Harrison Hot Springs is a village and vacation resort area in the Fraser Valley at the south end of Harrison Lake. Visitors and locals alike are drawn by the picturesque lake, the beach, recreation opportunities, camping, and, of course, the hot springs.
The area and hot springs were first known to and used by the Chehalis First Nations people. Low-key resort development began after the Canadian Pacific Railway was built through Agassiz, making the area more accessible. Development has increased, but the village is still small (fewer than 2,000 people). It remains a popular spot to get away to and can be very busy on summer weekends.
From Highway 1, exit at Hwy 9 (exit 135) and follow it north to Agassiz. From there, follow Hot Springs Road north to the lake. If you're on Hwy 7, turn onto Hot Springs Road in Agassiz. The drive from Vancouver will take about 1½-2 hours, depending on traffic.
The village is compact so walking is the easiest way to get around. Hot Springs Road is the main street out of town and Esplanade Ave, along the beach, has many of the motels and restaurants. The public hot springs pool is at the intersection of these two roads.
Agassiz-Harrison Transit operates a bus route from the Chilliwack downtown exchange to Rosedale, Popkum, Agassiz and Harrison Hot Springs. Another bus route operates from Agassiz to Hope.
- 1 Harrison Lake is the largest lake in southwestern BC. Framed by mountains on three sides, it makes a nice backdrop to the location.
- Sasquatch Provincial Park is up the east side of the lake. From town, follow Lillooet Ave east; at the end of the lake it turns north and becomes Rockwell Dr. Along the lake is the 2 Green Point day use area with a rocky beach and views of Harrison Lake. 4-6 km inland are a pair of pretty lakes — 3 Deer Lake and 4 Hicks Lake — with camping, hiking and a sandy beach. Access to Deer Lake and Hicks Lake is via a gravel road that has some potholes but is OK for 2WD.
Not surprisingly, many of the activities in Harrison Hot Springs revolve around water -- relaxing in the hot springs, swimming, kayaking, cruising the lake, to name a few. But there's plenty more you can do if you want to stay dry.
- 1 Harrison Public Hot Pool, 101 Hot Springs Rd (corner of Esplanade and Hot Springs Rd), ☏ +1 604-796-2244. Open daily, variable hours. Indoor pool open to the public with water piped in from the source of the hot springs. The facility is fairly basic but clean and does show its age in spots. This is the only hot springs water that visitors can access if you don't stay at the Harrison Resort. $10 (adult), $6.75 (child/senior), $26.75 (family). Children 4 and under are free. Lockers cost $1.00.
- Enjoy a refreshing dip in the glacier-fed waters of Harrison Lake. If you want something warmer than the lake but cooler than the hot pool, try the 2 lagoon in the beach.
On the lake
- Take a cruise on Harrison Lake.
- Rent a boat -- motorized or kayak -- and tour the lake yourself.
- Harrison Eco Tours. Offers jet boat tours, guided hiking, guided kayaking, white water rafting and more.
- Windsurf. Winds are highest in the afternoon.
- If you have your own boat, there is a boat ramp at the east end of Esplanade Avenue.
- Rent a bicycle or quadracycle and pedal around town. The quad bikes are particularly good for a laugh with four people providing the power and two steering. The various pedaling machines can be rented by the hour from:
- 3 Jamie's Quadracycle Rentals (Corner of Lillooet and Hot Springs Rd.), ☏ +1-604-799-0235. Rents out quadracycles and bicycles.
- There are many hiking trails in the area.
- 4 Harrison Grind. A 7 km round trip hike that starts in Harrison Hot Springs and climbs 600 m, to where there is a view of Harrison Lake.
- 5 Spirit Trail, firstname.lastname@example.org. 7AM to Sunset. One kilometer long loop trail with dozens of different clay masks mounted on to trees, which were made a by a local artist. The trail is nearly flat. Free.
Several small shops are available along Esplanade and Hot Springs Road.
- BC Sportfishing Group, 100 Esplanade Ave (In the resort hotel), ☏ +1 604 796-3345. World-class sturgeon, salmon, and steel head fishing in the Fraser Valley from the Harrison Hot Springs Resort.
There are a number of casual dining restaurants and takeaway places located along Esplanade Avenue and Hot Springs Road.
- 1 Black Forest Restaurant, 180 Esplanade Ave, ☏ +1 604 796-9343. May-Oct 11AM-10PM daily, Nov-Apr 4PM-9PM daily. German restaurant with lots of schnitzel, homemade bratwurst and some imported German beers. There are also vegetarian, pasta, seafood and other meat options to round out the menu. Large portion sizes and kids menu available. Appetizers $8-14, mains $16-38.
