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Harrison Hot Springs

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Welcome to Harrison Hot Springs

 

harrison lakeNestled against Southwestern British Columbia's magnificent mountains and the sandy beaches of Harrison Lake, Harrison Village is an excellent local vacation destination filled with a rich history and natural wonders including the world-famous natural hot springs of British Columbia. Drive away from the hectic pace of life and let your body and mind indulge in a diverse range of activities. Whether you seek an adventure with the kids, a romantic getaway or a fun-filled trip with friends, Harrison Hot Springs has a variety of activities to choose from. Water sports, boat tours, wildlife viewing, hiking, golfing, spas, agri-tours, fishing, festivals and events, waterfront accommodations and dining are all yours to enjoy. For wildlife lovers, the annual salmon runs and the thousands of bald eagle are spectular events not to be missed.

 

harrison view_from_lakeHarrison Hot Springs is located in Mighty Fraser Country, a short 90 minute drive east of Vancouver, British Columbia or 3 hours north of Seattle, Washington, making it a top weekend getaway candidate for people from these two big cities. 

 

Get away for a few days. You'll be glad you did.

     

     

    See also:

     

    The hot springs

    harrison_hot_springs_pool

     

    The Hot Springs are Harrison's namesake.  The mineral rich hot springs were originally used by the Salish Coast Natives who revered them as a "healing place", arriving by canoe to benefit from their rejuvenating waters.  These healing waters can be enjoyed at both the Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa and the Harrison Hot Springs Public Pool.

     

    The facts: The Harrison Hot Springs are actually two hot springs located at the south end of Harrison Lake, the Potash spring, with a temperature of 40°C (120°F), and the Sulphur spring, with a temperature of 65°C (150°F). Combined the temperature averages 145F/62.8C at the source which is then cooled down for the pool to 100F/38C. The waters average 1300 ppm of dissolved mineral solids, one of the highest concentrations of any mineral spring.  Harrison hot springs is one of several lining the valley of the Lillooet River and Harrison Lake, with two others on the lake at Twenty Mile Bay and at Port Douglas, at the head of the Bay. The northernmost of the Lillooet River hot springs is at Meager Creek, north of Whistler, with another well-known one to the east of Whistler at Skookumchuck.

     

    The belief: In general, heated water can hold more dissolved solids. Hot springs coming up through the earth’s crust often have a very high mineral content, containing everything from simple calcium to lithium, and even radium.  The Harrison Hot Springs are said to bring relief to sufferers of rheumatism and arthritis through the 8 minerals present in the water including: sulphur, iron, magnesia, epsom salts, iodine, potash and alum.  

     

    The Story: The traditional story of the spring's discovery talks about one member of a nearly frozen group of miners who were returning down the lake from Port Douglas, falling into the water from either being over anxious to reach the shore or from weakness. In any event he was so happy with the warmth, that his companions soon joined him. A year later Judge Matthew Begbie named the springs Alice Springs after the daughter of then Governor Douglas.  Eventually the name Harrison Hot Springs was given and stuck.

     

     

    Outdoor recreation

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    Surrounded by mountains, forests and water Harrison Hot Springs is an excellent vacation getaway for those looking to enjoy the outdoors.   

     

    Fun on two legs

     

    Go for a walk – Harrison has some great walks.  A walk around the lagoon is a good place to start.  The stretch along the waterfront is a very pleasant walk with the lake on one side and restaurant patios and shops on the other.

     

    Go for a hike – There are a number of hikes in the region. Some hikes start in the Village and others are a short drive away.  A complimentary hiking guide can be obtained at the tourism office just off of the main road at the town entrance (499 Hot Springs Road).

     

    Golf  - There are four golf courses within a 15-minute drive of the village:  The courses are suitable for golfers of all skill levels and budgets. See the golf listing for more details.

     

    harrison_cyclingFun on two wheels

    Street biking – The neighbouring farmland found south of Harrison Hot Springs offers some excellent road biking.  Backcountry farm roads do not have a lot of traffic and offer some great scenery.   

     

    Mountain biking – Surrounded by forests and mountains there are a number of mountain bike routes that offer varying degrees of challenge.  

     

    Quadracycle - Explore Harrison on a bicycle built for four or a tricycle - On the corner of Lillooet & Hot Springs road Jamies Quadracyle will rent you one of their four-wheel wonders.

