For an easy road trip that’s just about a two-hour drive from Vancouver, Harrison Mills and Harrison Hot Springs make for a cozy off-season getaway for families, couples, and adventurers alike.
Cozy up in a charming cottage along the Harrison River, where you can step outside and witness beautiful eagles soaring above. Then, after a quick drive, take a soothing dip in the hot springs pool, eat delicious food, search for the elusive Sasquatch.
Book a cozy cabin stay
Rowena’s Inn on the River is situated in Harrison Mills, B.C. and is a boutique resort with golf course that has been welcoming guests since 1995. The property was first developed a century ago by the Pretty family, though the last surviving member of the family opted to sell it to Sandpiper Resort, who has operated it since 2016.
Guests staying at Rowena’s are either in the manor house or in private cottages that are outfitted with all the amenities of home, including roomy bathtubs for soaking your cares away, and romantic fireplaces for evening cuddles. Rowena’s recently debuted a slate of brand-new one-, two-, and three-bedroom luxury cabins, complete with gas fireplaces and TVs (if you want your fireplace snuggle paired with cable or your Netflix or Disney+ account – both apps are built in).
The new cabins are spacious and well-equipped, including a full-size fridge and kitchen gear (everything but a stove/oven) and are just a stone’s throw from the original cottages on site, giving you easy access to walking trails, the golf course, and the clubhouse restaurant.
Go eagle watching
Bald eagles are a huge part of the draw at Rowena’s – in fact, the property prides itself on offering prime eagle viewing. Whether you are just a casual observer or a dedicated eagle-eyed eagle watcher or photographer, you will definitely see plenty of the majestic birds during your stay as they swoop from their tree-top perches to the river to get their salmon. There’s a marked trail that leads to a viewing deck along the river’s edge where you can set up a watching post, however you will also spy eagles just as you move about the resort property.
Explore Harrison Hot Springs
As their motto goes, Harrison Hot Springs really is “just up the road.” Not only is it an easy drive from Metro Vancouver (and can be a lovely leisurely one if you take the Lougheed Highway, aka the “Scenic 7”) but if you’re based at Rowena’s at Harrison Mills, the charming lakeside down is just a short drive away.
In Harrison Hot Springs you can walk along the lakeshore and Esplanade, poke in the gift shops, take a soothing swim in the public hot springs pool, and enjoy the surrounding nature.
Search for Sasquatch
The legend of Sasquatch looms large in the region. Particularly ideal for families, there’s a self-guided Sasquatch “trail” in Harrison Hot Springs you can follow, which makes for a fun way to see the sights, learn a bit, and enjoy the day away. Start off at Tourism Harrison Hot Springs’ office on your way into town (well, first you may want to stop at the welcome sign for your first big photo-op) and check out the Sasquatch Museum.
As you make your way around town, keep an eye out for all sorts of tributes to the Sasquatch. They make for great selfie spots, and are a lot safer than running into the real deal.
Eat delicious food
If you’re staying at Rowena’s, you’re in luck – the Clubhouse restaurant on site is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. They focus on local and seasonal ingredients, so you’ll find things like Harrison salmon and Fraser Valley Duck in dishes, or beautiful B.C. strawberries in their crave-worthy strawberry balsamic salad dressing. Daytime eats lean towards the casual – including portable breakfast eats like bagels and smoked salmon or a breakfast sandwich for golfers or explorers on the go. Come dinnertime, they have a range of salads, soups, appies, and mains, including house specials like a salmon Wellington, roast beef with Yorkshire pudding, and Schnitzel. Their weekend brunch spread is a standout, with everything from build your own tacos to waffles and whipped cream.
Down the road in Harrison Hot Springs, look for spots that celebrate all things local, like Muddy Waters Cafe, a casual bistro that features affordable, approachable fare that often showcases local bounty. Even somewhere like the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory takes a cue from the local scene; owner Mark Schweinbenz makes chocolate Sasquatch feet available on sticks, or big caramel ones loaded with toppings for an extra sugar rush.
Enjoy the drive
It’s worthwhile to make the time to take the slower route on Highway 7 for some or all of your trip out to Harrison Mills and Harrison Hot Springs. Called the “Scenic 7,” you can wind your way through diverse landscape and choose your own adventure along the way. Do some shopping, get fresh-made cheese from local producers, go on hikes, or just enjoy the views.
Thanks to Rowena’s Inn on the River and Tourism Harrison and their partners for their assistance with facilitating portions of the this trip. All opinions and inclusions are those of the author’s and were not guided or influenced in any way by the facilitators.