Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia Canada

Discover Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia: A Historical and Touristic Overview

Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia, is a quaint village nestled at the southern end of Harrison Lake in the Fraser Valley. As a member of the Fraser Valley Regional District, it shares its borders with the District of Kent, including the town of Agassiz. With a population of just over 1500 people, this resort community is renowned for its hot springs and is named after Benjamin Harrison, a former deputy governor for the Hudson's Bay Company.

The Historical Journey of Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia

The Village of Harrison Hot Springs has been a small resort community since 1886. The opening of the Canadian Pacific Railway brought the lakeside springs within a short carriage ride of the transcontinental mainline. Initially promoted as a resort under the name St. Alice's Well, the hot springs were discovered by Europeans (although already known to indigenous communities) when a party of goldfield-bound travelers capsized into the warm waters of Harrison Lake.

Despite flourishing in a low-key fashion for years after this discovery, the Village of Harrison Hot Springs was not incorporated until 1949. The hot springs, named after the village, are a major attraction for tourists who come to stay at the village's spa resort.

The hot springs were originally used and revered by the Sts'Ailes (Chehalis) First Nations people who live along the nearby Harrison River. There are two hot springs, the "Potash", with a temperature of 40 °C, and the "Sulphur", with a temperature of 65 °C. According to Harrison Hot Springs Resort, the waters average 1300 ppm of dissolved mineral solids, one of the highest concentrations of any mineral spring.

The Geography of Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia

Harrison Hot Springs is one of several hot springs lining the valley of the Lillooet River and Harrison Lake. The northernmost of the Lillooet River hot springs is at Meager Creek, north of Whistler, with another well-known one to the east of Whistler at Skookumchuck Hot Springs.

Megatsunami Risk in Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia

Some geologists believe that an unstable rock face at Mount Breakenridge, located above the north end of Harrison Lake, could collapse into the lake. This could potentially generate a large wave that might destroy the town of Harrison Hot Springs, located at the lake's south end.

Demographics of Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia

In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Harrison Hot Springs had a population of 1,905 living in 885 of its 1,045 total private dwellings. This was a change of 29.8% from its 2016 population of 1,468. With a land area of 5.49 km2 (2.12 sq mi), it had a population density of 347.0/km2 (898.7/sq mi) in 2021.

Attractions in Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia

Harrison Hot Springs' greatest attraction is its titular springs. However, it also boasts the Ranger Station Public Art Gallery, a marina with jet boat tours of the lake, a nine-hole golf course, and is the closest access to Sasquatch Provincial Park. In July, Harrison Hot Springs hosts the Harrison Festival of the Arts, a ten-day celebration of world music and art.

Bigfoot Sightings in Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia

Due to numerous sightings of Bigfoot in the Fraser Valley near Harrison Hot Springs, the village has embraced the image of the creature. The official town mascot, "Hot Springs Harry", is a sasquatch, and there are several bigfoot sculptures throughout the village. The village also has several gift shops that sell sasquatch-themed souvenirs, as well as a sasquatch museum.