hours in the hot pools at the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort when we stay here. The pools are especially nice first thing in the morning while you wait for the air to warm up before heading out on a hike or a bike ride. They also feel good at the end of the day after you've been out exploring.

The resort has a hot soaking pool and a large warm swimming pool situated side by side. There is also a private "resort guests only" hot pool located beside the main lodge.

As of autumn 2022, all hot pools at Fairmont Hot Springs are open to resort and campground guests only. They are not accessible to the general public due to ongoing lifeguard shortages as we come out of the pandemic and adjust to a new normal. What this means for you as a resort guest is that the pools will be quiet. There will be no lineups to get in, and you'll  be able to walk up at any time without worrying about capacity limits.

Read more about the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort Pools here.

Immerse yourself in natural warmth this autumn at Fairmont Hot Springs (Photo Credit: FHSR)

Not a bad place to unwind after a fall hike or bike ride

I also recommend running up to the Indigenous Historical Baths before or after visiting the main public pools.

You'll see the small stone house up above the overflow parking lot at the resort. And while you can't go inside the house anymore, you can still soak in the small warm mineral pool that you'll find up on the knoll by the bathhouse. The water isn't "hot" but it's warm enough for a short soak when it's not too cold outside.

I personally recommend coming up here for sunset where you can enjoy views over the valley while you soak.

Small mineral pools by the Indigenous Historical Baths above Fairmont Hot Springs

Other Outdoor Activities around the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort 

You've got to do something between soaks in the hot springs, so I recommend heading out for a hike or a bike ride on the nearby Spirit Trail. The trailhead is a short 10 minute drive from the resort and the trail is relatively flat and easy enough for pushing a Chariot or a good outdoor stroller. There are also great singletrack trails off the Spirit Trail that we enjoy riding!

If paved riding is more your speed, there's also an amazing 25-km long trail that connects Invermere and Fairmont on the south side of Westside Road called the Markin-MacPhail Westside Legacy Trail

Read more about the best bike trails in the Columbia Valley here. 

Fall looks pretty good when you stay at the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort!

There are also many great hiking trails around Fairmont Hot Springs, several that are short and sweet for a half day outing close to the lodge. You can download a map of trails around the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort here. 

I also recommend reading my complete guide to the valley:

Read: The Best of the Columbia Valley (Radium Hot Springs to Invermere - and beyond!) 

Get out for a late autumn hike near the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort (Photo Credit: FHSR)


Disclaimer: We are regular partners with Fairmont Hot Springs Resort and often receive complimentary accommodations. 

Photo Credits: Chris Conway and FHSR