Trip 047 - July 5, 2011 (Tuesday)
Harrison West Forest Service Road
Trip to Kilometer 55 (end of 2wd road)
Liked: Fairly smooth road (by FSR standards) with some potholes and rough sections. Lake and mountain views (mostly from campgrounds).
Of note: Remote area with no cell phone coverage, limited views (unless from a campground), ferocious mosquitoes at campgrounds, winding road, logging trucks on the road, the road is rather popular even on weekdays - watch for other traffic, including motorcycles and ATVs. Near km 55 there is a steep loose-surfaced hill, which 2wd vehicles likely wouldn't make.
Vancouver, Coast & Mountains Backroad Mapbook (2010 edition) Coordinates for the Beginning of the FSR: Page 4 (Chilliwack) E1. The latest edition of Backroad Mapbook for this and other regions, as well as GPS maps, are available for purchase at BackroadMapbooks.com.
Related Website: Chilliwack District FSR Conditions.
Other Trips in Harrison Hot Springs area: Harrison East Forest Service Road (Second Trip), Clear Creek Forest Service Road (off Harrison East FSR), Shovel Creek Forest Service Road, Harrison East (Main) Forest Service Road, Harrison West Forest Service Road, Denhams Trail Around Weaver Lake, Chehalis Forest Service Road, Bear Mountain Hike, Harrison Hot Springs, Campbell Lake Trail Hike.
Harrison West Forest Service Road runs along the West edge of enormous Harrison Lake, located East of Mission, BC. Despite proximity of the FSR to the lake, the views of the lake are limited. For the best views, you would need to visit one of the several campgrounds on the side of the Harrison West FSR.
We drove on this road to about km 55, where the road became too much for our 2WD vehicle. There is a nice camping spot in that place too.
Beware of mosquitoes, as they are numerous and ferocious along Harrison West FSR, especially at campgrounds, probably owing to a wet and cold Spring we had this year.
On July 21, 2011 we have visited a substantially more impressive Harrison East FSR.
Here is the table of points of interest along Harrison West FSR. Zero your odometer at the sign seen on the photo #3 below. And, please, note that the yellow mileage markers on the road do not exactly correspond to the mileage in the table, the difference usually being around 300-500 meters.
1. We are on BC Highway 7 East of Mission, en route to Morris Valley Road, located 32 kilometers East of Mission. You can check out Chehalis FSR Trip Report and Weaver Lake Trail Trip Report for more detailed directions.
9. Nice lake view from the 20 Mile Bay Campground.
10. If you do not want to pay a fee, or prefer a more solitary camping experience, there is an unregulated campground at the 41.3 km mark. The turnoff is seen on the photo below.
11. This campground is large enough for 150 people to camp.
12. Plenty of space to park vehicles.
13. Nice views for you to enjoy.
14. And a whole lot of garbage left behind by previous campers. There were two other equally large garbage dumps at that campground.
15. If you want a cozier campground with no garbage as of the time of writing, drive to km 48.3 and turn right. The view you would get is similar to the other unregulated campground, but the crowds would likely be smaller simply because there is space for not more than 20-25 vehicles at the 48.3 km campsite.
16. Km 49 features a creek eroding the road surface. This spot may become impassable, depending on how bad of a damage the creek will inflict.
17. At the 55 km mark, there is a nice camping spot right by the lake, suitable for two vehicles at most. The photo below shows the turnoff to that spot. This is also a good place to turn around, if you have a 2WD vehicle, since right after the turnoff there is a steep loose-surfaced hill.
18. The camping spot by the lake. Note the bag full of garbage left behind.
19. But, hey, the spot is flat, there is a fire ring, and the view is great too.
20. And here is that steep loose hill mentioned above. It is worse than it looks.
We walked about 500 meters further down the road, then turned around and went back. Harrison West FSR is hard to recommend as a scenic drive. But, if you want to camp near the lake, this could be a good destination. Just beware of the mosquitoes and fairly heavy traffic for such a remote location.
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