- Best of Vancouver and Victoria
- Vancouver Island: High Tea to Low Tide
- Vancouver’s Totem Poles
- Vancouver’s Best Hiking
- Family Fun in Vancouver & Victoria
- Focus on Vancouver and Victoria
- Vancouver Weekend Getaway
- Victoria Weekend Getaway
- A Tour Through Time
- Inside Passage Cruises
- Outdoor Adventures
- Winter Fun in Vancouver & Victoria
When you leave Vancouver and head due east, you have a choice of two major routes. The TransCanada Highway, on the south side of the Fraser River, speeds you out of southeast Vancouver through Abbotsford and scenic Chilliwack to Hope. Slower, more picturesque Highway 7 meanders along the north side of the Fraser River to Harrison Hot Springs and crosses over the Fraser River to Hope.
Fort Langley National Historic Site
Fort Langley National Historic Site (23433 Mavis St., Fort Langley, 604/513-4777, daily 10 a.m.–5 p.m., extended to 9 a.m.–8 p.m. July and Aug., adult $8, senior $6.50, child $4) recreates a Hudson’s Bay Company settlement that was part of a network of trading posts across western Canada.
Through its formative years, the original fort played a major role in the development of British Columbia. Out of its gates have vamoosed native fur and salmon traders, adventurous explorers who opened up the interior, company traders, and fortune seekers heading for the goldfields of the upper Fraser River.
When British Columbia became a crown colony on November 19, 1858, the official proclamation was uttered here in the “big house.” Today the restored riverside trading post springs to life as park interpreters in period costumes animate the fort’s history. To get there, take Exit 66 from Highway 1 and head north on 232nd Street for five kilometers (3.1 miles).
Kilby Historic Site
Off the beaten track and often missed by those unfamiliar with the area, Kilby Historic Site (604/796-9576, Thurs.–Mon. 11 a.m.–5 p.m. April.–mid-May, daily 11 a.m.–5 p.m. late May–early Sept., adult $9, senior $8, child $7) lies on the north side of the Fraser River, near the turnoff to Harrison Hot Springs, 40 kilometers (25 miles) east of Mission. The interesting museum/country store, which operated until the early 1970s, is fully stocked with all the old brands and types of goods that were commonplace in the 1920s and 1930s.
Harrison Hot Springs
Of British Columbia’s 60 natural hot springs, the closest to Vancouver is Harrison Hot Springs, on the north side of the Fraser Valley, 125 kilometers (78 miles) east of downtown. At Harrison Public Pool (corner of Harrison Hot Springs Rd. and Esplanade Ave., 604/796-2244, daily 8 a.m.–9 p.m. in summer, daily 9 a.m.–9 p.m. the rest of the year, adult $9, senior and child $6.25), the public is invited to soak away their cares in soothing 38°C (100°F) water.
Adjacent Harrison Lake has nice beaches and the water is warm enough for swimming. Through town to the north is 1,220-hectare (3,010-acre) Sasquatch Provincial Park, named for a tall, hairy, unshaven beast that supposedly inhabits the area. The park extends from a day-use area on the bank of Harrison Lake to picturesque tree-encircled lakes, each with road access, short hiking trails, and picnic areas.
With 337 rooms, lakeside Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa (100 Esplanade Ave., 604/796-2244 or 800/663-2266, www.harrisonresort.com, $165–320 s or d) is the town’s largest accommodation, and it offers guests use of a large indoor and outdoor complex of mineral pools, complete with grassy areas, lots of outdoor furniture, and a café. Within walking distance of the public hot pool and lake is Glencoe Motel (259 Hot Springs Rd., 604/796-2574, www.glencoemotel.com, $80 s, $90 d, RV sites $28).
© Andrew Hempstead, from Moon Western Canada, 3rd Edition