Ahousat (Flores Island) Warm Springs

Hot Spring

Secluded springs on Flores Island. Reached via historic, forested trail.

While the more famous and warmer Hot Springs Cove up the coast draws the bustling crowds, Ahousat Warm Springs offers a serene and therapeutic experience in a secluded location. To reach the springs, one must traverse a rough trail, a remnant of a historic route that winds through dense forests, marshes, and culturally modified trees. This trail, once a lifeline for a telegraph line and an old homestead, is now a pathway to tranquility.

Situated within the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Clayoquot Sound, Flores Island boasts one of the largest contiguous old-growth forests in the region. The Ahousat Warm Springs, found on this island, offer a respite from the modern world, surrounded by the untouched beauty of nature.

To embark on this adventure, one must first make their way to Tofino, a coastal town on Vancouver Island's west coast. From there, a 1-hour boat ride north will lead you to Maquinna Marine Provincial Park, home to the famous Hot Springs Cove. However, our destination lies hidden on a smaller island between Tofino and Hot Springs Cove.

The trailhead to the warm springs trail is marked by a float hanging from a tree along Whitesand Cove, forming the southern edge of Gibson Marine Provincial Park on Flores Island. From there, an approximately 4-kilometer trail winds through a challenging terrain, immersing you in nature's raw beauty. Expect to encounter wet and rooted ground, ducking branches, climbing over stumps, and navigating marshes. The surroundings are teeming with life, including frog eggs and tadpoles in the puddles, culturally modified cedar trees, and the elusive coastal wolf population that calls Flores Island home.

After conquering the rugged trail, you'll be rewarded with the sight of Matilda Inlet, where the hot springs await. Don't expect a luxurious spa experience; instead, prepare for a rustic cement pool fed by an underground spring. Although the water's temperature is half that of the springs up the coast, it offers a refreshing and therapeutic dip on a hot day. The view from the pool, overlooking the idyllic Matilda Inlet, creates a moment of pure bliss. Ahousat Warm Springs may lack luxury, but it ranks high on the list of hidden gem adventures in Clayoquot Sound.

Alternatively, if you have access to a boat, you can reach the springs via Matilda Inlet, situated at the southeast end of Flores Island. However, keep in mind that access to the warm springs requires reaching Flores Island first. You can either paddle from Tofino, embarking on a 20-kilometer journey, or hire a water taxi or floatplane to the Village of Ahousat, the main community on Flores Island. From there, a 6-kilometer hike along the Wild Side Trail will lead you to the warm springs access trailhead.

Camping is permitted in Gibson Marine Provincial Park, but no facilities are provided. It's a wilderness experience, allowing you to reconnect with nature and escape the modern amenities. Wolves roam the island, adding an element of adventure and reminding visitors to store food securely. The Ahousat First Nation, stewards of the Wild Side Trail, charge a fee of $25 (CAN) to hike the trail, contributing to its maintenance and preservation.


49.269541, -126.076269

Notable GPS Co-ordinates

Detailed Directions

Generally, the springs are south of the indigenous villages at the Matilda Inlet. From Marktosis it's 2.5 km, and Ahousat about 1.5 km.

Directions from Marktosis

Follow shoreline towards a legacy power line at Matilda Inlet.

Directions from Ahousat

Also follow the shoreline and the power line trail. This trail is likely marked by occasional usage rather than signage and may be hard to follow.

By Boat

Follow Matilda Inlet past Ahousat to a large cement pool which is roughly at the high tide line. It's near the south-east end of the tidal flats. 

During rougher weather, anchor at Whitesand Cove in Gibson Marine Park (south side of Flores Island), follow the 1 km trail and boardwalk, and arrive at Maltida Inlet. This trail may or may not be marked by a float hanging from a tree.

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