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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Credits: HarrisonResort on Twitter
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
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
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.
Credits: chelseastunden on Instagram
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
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.
Crisp air, snowy mountainous scenery, and lakeside views - treat yourself to the gift of relaxation. Whether it’s a leisurely walk through our village, or exploring our scenic forest trails, spend some time with your loved ones to break up the long winter months.
Lights by the Lake
The village continues to stay lit up in the evenings with this event until January 28th! This season brought life to this inaugural event. Unlike a typical holiday scene, Lights by the Lake features a unique Sasquatch-themed display, sharing Harrison’s favourite ways to spend time outdoors. Watch our legendary creature hike, bike, paddle, ski, and fish!
🎥 by Blrrd Creativ
Hittin’ the Slopes
Sasquatch Mountain Resort (formerly Hemlock Valley Resort) is just a short drive, providing fantastic winter fun. Skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and tubing are on the agenda!
📸 by Sasquatch Mountain Resort on Facebook
Soak Up the Winter Season
While Harrison’s adventurous side is bound to get your adrenaline pumping, our therapeutic side is here to nurture you with healing mineral water. Soak your stresses away.
📸 by blondiee777 on Instagram
Make a night out of it and book a stay with one of our welcoming accommodations here!
Most of us (of a certain age) have seen the shaky, grainy footage from the late 1960s featuring an eerie, hulking, hair-covered creature walking upright along a creekbed, its gait lengthy and its bulky arms swinging at its sides. It turns its dark head to the side and looks at the camera. (If you are too young to have seen it back in its prime, google “Patterson-Gimlin film”). What did you think when you first watched it—did you believe this creature to be myth or reality? That famous footage was filmed in the U.S. where the being is known as “Bigfoot”, but stories of this mysterious figure were around long before that, told in ancient pictographs and stone carvings.
📸 by: Harrison Beach Hotel on Facebook
The Harrison and Chehalis regions are the territory of the Sts’ailes First Nation, whose experiences with this creature go back thousands of years. In fact, depictions of the hairy and dark biped were found at Sasquatch Mountain in paintings made 3,000 to 7,000 years ago by the Sts’ailes people. Their word “Sa:sq’ets” was used to describe the figure as a caretaker who watches over the land. The word “Sasquatch” is believed to have originated from their word “Sa:sq’ets”, which was either anglicized to (or mispronounced as) “Sasquatch”.
Harrison Hot Springs is a hotbed of all things Sasquatch and many eager Sasquatch fans visit the area in hopes of someday catching a glimpse of this elusive and mystifying figure. In lieu of that, a great selfie with a village Sasquatch can be satisfying too! Follow us along the Sasquatch Trail in Harrison Hot Springs, in search of the best places for Sasquatch stories, selfies, souvenirs and sport!
TOURISM HARRISON VISITOR CENTRE AND SASQUATCH MUSEUM (499 HOT SPRINGS ROAD, HARRISON HOT SPRINGS)
An absolute must-see and perfect starting point is Tourism Harrison’s Visitor Information Centre. This welcoming little gem is most definitely worth your time! From the moment you walk in and are greeted by a smiling, friendly looking, and towering (6 ft+) Sasquatch stuffie, you know you have found Sasquatch Central! (Make sure to take a selfie with the Sasquatch stuffie while you’re there!)
Home to the recently established Sasquatch Museum, it is a fascinating look at all things Sasquatch. You’ll find articles about the Sts’ailes First Nation’s rich and colourful history with Sasquatch; numerous Sasquatch footprint casts; a map and descriptions of Harrison’s very own Sasquatch sightings; and articles about legendary past (and modern-day) Sasquatch researchers. Even the aforementioned Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot Film plays on loop. The friendly staff will answer any questions you may have, and there are countless research articles to read and historical photos to browse, and even an interactive computer kiosk (listen to the terrifying scream of the Sasquatch to give yourself a good scare). You can read more about Harrison Hot Springs’ Sasquatch here.
