WEEKDAY GETAWAYS: A GUIDE TO SUMMER IN HARRISON HOT SPRINGS

Harrison Hot Springs is an incredible summer destination with something for everyone! With seemingly endless activities to do in and around Harrison, the only difficulty you’ll have is deciding what to do first! A weekday getaway to Harrison is the ultimate way to beat the summer heat— the beaches and lakes are less busy during the week and there are great deals to be found.


HARRISON WATER SPORTS

If you’ve been to Harrison Hot Springs in the summer, you’ve likely noticed the brightly coloured floating waterpark situated on the lake in front of Harrison Hot Springs Resort. The waterpark is an absolute thrill and lots of laughter will be had as you romp around the bouncy surface and play on floating slides, trampolines, teeter-totters, and more. The “blob”, a giant inflated cushion, allows you to jump down from a high perch, and launch the person on the cushion high into the air before they come down for a splash-landing.
The waterpark is just one of the fun activities that Harrison Water Sports offers. They have a wide range of other water activities to take part in, including riding on water-blasting bumper boats, sea-doo rentals, and coming soon: barbecue boats! The advantages of a weekday getaway to Harrison Water Sports are there will be fewer people there, plus they have smoking hot deals on weekday rates! Get more information here: harrisonwatersports.com

 

BEACHES

Harrison is prized for its vast beaches with unparalleled views of the mountains surrounding them. A weekday getaway means you’ll have no problem finding a large space on the beach and making it your own for the day! Spread a blanket out, have a picnic and enjoy swimming and sunning yourself in comfort.
There are several separate beach areas along the village’s lakefront. If you have children, the playground on the main beach will be less busy during the week, meaning more play time for the kids. The lagoon and surrounding beach are generous in space and ideal for the whole family— the lagoon water is much warmer than the lake; and kids love the shallow areas to splash around in and collect water for building sandcastles. Lovely beaches can also be found at Greenpoint Day Use area, at Hick’s Lake and Deer Lake, as well as other spots around Harrison Lake which can be reached via Forest Service Roads. Explore and find your new favourite beach.


HIKES

Credits: chelseastunden on Instagram

There are a wonderful variety of hikes to choose from in and around Harrison Hot Springs. During summer, a hike that leads to a swimming spot is an ideal route to take. After a good hike, the water feels especially exhilarating.  A weekday hike means less people on the trails: the Sandy Cove hike leads you to a gorgeous, secluded beach, that during the week, will likely have few, if any people there. The Hicks Lake Hike is a great way to burn some calories on an easy 6km trail around the lake, during which time you can scout out new spots to go for a swim. About halfway through the hike, on the south side of the lake, there is a beautiful haven of a beach that is a relaxing spot to settle in for the day. There is so much shoreline with easy access to the water, on a hot day you’ll see people set up their own beach spots all around Hicks Lake.


BEAT THE HEAT

Credits: bronwyngram on Instagram

On a scorching summer day, it’s natural to want to get in the water to cool down. Since Harrison Lake is so large and glacier-fed, the water is typically cold. If you like a cold-water dip, you’ll love how invigorating the lake is, but if you’re looking for more temperate water, the smaller lakes in Sasquatch Provincial Park are fantastic places to swim.
Swimming and other water activities are a source of endless fun, but please keep safety in mind. If you are participating in water sports, make sure you have knowledge of water safety, practices and behaviors before you take part. Since Harrison Lake is quite cold, it’s important to know the impact of cold water on your body. For more information, check out the RED CROSS COLD WATER SAFETY page.


Remember these important tips:
Be prepared - wear a life jacket/personal floatation device (PFD) while boating.
Be smart - alcohol and water activities do not mix.
Be aware - water conditions may change quickly. Harrison Lake is known for its unpredictable weather conditions, including strong wind gusts.
Be safe - if boating, ensure your vessel has the required safety gear and sufficient fuel on board.
Be informed - know your limitations— open water conditions can be challenging. Expect cold water and limit your swim time accordingly.


For more information on water safety and drowning prevention, please visit:
BC YUKON LIFESAVING SOCIETY
TRANSPORT CANADA, OFFICE OF BOATING SAFETY
CANADIAN SAFE BOATING COUNCIL
CANADIAN RED CROSS

Have fun and stay safe! If you’d like more information about these or other Weekday Getaways in Harrison Hot Springs, visit our website HERE!

GRAB A SEAT FOR SUMMER EATS

Photo: Muddy Waters Cafe

There’s nothing quite like a sizzling hot summer day spent enjoying the refreshing lake! But where to go when your stomach starts rumbling? Harrison Hot Springs has a wide and varied selection of eateries to choose from— you’ll find something that’s sure to satisfy you and your whole crew. When you feel that craving kick in, grab your beach towels, dust the sand off and head to one of our many fantastic eateries!
Here are some great options for you to grab a seat and devour some delicious summer eats; most with patios so you can bask in the outdoors while enjoying your favourite fare.