     

     

     

    kayak at_sunrisesturgeon fishing_1cruise on_harrison_lakesandpiper golf_course

     

    Wildlife & nature

    bald eagles 

    Bald Eagles - The Harrison is the first river in Canada to receive the designation of Salmon Stronghold as the only area in BC to host all five species of salmon and steelhead trout. This incredible biodiversity provides the perfect environment for a host of species that rely on the salmon as a food source.  In addition to the thousands of bald eagles that descend on Harrison Mills every fall, seals, seagulls, bears and sturgeon all rely on the spawning salmon.To celebrate the natural spectacle of thousands of bald eagles congregating on the Harrison River the Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival was established in 1995. While some bald eagles are present on the Harrison River year round, the great congregation runs from October to February peaking in mid-November when the Festival takes place.

     

    salmon_spawning_weaver_creek

     

    Salmon runs  - Every year thousands of Chinook, Coho, chum, pink and sockeye salmon, fresh from the ocean, spawn in the short stretch of the Harrison River. Salmon begin migrating into the Harrison River as early as June and as late as December. As summer progresses sockeye salmon enter the Harrison River, destined for Morris Creek and the Weaver Creek Spawning channel. Shortly after the sockeye enter the river, the summer and fall runs of Chinook, also known as King salmon follow. By late summer, pink, Coho and chum salmon fill both rivers. There are so many fishI it is as if you can walk across the river on the backs of the salmon.The salmon come back every year in such abundance for good reason. With its crystal clear water, spectacular mountains and abundance of salmon, sturgeon and trout, the Harrison River flows through an amazingly rich watershed.

     

    sturgeon_fishing

     

    Sturgeon fishing – In addition to Bald Eagles and Salmon the Harrison River is also home to a one of nature’s most amazing fish, the prehistoric Sturgeon. This amazing fish is the largest freshwater fish in North America and is the third largest species of sturgeon, after the Beluga and the Kaluga. The white sturgeon is known to reach a maximum size of 816 kg (1,799 lb.) and 6.1 m (20.1 ft.). In BC this is a catch and release fish only. To date our local guiding company, BC Sport Fishing Group has tagged over 40% of the more than 46,000 Sturgeon that have been tagged for the Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society.

     

     

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    Eco Tours – Harrison Hot Springs is the perfect base for exploring nature. Whether you want to hike, bike or paddle the great outdoors is waiting for you. Several companies operate eco tour operations that include guided kayaking, guided hiking, jet boat tours and scenic lake tours.

     

    Festivals & events

    harrison festival_kids_day

     

    Harrison Hot Springs has a variety of cultural, sport and special local events throughout the year. The festival season kicks off in April with the Tulip Festival and ends in November with the Bald Eagle Festival.  Major events include:

     

    Tulip Festival (two weeks in April, depends on the weather) - over 40 acres of tulip fields come into bloom each spring creating a spectacular sight.  Visit www.tulipsofthevalley.com or call 604-796-3496 for any updates. The festival is in Seabird Island, Agassiz, about 15 minutes from Harrison Hot Springs.

     

    Sasquatch Days (Second weekend in June) – Sasquatch Days is a joint celebration of the local Sts’ailes first nations band and Harrison Hot Springs.  It brings the two communities together with traditional canoe races, salmon barbeque, story telling, and Sasquatch lore.

     

    harrison festivalfestival of_the_artsFestival of the Arts (10 days starting the first weekend in July)- The Harrison Festival has quietly built a national and international reputation for excellence. In a setting free of large crowds, line-ups, and high ticket prices, the Festival presents music from all corners of the globe, an outdoor art market featuring the work of a wide variety of artisans, workshops and a special day just for children.

     

    Dragon Boat Festival (3rd weekend in July) - Experience the atmosphere of dragon boat racing on the lake, as teams from around the province compete. Harrison Lake. www.fvdbc.com   604-858-8464

     

    Slow Food Cycle Tour (4th Saturday in July) - A great way to experience the Circle Farm Tour while enjoying the Agassiz countryside.  Meet the local farmers, sample their products and tour their businesses. July 22 the event moves to Chilliwack so make a weekend of it. www.slowfoodvancouver.com  604-796-2619

     

    harrison bands_on_the_beachBands on the Beach (Labour Day weekend) – The Labour day weekend is a festival of country music in Harrison Hot Springs with a variety of artists including Harrison Hot Springs own Todd Richard.

     

    Harrison Beer Festival (last weekend in October) – The Harrison Beer Festival brings the best micro breweries in BC to Harrison Hot Springs so that beer lovers can sample them all in one convenient location.  Held in the St. Alice Hall it concludes with an Octoberfest dance. 

