Last updated on May 25, 2023 by Wandering our World
Located just an hour and a half east of Vancouver is Harrison Hot Springs, a small, gorgeous community nestled at the tip of Harrison Lake. The lake itself is 60 km in length and almost 9 miles across, and with cool blue waters surrounded by deep green trees, this is a great destination if you’re in search of the peaceful outdoors.
If you’re thinking about a Harrison Hot Springs camping adventure, then you’re in the right place! We love camping here and know this area like the back of our hand.
As that’s the case, we’ve decided to share with you a few of our favorite Harrison Hot Springs campgrounds – for both tent camping and RVs.
We then let you know the rules around backcountry camping at Harrison Hot Springs, give some important bear safety tips and then share a few great trails you should try when visiting.
But before all of that, here’s a short rundown about the hot springs themselves. Just in case this will be your first visit.
A Quick History of Harrison Hot Springs: A Place You’ll Never Forget
Before Europeans arrived, the area was home to the Sts’ailes people. They valued the cultural and healing properties of the hot springs, as well as the abundant local resources of the area like tall grass and salmon.
The Gold Rush in Canada then brought miners to the area in search of fortune. The story goes that when one miner’s boat capsized in the lake, the miners that were thrown into the water thought they would die in the freezing conditions. But to their surprise the water was warm! And that was the start of outsiders knowing about Harrison Hot Springs!
The springs have been drawing in tourists since 1896, and today, the village of Harrison Hot Springs is home to around 1,500 lucky citizens year-round. But in the warm summer months the village becomes home to thousands more as people make their way here seeking an ideal and special getaway.
Visitors have no shortage of activities here either. This area is known for its sandy beaches, hiking, rock climbing, golfing, and of course, hot spring bathing!
The Hot Springs: The Important Info
There are two hot springs in the area: Potash and Sulphur. Potash is 40 degrees C (104 degrees F) and Sulphur is 62 degrees C (145 degrees F). The waters have one of the largest concentrations of dissolved mineral solids of any mineral spring.
The hot spring water is cooled and pumped into an indoor public pool where visitors can enjoy swimming and relaxing in a nice 38 degrees C (100 degrees F). The public pool admission is $10.
But if you are coming to the hot springs then you need somewhere to stay right? Well below are our favorite campgrounds at Harrison Hot Springs. We know that at least one will be perfect for you!
The Five Best Harrison Hot Springs Campgrounds: Expect Fun, Views & Adventure
1. Springs RV Resort
This luxury RV resort is one of the top rated RV resorts in North America.
And no wonder, as Springs RV Resort offers a vacation experience you don’t want to miss out on thanks to their excellent facilities which includes a swimming pool and hot tub.
With 206 lots and year-round services, this place is an RVers dream location to park for any season. They also hold events throughout the year to keep guests entertained, as well as fitness classes like ‘Aqua Fit’ in their swimming pool!
It’s one of the more expensive Harrison Hot Springs camping options, but considering the facilities, landscaped grounds, fantastic service and great location, we think the price is justified.
Amenities and Facilities
Springs RV Resort offers amenities designed to give you a luxurious RV vacation. The large heated pool is perfect for families, but adults also have their own pool and over-sized hot tub perfect for a weekend getaway.
The shared bathrooms are spa-like with heated tile floors. There are also five outdoor community fireplaces and two big screen TV areas.
On top of that there’s a games room filled with darts, pool, ping pong and foosball, and their library comes complete with a fireplace!
Children have a large playground they’ll love to run around in, and there is even an antique carousel. Facilities wise this place is hard to beat.
The Harrison Lake beach is only a two minute drive away, or a comfortable 10 minute stroll for those looking to maximize their outdoor activities. There you can enjoy swimming, making sandcastles or canoeing.
There are several nearby recreation activities for any visitor. From day spas to bike and hiking trails. Those staying at the Springs RV Resort have a plethora of options to choose from.
The Important Info
Rates: From $69 per night
Address: 670 Hot Springs Road, Harrison Hot Springs, BC
2. Harrison Springs Camping and RV Park
This gated campground is perfect for those looking for a peaceful, last-minute getaway. While reservations are welcome, Harrison Springs Camping is one of the few places that offer short-notice bookings and short-stay camping.
Surrounded by forests, this campground has secluded lots for all visitors with quiet hours observed from 11:00pm-8:00am.
It feels more rural and quiet than other Harrison Hot Springs camping options, and has lots of space for both tents and RVs. The campsites feel secluded and private, mainly due to being flanked by trees and lots of greenery.
