Harrison Hot Springs is a popular resort town in the Fraser Valley boasting natural mineral hot springs, a sandy beach and a beautiful lake for boating.
HARRISON’S RESPONSE TO COVID-19
Harrison Hot Springs closed to visitors for a number of weeks, but it reopened as of the end of July in 2020. Public facilities such as playgrounds, tennis courts, the beach and public washrooms are now open.
Unfortunately, a number of major events in the area have also been cancelled. These included Sasquatch Days, Harrison Uncorked and the Harrison Festival of the Arts. The annual Lights on the Lake event at Christmas has also been cancelled, or at least for people from out of town. The Harrison Beach Hotel and Harrison Hot Springs Resort also both closed temporarily, but have since reopened. As of mid-December, 2020, outdoor hot spring pools at the resort remained open, but at limited capacity. All indoor hot spring pools, however, were closed until further notice.
For more information on what’s happening visit the Tourism Harrison Hot Springs website.
To see what else is being affected in the Metro Vancouver area click Impact of COVID-19 on Vancouver.
Harrison Hot Springs
On a sunny day Harrison Hot Springs is spectacular – the views include giant rocky mountains, a stunning lake surrounded by forests and hills, and long sandy beaches. The lake itself is by far the largest one in the Lower Mainland.
When we want to escape the city, but don’t want to travel far, Harrison Hot Springs is one of our favourite destinations. It’s a great place to visit any time of the year. The place offers a wide range of water-based activities in the summer, hiking opportunities year-round and a ski hill close by in the winter.
To learn about our adventures at Harrison in the fall of 2019, click Romantic Autumn Getaway. In the article we describe our experiences on a river safari, seeing bald eagles and an 8-foot-long sturgeon fish, and hiking in area parks. In the article we also have a video so you can see all the fun things you can do in fall.
For general information about Harrison Hot Springs though, including places to stay and popular activities at various times of the year, see below.
Where to Stay at Harrison
One of the best places to stay is the Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa, where the main hot pools are located. There are public hot springs in town as well, which are nice, but not as exotic.
If you’re going for the hot spring experience, the resort is likely where you’ll want to stay. It’s not inexpensive, however, but it’s the place to get pampered. If you’re not staying at the resort or not paying for a spa treatment, then you can still enjoy the public pool (and it’s not expensive).
There are many other great places to stay at Harrison, including the Harrison Beach Hotel. It doesn’t offer its own hot springs, but it’s very nice, less expensive and right across from the water. It also has an indoor pool.
Another nice place to stay, just a 20-minute drive away, is the Sandpiper Resort (which is also home to one of the region’s nicest golf courses). Located at 14282 Morris Valley Road in nearby in Harrison Mills, the resort offers comfortable rooms in a historic inn as well as accommodations in some wonderfully luxurious cabins.
There are also several RV parks, a small commercial campground and numerous other hotels and B&B’s in the area. We have stayed at various times at the Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa, the Harrison Beach Hotel and in one of the cabins at the Sandpiper Resort and loved them all.
If you like camping, a great place to stay is at nearby Sasquatch Provincial Park which has lots of campsites which are both nice and inexpensive. The park is also a great place to explore and go fishing, hiking and swimming.
What to Do at Harrison
Even if you don’t plan to visit the actual hot springs, there is still a lot to do at Harrison. In the summer Harrison Lake is popular for swimming, boating, beach volleyball and hanging out in the water and on the sand.
In addition to the large lake, on the beach surrounded by sand is a fair-sized natural pool of water that’s great for young children to play in (provided there aren’t too many geese also swimming in it). Nearby there is also a great children’s playground.
Boats of various kinds can be rented at Harrison, there are chartered boat tours, and there is even an amazing inflatable water playground out in the lake that’s open (for a fee) in the busy summer season.
Not far from the main downtown area is a nice 9-hole golf course – the Harrison Resort Golf Course. The town of Agassiz is also just down the road from Harrison, and between the two places is the Agassiz Speedway, a small car track with races between once and four times a month between April and November.
Also not far away, the Kilby Historic Site is a “Museum of Rural Life” located at 215 Kilby Road in Harrison Mills. The whole region is beautiful.
In winter, skiing takes place at nearby Sasquatch Mountain. From Harrison Hot Springs, the ski resort is about a 50-minute drive away.
Harrison Festivals and Events
Being a resort town and tourist destination, Harrison Hot Springs hosts various festivals and events throughout normal years. A sample of the village’s calendar of activities includes the following:
- January – Lights on the Lake runs from the end of November until late January and features Christmas illuminations and Sasquatch-themed light displays between the lake and Esplanade Avenue.
- April – Harrison Uncorked: a 2-day wine festival featuring over a dozen different wineries.
- June – Sasquatch Days: two days of war canoe races, local First Nations performances and a salmon BBQ.
- On July 1st – small town Canada Day festivities, including fireworks.
- July – Harrison Festival of the Arts: nine days of concerts and arts exhibits.
- September – Bands on the Beach: two days of FREE music on the Labour Day long weekend.
- October – Harrison Beer Fest: a two-day celebration of craft beers and everything Oktoberfest.
- November – Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival: an event celebrating one of the largest migratory gatherings of bald eagles anywhere.
- December – Lights on the Lake takes place at Harrison Hot Springs and features Christmas light displays along the waterfront.
For more information about the area see the Tourism Harrison website.
Other Picturesque Villages and Resort Towns
Harrison Hot Springs is one of several small towns and villages we recommend as some of Vancouver’s best places.
If you like Harrison Hot Springs, other similar places you might like include Horseshoe Bay (terminal for BC Ferries), Fort Langley (a national historic site) and White Rock (an ocean-side resort community). There is also Steveston Village (a historic fishing village) and Deep Cove (a seaside community in North Vancouver). Also, further away in the opposite direction, is the world-famous resort town of Whistler.