     

    Bald Eagle Festival (last weekend in Nov) - One of the largest gatherings of bald eagles in North America is along the Harrison River. The Festival features several viewing sites, displays, tours and activities for the whole family.  www.fraservalleybaldeaglefestival.ca  604-826-7361

     

    Accommodations

    Harrison Hot Springs offers charming small town atmosphere with quality BC accommodations to suit your preferences and budget. From economical and clean to luxurious, Harrison Hot Springs has something for everyone. Unwind in boutique inns or bed and breakfasts, pamper yourself in a high end resort, or bond with nature in a friendly campground or RV Park. Whatever your choice, you'll always experience warm hospitality and a good night's rest.

     

    Hotels

     

    • Harrison Beach Hotel - The Harrison Beach Hotel is a casual, yet chic boutique hotel which is ideal for work and play. Located across the street from spectacular Harrison Beach • www.harrisonbeachhotel.com
    • Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa - Relaxation awaits you at the Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Spa with over 300 guest rooms, soothing hot springs pools and all the amenities to comfort you • www.harrisonresort.com
    • Hot Spring Villa Hotel - Centrally located across the street from the sandy shores and pristine waters of Harrison Lake and just two doors down from the public mineral hot pool • www.harrisonvilla.com
    • Ramada Hotel - Harrison Hot Springs - Relax, Renew and Rejuvenate. Retreat and indulge your senses at this 4 star full-service, four-season property in Harrison Hot Springs • www.harrisonhotsprings.com

     

    Motels

     

    • Bungalow Motel - 12 cabins situated on the shore of Harrison Lake. Seasonal outdoor pool, BBQ facilities, ice cream shop, video games and more • www.bungalowmotel.com
    • Glencoe Motel and RV Park - Home away from home!  We are located in the core of Harrison Hot Springs, beside the public mineral hot pool, one block from the beach and 3km from the golf course •  www.glencoemotel.com
    • Harrison Village Motel - Centrally located on the Harrison lakefront with air conditioned rooms, upper and lower units with great lake views • www.harrisonvillagemotel.com
    • Spa Motel - The Spa located in center of downtown Harrison Hot Springs is a friendly, economical, relaxed place to spend your time • www.harrisonspamotel.com

     

    Bed & Breakfast

     

    • Harrison Heritage House & Cottages - Located in the Village of Harrison Hot Springs, one street from the beach. Double Jacuzzi, wood burning fireplace, luxury pillow top bed • www.bbharrison.com

     

    Vacation Rentals

     

    • Harrison Retreats - A portfolio of privately owned beachfront condos, chalets and homes. Great value for families, couples and groups • www.harrisonretreats.com

     

    Business directory

    • Baskin Robbins - A variety of ice cream flavours, sundaes, smoothies and cakes • 2-328 Esplanade •  604-796-5563
    • Beach Bites - Wraps, snacks and smoothies • 196 Esplanade • 604-491-6743
    • Black Forest Steak and Schnitzel House - Authentic German food with Bavarian décor • 180 Esplanade • 604-796-9343
    • Chantilly Gelato - Real Italian gelato, sorbetto, ice cream, lattes, milkshakes and more • 150 Esplanade • 604-796-1980
    • Cookin Kim’s Country Café - Great food, friendly service, warm inviting atmosphere • 105-196 Esplanade • 604-796-2229
    • Copper Room at Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Spa - Delectable Fraser Valley cuisine paired with live music. Dress code in effect • 100 Esplanade • 604-796-2244
    • Green Star Café - Coffee, baked goods, breakfast and lunch • 196 Esplanade.
    • Harrison Chinese Restaurant - Full menu of Chinese and Western dishes • 791 Hot Springs Road •  604-796-8878
    • Harrison Hamburger - Burgers, fish & chips and sandwiches, inside or on the patio • 111-196 Esplanade • 604-796-5554
    • Hungry Chef • 140 Lillooet Ave • 604-796-0881
    • Ian’s Bar and Grill - Local favourite for selection and prices • 889 Hot Springs • 604-796-9779
    • Islands Bar and Grill - Soak up the surroundings while an award-winning bartender pours your drink •  100 Esplanade • 604-796-2244
    • Kitami Japanese Restaurant - Full Japanese menu with the finest sushi, tempura and teriyaki. Private booths available • 318 Hot Springs Road • 604-796-2728
    • Lakeside Café - Casual family fare overlooking Echo Island, serving breakfast and dinner buffets • 100 Esplanade • 604-796-2244
    • Lakeview Restaurant - Locally known for its fish and chips open for breakfast, lunch and dinner • 150 Esplanade • 604-796-9888
    • Marius Café Deli - Traditional Italian meals, a full deli and coffee shop • 160 Lillooet Ave • 604-491-1010
    • Miss Margaret’s - Coffee, tea, pastries, wraps and paninis • 100 Esplanade • 604-796-2244
    • Morgan’s - West coast menu, elevated patio and amazing views • 160 Esplanade • 604-491-1696
    • Muddy Waters Espresso - Specialty coffees, desserts, soups and sandwiches. Licensed • 328 Esplanade • 604-796-5563
    • Old Settler Pub & Liquor Store - Warm up by the fireplace in this beautifully crafted pub • 222 Cedar Avenue • 604-796-9722
    • Rockamole’s - Sip, sample and savour the taste of the West coast • 190 Lillooet Avenue • 1-888-265-1155
    • Sunyam Thai Restaurant - Thai cuisine, ultimate flavour, amazing lake views • 234 Esplanade • 604-491-1111
    • Swiss Gourmet - West coast and Swiss cuisine • 270 Esplanade • 604-796-9339
    • Yukiya Sushi -  Authentic Japanese food along the waterfront • 140 Esplanade • 604-796-2633 

