A celebration of the Salmon,
the Eagles, and the Sturgeon

October 13th, 2022 – January 15th, 2023

The Season of the Wild is a tribute to its predecessor the Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival. The Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival promoted and practiced safe bald eagle viewing for 25+ years. While the Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival is no longer operating, their hard work and spirit lives on as we begin to bring back this event as a season-long self-guided experience.

The Season of the Wild tells the story of the salmon, sturgeon, and eagles here in the Harrison River Valley. Every year, the salmon swim up the Harrison River and come to rest in our tributaries to lay their eggs. The spawning season typically begins mid-October, with prime viewing from October through early November. This event, along with the cooling temperatures in the North, contributes to the large gathering of Bald Eagles seen here in October – January; with the peak eagle viewing in November.

Inspire your journey to the wild with our multi-day itinerary

Trip Length: 3-4 days

Day 1: Arrive in Harrison Hot Springs in the early afternoon. While many of the accommodations have a 4pm check-in, you can use the early afternoon to get to know our Village. Stop into our Visitor Centre for information about our area. Grab dinner from one of our many restaurants, we recommend booking in advance to guarantee your seating. For a special seasonal dinner, try the Sasquatch Inn & Pub. After dinner, take a sunset stroll to the Eagle Viewing gazebo at the Sandpiper Resort. This short walk, will take you through spawning salmon grounds and to a beautiful lookout to safely view the Bald Eagles.

Day 2:  Explore by Land.  Start your day with breakfast at one of our local restaurants, then take a light stroll to the Hot Springs Source and around the lakeside promenade a to take in our local sights and wildlife. On this stroll, you will pass Qwólts Park. This park has been created in honour of the traditional territory of Sts’ailes. Sit, reflect, and enjoy the interpretive panels created by the Village of Harrison Hot Springs and Sts’ailes. After exploring the Village, drive up to Harrison Mills to explore Kilby Historic Site. Visit the 1920’s General Store and feed the adorable farm animals. Stop here to have lunch at the Kilby Café. Once you have thoroughly explored Kilby Historic Site, set out to either Kilby Provincial Park to walk the Kilby Loop or Inch Creek Hatchery to see our local spawning grounds.

Day 3: Explore by Water. The best wildlife viewing is from the water. After you have enjoyed breakfast at one of our local restaurants, head down to the Resort Dock, to take to the water. There are two ways to enjoy our salmon and our eagles – by motorized boat (Shoreline Tours and Harrison Eco Toursor by paddling (Harrison Eco Tours).   Harrison Eco Tours and self-guided paddling excursions leads you up the Harrison River where you can see eagles, gulls, freshwater seals, and minks; you might even witness an angler reeling in a mammoth sturgeon! The Harrison River is the first designated salmon stronghold, and because of that sees a wide variety of wildlife. You may also explore the river by motorized boat, both Harrison Eco Tours and Shoreline Tours offer Fall Wildlife Tours up the river. After dinner, you may either head home or spend one more relaxing night in Harrison Hot Springs.

Day 4: Explore More. Explore what you missed the day before. Whether you need to explore our trails, hatcheries, or the water. Learn about the conservation efforts of the sturgeon by going on a tour with one of our many local guides or visit the Agassiz Harrison Museum to learn about the history of the area.

To enhance your stay, plan your itinerary around one of our Season of the Wild events.

Learn More:

Chehalis Estuary (Lhá:lt) – The Chehalis Estuary is located just outside of Harrison Mills, in Sts’Ailes. This estuary is the breeding ground for species of salmon including coho and chum. This area was designated an Important Bird Area due to the large volumes of bald eagles and trumpeter swans found here. The bald eagle sightings in this area are particularly impressive when they gather in the fall. You must remain off the flats from October-February.

Explore More Wildlife Viewing Locations:

Cheam Wetlands – Located a short drive from Agassiz, Cheam Wetlands boasts a 2 km trail, 2  wildlife viewing platforms, and an abundance of bird species including various types of shorebirds. One of the viewing platforms at Cheam Wetlands is wheelchair accessible. 

Great Blue Heron Reserve – Located in Chilliwack, this reserve features over 150 nests, and is home to one of the largest colonies of herons in the lower mainland. The Interpretive Centre is open seasonally; please check the website for hours of operation. We highly recommend the Great Heron Reserve as a stop on your way to or from Harrison. 

SEASON OF THE WILD EVENTS

AGASSIZ MUSEUM EXHIBITION

PROTECT THE WILD

Due to the amazing phenomena that is the migration of the salmon and the bald eagles to this area, this is a highly sensitive habitat. Respect the wild when participating in wildlife viewing. From October- February we must remain off the Chehalis Flats.

The Chehalis Flats or Lhá:lt are the resting grounds for the migrating eagles and spawning salmon.

As mentioned, this is a highly sensitive habitat. Kayaking and walking through the flats disturbs the resting eagles, and is a danger to salmon eggs and eagles in the area. Stay off the flats from October through February.

There are a number of trails to safely view the eagles and spawning salmon. See our guided and self-guided excursions and itineraries.

Weaver Creek Spawning Channel is CLOSED for 2022. To view the spawning salmon, we recommend walking the Eagle Interpretive Trail at the Sandpiper Resort.

Weaver Creek Spawning Channel is CLOSED for 2022. To view the spawning salmon, we recommend walking the Eagle Walk at Sandpiper Golfcourse. The Harrison River Valley is a region of endless rivers, streams, and lakes along with the prolific wildlife. Our mighty Fraser and Harrison Rivers are the main artery of millions of migrating salmon that pass through on the way to the spawning grounds. This river is home of the long-lived white sturgeon, the largest freshwater fish in North America. These monster fish grow to over one thousand pounds and can live up to 200 years. They are considered to be one of the most spectacular freshwater sports fish, having the reputation for their size, strength, and impressive jumps.

On the shores of Harrison Lake you have easy boat access to the pristine Harrison River, the first designated Salmon Stronghold in Canada. A “Salmon Stronghold” means that all 5 species of salmon live and spawn in our waterways.

DISCOVER THE WILD

Explore the self-guided Season of the Wild and participate in our various events and happenings throughout the Season.

Together in the Wild

We see our region through the construct of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Come as you are, let’s be together in the wild.

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