Travel Tips

Info for Travelers and Responsible Tourism

The Harrison River Valley is a beautiful place to come visit, but there are a few things to know before you go.

Travel Information

Getting Here by Bus
While not easy, it is possible to travel from Vancouver to the Harrison River Valley by public transit.  The new Fraser Valley Regional Express 66 FVX will take you from the Carvolth Exchange in Langley to downtown Chilliwack where you can transfer to the the Agassiz Harrison Connector Route 11. You can depart in Agassiz near the Agassiz-Harrison Museum, or continue on the bus until you have reached Harrison Hot Springs. There is no public transit bus to Harrison Mills at this time.

Customs
United States citizens do not need a passport or visa to enter Canada, but need a proof of identification of citizenship (birth certificate or US voter’s registration card with photo ID), and also proof of residence (driver’s license). Washington State residents entering by land or sea may also apply for an Enhanced Driver’s Licence.

Visitors from other countries must have a valid national passport or other recognized travel documents. For further information, contact the Canadian Consulate in your country or the Canada Customs & Revenue Agency at 333 Dunsmuir Street, Vancouver BC, V6B 5R4, or call 1-800-461-9999.

Effective June 1, 2009, travellers must present a passport or other approved secure document denoting citizenship and identity for all land and sea travel into the United States. In addition to the passport, acceptable documents include a valid NEXUS Air Card or Merchant Mariner Document(MMD). Also an Enhanced Driver’s License is accepted (currently only available to Washington State and Province of British Columbia residents).

Driving Laws
International driving licenses are acceptable in British Columbia. Road signs are posted in metric (km/hr) with a maximum highway speed up to 110 km/hr (66 mi/hr). Seat belts are mandatory at all times for drivers and passengers (children under 5 must use an infant restraint system). Motorcycle helmets are also mandatory. Laws regulating the consumption of alcohol while driving are strictly enforced and have severe penalties under the criminal code of Canada.

Liquor Laws
The minimum age for the consumption and purchase of liquor in British Columbia is 19. Government and private liquor stores are located throughout BC. Please note: Driving motorized vehicles, including boats, while impaired (blood alcohol content of more than .08) is illegal in BC.

Taxes
In the Province of British Columbia we currently have a Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) of 12% on most purchases, in some municipalities there is an additional hotel room tax of up to 3%.

Amenities
In Harrison Hot Springs, there is pay parking fee along the front and side street including; St. Alice Street, Esplanade Avenue, Hot Springs Road, Maple Street, Chehalis Street, and Spruce Street. Pay Parking is in effect from June 15 – September 15. Please visit the Village of Harrison Hot Springs for more details.

Picnics & Tents
In Harrison Hot Springs, BBQing is only allowed on the designated BBQ sites. Please visit the Village of Harrison Hot Springs for more information on the designated BBQ areas.

Sun-shades must be under 6 ft. No tents of any kind are to be erected on the main beach park area in the Village of Harrison Hot Springs.


Responsible Tourism

Be AdventureSmart! Travelling to the Harrison River Valley is is a wonderful way to getaway from the hum drum and daily stress of city life. To make your trip as enjoyable for you while having the smallest impact on the environment here are some tips to consider from the American Society of Travel Agents:

(1) RESPECT OUR FRAGILE PLANET – Sure the planet feels solid beneath our feet, and it can hold its own against the big boys in the solar system. Yet the Earth’s ecosystem—the scenic surface features which we stand next to in pictures—is a fragile infrastructure dependent on balanced and cyclical nurturing.

(2) LEAVE ONLY FOOTPRINTS – Take only photographs, leave only footprints. These two simple phrases sum up the heart of eco-tourism. Do not leave litter of any kind, and do not take any souvenirs from historical sites and natural areas. In some instances, like taking a piece of the Great Barrier Reef, it’s a crime.

(3) THE ROAD MOST TRAVELED – Following the basic rules of ecotourism can be as easy as following a well-marked trail, because on the well-marked trail is where you should be. Always follow designated trails and resist the urge to explore the forest.  Do not disturb animals, plants or their natural habitats, and hopefully they will not disturb you in return. 

(4) EDUCATION IS A TERRIBLE THING TO WASTE – Increase the size of your brain and educate yourself about the geography, customs and manners of the region you plan to visit. The invasion of foreign values can damage a culture more than a bulldozer in some regards. Get to know the culture before you arrive and know which of your actions or standards may not be accepted smoothly.

(5) R-E-S-P-E-C-T – Respect the privacy of others and always ask before photographing people. Some Australian aborigines believe that photographs steal their souls. Why you may not believe this to be true, respect their beliefs slide the camera back into backpack.

(6) ECO-SOUVENIRS – Souvenirs are a vital part of every trip, special for their uniqueness and direct mental link to a fabulous vacation memory. As a concerned eco-tourist, do not buy products made from endangered plants or animals, such as ivory, tortoise shell, animal skins and feathers. Purchase souvenirs from local artists to keep cultural traditions alive.

(7) ECO-FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS – The easiest ecologically saving action to undertake is to support conservation-oriented organizations already working to preserve the environment. Select responsible tour operators and guides whose practices are based on sound eco-conscious beliefs.

(8) IT’S A SMALL WORLD AFTER ALL – Globetrotting with the world in mind provides a more satisfying way to travel; challenging you to learn about the places and people you visit and help sustain their fragile environments, economies and cultures.

Through increased awareness and an earnest desire to help protect natural and cultural resources for the good of the planet and for the generations yet to explore, you can trek to the four corners with a positive impact.

Travel with purpose.

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