    • Casa Lifestyles - Located in the Harrison Village Mall, Casa Lifestyles offers unique and exquisite items including jewelry, vases, art, and candles • 604-796-2972
    • Island View Gifts - A gift shop with a large variety of unique gifts including jewelry, home decor and souvenir items from leading gift companies • www.islandviewgifts.com
    • Papples Market - Located one block from the beach, Papples offers seasonal fresh fruit and vegtables, salmon, honey and other great local treats for visitors to Harrison • 604-302-9963
    • Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory - For a friend, a loved one, a celebration, dessert, difficult moments or any reason at all, come visit us • 604-491-2010
    • Savvy Fashions - A wide selection of adult fashions for all occasions, located in the Village Mall.  Need a bathing suit while in Harrison?  • 604-796-5513
    • Serenity Now Books, Gifts & More - A great little gift shop located in the Harrison Village Mall with a fantastic selection of books, maps, souviners and gifts • 604-796-5531 

    18 Hole Courses

    • Sandpiper Golf Club - 14282 Morris Valley Rd., Harrison Mills • 604-796-1000 • Par 72 6500 Yards Slope 121 Rating 70.9 
    • Falls Golf & Country Club - 8341 Nixon Rd, Rosedale • 604-794-3300 • Par 71 6780 Yards Slope 128 Rating 72.2 
    • Hope Golf & Country Club - 900 Golf Course Rd, Hope • 604-869-5881 • Par 72 6317 Yards Slope 117 Rating 69.9 

    9 Hole Courses 

    • Harrison Resort Golf Course - 3891 Hot Springs Rd, HHS. • 604-796-9009 - Par 36 3375 Yards Slope 126 Rating 36.2 
    • Bridal Falls Golf Club - 53191 Bridal Falls Rd, Rosedale • 604-794-7788 - Par 32 2269 Yards Slope 102 Rating n/a

    • BC Sportfishing Group - First class fishing adventures and wildlife tours with licensed and experienced guides offered in and around Harrison Hot Springs. Accommodation packages and day trips available • www.bcsportfishinggroup.com
    • Killer's Cove Marina - Located on the east side of Harrison Lake this family owned and operated marina offering moorage, gas, hydro, biffy and convenience centre • www.killerscove.com
    • Shoreline Tours - Explore the scenic beauty and wildlife of Harrison Lake in casual style. Shoreline Tours combines the best elements of luxury, intimacy and relaxation • www.harrisonmarinegroup.com
    • Harrison Eco Tours - Offering scenic jet boat tours, guided hiking, kayaking and white water rafting. We provide tours and activities to suit every level and interest • www.harrisonecotours.com
    • Harrison Watersports - Water fun for the whole family offering rentals of seadoos, bumper boats, power boats and banana tube rides • www.harrisonwatersports.com
    • Cascade Outdoor Adventures - Backcountry excursions in the eastern wilderness of Harrison Lake. Wilderness tours, guided hiking, wildlife viewing and more • www.adventurebc.ca

     

    Trip suggestions

    Suggested itinerary & short trips from Harrison:


    Spring

     

    • Circle Farm Tours –  great in any season, this self-guided tour has expanded from Harrison and Agassiz into the whole Fraser Valley and includes such locations as a cheese farm, hazelnut grove, eco dairy, farm markets, wineries and more.
    • Minter Gardens – the garden’s come alive in the spring with tulips and daffodils; one of the best times to visit.
    • Cheam Wetlands – birders will enjoy this protected area which has recorded over 180 species in the park. It features 2km or trails and a viewing platform.
    • Golfing at Sandpiper – nestled in a centuries old forest, Sandpiper is one of the most scenic courses in the province. Bring out the clubs and enjoy a round in a spectacular setting.