It’s a little further away from the hot springs than other places, but the benefit of that is a more rural camping experience.
Amenities and Facilities
Harrison Springs offers free hot showers and exceptionally clean washrooms. Laundry services are available, and this pet-friendly campground also has a pet area for your furry friend.
They encourage making new friends and have a community fire pit that is open daily from 5:00pm-10:30pm. It’s a great place to chat about your day, get travel tips, and enjoy a drink with interesting people.
We love this campsite for its unique and secluded atmosphere.
However it’s still located only 1.7km from the hot springs, so just a quick drive to the water. Or, you can take one of Harrison Hot Springs’ many hiking trails through the forest to get there – which is our preferred option!
The Important Info
Rates: From $49 per night for RVs, and $42 per night camping
Address: 740 Hot Springs Road, Harrison Hot Springs, BC
3. Hot Springs RV and Camping Park
Want to wake up every morning to stunning views of Black Tusk and Fraser Mountain? Then this RV and camping park could be perfect.
It’s open year round, so visitors are able to enjoy views of either the quaint pastoral farmland or snow-capped Cascade Mountains depending on the season.
This small camping park is specifically for short-term visitors, so you’ll get to surround yourself with like-minded travelers that are seeking both rest and adventure.
With quiet hours implemented from 11:00pm – 8:00am, you’ll be sure to fall asleep to sounds of nature and wake up to birds chirping. It’s bliss.
This is one of the cheapest Harrison Hot Springs camping options too, which is a big plus. However they are a non-smoking RV and camping park, so that’s worth factoring into your decision.
Amenities and Facilities
Hot Springs RV and Camping Park prides themselves on their clean amenities, and they offer all of the typical facilities that can be found at either an RV park or campground.
There are 21 fully serviced RV lots available for use, and the campground offers paid WiFi and storage.
This place is located just a block away from the lake and hot springs pool. It’s also very close to Harrison Village and its dining and shopping options.
The Important Info
Rates: From $36 per night
Address: 272 Lillooet Ave, Harrison Hot Springs, BC
4. Harrison Country Club RV Resort
This tranquil, family owned and operated RV resort is located near the beach close to the center of Harrison village. This full service RV site is perfect for couples and families alike and offers stunning mountain views from all of their sites.
They have 75 fully serviced RV sites throughout their grassy and tree-filled property. That landscape, plus the fact this place sits on the shoreline of the lake, gives this resort an island-like setting.
That makes this place picturesque and full of wildlife. Plus as it has direct access to the lake, you can enjoy water activities while staying here.
While they do short term stays they also specialize in long term stays. So you can be assured that this RV park offers all you need for a relaxing visit. The one small downside is they don’t implement a ‘quiet time’ at night like some of the other Harrison Hot Springs camping options, so sometimes there can be a little noise depending on your neighbors.
Amenities and Facilities
This pet-friendly resort offers very clean and well maintained amenities.
Each lot is equipped with outdoor furniture, and services include free valet parking, free reservations, and coin operated laundry machines.
On top of that, WiFi is free, and they have all the games you could ask for: badminton, billiards, table tennis, and their own games room. Canoes are also available for use on the lake.
There are many things to keep the young ones entertained, with children’s outdoor play equipment and a playground. They are sure to wear themselves out having so much fun.
Harrison Country Club RV Resort is perfectly situated in Harrison village. All the main attractions are within walking distance.
Both hot springs are less than a 5 minute walk away, as is the hot springs public pool. So you can’t really be any closer to the action!
Of course, this RV park has access to the lake too, so canoeing, boating, and swimming are all available on-site.
The Important Info
Rates: From $45 per night
Address: 400 Hot Springs Road, Harrison Hot Springs, BC
5. Hicks Lake Campground
This forest-surrounded campground is on the northern shore of the gorgeous Hicks Lake in Sasquatch Provincial Park, east of Harrison village and Harrison Lake. This is the largest campground in the park, and it just happens to offer the best views as well!
With Douglas firs and western hemlocks abundant, this well-shaded campground is perfect for nature lovers seeking some time away from the summer sun after a day of exploration.
If you’re looking for a true nature experience with great fishing opportunities (more on that below) while still being a short drive from the hot springs, this could be the best Harrison Hot Springs camping option for you. It’s also very affordable.
Amenities and Features
This campsite offers direct access to Hicks Lake and a view of Cheam Range. A boat ramp at the lake makes fishing this well-stocked lake easy. It’s full of rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, and brook char, so is a great spot for those who like to fish.
