Though it’s just 11 miles (18 kilometers) long, the Harrison River—a tributary of the Fraser River, which flows through British Columbia—is one of the most important fishing spots in the region. All major species of Pacific salmon can be found here, and riverside hot springs attract travelers looking to relax and unwind.
Many people come to the Harrison River to kayak or canoe, but the big draw is undoubtedly the fishing, with chinook, coho, pink, chum, and sockeye salmon all found here. Visitors can also soak in the steaming pools of the hot springs, which are situated near the banks of the river on the south shore of Harrison Lake. The hot springs are part of a hotel resort complex, but the resort makes them available to day guests who purchase a minimum amount of spa services.
Harrison River is also popular with bird-watchers, as the abundance of salmon in the river in fall attracts bald eagles. Guided eco tours allow travelers to view wildlife from a kayak or hike along the river.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Harrison River is a must for angling enthusiasts and bird-watchers.
- If you intend on fishing, you must have a valid license.
- Campgrounds and sandy beaches can be found in Kilby Park, near the Harrison River.
How to Get There
Harrison River is about 62 miles (100 kilometers) from downtown Vancouver. The best way to get there is by car. Follow Highway 7 eastbound. The drive should take less than two hours.
When to Get There
The best time for fishing is usually between August and April. If you want see bald eagles, however, go in fall, when the predatory birds congregate to feed on spawning salmon. The hot springs, meanwhile, are quietest in winter.
Learn About Rural Life in British Columbia
To find out more about rural living in western Canada, visit the Kilby Historic Site, which sits at the confluence of the Harrison and Fraser rivers. Costumed docents are on hand to offer information about the well-preserved historic buildings, including a turn-of-the-century-style general store. You’ll get a unique glimpse at the everyday life of those who called this area home in the early 20th century.