    Summer 

     

    • Rent a boat or take an Eco Tour – you have not seen Harrison until you have seen it from the water. Bike through the local adjacent farm country.  The flat farmland of the Fraser Valley offers the perfect environment for a great bike ride and the surround mountains make a great backdrop. Relax on the Beach – Harrison was voted one of the top 10 beaches in BC by TripAdvisor users.  Bring your beach blanket and relax in the sun.
    • Othello Tunnels – enjoy the Provincial Park in Hope with its 5 tunnels and series of bridges bored through the mountain above the Fraser River.
    • Hell’s Gate Airtram – see the Fraser Canyon from the gondola crossing the Fraser River at Hell’s Gate and learn about the rich history of the region.
    • Wood Sculptures in Hope – tour the town site to view the extensive collection of chain-saw carvings which have earned the community the title of chain-saw carving capital of BC.


    Fall

     

    • Weaver Creek Spawning Channels – during the month of October venture out to the spawning channels to see thousands of sockeye salmon return and complete their lifecycle.
    • Chilliwack Corn Maze – find your way out of the 10 acre corn maze or smaller hay bale maze; perfect for families
    • Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve – situated along the Vedder River, visitors can walk the trails through the reserve where over 100 Heron nests are located and visit the interpretative centre.
    • Bald Eagle Tour – best seen on a boat tour down the Harrison River. From November to January thousands of bald eagles nest in a one square mile area along the river; truly a spectacular sight!

     

     

    Winter 

     

    • Hemlock Valley – skiing, boarding, tubing or snowshoeing whatever your pleasure, Hemlock Valley located 30 minutes from Harrison is a fantastic family outing.

     

    Events Calendar

    Two weeks in April, depending on the weather: Tulips of the Valley Tulip Festival

    Over 40 acres of tulip fields in bloom to explore; a spectacular sight each spring! Seabird Island, Agassiz.  www.tulipsofthevalley.com • 604-796-3496 


    June 8/9, 2013: Sasquatch Days

    A joint festival with the Sts’Ailes, First Nations Community and Harrison Hot Springs, celebrating the heritage of the region with canoe races, traditional Salmon BBQ, games, sharing and, of course, Sasquatch lore. Harrison Beach

    www.tourismharrison.com • 604-796-5581 

    July 6 - 14, 2013: Harrison Festival of the Arts

    The Harrison Festival has quietly built a national and international reputation for excellence. The festival presents music from all corners of the globe, a large outdoor art market featuring the work of a wide variety of artisans, workshops and a special day just for children. Village/Memorial Hall

    www.harrisonfestival.com • 604-796-3664  

    July 20, 2013: DragonFest

    Experience the atmosphere of dragon boat racing, as teams from around BC compete. Harrison Lake

    www.fvdbc.com • 604-858-8464 

     

    July 27, 2013: Slow Food Cycle Tour

    Meet the local farmers, sample their products and tour their businesses. Agassiz Agricultural Grounds

    www.slowfoodvancouver.com • 604-796-2619  

     
    August: Garlic Festival

    Learn about the numerous varieties of garlic, how to grow them, and learn fun recipes. Limbert Mountain Farm

    www.limbertmountainfarm.com • 604-796-2619 

     

    August 24, 2013: Kids Festival at Kilby

    A fun day for the kids with music, dance and crafts. Kilby Historic Site

    www.kilby.ca • 604-796-9576 

     

    August 31 - September 1, 2013: Harrison Craft Market

    A market featuring only handcrafted items by some of BC’s finest artisans. Free to the public. Harrison Festival Society www.harrisonfestival.com • 604-796-3664 

     

    August 31 - September 1, 2013: Bands on the Beach

    We are not going to let the summer slip away without a major celebration. Local country singing sensation Todd Richard is just one of the performers who will help us rock our last summer long weekend with an incredible afternoon of entertainment on the beach. Harrison Beach

    www.tourismharrison.com • 604-796-5581

     

    October 25, 2013: Harrison Beer Festival

    The Harrison Beer Festival brings the best micro breweries in BC to Harrison Hot Springs so that beer lovers can sample them all in one convenient location.  Held in the St. Alice Hall it concludes with an Octoberfest dance. 

    November 16 - 17, 2013: Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival

    One of the largest gatherings of bald eagles in North America is along the Harrison River. The Festival features several viewing sites, displays, tours and activities for the whole family. www.fraservalleybaldeaglefestival.ca • 604-826-7361