MUDDY WATERS CAFÉ

328 Esplanade Avenue

HARRISON CORNER CAFÉ

310 Hot Springs Road

OLD SETTLER PUB

222 Cedar Avenue

MILOS GREEK TAVERNA

324 Esplanade Avenue

ISLANDS BAR

100 Esplanade Avenue, Lobby Lounge, Harrison Hot Springs Resort

LAKESIDE CAFÉ

100 Esplanade Avenue, Harrison Hot Springs Resort

HARRISON HAMBURGERS

#111-196 Esplanade Avenue

Credits: harrisonhotspringsresort on Instagram⁣

LAKEFRONT CAFÉ

280 Esplanade Avenue

MUNCHIKONE FOOD BAR

#112A-196 Esplanade Avenue

LAKEVIEW RESTAURANT

150 Esplanade Avenue

Once you’ve tamed that appetite, it’s time for more lake fun; just don’t forget the sunscreen! If you’d like more information about these or other eateries in Harrison Hot Springs, visit our website!

WEEKDAY GETAWAYS

Credits: Harrison Beach Hotel on Facebook

WHY VISIT HARRISON HOT SPRINGS DURING THE WEEK?

When most people plan a quick getaway, they usually think of taking it on typical days off from work: arriving at a destination on Friday evening and leaving Sunday afternoon: the customary weekend getaway. But guess what? Everyone else has the same idea! Resort destinations like Harrison Hot Springs are a buzzing beehive of activity on the weekends. If you thrive on the energy of a crowd and love people-watching, you may love weekend getaways. But if you are looking for a quieter, more restful visit, we have a tip for you: visit us during the week! An added bonus is that you’ll score some great deals during the week.


THE BENEFITS:

Credits: Harrison Hot Springs Resort on Facebook

If you’re looking to stay for a few days, many accommodations will offer discounts for weekday stays. Check out our deals and you’ll find a number of mid-week specials. Invest a few minutes in research and you’ll reap the rewards by saving a tidy bundle! Or, if you prefer roughing it, you’ll have a much wider choice of campsites during the week than during the busy summer weekends! You’ll be able to grab those coveted spots that always get taken first on the weekend.
What’s the benefit of dining midweek? Your favourite cafés, coffee shops, pubs, and restaurants will always be less busy during the week, which equates to little-to-no-line-up, quick service and a quiet environment. It’s much easier to carry on a lunch time conversation in a café that’s not full of chattering voices and silverware clattering on plates. Another plus: eateries usually offer weekday specials to attract people in.

Credits: Sandpiper Golf Course on Facebook

Mid-week also means fewer people at our seasonal outdoor attractions. If you’re a golfer, you’ll know it’s much easier to book a tee time on short notice during the week than on weekends. Plus, some golf courses will offer weekday discounts. For example, Sandpiper Resort Golf Club offers a weekday “play and stay” golf and accommodation package for an incredible deal! See their packages here.


In winter, a weekday visit to Sasquatch Mountain Resort means there’s more room for you to shred the slopes on your snowboard or skis, letting you really sharpen your skills. Sasquatch Resort offers the incentive of weekday lift ticket specials to attract people during the work week, which you’ll find here.
One of the biggest bonuses of a weekday getaway is that weekdays find the lake and the beach less populated! During a sunny summer Saturday, the lake— especially the south end, closer to the village— is often bustling with the activity of watersports: sport boaters, often towing waterskiers, wakeboarders, or giant tubes full of gleeful children (or fun-loving adults). Then there are the PWCs (Personal Water Crafts, such as Jet Skis, Sea-Doos, etc.), sailboats, canoes, windsurfers, kayakers… those doing watersports powered by human muscle sometimes inadvertently become part of the motorized lake traffic, getting bobbled about on a wake. But on a weekday, the lake traffic is greatly reduced. You’ll be able to leisurely paddle your Stand-up Paddleboard without the worry of boats zooming by and throwing you off balance. Some local water attractions also offer weekday discounts. Harrison’s Floating Waterpark, Harrison Watersports, offers cheaper weekday rates for admission to the waterpark and discounted rates on weekday rentals of their PWCs.

Credits: johan_mikkelsen_official on Instagram with BC Sport Fishing Group Ltd.

Fishing is different during the week too. You’ll find that boat launches aren’t as frenzied with people unloading their boats. This means you can get out on the water sooner, get to your favourite fishing hole and have a long, peaceful afternoon of fishing without the distraction of weekend boaters and thrill-seekers. Or, if you fish from shore or enjoy fly fishing, there will be fewer anglers around to compete with.
Heavy hiking trail use is not a problem here; fortunately, our many trails don’t get steady traffic to the degree of a Vancouver trail like the Grouse Grind. Our shorter, easier hikes definitely see more hikers on the weekends than our challenging trails do. However, ALL the trails are quiet on weekdays. If you enjoy hiking through tranquil mossy green forest, hearing nothing but birdsongs, an occasional breeze fluttering the leaves, and the sound of your own feet softly padding the earth under your feet, a weekday hike is for you.

