Featured Photo by @aewnuk
Harrison Hot Springs is a famous resort town in the Fraser Valley claiming natural mineral hot springs, a sandy beach, and a gorgeous lake for watercraft.
On a clear day, Harrison Hot Springs is breathtaking, with views of massive granite ridges, a majestic lake surrounded by trees and hills, and long sandy beaches. The lake is by far the biggest in the Lower Mainland.
The town is about a 90-minute drive east of Vancouver and a half-hour drive northeast of Chilliwack.
The Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa, where the main hot pools are located, is one of the best places to visit. There are also public hot springs in town, which are pleasant but not as interesting.
If you want to enjoy the hot springs, the resort is probably where you’ll want to visit. It’s not cheap, but it’s the place to go if you want to be pampered. If you are not staying at the resort or paying for spa treatments, You can also use the city pool if you want to. There are two hot springs here, the “Potash,” which has a temperature of 40 degrees Celsius, and the “Sulphur,” which has a temperature of 65 degrees Celsius. According to Harrison Hot Springs Resort, the waters have one in the largest concentrations in dissolved mineral solids of any mineral spring, averaging 1300 ppm. This hot spring is one of many that line the Lillooet River and Harrison Lake valley. Meager Creek has the Lillooet River’s northernmost hot springs.
Keep an eye out for Hobo Hot Springs
Miners returning from the Fraser River during the gold rush are said to have found “hot springs” when they landed. When Judge Matthew Begbie conducted his first circuit of the mining camps in early 1859, he discovered the springs. He informed Governor James Douglas, who christened the hamlet “St. Alice’s Well.” In the summer of 1886, John Brown began construction on the St. Alice Hotel. The hotel first opened its doors on November 1, 1886. The St. Alice Hotel burned down in 1920, but was rebuilt and renamed the “Harrison Hot Springs Hotel” afterwards. The hotel was noted for its pools and spas, as well as horseback riding, shooting, and lake boating and fishing.
A townsite plan along the lakefront was registered in 1889, and a new subdivision plan selling lots was registered in 1926. With the discovery of sienna in the 1890s, a mining boom erupted. The first school in Harrison Hot Springs was built in 1899 near the south end of town.
Sternwheeler tours from New Westminster to Harrison Hot Springs, as well as cruises on Harrison Lake and surrounding Echo Island, were popular. Many logging camps, including a sawmill at Port Douglas, were located on Harrison Lake in the early years. Throughout the years, logging in and around Harrison Lake has occurred and continues to this day.
Colonel Naismith arrived in Harrison Hot Springs in 1946 and quickly rose through the ranks to become a community leader. He was also selected pro-tem chairman of the Harrison Hot Springs Property Owners Association and elected as a Village trustee. One of the initiatives was to build a community hall as a memorial to local World War I and II veterans. The Memorial Hall took seven years to build and was finished by the Community Association in 1951.
The Fraser River flooded much of the Village in 1948, but the community was able to recover. Flooding struck Harrison Hot Springs again in 1950, but provincial officials agreed to help to the construction of a dyke.
For the municipality, the Harrison Hot Springs Property Owners Association sought for and got Letters Patent. Colonel Naismith was elected Chairman, and commissioners were elected as well. In May of 1949, the village of Harrison Hot Springs was founded as the “Corporation of the Village of Harrison Hot Springs.” The municipality got clearance for Supplementary Letters Patent on December 2, 2004, altering its name to “Village of Harrison Hot Springs.”
HARRISON HOT SPRINGS RESORT
100 Esplanade Avenue, Harrison Hot Springs, BC V0M 1K0
Resort: 1.888.870.8889 │ 604.796.2244 │ Spa: 604.796.4746
Aldesta Hotels & Resorts
Harrison Hot Springs Resort
Poets Cove Resort & Spa
Harrison Lake Hotel
Referece: Harrison Hot Springs Resort. https://www.harrisonresort.com/careers/
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