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2-6871-Sasquatch-Provincial-Park-Canoeing
Canoeing on Hicks Lake
(Albert Normandin photo)

Harrison Hot Springs

Geography

Harrison Hot Springs is located in the Fraser Valley on the southern shores of Harrison Lake.

Only 120km/75mi east of Vancouver, and 177km/110mi northeast of Seattle, the village of Harrison Hot Springs nudges up against Agassiz County, and is a popular getaway for busy urbanites seeking respite in a small-town, country ambiance with a spectacular setting.

Harrison Lake

Measuring 60km/37mi in length, Harrison is the largest lake in southwestern British Columbia and the only major lake that lies only a few feet above sea level. Fed by the Lillooet River to the north and by the glaciers of the snow-capped Coast Range, the spring run-off from Mount Breckenridge turns the water an azure blue-green colour during the summer months. The lake contains two islands: Echo Island, which is visible from the lakefront, and Long Island where the water plunges a depth of over 274m/900ft.

Ancient Pictographs

Although much of the surrounding woodlands are inaccessible, there are still a number of hikes to satiate most appetites and extreme adventurers can explore the region on back-country logging roads. Boaters, though, can enjoy far greater access to the lake's many sandy coves and inlets, its glacial rock formations and granite cliffs, some of which are scratched with ancient rock paintings (pictographs), and hidden waterfalls such as Rainbow Falls, a short hike from the shore, as well as to boat-in only tent sites.

Hot Springs

The famous hot springs are located at the southwest end of the lake, near the entrance to Harrison River which is a navigable tributary of the Fraser River. Water is sourced from two springs, the "Potash" spring with a temperature of 48°C/120°F and the "Sulpher" spring at a scalding 65°C/150°F. By the time they are piped to both the Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa and public pools, the waters are a balmier 35-37°C/mid 90s°F degrees.

Sasquatch Country

The mountains and coniferous landscape is known as Sasquatch Country and dozens of reported sightings of the apelike giant do much to extend the sasquatch mythology. Serious sasquatch investigators are frequent visitors to Harrison, though it's more likely they would find deer, beaver, eagles and seals alongside a number of different rocks and semi-precious stones. When the water is low in early fall, the gravel bars of the Harrison and Fraser rivers expose some 600 varieties of rocks including jades, garnets, agates, and fossils. Gold, however, has long disappeared from these shores.

Climate and Weather

Harrison Hot Springs enjoys a mild year-round climate. Average rainfall is 97cm/38in. In summer, the days are long, dry and sunny with temperatures often reaching in excess of 26°C/80°F degrees. Winters tend to be rainy with temperatures averaging 6°C/43°F and if snow falls, it is usually quick to melt.