Credits: Fraser Valley Farms Cycle Tour on Facebook

What about bicycling, you ask? If you savor the simple pleasure of pedaling around the village, road traffic will be significantly lighter during the week, and local businesses less brisk with activity (should you feel a hankering to stop in for an ice cream). Harrison is an excellent location for a bike ride as we are surrounded by the beautiful, flourishing farmland of Agassiz, which provides many kilometres of abundantly scenic country roads. We have mapped out a route of one of our favourite rides, a 26 km trip starting at the Harrison Visitor Information Centre, along a number of our local Circle Farm Tour stops and around Limbert Mountain.


Now, if you’ll excuse us, we’re off for a lovely bike ride through the country (and perhaps a stop for the aforementioned ice cream)! Hope to see you this week!

For more information on these or other activities to do while in Harrison Hot Springs, visit our website at www.tourismharrison.com.

FIVE TRAILS YOU NEED TO HIKE IN HARRISON HOT SPRINGS

Credits: running_bear_expeditions on Instagram

Opportunities for hiking abound in and around the village of Harrison Hot Springs. Whether you are looking for an easy, family friendly hike, or a trail that challenges your endurance and gives you a great workout; you’ll find trails of every variety here. Following is a list of five fantastic hiking trails which we’ve rated by difficulty using one to five pairs of Sasquatch feet! How many of these trails have you done?


Things to know:

• Check weather forecast before heading out
• Always tell someone where you’re going and when you’ll be back
• Pack water and snacks (and always pack out everything you packed in)
• Walking poles are a great idea to help you through steep sections
• While hiking, make noise or wear a bell to alert wildlife of your presence


SPIRIT TRAIL

Credits: HarrisonResort on Twitter

Difficulty: πŸ‘£
Length: 1 km return
Time: 20-30 minutes
Trailhead: As you drive into the village on Hot Springs Road, turn right on McPherson Road (where the welcome sign & Hot Springs Harry are), then left onto McCombs Drive. From there, it’s about 500 metres to the trailhead.


Part of the East Sector Trail System, Spirit Trail is the shortest and easiest on the list at only one kilometre in length. But don’t discount it because of that – this trail is well worth the walk. A local artist and resident has crafted several dozen clay masks that decorate the trees along the walk. Children especially enjoy the walk as spotting the masks is akin to a treasure hunt! They can keep a tally of how many masks they’ve found as they walk the trail. The masks, combined with the beautiful cedar forest, velvety green moss and lavish ferns, give the area an enchanted and mystical air. The bonus of this walk is if you feel like continuing, a wooden boardwalk connects the Spirit Loop Trail to the longer Bridle Trail.


HICKS LAKE LOOP

Credits: stephantuinenburg on Instagram

Difficulty: πŸ‘£πŸ‘£
Length: 7 km return
Time: 2 hours
Trailhead: Head towards the village on Hot Springs Road, then turn right onto Lillooet Avenue and follow it all the way through town; as it starts veering left it becomes Rockwell Drive. Continue on Rockwell, and when you reach a fork in the road, go right. Continue several kms until you see the sign for Hicks Lake. It will be a right hand turn there, continue and take your first left to the day use area. There are two big parking lots here. Start your hike from the boat launch in the day use area; the trail is on the right from the beach.


This long loop offers a walk that’s easy for all ages and skill levels. The beginning of the hike hugs the shoreline, and a short distance later you’ll come to a rocky outcropping that offers lovely views of the lake. After you pass over a metal bridge, go left and follow the trail along the shore. You’ll also see a trail that goes to the right, but that trails leads to the campsite area. The beauty of the Hicks Lake Loop is the wide range of terrain that you’ll encounter. Parts of the trail are along the shoreline, and it also weaves through mossy forests, and crosses many wooden bridges that span small creeks. About halfway around is a beautiful beach, a nice place to stop for a break and enjoy the view of the lake. The trail makes a full loop around the lake so it’s a great place to have a long, peaceful walk in nature, and let your mind and body de-stress.


SANDY COVE & WHIPPOORWILL POINT

Credits: jelgerandtanja on Instagram

Difficulty: πŸ‘£πŸ‘£πŸ‘£
Length: 4 km return
Time: 1.5 hours
Trailhead: To access this trail, park along the waterfront stalls on Esplanade Avenue, then walk the gravel trail that heads west past Harrison Hot Springs Resort. Continue past the building with the hot springs source and as you are almost at the end of the path you will see a trail to your left. It is marked with a yellow sign and starts off uphill.


