Tuesday, June 4, 2024

June 4 – Cave and Basin National Historic Site

Today we went to the place where the hot springs were first discovered. We even got free admission because we had our national park annual passes from last year.

First we went to a main hall with some exhibits about the history of the place. Then down a partially man made tunnel to The Cave.


To the deep turquoise pool.


I don’t think the tunnel originally was open to the air because the the cave was discovered by climbing down a tree trunk shoved through that hole in the roof.


A photosphere.

Heading outside there was a picture of the pubic pool that used to be here.


But in the 70’s they had too much competition from other pools in the area and it was too expensive to keep the water clean and safe. This is what it looks like now.


The pool is still there, just covered.

We went back inside to watch a short film about the area. Jennie liked the cushions.


Back outside to The Basin.


The water is only warm at about 30C but until amazingly recently people used to swim in it. The water is not heated by lava because there are no volcanoes in the area. It is heated by the radioactive decay of elements several kilometers underground. The water itself is slightly radioactive


You are not even allowed to touch the water now because a protected tiny snail lives on the algae mats that eventually float to the surface. The snails are found only in the pools in this area.


Next up was an hour long guided tour of the area below the pools.


The guide had a great speaking voice and while the talk was interesting there was not much to take pictures of. He did say that before the buildings were here the whole area was covered in the hot water leaking from the ground and would have been bare rock. Because this would have undermined the building now the water is piped to just a few outlets and the area is now a forest albeit a fairly special one because the ground never freezes.

This is the outlet of The Basin.


The white stuff is not stone but something alive that thrives in the hot flowing water.


After the tour was over we climbed the boardwalks above The Basin to some more pools.





More of the white stuff (I can’t remember what he called it),


Big view behind us,


Small view in front.


Then back down.


And finally some lunch on the red chairs with a view, on top of the building.


The photosphere.

We were going to do a short hike around the marsh below the site but the weather looked threatening and as were we about to start someone said they had seen a bear cub up ahead. Where there are cubs there is a mother. No thanks.

We just headed home.

1 comment:

  1. You really captured the beauty of the hot springs pool at The Cave! Back in the day we had a nice relaxing soak in the Radium Hot Springs!!!