📸 by: Sasquatch Country Adventures on Facebook
You can even book a unique outing with a company called Sasquatch Country Adventures, in which a Sasquatch expert talks and tours you around forest service roads above Harrison Lake in a 6-seat utility vehicle. It’s a fantastic opportunity to learn everything you ever wanted to know about local Sasquatch legend and lore. Whether you are truly seeking a Sasquatch sighting or just want to get out for an open-air adventure, it is a most enjoyable excursion surrounded by breathtaking scenery (so don’t forget your camera!). Tours available April through October. Go to Sasquatch Country Adventures for details.
The visitor centre also carries a huge selection of Sasquatch themed souvenirs and merchandise such as key chains, magnets, stuffies in various sizes, kids’ activity kits; and a huge selection of books. And then there are the fun products like “Sasquatch Sweat Soap” (the label reads “guaranteed not to grow hair!”); the Bigfoot Dress-up figure (comes with interchangeable outfits); Bigfoot mints (the thought of Bigfoot Breath is cringeworthy); and Bigfoot Bandages (which work on small feet too!).
📸 by: anggeorge_qwenot on Instagram
Come by and check out Sasquatch Days: a two-day event celebrating the Sts’ailes First Nation’s and Harrison’s long and wondrous history with Sasquatch. The first Sasquatch Days was celebrated in 1938 and the tradition continues, with a fun and informative event featuring canoe races, medicine walks, entertainment, an artisan and vendor market, and a traditional salmon barbecue. Both Sts’ailes experts and local Harrison Hot Springs investigators will lead talks about the mystical creature. Click the link
SASQUATCH SELFIE STOPS
We challenge you to complete the “Sasquatch Selfie Challenge”: See if you can find and take selfies with the seven Sasquatch that inhabit the village! Fear not, we’ll help you find them:
1. First, is the giant Sasquatch stuffie mentioned earlier in the Visitor Centre! He already has a great camera-ready smile, no need to say “cheese!”
2. Another amazing Sasquatch can be found on Hot Springs Road where it meets McPherson Road. This is the location of Harrison’s beautifully crafted welcome sign. Sitting right next to the sign as if relaxing and enjoying the day, is a carved Sasquatch, known as “Hot Springs Harry”. The subject of many Instagram photos, “Harry” was expertly carved by master chainsaw carver Pete Ryan. Harry sits on a bench with his arm outstretched, just waiting for you (with enough room for your friends), to take a seat and a selfie with him.
3. As you continue into town, the next Sasquatch you’ll see is at #670 Hot Springs Road, next to the Springs RV Resort sign. This is a more formidable looking Sasquatch, hefting a large rock over his head. A pose with this scary looking beast is a great opportunity to capture a dramatic selfie!
4. Next, let’s head to the Harrison Village Mall. On the corner of Esplanade Avenue and Hot Springs Road, it’s a strip mall dotted with charming shops and cafés popular with tourists. Sitting outside on a wooden bench, is another very recognizable and very photographed Sasquatch. Carved by Hope, BC local Randy Swope, this Sasquatch is a pleasant and portly fellow who is so highly regarded, he even has his own designated parking space! Directly in front of him, you’ll see the parking spot with the words “Sasquatch Parking Only” neatly painted on the concrete. It seems both visitors and locals abide by it, for the spot is usually empty even if the rest of the parking lot is full!
5. Just south, across the street from the Harrison Village Mall, you’ll find another Sasquatch carving. At Village Pizzeria restaurant, you’ll see a Sasquatch holding a slice of pizza. This wood carving is popular with kids as he is one of the smaller Sasquatches in town.
6. You will find many signs of Sasquatch along Esplanade Avenue, the main road that fronts the lake. On the east corner of Hot Springs Road and Esplanade Avenue, you will see a large directory of businesses with a Sasquatch figure at the top of it. As you continue to walk east, you’ll see that the sidewalk features a trail of Sasquatch “footprints” along the way. Further down, on the lake side of the street, you will see one of the newest Sasquatch statues near the performance stage. Although fearsome looking in his expression, this Sasquatch is closer to human size, so you can fit nicely together for a picture (don’t worry, he won’t bite). Esplanade Avenue is teeming with Sasquatch photo opportunities…even a nearby electrical box is Sasquatch themed! It’s covered with a delightful photo of Sasquatch standing on a rocky bluff, spreading his arms out wide as he joyously overlooks Harrison Lake—which reflects the Sts’ailes’ belief that Sasquatch watches over the land!