- 2 Chuck & Kitty's Country Cafe, 105-196 Esplanade Ave, ☏ +1 604 796-2229. 8AM-3PM daily. Breakfast and lunch place with good sized portions. Breakfast menu consists of omelettes, eggs, pancakes, waffles and oatmeal. There are a variety of sandwiches and a burger for lunch. They also cook up some homemade desserts like pies and peach melba. $7-14.
- Lakeside Cafe, 100 Esplanade Ave (part of the Harrison Hot Springs Resort), ☏ +1 604-796-2244. Open for breakfast and lunch daily, open for dinner seasonally.
- 3 Lakeview Restaurant, 150 Esplanade Ave, ☏ +1 604 703-3652. Country-style decor with a diner menu and presentation. The food is straightforward -- no fancy ingredients or flavours -- and a bit on the greasy-spoon side. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. $10-17.
- 4 Muddy Waters Cafe, 328 Esplanade Ave, ☏ +1 604 796-5563. M-Th 9AM - 5PM, F-Su 9AM - 8PM. Very popular cafe that likes to incorporate ingredients from local farms. The sandwiches have lots of flavour and include pulled pork, shrimp with bacon, grilled cheese, duck and burgers. There's also a small breakfast menu (served until 11am), kids menu and freshly baked goods. $11-18.
- 5 Village Pizzeria, 160A Lillooet Ave (next to the Ramada), ☏ +1 604 796-1170. Summer: noon-10PM daily; Winter: M-F 4PM-9PM, Sa-Su 12:30PM-9PM. A family run pizza shop with twenty pizzas to choose from or make your own. Choices range from the traditional Hawaiian or Meat Lovers to more exotic Arabian or Teriyaki Chicken. The pizza is thin crust and there are some pasta choices on the menu, as well. $13-26 for a pizza.
There isn't much late night nightlife in Harrison. Pubs and restaurants are generally open until 10 or 11PM. The Settler Pub also serves as a liquor store if you want to stock up on your own supplies.
- 1 Old Settler Pub, 222 Cedar Ave (corner of Cedar and Hot Springs Rd), ☏ +1 604-796-9722. F Sa 11AM-11PM, Su-Th 11AM-10PM.
- 1 Harrison Beach Hotel, 160 Esplanade Ave, ☏ +1 604-796-1111, toll-free: +1-866-338-8111, fax: +1 604-796-1212, email@example.com. Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 11AM. Centrally located hotel close to many restaurants, the public hot springs and across the street from the beach with stunning views of the lake and mountains. Room options include rooms with two queen beds, mini-fridge and microwave, or suites with a king bed in a semi-private area, a pull-out sofa and a stove top in addition to the fridge and microwave. Rooms are pretty spacious and amenities include free Wifi, heated pool, outdoor hot tub and a very small fitness room (three pieces of cardio equipment). Starting at $124-164 in low season, $219-264 in high season.
- 2 Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Spa, 100 Esplanade Ave, ☏ +1 604-796-2244, toll-free: +1-800-663-2266. Large hotel with its own hot springs pools at the far end of the beach.
- 3 Harrison Lake Hotel, 190 Lillooet Ave, ☏ +1 604-796-5555, toll-free: +1-888-265-1155. One- and two-bed rooms that include free Wi-Fi, mini-fridge and microwave. Some rooms have a full kitchenette and there are a limited number of rooms where pets are allowed. It's a block from the lake, so lake views are limited but some rooms do have good views of the mountains. Onsite amenities include a spa. $129-159 (Apr-Sept), $84-139 (Oct-Mar).
- 4 Harrison Spa Motel, 140 Esplanade Ave, ☏ +1 604-796-2828, toll-free: +1-800-592-8828. Older motel in both looks and style, but across the street from the beach. Rooms options include rooms with one or two beds, rooms with kitchenettes and a small number of one bedroom suites. Has a BBQ on the grounds plus spots for guests who brought their own. Contrary to the name, this motel does not have a spa. While the bedding is clean, the condition of the suites varies from average to poor (expect to see damage that has not been effectively repaired), though they all will have coffee makers, microwaves, and mini fridges. Rooms have minimal soundproofing, so you will hear those in neighbouring units. Standard rooms $146-192 in summer, Suites $195-250; lower prices available outside of busy periods.
- The nearest hospital is in Chilliwack.
In the immediate vicinity, there is Bridal Veil Falls, about 20-30 minutes away south of Agassiz, see Chilliwack.
Further east is the town of Hope, the scenic Fraser Canyon, and Manning Provincial Park, which offers hiking, camping and other recreation opportunities. If you're looking to return to Vancouver and have some time, you may want to take Highway 7 which is slower but more scenic (particularly the piece between Agassiz and Mission).
|Routes through Harrison Hot Springs|
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