We load up our weekend adventure ride, a 2015 Deep Impact Blue Metallic Ford Escape with all the necessary Sasquatch searching video and camera equipment, outdoor attire and of course… dancing shoes. The perfect afternoon for a leisurely drive East towards Hope, we head towards Harrison Hot Springs, deep into the District of Kent. Rolling down the moon roof, cranking up the SyriusXM radio, it’s adios Vancouver and hello big, hairy Sasquatch mission.
Ford road trip
The old roads, the mountains and scenery, this is the ultimate escape to nature. We gradually make our way through Agassiz towards the town of Harrison Hot Springs and become mesmerized by the multitude of large Sasquatch sculptures and signage guarding the gates of this adventure land. It becomes very obvious we have officially entered into Sasquatch country. As I’m studying facts, I learn that the name originated from the Stas’ailes First Nations community and that the community believes this spiritual ‘hairy man’ to be able to vanish into the spirit realm at will.
Lakeside luxury waits
As we pull into our majestic lakeside accommodations, the town is buzzing with a summer vibe. Guests enjoy the 60km long Harrison Lake accompanied by all the adult water toys one can dream up. Paddleboats, motorboats, jet skis and even a Wipeout like water park are set smack front and center on the water’s edge. It’s no mistake why Sasquatch’s would call this land his turf. A playcation to Harrison Hot Springs is the ultimate adventure. Mountains, lakes, pristine and clean, it feels like you’ve just landed in an outdoor paradise. We check in to the Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Spa, settle in, explore the resort and slip into some appropriate Copper Room dinner and dancing attire.
Dinner, dancing and late night
No visit to Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Spa would be complete without a little bit of classic evening entertainment. If you have yet to experience The Copper Room – get on it. Fine dining with tables nestled all around the dance floor, you’ll enjoy the easy dance floor access in between courses. The atmosphere of The Copper Room is a little bit like Love Boat meets Titanic, but instead of a ship, your nestled in a lakefront resort. It has character, history and a little bit of kitsch. The Chefs Special Menu has plenty of appeal but you can also order a la carte. The kids will love The Copper Room too with a family friendly dining experience and a kids only dance floor right beside the band. Get ready to give in to the urge and bust out your dance moves for the pure experience of it.
One of the best features of the Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Spa is of course the Hot Springs Pools and Spa. After spending a day outdoors nothing beats the peace, calm and healing the pools have to offer. Enjoy late night adult dips until the wee hours. After dinner, dancing and dips in the pools, we get a little over excited about the next day’s Sasquatch adventure. The curiosity is killing us. What’s it going to be like? Will we believe? Will we find him? Where are we going? We have so many unanswered questions that only make the anticipation of the day ahead that much more exciting. With no choice but to retire, we enjoy one more gawk at the full moon over the lake before calling it a day. Sufficient rest is essential before any adventure so we give in to sleep and make a pact to come back sooner than later.
Hello Mr. Bill Miller
It’s not hard to get out of bed when there’s a gorgeous lakeside view to get you going. Be warned, there are so many adventures waiting at Harrison Hot Springs, the hardest part is narrowing down your choices and making a short list. Always a big fan of intriguing, unique, out of your comfort zone, try something new off the adventure menu the next time opportunity knocks. For me, that adventure is searching for Sasquatch with local Sasquatch guru and researcher Bill Miller. Bill shows up to meet us with a Polaris Ranger Crew UTV in tow. It’s not every day you get to go searching for Sasquatch with an intellect who’s dedicated his entire life to the scientific investigation of an over 8 foot tall, 600 pound plus biped manlike non-human primate. We introduce each other, jump in the Ford Escape and follow Miller up the logging road just past the turn off to Hicks Lake and Sasquatch Provincial Park. From there we jump in Bill’s UTV and begin our very own Sasquatch Country Adventure.
Bill hooks you with his own personal Sasquatch encounter story back in the 80’s right out of the gate. He describes his own sighting with extreme intensity and passion. So much so in fact that it’s no wonder he moved to Harrison in the 90’s right after attending a UBC Sasquatch conference. It was there that he bonded with other researchers and began his mission. Expect to be WOWed on his tour. Miller takes you deep into the backwoods, high above Harrison Lake thrashing through Sasquatch stomping ground where many sightings have been reported. He above all shares his secret locations for tracking cold hard Sasquatch evidence. The fact that the Harrison Hot Springs area alone boasts more recorded Sasquatch sightings that anywhere else in the world is impressive. Miller’s photographic memory for recounting all the sightings and details is impressive as well. We barrel through 16kms of backcountry bush and I have an aha moment where I am actually relieved to know there is plenty of bear spray onboard should we encounter any ‘familiar’ wildlife while touring this vast wilderness. No spoiler alerts here. You’ve got to take the tour yourself to hear the stories Miller tells so well. The Saquatch Country Adventure tour peaks at a spectacular lookout point over Mount Breakenridge, high above the lake. You will see Miller’s castings and evidence as well as take some time to soak it all in and ask questions. At the end of the tour you will come to your own conclusion. Before I took the tour with Bill, I was intrigued yet skeptical. After spending a day with the Oh! so entertaining Mr. Miller, I can say I now sway on the side of being a believer. The evidence is clear and the sightings are plenty. One thing I can promise – it’s a hell of an adventure, Miller knows his stuff and it’s no wonder Sasquatch chose Harrison Hot Springs as his stomping ground – it’s a natural wonder and epic outdoor playground just a quick drive from the city.
Après at the Sasquatch Inn and Pub
Your Sasquatch mission is not complete without stopping for après at the Sasquatch Inn and Pub in Harrison Mills. There are plenty of Bigfoot options on the menu and on tap plus car loads of characters to people watch. Sip on a pint of Old Yale Brewing’s award winning craft brew, the Sasquatch Stout. The atmosphere of this pub screams Quachi!
Aching to go back
24 hours was not long enough. Harrison Hot Springs is a jewel of summer destination with so many outdoor adventure offerings to be had. Do plan on staying as long as you can with at least one night living it up in luxury. Camping or hiking in Sasquatch park is also a must.
Sasquatch Sighting Hikes:
Spirit Trail (1km – 20 minutes -easy): Accessible from the village, this trail is all about the cedars decorated with a local artist’s carved masks. (Off McCoombs Drive south from the lake)
Bear Mountain Flats: (6km return – 2hours – moderate)
Hike through the eastern section of Harrison Hot Springs, enjoy some Sasquatch style bushwhacking and trail blazing. The trailhead starts at the end of Lillooet Ave and comes out on McPherson Drive.
Hicks Lake Loop: (6km – 2 hours – moderate)
Miller talks about many a recorded Sasquatch sighting in and around Hicks Lake in Sasquatch Provincial Park. You never know, you could be the next one to see him. This hike is perfect for a summer lake dip or picnic. Take Lillooet Ave eastbound which turns into Rockwell Drive. Follow signs to camping and Hicks Lake day area. The trailhead begins to the left of the canoe rental area. Look for the path half way around the lake for a quick cool off.