Canadian Camping Adventure: Harrison Hot Springs • Hope • Coquihalla • Othello Tunnels!


Camping in the United States is a popular summer activity. Campgrounds are often crowded on holiday weekends, especially long ones like Memorial Day and Labor Day. Often booking six months or more in advance is needed for the best locations. Why not try a Canadian Camping Adventure? In contrast, some holiday weekends differ, and you enjoy an international camping experience.

On our most recent camping trip, we did just that. We took off for a Canadian camping adventure. For Memorial Day weekend we visited beautiful British Columbia. We ventured to Hope, BC via the Sumas, WA/ Abbotsford, BC border crossing. Most of the time this is the least busy border crossing. It is however always worth checking the border traffic at all nearby crossings to make the best decision.

Harrison Hot Springs, BC

Rain greeted us on our first camping day. We were well prepared with a gigantic tarp roof thanks to having two MacGyvers with us. However, day one we chose to take the 30 minute drive to Harrison Hot Springs. This little town nestled against a lakeside reminded me of a tiny version Geneva, Switzerland.

Upon arrival, we discovered the 5 awesome hot springs pools at the Harrison Hot Springs Resort are reserved for guests only. This fabulous place is on the list of future adventures for sure!

Fortunately, the town offers a public pool and it was AMAZING! Kids under 4 are free. Health warnings are posted for the therapeutic nature of mineral healing hot springs. However, this mineral pool is open to all ages. We all we able to enjoy this full size swimming pool with a temperature of over 100°. Delightful!

If you come prepared with snacks and reading material, you could spend your entire day here for only $10 Canadian. You will want to get in and out frequently as the heat and the minerals do make you feel super relaxed and comfortable. It was peaceful and pacifying, yet rejuvenating. And so relaxing I completely forgot to take pictures!

Coquihalla Campground, Hope, BC

After researching hot springs and Provincial Parks in the BC area and finding their locations, I researched nearby campgrounds. That is how I found the Coquihalla Campground for our camping adventure. We tent camp at this time. Hence, I am always leery of RV campgrounds because they are often just large parking lots with hook ups.

We like to camp in nature and enjoy trees, overgrowth and rivers if possible. We also like to have a hot shower. Therefore, it is a bit tricky to find the perfect location since many of the state/provincial park sites are usually more primitive.

After doing some thorough research, the Coquihalla Campground looked like a great spot. We requested a river side site for our camping adventure. Upon arrival, we were thrilled to see the camp sites were spread out through a well manicured yet dense forest. Each site was a good distance from the next. Our site was huge and right next to the raging river. We were stoked!

In addition, the campground offered a number of bathroom and shower facilities. Showers required tokens for hot water. Pleasantly, most showers and toilets were private and very clean rooms. From the parent perspective, having an entire bathroom to take care of little ones is super helpful.

The campground is about a mile from downtown Hope, with a grocery store in walking distance. Also nearby is the Coquihalla Provincial Park and directly across the street is the coolest natural woods bike park I have ever seen.

Hope Bike Park, Hope, BC

We had no idea until we reached the campground that this awesome bike park was directly across the street. Built in 2015, this BMX style bike park is built for all ages and skill levels. The 2.5 acres boasts forested woods with dirt tracks, hills, jump, log runs and more to enjoy.

This trip we enjoyed wandering the entire park to check in out. Some kids were having a blast, but we were able to wander without getting in their way. We will definitely be coming back for another camping adventure to enjoy this park on our mountain bikes.

Othello Tunnels, Hope BC

I noticed before arriving the Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park was nearby. I did not realized however that it was home to the historic Othello Tunnels. These decommissioned railway lines turned into walking paths provide spectacular views of the Coquihalla Canyon.

This is a family friendly and flat hike since it runs along old railway tracks turned to paths. Families brought strollers for their little ones. Bigger kids can certainly make the few mile walk on their own.

We brought our child carrier back pack since our daughter was nearing nap time. She loved the ride once she was settled in the carrier. These carriers are so comfortable and helpful to take a hike while kids are still little.

Canadian Camping Adventure

Overall, our three night camping adventure was a complete success. We loved our natural camping setting. the campground was awesome. From what we could see, we were the only USA license plate vehicle in the campground. Plus the facility still had openings. And finally the location is well situated with ample outdoor activities in close proximity.

So next time you want to go camping, consider a Canadian camping adventure. Of course, that is easier to do if you are from the Pacific Northwest. However, the Hope, BC area is a beautiful place to adventure to nonetheless.