There are 72 campsites available, as well as one group campsite. The campground offers vault toilets and potable water, but there are no pull-through or double sites available.
There is a beautiful 6km hike to Moss Lake, and many campers often head over to nearby Green Point Day Use Area where there’s a beach for swimming. We have a little more information on Green Point further down this article where we share a few of our favorite walks in the area.
Sasquatch Provincial Park itself occupies 1,217 hectares of land, so there is no shortage of outdoor activities for campers to choose from, from birdwatching to hiking. A 4km nature trail circles the lake, and a shorter trail loops around Beaver Pod – both are worth doing.
And of course the campground is just a 10 minute drive from Harrison Hot Springs!
The Important Info
Rates: From $23 per night
Address: Hicks Lake Rd, Harrison Hot Springs, BC
Backcountry Camping At Harrison Hot Springs & In Canada: Everything You Need To Know
DISCLAIMER: Below we give general advice, but we always recommend staying in an official campsite. If you choose to go backcountry camping/dispersed camping, then make sure you do so with someone who already knows the area where you’re planning on camping for your own safety.
Backcountry camping, also known as wild camping, is generally tolerated in Canada. Although there are certain areas (below) you are prohibited from camping in. These unfortunately include many of the areas where most people would like to camp:
- National Parks
- Provincial Parks
It’s worth mentioning that rangers and conservation officers do patrol regularly and will hand out hefty fines to people backcountry camping in these prohibited areas.
Sometimes it is possible to purchase a ‘backcountry’ camping permit. That would then allow you to camp in a park outside of a campground. Not all parks offer them – and they’re not widely advertised. If there’s somewhere you wish to camp, then get in contact with local authorities to see if these are available.
As for where you are allowed to camp, Canadian residents can camp for free on Crown Land – which is publicly owned land. Thankfully 89% of land in Canada is classed as ‘Crown Land’. However much of that is still off limits. National Parks, for example, are also Crown Land.
In general: If land is publicly owned, it’s not one of the prohibited areas that we listed above, and you are far from settlements – you’re likely to be on Crown Land that can be camped on for free. However, keep an eye on local maps for confirmation, and obey any signs that say camping is prohibited.
There are rules for backcountry camping on Crown Land, however:
- You may camp in the same place for 21 days only in one calendar year.
- After 21 days you must move to a place at least 100m away if you wish to continue camping.
- While free for citizens and Canadian residents, non-residents must obtain a permit to wild camp on Crown Land.
Camping At Harrison Hot Springs: Bear Safety
Like many areas of Canada, there are bears roaming around the Harrison Hot Springs area. While encounters are rare, you must take steps to avoid attracting them to your campsite.
With that being the case we advise:
- If you have a vehicle nearby, store food there rather than in a tent.
- Use a bear box or bear canister to store food, rubbish, and anything with a scent.
- Don’t pitch your tent near where food is being stored.
- Never approach any bear, regardless of its size.
- Don’t spray anything with a scent – that can attract bears.
Harrison Hot Springs Camping: Some of Our Favorite Trails to Try Out
1. Campbell Lake Trail
This 11.5km out and back trail to the Campbell Lake Lookout is considered hard, but it’s definitely worth it for those seeking stunning forest and lake views.
The trail is well marked but has lots of deadfall, so be sure to wear hiking boots if you decide to try it. There is usually little snow in winter.
Elevation gain: 2,788 ft
2. Spirit Trail
This easy short loop is great for those looking to enjoy a short wooded walk near the lake. Dogs are welcome off-leash.
Elevation gain: 59ft
3. Green Point Day Use Area + Swim Beach
This shoreline park is located 6km north of Harrison Hot Springs and is the primary day use area for Sasquatch Provincial Park.
This area has a popular swim beach complete with restroom facilities and picnic tables. The cool water is sure to cool you down on a hot summer day. And if you’re looking for a warmer swimming area, check out either (or both!) Hicks Lake or Deer Lake.
Leashed dogs are permitted in the day use area and on the trails, and can be unleashed when swimming. They are not allowed on the beach though.
Harrison Hot Springs Camping: Our Final Thoughts
Harrison Hot Springs is a charming little town that offers both lakeside relaxing and mountaintop views. And of course that famous hot spring water!
In our opinion camping at Harrison Hot Springs is one of the best ways to expercience everything this area has on offer. And luckily there are several excellent campgrounds and RV parks in the region.
Those include campgrounds that feel private and secluded as well as luxurious RV lots. However it’s best to reserve in advance as these campgrounds and RV parks get booked up fast in summer.
Wherever you decide to stay, have a great adventure!