Harrison Hot Springs
Harrison Hot Springs  is a village and vacation area in the Fraser Valley at the southern end of Harrison Lake. Visitors and locals alike are drawn by the picturesque lake, the beach and hot springs, and more recently, the sand sculpture contests on the beach.
The area and hot springs were first known to and used by the Chehalis First Nations people. Low-key resort development began after the Canadian Pacific Railway was built through Agassiz, making the area more accessible. Development has increased, but the village is still small (less than 2000 people). It remains a popular spot to get away to and can be very busy on summer weekends.
From Highway 1, exit at Highway 9 (exit 135) and follow it north to Agassiz. From there, follow Hot Springs Road north to the lake. If you're on Highway 7, turn onto Hot Springs Road in Agassiz. The drive from Vancouver will take about 1.5 - 2 hours, depending on traffic.
The village is compact so walking is the easiest way to get around. Hot Springs Road is the main street out of town and Esplanade Ave, along the beach, has many of the motels and restaurants.
- World Championship of Sand Sculptures, located on the beach near the lagoon, . Held each year just after Labour Day (first Monday in Sept), master sand sculptors from around the world compete to build sand castles, sand figures and anything else they can think of as long as it is made from sand and water. The sculptures remain on exhibition for one month afterwards.
- Harrison Lake, framed by mountains on three sides, makes a nice backdrop to the location.
Not surprisingly, many of the activities in Harrison Hot Springs revolve around water -- relaxing in the hot springs, swimming, kayaking, cruising the lake, to name a few. But there's plenty more you can do if you want to stay dry.
- Harrison Public Hot Pool, corner of Hot Springs Rd and Esplanade. Indoor pool open to the public with water piped in from the source of the hot springs. $8.50.
- Enjoy a refreshing dip in the glacier-fed waters of Harrison Lake. If you want something warmer than the lake but cooler than the Hot Pool, try the lagoon in the beach.
On the Lake
- Take a cruise on Harrison Lake.
- Rent a "boat" -- motorized or kayak -- and tour the lake yourself.
- Windsurf. Winds are highest in the afternoon.
- If you have your own boat, there is a boat ramp at the eastern end of Esplanade Avenue.
- Rent a bicycle or quadracycle and pedal around town. The quad bikes are particularly good for a laugh with four people providing the power and two steering. The various pedaling machines can be rented by the hour from:
- Jamie's Quadracycle Rentals, corner of Lillooet and Hot Springs Road. Rents out quadracycles and bicycles.
- Harrison Scooter Rentals, 439 Lillooet Ave, . Rents out a seclection of bicycles, quadbikes, mountain bikes and scooters.
- There are many hiking trails in the area.
Skiing and Snowboarding
- Hemlock Valley Resort, 20955 Hemlock Valley Road, Phone: 604-797-4411 Fax: 604-797-4440 Toll Free: 1-866-567-6866, .
Several small shops are available along Esplanade and Hot Springs Road.
There are a number of casual dining restaurants and takeaway places located along Esplanade Avenue and Hot Springs Road.
- Lakeside Cafe, 100 Esplanade Avenue(part of the Harrison Hot Springs Resort), ☎ 1 604-796-2244. Open for breakfast and lunch daily, open for dinner seasonally.
- Old Settler Pub, 222 Cedar Avenue(corner of Cedar and Hot Springs Road), ☎ 1 604-796-9722, . Open 11AM - 11 PM on Fri and Sat, 11AM - 10PM other days.
There isn't much late night nightlife in Harrison. Pubs and restaurants are generally open until 10 or 11 PM. The Settler Pub also serves as a liquor store if you want to stock up on your own supplies.
- Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Spa, 100 Esplanade Avenue, ☎ 1-800-663-2266 (toll-free) or 1 604-796-2244, . Large hotel with their own hot springs pool at the far end of the beach.
- Harrison Beach Hotel, 160 Esplanade Avenue, ☎ 1-866-338-81111 (toll-free) or 1 604-796-1111(fax: 1 604-796-1112), . Newer hotel across the street from the beach.
- The Spa Motel, 140 Esplanade Avenue, ☎ 1-800-592-8828 (toll-free) or 1 604-796-2828, . Older motel in both looks and style, but clean and across the street from the beach. Has a BBQ on the grounds plus spots for guests who brought their own.
- Executive Hotel Harrison Hot Springs, 190 Lillooet Ave, ☎ 1-888-265-1155, . checkin: 3pm; checkout: 12pm. 88 room hotel located one block from Harrison Lake.
Further east is the scenic Fraser Canyon, the town of Hope and Manning Provincial Park, which offers hiking, camping and other recreation opportunities. If you're looking to return to Vancouver and have some time, you may want to take Highway 7 which is slower but more scenic (particulary the piece between Agassiz and Mission).
This page was last edited at 23:07, on 14 January 2009 by James Yolkowski. Based on work by Wikitravel user(s) Shaund and Morph and Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel.