Escape to Harrison Hot Springs

As the rest of Canada Marches towards spring (sorry, we couldn’t resist), here in BC we’re already privy to blooming flower buds and cherry blossoms. That doesn’t mean that we’re content to stay city-bound when Friday calls – rather, we’re inclined to venture out of town for a little YP weekend R&R.

It’s usually around this time of year when popular summer vacation spots offer up incredibly noteworthy deals, much to the liking of city-strapped young professionals.

One such example is the Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Spa located along the southern shore of Harrison Lake in the village of Harrison Hot Springs. A relatively short drive (approx. 2 hours) east of Vancouver along the Trans Canada Highway toward the gorgeous Fraser Valley will have you at this luxury resort’s doorstep.

This stunning resort area was first discovered and traditionally enjoyed by the Salish Coast Indians and was also home to the St. Alice Hotel (circa 1886) prior to being named as it is today. This fido-friendly resort is set amidst a rugged, mountainous backdrop. It features a full service, specialty spa, as well as recently redone rooms (with free WiFi), a cozy communal fireplace and a handful of bistro, bar and dining options to keep you satiated on-site.   

In addition to offering the above-mentioned amenities and then some, let’s get to the goods: the hot springs. The resort and spa are surrounded by five different hot spring-fed mineral pools of varying temperature so you can pick your poison and simply enjoy the serene surroundings in good company…or alone. 

During this somewhat dreary time of year, this is just what the doctor ordered (or at least what we’re looking for), and with pricing as low as $120/ per room (high-season prices can reach $400 or more), we’re thinking about checking-in.

Heading to the spa or hot springs isn’t all this resort area offers, either. Easily accessed from Harrison Hot Springs are several parks, conservation areas and ski hills if that’s what you’ve got a hankering for. 

Be sure to check out the nearby (and stunning) Bridal Veil Falls Provincial Park and take in the cascading rush of water from over 60 meters above and enjoy a variety of day-hikes. 

Alternatively, grab a coffee at the Muddy Waters Espresso Bar for your java fix before you head over to the Cheam Lake Wetlands Regional Park (south of Harrison Hot Springs) for a day of trekking. This picturesque trail system even has a 2km-long floating walkway that will lead you straight through the lake, forest and marshy areas (and at this time of year without mosquitoes).

Prior to returning to town after a relaxing weekend away, swing by local favorite The Old Settler Pub for traditional tasty fare. Try out their Jakarta chicken salad or baron of beef (so good)…or opt for schnitzel, burgers and BBQ fixings. They’ve pretty much got it all covered.