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Harrison Hot Springs

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Canada : British Columbia : Lower Mainland : Fraser Valley : Harrison Hot Springs
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Harrison Hot Springs [1] is a village and vacation area in the Fraser Valley at the southern end of Harrison Lake. Visitors and locals alike are drawn by the picturesque lake, the beach and hot springs, and more recently, the sand sculpture contests on the beach.

Understand

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 (less than 2000 people). It remains a popular spot to get away to and can be very busy on summer weekends.

070918 IAS mtg - Harrison (00).JPG

Get in

From Highway 1, exit at Highway 9 (exit 135) and follow it north to Agassiz. From there, follow Hot Springs Road north to the lake. If you're on Highway 7, turn onto Hot Springs Road in Agassiz. The drive from Vancouver will take about 1.5 - 2 hours, depending on traffic.

Get around

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.

See

  • World Championship of Sand Sculptures, (this event no longer takes place in Harrison Hot Springs. The last year was 2009.) The sand sculptures were located on the beach near the lagoon, [2]. Held each year just after Labour Day (first Monday in Sept), master sand sculptors from around the world compete to build sand castles, sand figures and anything else they can think of as long as it is made from sand and water. The sculptures remain on exhibition for one month afterwards. There is hope that this event will return in the future.
  • Harrison Lake, is largest lake in southwestern BC. Framed by mountains on three sides, makes a nice backdrop to the location.

Do

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.

Swimming

  • Harrison Public Hot Pool, corner of Hot Springs Rd and Esplanade. Indoor pool open to the public with water piped in from the source of the hot springs. $8.50.
  • 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 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 http://www.harrisonecotours.com
  • Windsurf. Winds are highest in the afternoon.
  • If you have your own boat, there is a boat ramp at the eastern end of Esplanade Avenue.

Other Activities

  • 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:
    • Jamie's Quadracycle Rentals, corner of Lillooet and Hot Springs Road. Rents out quadracycles and bicycles.
    • Harrison Scooter Rentals, 439 Lillooet Ave, [3]. Rents out a seclection of bicycles, quadbikes, mountain bikes and scooters.
  • There are many hiking trails in the area.

Skiing and Snowboarding

  • Hemlock Valley Resort, 20955 Hemlock Valley Road, Phone: 604-797-4411 Fax: 604-797-4440 Toll Free: 1-866-567-6866, [4].

Buy

Several small shops are available along Esplanade and Hot Springs Road.

  • BC Sportfishing Group, 100 Esplanade Avenue (In the Resort Hotel), 604 796 3345, [5]. offering world class sturgeon, salmon and steelhead fishing in the Fraser Valley from the Harrison Hot Springs Resort


Eat

There are a number of casual dining restaurants and takeaway places located along Esplanade Avenue and Hot Springs Road.

  • Lakeside Cafe, 100 Esplanade Avenue (part of the Harrison Hot Springs Resort), 1 604-796-2244. Open for breakfast and lunch daily, open for dinner seasonally.
  • Old Settler Pub, 222 Cedar Avenue (corner of Cedar and Hot Springs Road), 1 604-796-9722, [6]. Open 11AM - 11 PM on Fri and Sat, 11AM - 10PM other days.

Drink

There isn't much late night nightlife in Harrison. Pubs and restaurants are generally open until 10 or 11 PM. The Settler Pub also serves as a liquor store if you want to stock up on your own supplies.

Sleep

  • Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Spa, 100 Esplanade Avenue, 1-800-663-2266 (toll-free) or 1 604-796-2244, [7]. Large hotel with their own hot springs pool at the far end of the beach.
  • Harrison Beach Hotel, 160 Esplanade Avenue, 1-866-338-81111 (toll-free) or 1 604-796-1111 (fax: 1 604-796-1112), [8]. Newer hotel across the street from the beach.
  • The Spa Motel, 140 Esplanade Avenue, 1-800-592-8828 (toll-free) or 1 604-796-2828, [9]. Older motel in both looks and style, but clean and across the street from the beach. Has a BBQ on the grounds plus spots for guests who brought their own.
  • Executive Hotel Harrison Hot Springs, 190 Lillooet Ave, 1-888-265-1155, [10]. checkin: 3pm; checkout: 12pm. 88 room hotel located one block from Harrison Lake.
  • Harrison Heritage House, 312 Lillooet Avenue (Harrison Hot Springs), 604 796 9552, [11]. checkin: 4; checkout: 11. Luxury B&B on 1 care in the heart of the Village offering both private riverside cottages and B&B room 110. (165,)

Get out

In the immediate vicinity, there is Minter Gardens and Bridal Veil Falls, about 20-30 minutes away south of Agassiz. The cities of Abbotsford and Chilliwack are also nearby.

Further east is the scenic Fraser Canyon, the town of Hope 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 (particulary the piece between Agassiz and Mission).


Routes through Harrison Hot Springs
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