The Hot Springs are Harrison’s namesake. The mineral rich hot springs were originally used by the Salish Coast Natives who revered them as a “healing place”, arriving by canoe to benefit from their rejuvenating waters. These healing waters can be enjoyed by all at the Harrison Hot Springs Public Pool. Open Monday through Thursday 9:00am till 8:00pm, and Friday and Saturday 9:00am till 9:00pm. Adults $8.50, Children and Seniors $6.25, Children 4 and under Free. One dip tickets as well as day passes can be purchased. Locker and towel rentals are available for a nominal fee.
#1 The facts
There are in fact two hot springs at the south end of Harrison Lake, the Potash, with a temperature of 40°C (120°F), and the Sulphur, with a temperature of 65°C (150°F). Combined the temperature averages 145F/62.8C at the source which is then cooled down for the pool to 100F/38C According to the Resort the waters average 1300 ppm of dissolved mineral solids, one of the highest concentrations of any mineral spring. Harrison’s hot spring is one of several lining the valley of the Lillooet River and Harrison Lake, with two others on the lake at Twenty Mile Bay and at Port Douglas, at the head of the Bay. 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.
#2 The belief
In general heated water can hold more dissolved solids. Hot springs coming up through the earths crust often have a very high mineral content, containing everything from simple calcium to lithium, and even radium. The Harrison Hot Springs are said to bring relief to sufferers of rheumatism and arthritis through the 8 minerals present in the water including: sulphur, iron, magnesia, Epsom salts, iodine, potash and alum. For more information on healing waters or the study of Hot Springs click here.
#3 The Story
The traditional story of the spring’s discovery talks about one member of a nearly frozen group of miners who were returning down the lake from Port Douglas, falling into the water from either being over anxious to reach the shore or from weakness. In any event he was so happy with the warmth, that his companions soon joined him. A year later Judge Matthew Begbie named the springs Alice Springs after the daughter of then Governor Douglas.
Other great Hot Springs in B.C. include:
- Canyon Hot Springs
- Fairmont Hot Springs
- Halcyon Hot Springs
- Radium Hot Springs
Other less known Hot Springs that often require some off-roading or hiking can be found if you follow this link: BC Hot Springs. This site also has an extensive listing of hot springs throughout the Northwest.
Just over the border in Alberta are a couple of other hot springs worth mentioning:
- Banff Hot Springs
- Miette Hot Springs