Recently I took a trip in my Toyota Highlander to a unique historical cemetery that "you must visit before you die", on the way to Harrison Hot Springs Resort. While it was a nice place to visit I certainly wouldn't want to stay there, so today I'm bringing you the final destination.
In the summer months the town of Harrison Hot Springs (which gets its name from... well... you know) is kinda bonkers. People riding bike rentals here and there, the beach is busy with people swimming and building sand castles, and there are kids with ice cream cones as far as the eye can see. It's a no-brainer of awesomeness in those months - the ideal summer vacation spot - but the true secret is how great it is in the winter. Below are 3 reasons you should check it out.
1. The Resort
There are a number of different places to stay and the granddaddy of them all (literally, the town was built around it) is the Harrison Hot Springs Resort. There are three restaurants within it, different accommodation options in suites and cabins, and below is the view from our view on the second floor. That's the majestic Harrison Lake, of course. On the window of the sliding door is a warning not to leave the screen door open as wildlife might fly in.
Steps from the entrance is the beach, and unlike the summer months you practically have this to yourself during the winter. It's worth a quiet walk or two by yourself or with a loved one.
Oh, and did I mention that the resort is where the hot spring pools are? There's also a pool in the community centre but the convenience of getting into a robe and walking down the stairs to access these healing waters is pretty great. Not pictured here is the grotto to the right which is adults-only. There's also an indoor spa with pools, located in that structure in the background.
Again, the views! This was shot from the beach in front of the resort, and the mountains in the distance capture this light at sunset and sundown.
2. The surrounding nature
Directly behind the Resort are a couple of trails that go in different directions. I got onto this one that looped around, took about 10 minutes, and wound up on the beach pictured above. It was odd, it felt like I was in a semi-remote locale but really was just steps from grabbing a Starbucks in the lobby (which I did when I got back, because it was pretty cold out there).
They've allowed the moss to take over on the trail, making for some interesting lamp posts that I wished I could bring home with me.
3. The Eagle Festival
There are a ton of adventures to get into beyond the walls of the resort. One of them being fishing or eco tours on a boat with BC Sportfishing Group (who have an office within the resort itself). Another is checking out the annual Fraser Valley Eagle Festival on foot, nearby in the small town of Harrison Mills.
We parked near a golf course and made our way down a winding trail towards the Harrison River, where the eagles congregate to eat the carcasses of the dead salmon who have completed their spawning cycle. There's lots of wildlife along the trail; we spotted this odd beast who looks a lot like my wife...
We also came across this guy on the side of the road on the way there...
We didn't get any photos of the eagles as the viewing platforms are fairly far back from where they perch, but the festival has some doozies on their Facebook page. Here's one.
Thanks to Tourism Harrison Hot Springs for hosting us for an incredible stay, and to Toyota BC for getting us there!