📸 by: Harrison Hot Springs Resort on Facebook
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!).
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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
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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.