Lussier Hot Springs
Part II of II
If you are driving from Vancouver, you can reach Lussier Hot Springs either from Highway 3 (via Cranbrook) or from Highway 1 (via Golden). From my point of view, Highway No. 3 is a more enjoyable drive but I needed to go fast to Vancouver so I decided to do a loop. On Highway 95/93 you can see Columbia Lake, source of Columbia River which empties into Pacific Ocean at Astoria-Oregon.
The Columbia River is the fourth largest river system by volume on the continent. The array of colours seen here in Columbia Lake are the result of glacial silt in the water. Silt deposition in the wetlands is more than 6000 tons per sq km per year.
The Upper Columbia Rivers last remaining undeveloped portion is a natural, national world treasure of wetlands. A low gradient of 20 cm per km results in a meandering, creating channels, islands and sloughs; a major part of the pacific flyway.
I did another stop on my way towards Golden. I wanted to see more wetlands. This is the same path followed by James Sinclair, who in 1841, guided 200 Red River setters from Fort Garry through the Rockies to Oregon in an attempt to hold the territory for Great Britain.
An amazing 265 species of birds visit or nest here. The slopes, benches and wetlands are a rich habitat for over 50 species of mammals that live in the region.
Roundtrip: 1848 km (1155 miles)