7. The last Sasquatch on the list is much too large to fit in a “selfie” but deserves a photo all its own. If you head to Harrison Hot Springs Resort, then continue past it on the walking trail that curves north west, you will see a series of utility buildings featuring beautiful Indigenous art on the sides. This includes a very grand and eye-catching line-art installation of the Sts’ailes Sasquatch. This figure is a cultural icon of the Sts’ailes People; in fact, it is trademarked to the Sts’ailes First Nation, and is internationally recognized. It is truly a work of art, so be sure to find this culturally significant Sasquatch (Sa:sq’ets)!
SASQUATCH SOUVENIRS AND GIFTS
Maybe you want to bring a little Sasquatch home with you? There are a bounty of fun and charming souvenir shops to explore! At Gift Shops such as Sasquatch Gifts and Souvenirs, Serenity Now, Sticks and Stones Gift Shop, and Blue Dandelion Gifts, you will find a wealth of Sasquatch-themed items. A huge selection of Sasquatch and Bigfoot Books are available, which make for a compelling read, whether you are a “believer” or not! You can also find fridge magnets, key chains, zipper pulls, all in Sasquatch style! Loveable and squishy sasquatch stuffies in all sizes are waiting for a snuggle. Pick up a “Sasquatch Crossing” sign for your yard! Then there’s the Sasquatch-themed clothing: clever T-shirts, humorous socks, baseball caps; we even found Sasquatch boxer shorts (with a cartoon Sasquatch and the word “Sascrotch” printed on them!). The shops are a blast to browse and you’ll be sure to find that perfect Sasquatch gift or keepsake.
SASQUATCH PROVINCIAL PARK
📸 by: sarahsnatureandstuff on Instagram
Six kilometers northeast of Harrison Hot Springs, you will find the spectacular, sprawling park known as Sasquatch Provincial Park. The park is abundant with outdoor opportunities for fishing, hiking, camping, swimming, and boating. There are 3 main lakes (Hicks Lake, Deer Lake, and Trout Lake), nestled amongst thousands of acres of glorious forest. A perfect activity for all ages and abilities is the Hicks Lake Hike, an easy, 7 km long loop. But, keep your eyes wide open as you walk through this enchanted forest; you never know when Sasquatch might make an appearance!
SASQUATCH MOUNTAIN RESORT
📸 by: Sasquatch Mountain Resort on Facebook
Tucked away high above Harrison Lake is the Sasquatch Mountain Resort. Built in a natural snow-bowl formation, this resort features skiing, snowboarding, a tube park, terrain park, snowshoe trails, and snowmobile tours. Don’t have your own skis? Don’t worry, they offer equipment rentals! Stay at their Snowflake Resort Chalet and have a bite at the Sasquatch Mountain Cafeteria or Molly Hogan’s Pub. Skiing and snowboarding lessons are available whether you are new to the sport or just need to polish your skills. (P.S. There is a Sasquatch carving at the resort, an opportunity for another Sasquatch selfie!) Click here for a resort map and details.
The resort even offers summer activities such as Motorcross Trail Riding, Kayaking, Jetskiing, Salt Water Fishing, Paddleboarding, and ATV & Side-by-side UTV tours through local company Jag Outdoor Adventures. For details, click here.
SASQUATCH THEMED LIGHTS BY THE LAKE
Running until January 28 is Harrison’s first Annual Lights by the Lake. It is very fitting that the theme for the inaugural year is Sasquatch! This free attraction ran throughout the holidays, and you’ll feel the warm spirit of the holidays continue as you stroll along Harrison’s waterfront to see the dazzling light displays, including many bright and colourful Sasquatch!
If you would like to learn more about these stops along the Sasquatch Trail or are interested in learning about other local attractions, click here or call the friendly staff at Tourism Harrison’s Visitor Information Centre at 604-796-5581. Or visit in person at 499 Hot Springs Road, Harrison Hot Springs, BC.