The Iskut River Hot Springs, in the traditional territory of the Tahltan First Nation, are protected by the Iskut River Hot Springs Provincial Park. The small 4-hectare park is located approximately 100 km south of the community of Iskut, 15 km northeast of Bob Quinn and 6 km west of the Stewart Cassiar Highway 37. The provincial park was created in 2001 in order to protect the hot springs. Access to the park is very limited. Foot access is difficult and there is no developed trail. Helicopter and boat access are possible. Very few people have visited this site due to its remoteness. Very little is known about these hot springs due to their location. Since there are no pools created here you probably will not be doing any bathing but you can still appreciate what the Earth has to offer in this remote wilderness.
Springs are defined as places where groundwater is discharged at a specific location. They vary dramatically as to the amount of water they discharge. Some of the water may have traveled great distances underground before resurfacing as a spring. Hot springs though are springs that have a water temperature that is above average. This could be anywhere from near air temperature up to the boiling point (100 degrees Celsius). Typically a hot spring is formed when water percolates into porous sedimentary rocks or fractured volcanic rocks. As it descends through the rock, it picks up a variety of minerals by dissolving them in the heated water. This includes things such as salts and sulphides. When the descending water finds an easy path back to the surface it will follow this path and become a hot spring. If it reaches the surface quickly it will still be very hot. If it takes a long time the water will have cooled before reaching the surface.
Many hot springs have a sulphur smell which is caused by anaerobic bacteria living deep beneath the Earth's crust. The bacteria convert the dissolved sulphur in the water into Hydrogen Sulfide which has that "rotten eggs" smell that you may be familiar. If the hot springs do not have a sulphur smell it may be due to either the water not reaching sufficient depths or the water on its return to the surface is oxidized and loses its Hydrogen Sulphide. The warm water also allows an abundance of algae and bacteria to live in it. You may also find other plant and animal life living near the hot springs that would not normally be found in the area.
As of November 18, 2006 to log this Earthcache:
You must post some unique bit of information regarding the site that you learn while there. Taking a water temperature measurement of the hot spring or pool is acceptable. Other possible information could be the size of the hotspring or the water flow rate. I'll leave it up to each cacher to decide what to post to show that they have learned something. I will monitor logs for appropriate information. Posting a photo is not required but appreciated. Unfortunately, any log that does not meet the requirements will be deleted. Thanks for visiting an Earthcache!