The bottom of Hot Springs Road is as far as travellers can go at the moment. The road was recently washed out, causing emergency services crews to lead those camping or staying at the hot springs chalets down the road with the help of a pilot car. Campers were allowed back up a few days later bring down any larger motor homes that had to be left behind in the initial evacuation. Jillian Trainor/Arrow Lakes News

Nakusp Hot Springs evacuated after road washout

The bottom of Hot Springs Road is as far as travellers can go at the moment.

When Hot Springs Road was washed out on May 31, campers, those staying at the hot springs chalets, and those simply going for a soak had to make their back down the mountain with the help of a pilot vehicle.

Bill and Nancy Brown were among the group.

The couple came down from Nelson for a few days on the first run of the season with their camper.

They were told they had seven minutes to get what they needed, and had to leave that camper behind when they descended from the mountain. They were one of five groups with a trailer at the campground at the time.

Coming down Hot Springs Road, the pair were shocked by the state of the highway.

“I’ve never seen a road like that in that state before, it was unbelievable,” said Nancy. “There were chunks of the blacktop half the size of this bed that were just rolled up.”

At the time of the interview the Browns were staying at the K2 Rotor Lodge. The beds in their room are queen-sized.

The washout is believed to have been caused by two creeks that flooded.

“There was one creek where the flood came and blocked up that culvert, then it ran down the road in both ditches and got to the next one,” said Bill. “Then it blocked up that creek and continued on down the road.”

Though the evacuation was unexpected, the Browns have nothing but compliments and praise for local emergency services crews, police, and everyone involved in getting them down the mountain.

They also said the event will not be a deterrent for coming back.

“It’s nature, it’s life,” Bill concluded. “Nobody was hurt or anything, fortunately.”

It remains unclear when Hot Springs Road will re-open to the public.

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