Everywhere we look in the Fraser Valley, we are spoiled with breathtaking landscapes. Harrison Hot Springs has to be one of the prettiest local places to explore; Harrison Lake is absolutely splendid. We recently took a lake tour with Shoreline Tours and were treated to an afternoon of beauty and relaxation.
Shoreline Tours, located at Harrison Hot Springs’ Resort Marina, is run by Captain Steve Dunn. Steve tells us that there has been a boat cruise on Harrison Lake since the 1950’s! As a teenager, Steve and his brother used to work on the lake cruises, which led to Steve following his passion and starting his own tour company on this beautiful lake. Talk about a local expert – Steve knows Harrison Lake like the back of his hand!
Harrison Lake is 38 miles long and it takes approximately 3.5 hours to travel from one shore to the other by boat. Several local high school groups take the trip right across the lake to Port Douglas for some exploration. Many stay to camp, some even hike through to near Pemberton. There is so much history, so many things to see along this lake.
The boat, Laroan, is a 60 footer that is complete with a kitchen, bathroom, sitting room, stereo, TV/VCR and upper deck. The upper deck of the boat is comfy and spacious, and comes complete with a very large BBQ grill. Laroan is wheelchair accessible and it has stairways available for lake swimming. We enjoyed our afternoon tour with people of all ages – kids were entertained with marine life fossils, colouring books and different marine and wildlife sightings. The adults enjoyed the guided tour and the beautiful sights. It was so peaceful. Several cabins and homes line the shores of Harrison Lake. The most amazing thing about each of them? There is no road access – so not only do their occupants have to arrive by water, the impressive structures were all constructed by boating in the materials. Boggles the mind to think how long some of them must have taken to complete!
Up to 36 guests can enjoy the boat at any given time and it is available for chartered tours – a perfect number for an intimate wedding, a staff party or an afternoon with family and friends. It’s an affordable option to try something unique and really special. At $325/hour, a full boat would see cost at about $10 per person, per hour – not bad at all!
Shoreline Tours’ Harrison Lake tour leaves daily in the summer at 1PM and 4PM. The round trip to Rainbow Falls takes about 2.5 hours. It’s an interesting trip as you first go by the St. Alice hot springs, onto Echo Island, then through the channel up to Rainbow Falls. The regular lake tour trips do not stop at Rainbow Falls, but the chartered ones can do so. We had the opportunity to get off and check out the falls up close. They are… stunning. Loud, powerful, gorgeous. It was early in the summer season so the runoff was strong. Later in the year we’re told there is a beautiful pond at the foot of the falls, where people climb up to swim. Imagine the pristine water up there! Rainbow Falls is a favourite stop for wedding charters as the Falls make for a pretty fabulous photo background!
In the Autumn, Shoreline Tours changes its route and heads down Harrison River. The river tour runs from October 1st through the end of November, leaving daily at 1PM, at $45 per person. This tour sounds amazing and we will certainly be back to check it out. Spawning salmon, sea lions, swans, blue herons will all be seen at that time of year. The main attraction is the bald eagles, who flock to Harrison River by the thousands. They spend their Winter months here feeding. If you’ve never been to see a gathering of bald eagles like this, you must do so. They are cheeky, gorgeous creatures.
At just $32 per person ($29/seniors, $20 children, 5 and under are free), an afternoon lake tour is a great way to enjoy your day and do something out of the ordinary. Harrison Hot Springs beach boasts a huge variety of activities, but getting out on the lake is another fabulous perspective of this great Fraser Valley gem.
Thanks so much for the lake tour, Steve. What a great job you have, cruising one of the most beautiful places in the Fraser Valley! Readers, you must check this out. A few hours away from the hustle and bustle – so relaxing.