Meager Creek Hot Springs Whistler Area Hot Springs
Meager Creek Hot Springs is located 93k northwest of Whistler, was beautifully developed into gorgeous pools, with a caretaker and usage charge. At its height of popularity, Meager Creek Hot Springs had 30,000 yearly visitors. Unfortunately, due to two recent avalanches it seems unlikely to ever officially reopen. After several years of being closed, access reopened on 2009 with a nice, expensive, new bridge. Only to be dramatically obliterated from another slide in 2010.
The access bridge over the Upper Lillooet River which cost nearly a million dollars was wrecked in seconds in 2010. There was considerable wrangling and negotiating to get it built in in 2009, but now it will almost certainly never be rebuilt. The area is far too active.
Meager Creek Hot Springs can still be accessed with some difficulty by wading through the Upper Lillooet River. If you have a canoe, it is possible to cross here as the water flows very slowly and over a shallow and wide area. This river is quite large, wide, but slow moving and shallow so paddling across is not really dangerous, though you will be snaking through dead trees. Unfortunately, this water level rises and moves faster during the spring runoff, and becomes very treacherous in August and September. The section of the river nearest the opposite shore (out of sight from the near bank), is about 15 metres wide and somewhat fast moving and during this spring runoff is the difficult part to cross. If you have good whitewater canoeing skills you will have no problem here, however if you don't you will have difficulty.
Another option is to bring a good, strong 30 metre rope. Have one person in your party swim across with one end, fasten it to a tree on both ends, then ferry across your gear, either with the use of a canoe, or wading across with the help of the rope. Whatever way you intend to cross this area, bringing a rope of this kind is a good idea. There is a rumour of a cable car crossing being installed in the future, but due to the dangerous nature of the area that seems unlikely to ever happen.
The Meager Creek area in general and Mt Meager in particular is an extraordinarily active area under the ground. There have been massively destructive landslides and the inevitable debris flows that follow in 1931, 1947, 1975, 1986 as well as the brutally enormous one in 2010. Four geologists were never found after being killed in the 1975 debris flow.
Below is a picture of the bridge to Meager over the Upper Lillooet River, that was destroyed in 2010
If you do venture across this river now, only part of the hard part is behind you. From the other side of the river, hike for 7k keeping Meager Creek on your left (until you have to cross it at about 6.8k) and you will come to the obvious entrance trail to the springs. Capricorn Creek is another water crossing you will come to just before the springs. It is narrower and faster moving, but quite small so even at high water levels should not be more than knee high.
There is a good alternative to Meager close by. Keyhole Hot Springs. These are somewhat difficult to get to as there is a 20 minute steep hiking trail descent to them.
Not surprisingly, due to the extraordinary activity under the ground here, there are two more hot springs near Meager (aside from the obvious Keyhole Hot Springs). They are smaller and not very hot. Placid Hot Springs and No Good Hot Springs. You can find them by continuing past Meager (do not go up the Meager trail, but instead stay on the logging road).
Meager Creek Hot Springs Trailhead Parking (1.5-2 hours from Whistler)
(officially closed due to 2010 slide, however access is still possible, though with some difficulty, hiking, and apparently a river crossing)
Hot Springs in the Whistler Area:
Keyhole Hot Springs (aka Pebble Creek): 1.6 hours north then west of Whistler
Meager Creek Hot Springs: 1.5 hours north then west of Whistler
Skookumchuck Hot Springs: 2 hours north of Whistler
Sloquet Hot Springs: 3 hours north of Whistler