This hot spring is located 46km up the East side of Harrison Lake, and it used to be a well-kept secret amongst locals. There used to be between 60 and 90 cross ditches on the road to get there, as well as multiple water crossings, and it slowly got more and more popular over the years.
It is not only a location on Google Maps, but also has its own Facebook Group, and the first time we drove up, we passed two guys walking up and were told they left their VW Beetle at the last water crossing! I commented that they must not like their car much, and the other guy laughingly told us it was his girlfriend’s car!!! Probably not for long… we passed an exhaust system on the way down that definitely had not been there on the way up! Don’t be these people…. Make sure you have a suitable vehicle and enough clearance for the cross ditches!
The views on the way up are pretty amazing and there are plenty of pullouts along the way to stop and enjoy the view!
Always watch for logging trucks, East Harrison FSR is an active logging road and they have the right of way, and can not stop easily! Carrying a radio is always a good idea, especially on weekdays. This road is known for tragic accidents with it’s steep banks, so use caution and drive safely.
After reaching the East Harrison FSR, follow the road for 36km.
Stop at Cogburn Beach for an outhouse if you need it, that is your last toilet along the way! Our daughter is still working on her squat angle so this is an important one for us, haha.
At the 36km mark you will see another road to your right and a sign for ‘Clear Creek FSR.’
Travel approximately 10km up this road – stay to the left at any forks – and you will see a log along the side of the road on your right with Hot Springs carved into it (Pictured above).
There used to be between 70-90 cross ditches (the exact number has always been argued online) but this year the biggest slow down is a few water crossings/washout corners. Definitely not a drive I would want to be doing in heavy rain. There was an exposed culvert pipe at one cross ditch, and it was slow going for the last few kilometres, but the first half of the road was the smoothest I had seen it in years.
Park somewhere, keeping in mind that even though you are up a mountain you are in a popular spot! I always take keys, wallets and phones in a bag with our towels and keep it close by at the tubs. Also keep in mind there might be many people arriving after you, so keep that in mind while parking.
There is an amazing walkway that was built a few years ago by a group of awesome people! The old walkway was a rotting log and was a little bit tippy, it felt like you could fall through at any moment in a few spots… the new one even has a hand rail!
This group also replaced the wooden decking around the tubs, replaced the pipes to the tubs and installed valves that can be turned off to stop water flow when needed. This will hopefully prevent people from pulling the pipes out and destroying the well planned system of filling and warming all three tubs!
Usually we find the place in good condition, however I always bring a few essentials such as garbage bags (small and big), gloves, and hand sanitizer. Especially when traveling with kids it’s important to instil at an early age that you do not litter in the back country!
We have been very fortunate and have only encountered great people when we have gone up over the years, but I have friends who have had a few not-so-fun run ins with people who were aggressive and did not want to share the tubs, and that is really unfortunate.
There are 3 tubs, the smaller white & blue tub is usually the hottest, then the dark blue hot tub, and the cedar tub is the coolest and deep enough that the kids can splash around and swim a bit. This wooden tub was hauled up on a small trailer by a father, in honour of his son who had passed away. Clear Creek was one of his favourite places and he wanted something there to remember him by. The story can be found on the Clear Creek Facebook Group, and I always think of it when I go up there.
I always bring a couple of buckets and water toys for my kids to enjoy in the tubs! Water shoes are also not a bad idea.
Then we usually set up by the creek to BBQ lunch.
There are some basic guidelines to follow here:
- Pack out what you pack in
- Do not leave garbage or broken glass behind
- Do not touch the inlet hoses- people have worked very hard on perfecting this system so all 3 tubs can be warm.
- Respect the changing shack – it is not a bathroom or a garbage can.
- Everyone that makes the drive gets to experience the tubs – if you travel with a group be prepared to take turns in the tubs or wait for people to get out and do not act like you own the place and try to prevent others from enjoying them.
If you are going to drive 46km up a FSR, you should not miss out on the hot springs simply because another group planned to go at the same time and decides they do not want to share!
All in all, I love visiting the tubs especially with my kids on a quiet Sunday. I hope this place is shown respect and stops getting trashed, or we might see the tubs removed by conservation.
Thank you to everyone who helps take care of this beautiful spot, treats it with respect and welcomes others to enjoy it as well.
As always, thank you for reading!
Remember to keep adventuring, and when you can, Take the Back Roads, Not the Highway.