Harrison Lake “Wild” Hot Springs

Foreword:

I’ve had people contacting me and asking to remove this post, saying that the general public does not deserve to know about them.

There is so much wrong with this statement.

First off, this information is not mine to keep. I found all locations with a quick Google search. The information is already available to anybody with fine research skills of a second-grader. There are places that are worth being kept secret; but these four springs are pretty well-known to the general public.

Second, these hot springs are not mine, or anyone else’s in particular, for that matter. If you want to have your “own” spot, buy the land and put a fence around it. Until then, stop being a hoarder. You are not the first, and certainly not the last person to be there. Keeping them to yourself is just egoistic.

Lastly, the people who spoil and trash everything will always be there, and it is up to us to maintain the sites. I always pick any garbage up, even if it is not mine; and I urge others to do the same. If there are people who will go that far only to trash something, I feel empathetic towards them; but hiding these places away from the people who would respectfully enjoy them just as you do isn’t fair.

If you want to be proactive, you may want to concentrate your efforts on minimizing the negative impact. There are far more responsible, respectful people, than there are ill-minded people. I do not think this is fair to the other 99 people to keep such a nice place to yourself in the fear of that 1 person. 


Nearly everyone in Vancouver knows about Harrison Hot Springs, which is a highly frequented destination for individuals, families, couples, and groups of friends. But what most do not realize, is that where there is one hot spring, there usually are others.

You go to Harrison Hot Springs when you want to have a “lazy” vacation. As in sitting in a jacuzzi tub, while sipping wine and getting a pedicure (well, not exactly, but you get the point).

Good, but not great. Cool people have time to drive more for more awesomeness. Because, at least in Vancouver, the hidden hot springs are so much better that the developed ones.

Harrison Lake Wild / “Hidden” Hot Springs


Disclaimer: visit at your own risk. Directions have not been verified.


Going camping? Check out my 2015 guide to recommended camping gear.


1. Clear Creek Hot Springs.

Photo by @jswtrash

Photo by @jswtrash via Instagram

GPS coordinates for the location:  49.686905, -121.742247

There are tubs only, these wild hot springs are located within ~55 km up a logging road from the bottom of the Harrison Lake. Accessible via Rockwell Dr. (Harrison East).

Most blogs say that the portions of the road are only accessible to 4×4 vehicles with high ground clearance. We have made it there in the end of September in 2 2WD cars. Both drivers were experienced, and from post-soviet countries (e.g.: used to shitty road conditions). We got there by 9 PM, so the most difficult portions were covered after the sunset. Both cars suffered minor body damage, and got scraped on the bottom by rocks multiple times. But we made it there and back.

The Harrison East was not as bad when we went, there some potholes but nothing major; the Clear Creek FSR on the other hand was in a pretty rough condition to be driven in cars that we drove. There were two steep grade hills, several washouts, two creek crossings, and many sharp rocks.

2. Sloquet Hot Springs.

Photo by @kailysem

Photo by @kailysem via Instagram

Sloquet Hot Springs are a sacred site for the Xa’xtsa Nation, so be extra respectful and mindful of your behaviour.

“You see, hot springs feature prominently in the spirituality of Aboriginal people around the world. Many hot springs are in fact the source of Creation or a prominent part of Creation. […] To Aboriginal people, hot springs are literally like modern-day churches, mosques and temples – they are the places to go for the spirit and soul to re-gain strength and to heal.”

From www.indigenousworkforce.org

There are natural pools, located within ~115 km from Harrison Hot Springs.

There are two ways of getting to Sloquet:

1. Via Hwy 99 (through Whistler) – about 260 km from Vancouver
2. Via Hwy 7 (through Harrison Mills) – about 190 km from Vancouver.

Do not let the shorter distance fool you. Because of the condition of the road, it may take you the same amount of time, if not longer to get to Sloquet from Harrison during Summer. It must be a 4×4 vehicle with high ground clearance, and the driver must be very experienced. During the winter – forget about it, you will have to take the Hwy 99.

If you are brave enough to take the challenge of the trickier route you will be going through Tipella, which is a First Nations settlement and a logging camp. I heard that there is a gas station now since recently, so you should be able to fill before the way back.

3. Skookumchuck Hot Springs.

Photo by @pasdecouleur

Photo by @pasdecouleur via Instagram

Previously known as St. Agnes Well Hot Springs, Skookumchuck Hot Springs are the only one that charge the admission fees (you leave the cash in an envelope in the drop-off box, or with the caretaker, if one is present).

There are soaking tubs, located within ~140 km from Harrison Hot Springs.

Again, two ways of getting there. Getting there through the Hwy 99 should be easy for most cars; and to get there from the Harrison you’ll be taking the same road as you would to get to Sloquet. The road is regularly used, and appears to be maintained.

4. August Jacobs Hot Springs.

The least known of the four, August Jacobs Hot Spring has recently been rediscovered. Not having the exact location, it is between the Sloquet and Skookumchuck hot springs, somewhere on Frank Creek on the Northern end of Harrison Lake.

The August Jacob’s Hot Springs is very difficult to find. This spring area was mentioned in geological reports from 1927 but was then lost for many years, and recently rediscovered by hikers.

For good or bad, the exact location has been revealed in Hot Springs of Western Canada (2014 edition). In September 2012 enthusiasts from the Soakers Forum have built a soaking pool there.


Going camping? Check out my 2015 guide to recommended camping gear.


 

#hot springs

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