One of the highlights of this hike is the beautiful secluded beach known as Sandy Cove. This trail for the most part isn’t very difficult but can be a bit challenging for younger children as there are some steep sections, including a challenging scramble over boulders partway up. Make sure to wear good hiking boots as there are a lot of exposed tree roots and rocks which can be slippery. After the first steep sections and rugged rocks though, it’s smooth sailing as the trail continues onto a flatter worn path. Eventually you’ll reach a T junction: this point is the beginning and end of the loop. Go right to get to the beautiful Sandy Cove beach. It’s often quiet (especially during off-season) as the only way to access this beach is the way you just came, or by boat. This area offers brilliant views of Harrison Lake and the surrounding mountains. The trail continues at the far end of the beach. The rest of the trail weaves its way through bountiful ferns and forest. At one point the trail climbs a small hill before dipping back down and follows alongside the Harrison River, and there’s a short trail that goes to a rocky bluff overlooking the river. The trail gets narrow in areas but other than the steep rocky start, it’s a fairly easy loop.


BEAR MOUNTAIN

Credits: chelseastunden on Instagram

Difficulty: πŸ‘£πŸ‘£πŸ‘£πŸ‘£πŸ‘£
Length: 18 km return
Time: 6-7 hours
Trailhead: As you drive into Harrison Hot Springs, turn right at Lillooet Avenue. Drive for approximately 5 km, and at the point it starts to go up the east side of the lake, you’ll see a rough gravelly/grassy road on the right. Park here but don’t block any driveways (there are a few residences here).


If you’re looking for a moderately difficult hike, with some breathtaking views as reward, hike Bear Mountain! Your walk begins on an old forest service road. You’ll see remnants of an old mining operation as you walk. After you pass an old mining office, you’ll get to a fork in the road. At this point, take the trail on the right. Along this path, you’ll see some lovely small waterfalls and viewpoints. Then, you’ll gain plenty of elevation as you hike through a series of switchbacks. After about 2 hours of hiking, once you pass two talus slopes, you’ll get some incredible views of Harrison Lake and Harrison River. You’ll probably want to take a break here to savour the scenery and snap some pictures. Once you continue, you’ll soon reach another intersection for Bear Lake to your right, and the trail to the Bear Mountain Lookout to the left. Stay left to get to the lookout. There is some slow slogging involved as the trail is overgrown with deadfall and trees in some areas. Once you’ve reached the top, comes the reward: the forest opens up much like the heavens opening, and you’re greeted with spectacular, sweeping views of the Cheam Mountain Range, the Fraser Valley, Fraser River, and of course Harrison Lake and Harrison River. This is a fantastic photo opportunity and a dazzling feast for the eyes!


HARRISON GRIND (CAMPBELL LAKE TRAIL)

Credits: stellacarmen93 on Instagram 

Difficulty: πŸ‘£πŸ‘£πŸ‘£πŸ‘£πŸ‘£
Length: 10 km return (including trail to lake)
Time: 6 hours
Trailhead: Drive down Hot Springs Road until you are at Balsam Avenue on your right. Park at the turnout to your left; the trailhead is here.


As this trail winds its way up Agassiz Mountain, it travels through a wide diversity of terrain. You’ll have to traverse some strenuous and sharp inclines, and lots of rocky and rooted sections— so it’s not a trail for beginners. Start by following the gravel road up an incline to the water reservoir, then go left around it. You’ll be walking a path that’s cut under some power lines. Next, you’ll enter the forest. Eventually the trail alternates, going back and forth between walking on a wet and slippery creek bed and a packed trail. After a while, the trail gets narrower and you come out into the open and a boulder trail goes up from there. The trail is more technical here, so you have to really watch where you step so you don’t twist your ankle or trip. You’ll end up back in the forest which again is very root-filled and rocky. Eventually you reach a moss-covered log bridge, but if you don’t want to try it, there is a path you can take next to it. You’ll have more arduous sections to climb before you come out to a flat section (known as the old helicopter landing pad). This is the spot where all your effort will be rewarded! You’ll be met with incredibly dazzling views of Harrison lake and the stunning rivers and mountain ranges that surround it. This is a great place to have a snack as you enjoy the mountain-fresh air and incredible beauty that encircles you. If you decide to carry on to Campbell lake, it’s another couple of kilometres, with a mossy boulder section to cross, stairs, and more slippery spots and roots. It’s a small, tranquil lake where, on a hot day, you might want to take a cool and refreshing dip. When you decide to head back down, walking poles will help immensely on the steep descent to take the pressure off your knees.

 

For more information on these or other hikes, or other activities to do while in Harrison Hot Springs, visit our website at www.tourismharrison.com, call us at 604-796-5581, or stop by the Visitor Information Centre at 499 Hotsprings Road.

Visitor's Guide