Sasquatch Country Overnight
Two hours east of Vancouver, Harrison Lake stretches from the Fraser Valley up into the coast mountains. Covered in dense forests, and cut by fjords, rivers and creeks, the area is probably Canada's most famous destination for Sasquatch sitings.
This loop starts in the small town of Harrison Mills, climbs up along the shore of Harrison Lake to (after a short, steep hike) one of the province's last standing fire lookouts. From there, it drops west, crossing dozens of creeks and a couple rivers, past views of Golden Ears, Mount Breckenridge and more to loop back around Chehalis Lake and bring you back to your start. While most of the route is on gravel roads, there is a small section of double track and about 500 meters of heinous hike-a-bike and bushwhacking to connect two sections of logging road around Chehalis Lake. The climb up to the Harrison Lookout is about 2km on steep trail.
Although it's set up as an overnight/weekend trip, you could easily extend this another day, camping on the shores of Chehalis Lake on the second night.
- The route starts in Harrison Mills at a four way stop about 400m past the Sasquatch Inn. There's a large parking area here. You can also ask the staff at the Sasquatch Inn if you can park in their lot, which they may let you do on weekdays and in the spring/fall.
- There are a number of small streams, late in the summer there may be fewer, but there will always be water in the bigger river crossings. If you choose to sleep in the Harrison Lookout, you'll need to bring up water, there's a creek just past where you leave the FSR.
- Climbing up to sleep in the Harrison Fire Lookout is highly recommended, on a clear day, the 360 degree view is amazing. The trail starts up a faint old road cut then continues up a section of steep trail marked with orange blazes. Recommend bringing a backpack on this trip to haul gear up the hike and leaving your bike at the start of the trail.
- There is also beautiful camping on Chehalis Lake at a number of formal and informal sites.
- Load up before you get to Harrison Mills, the nearest grocery stores are at Harrison Hot Springs and Agassiz.
- The Sasquatch Inn pub is at the end of your route, hit it up for food and beer.
- Cell Service:
- There is intermittent cell service all along the route, usually at high points. The best service is in the fire lookout.
- Bike Shops:
- The nearest bike shops are in nearby towns - Mission, Chilliwack, Agassiz.
- This route is rideable through spring, summer and fall. In the spring, there might be snow up near the fire lookout.
- In wet weather, the hike-a-bike section may become dangerous or impassable.
- Other stuff
- Overall, this is a pretty easy route, but has one of the most heinous hike-a-bike segments you can imagine. There is a 500 meter gap between two old logging roads near Cohoe Creek. To cross it, you'll need to hike along a faint trail and then cross a massive rockslide/boulder field. I'd strongly recommend bringing a pack and being very careful in picking your way across. You can stay high (follow the GPS track) or head down to the lake shore. Doing the former requires careful scrambling, the latter will require a bit of a nasty bushwhack back up through the forest on the far side. The easiest way through this section might be to bring a packraft and paddle around the whole thing to Skwellepil Creek.