Last Updated on June 6, 2022
There is something special about being on the open water that allows you to see a destination in a different light. You can get up close to shorelines and get a different perspective of the area. It is also a great way to connect with nature; there is nothing like being on the water to help you relax and reset.
During this visit to the Harrison River Valley, we found great adventure and relaxation by exploring the Harrison River by kayak and jet boat. The two activities were both so different — one was a thrill while ripping through the river and the other a calm and peaceful paddle, but they were both incredible ways to see the sights and learn about the history of the area. Both left us in a constant state of awe about our surroundings.
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The Harrison River
The Harrison River is approximately 180 kilometers long and flows into the Fraser River. It is one of the main tributaries of the Fraser River. Home to a diverse array of fish, including salmon, trout, and sturgeon, it is also a popular spot for kayaking, canoeing, and fishing. The river has some scenic spots along its banks, including forests and mountains, and is a great place to enjoy the outdoors and get away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Explore The Harrison River By Kayak Or Jet Boat
There are two great options to choose from, depending on what kind of experience you are after. If you are looking for something fast and thrilling, hop on a jet boat tour. You will zip around bends and over waves, getting an up-close look at the stunning scenery. Or, if you prefer a more relaxing experience, consider a kayak adventure. Paddle at your own pace as you take in the tranquil surroundings. Either way, you are sure to have a great time exploring this beautiful river.
During our previous adventures to the Harrison River Valley, we focused a lot on exploring by hiking instead of by water. We were thrilled this time to be able to get out on the water for a different perspective and experience both the kayak and jet boat adventures with Harrison Eco Tours.
What Is The Harrison River Valley?
The Harrison River Valley is a beautiful and scenic area located in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia. The area is known for its stunning mountains, valleys, rivers, and lakes. One of the main attractions in the Harrison River Valley is Harrison Hot Springs, a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike. The hot springs are fed by geothermal waters that are rich in minerals, making them perfect for relaxing in. The Harrison River Valley is also home to several parks and trails, making it a great place to get outdoors and explore. Whether you are looking to relax or to get active, the Harrison River Valley has something to offer everyone.
Where Do These Adventures Begin?
Both the kayaking tour and the Jet boat adventure begin at the Harrison Hot Springs resort dock. You sign waivers at their kiosk inside the Harrison Hot Springs hotel and then proceed to the dock a few minutes before your adventure time.
We were thrilled by how welcoming the staff of Harrison Eco Tours were. They were very friendly and talkative and felt more like a friend than just tour guides. We appreciated their knowledge of the area and their willingness to answer any questions we had.
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Harrison River Kayak Adventure
This paddle adventure takes you from the shore of Harrison Lake and follows the shoreline before entering the Harrison River. The Harrison River is slow-moving and you will not find any rapids; it is really a nice and relaxed paddle.
A kayak tour down the Harrison River is a great way to spend a day. The river is calm and peaceful, and the scenery is beautiful. You can possibly see a variety of wildlife, including bald eagles, ospreys, or black bears, depending on the time of year. Plus, you will have the opportunity to stop and explore along the way. The tour includes all the necessary equipment, so all you need to bring is a sense of adventure and dress for the weather. If it is sunny out, bring sunscreen and a hat or sunglasses. If it is cloudy or rainy, wear a light rain jacket or weather-appropriate clothing.
Our tour guide was fantastic, taking the time to tell us the history of the area. Included in our tour was checking out some petroglyphs along the waterways. We were able to explore some of the well-traveled routes by the Sts’ailes (Chehalis) people, whose stories and traditions are abundant today.
We also had a great surprise when we happened upon spawning sturgeon. These monsters of the river are incredible creatures and a catch (and release) of a lifetime. I have been fascinated by these river monsters since we went sturgeon fishing and caught (and released) a Sturgeon that was 8’4″ and an estimated 300 lbs. Reeling in a big one is no joke; it is HARD work.
We stopped part way through for a delicious lunch (included in your adventure) in a neat little abandoned area that looked like it was once well-loved with a barbeque and outdoor shower that had seen better days.
As we paddled along the river, we were constantly marveling at the natural beauty that surrounded us. The water was calm and clear, and aside from the few boats that passed us, it felt like we had the river all to ourselves. The kayaking adventure was full of peaceful moments and great conversation. It was a great time to appreciate the simple things in life. The beauty of nature. The serenity of being alone with my thoughts as the paddle stroked the water.
If you feel that a five-hour tour would be too much for you, Harrison Eco Tours also offers a two-hour adventure where you can still experience the awe of Harrison Lake and Harrison River. If you are a first-time kayaker, the two-hour tour is a great option to explore one of BC’s most majestic clean water shorelines.
Related Story – Breathe In The Wild Of The Harrison River Valley
Harrison River Scenic River Tour
There is nothing quite like a jet boat ride to get the adrenaline flowing. And when you do it along the Harrison River, with its dramatic cliffs and rocky shores of the area’s rugged PNW wilderness, you are in for a truly thrilling experience. The ride itself is exhilarating, as you zip along at high speed, feeling the spray of the water on your face. But it is also incredibly scenic, as you take in the stunning scenery of the river and its surroundings.
If you do not want to get wet, there is also a covered area where you can sit for your adventure. We chose to sit where we could really feel the speed and extra thrills, even if we ended up a little bit wet.
Your adventure will travel down right to the confluence where the crystal-clear Harrison River meets the mighty and turbulent Fraser River. It is quite a sight to see the water where the Harrison River meets the muddy waters of the Fraser River and the stark contrast between the two.
Seeing the clear water of the Harrison River meets with the muddy water of the Fraser River is quite amazing as it appears as if mother nature was having a standoff with itself.
In season, you may also be able to spot wildlife such as eagles, osprey, blue heron, seals, black bear, deer, and coyote.
A Harrison river jet boat adventure lasts an hour and a half.
Exploring a destination can be so much fun, but it is easy to miss out on some of the best sights and experiences if you do not get out on the water. A boat tour or kayaking can give you a whole different perspective on a place, and it is worth taking the time to do that when you are getting to know a destination.
Whether you are looking for excitement or relaxation, an adventure along the Harrison River is sure to please.
Have you had a chance to explore any destinations by getting out on the water? If not, what places are you most excited to visit in the future?
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Disclaimer: Our adventures were provided by Tourism Harrison and Harrison Eco Tours. However, our opinions are our own.