Harrison Grind – Campbell Lake Trail

Harrison Grind – Campbell Lake Trail

Harrison Grind - a fun trail near Vancouver with fantastic views over Harrison LakeWe finally went on a real hike! We started with the Harrison Grind/ Campbell Lake trail, which is super close to Harrison Hot Springs in BC. The trail winds its way up Mount Agassiz past a viewpoint and a pretty lake. It is perfect for a mini adventure.

Things are starting to open up here in BC, so although we are still staying local-ish, we are now allowed to visit the mountains. It takes about an hour and a half to drive to Harrison Hot Springs from Vancouver, so it is really easy to come here and hike on a day trip. I found this trail in the 105 Hikes book, which is full of fantastic (and fun) trails like this. If you like the sound of it, you can buy it here.

Harrison Grind – the basics

Distance: 10km or 8km if you stop at the first viewpoint
Elevation gain
: 679m (890m elevation change)
High Point: 695m
Time: We took 4.5 hours including  at least half an hour for lunch.
What to bring: A Camera! It’s so pretty you’ll take a lot of photos.
The 10 Essentials
Facilities: No facilities here, but there are loos, ice-creams, shops and everything you need at Harrison Lake
Dogs: Great trail for dogs but keep them on a leash.
How hard is it? Intermediate. Despite the name, it is much easier than the Grouse Grind.

Harrison Grind – Campbell Lake Trail Map

Harrison Grind Getting Started

I’m not going to lie, the first few hundred meters of this trail are STEEP! You need to head up a gravel trail, past the village’s water tower. Then keep going into the trees on a mossy, watery path as you hike up the bottom section of Mount Agassiz.

After a few switchbacks you follow a path along a powerline up to a fantastic viewpoint.

Views of Cheam Peak

I always feel better when the good views appear. Don’t forget to look backwards when you reach the powerlines! There is a really great view back towards Cheam Peak.

Mossy Trails

I really liked how mossy and green the trail is. The path is pretty easy to follow, with red markers that show up well against all the greenery.

Once you get a little higher on the trail, more light comes through the trees and makes everything even more beautiful. You’ll keep gaining elevation until about 700m, then it flattens out slightly. Then you can relax and hike along to the viewpoint at the end of the Harrison Grind.

Harrison Grind Views

We nearly walked straight past the viewpoint at the top of the Harrison Grind. Keep a look out for a gap in some bushes to make sure you don’t miss it! There is a bit of a rocky outcrop, with views down to Harrison Lake and the mountains beyond.

Keep going to Campbell Lake?

Lots of people stop at the top of the Harrion Grind. But if you have a teeny bit of energy left, it’s good to keep going to Campbell Lake. The lake is only around one kilometre beyond the viewpoint. In spring, the path can be very soggy. So don’t continue if you plan to keep your shoes clean.

The last part of the trail does not involve much elevation gain. Just be careful as the path can be quite rooty, so just watch your feet.

Campbell Lake

When we first reached Campbell Lake it was completely deserted and looked beautiful. The only problem is there is just one small opening in the trees where you can reach the lake shore easily. This means once more people arrive and it’s busy, you’ll all have to squish together in the same area.

Powerline Views beyond Campbell Lake

Although the lake was nice, we decided to keep going slightly further as I had read there is one more viewpoint on the opposite side of the lake…

However we could see that the logging road continued on further beyond the viewpoint…so we kept walking to see if there was an even better view further on. There was!

Harrison Lake Viewpoint

This amazing viewpoint was not on the map. The logging road continues all the way to a bluff with a giant pile of logs. Someone has even carved a bench out of one of the giant logs, so you can sit there while you eat your lunch.

I used my big lens to zoom in on the gorgeous mountains to the North of Harrison Lake. Gorgeous eh!?

This is the view away from the lake towards the Douglas Range. That is where we went Skiing at the awesome Sasquatch Mountain Ski resort. Doesn’t it look beautiful in the summertime!?

The pathway beyond Campbell Lake is a logging road. I’ve noticed some of my Canadian friends are not so keen on these kinds of trails, but I don’t mind them. We even found a mini waterfall along the trail.

You return the way you came. But we found we were even faster once we started heading downhill. We met quite a lot of hikers heading up as we were leaving; So if you start this walk later in the morning, it is likely it will be a little busier than we found it.

This was our first real mountain hike of 2020 (as long as you don’t count Burnaby Mountain.) It was pretty perfect for getting us hiking as it wasn’t crazily difficult, but we were rewarded with such perfect views. If you are looking for an easy-ish hike near Vancouver, this is a fantastic option. I think this would also be a great walk if you are staying at Harrison Hot Springs, and want to stretch your legs before you soak them in the hot spring.

The hot springs were not yet open (due to Covid-19), but I would reeeally like to come back and soak in them properly at some point!

Campbell Lake Trail - steep but fine  Harrison Grind near Harrison Hot springs - Fun short hike The Harrison Grind and Campbell lake trail

63 thoughts on “Harrison Grind – Campbell Lake Trail

    1. Thanks lovely! We both ended up with hiking posts this week! I’m glad you like the look of it. I hope we can get you to BC at some point!

  1. How have I not heard of this beautiful place before? Looks like I need to visit Canada asap! 🙂 Thanks for sharing this!

    1. Yay! You’ll love it when you visit! But don’t worry, this isn’t a famous area…there are just sooo many pretty hikes like this near Vancouver.

    1. If I’m honest, we only chose it because it sounded like the easiest option in the area! I was saving the even more fun sounding hikes for another time.

      I was really surprised by how lovely the views are!

    1. Lol I find it funny that so many places near here want their own version of the grind!
      This one was much prettier (and easier) so I think you’d like it! It was waaay easier than Elk mountain.

    1. Oooh I love winter hikes too! I liked this one in the summertime though, it was nice to see all that greenery.

  2. Ok, wow! What a stunning hike! The mossy paths look a little scary for me as I’m a bit clumsy! But the views look like they are totally worth it!

    1. Me too! I have to be so careful on the rooty parts (as I am always falling/hurting my ankles) I feel your clumsy pain!

  3. Loveee the viewpoints! Such stunning scenery. I can’t imagine anyone not liking these trails like you mentioned, I would love to explore them.

    1. The viewpoints are stunning right? I find it a little mad that most people stop at the first one… as the later views were even better.

    1. Those mossy rocks were so fluffy! We found a bunch more this weekend too, but they were more soggy, like sponges!

  4. More lakes, more views, and of course more jumping! Absolutely stunning. You live in such an incredible place and the walk looks great. Lovely photos.

    1. Thanks Jonno! We are sooo lucky that now we can go a little further and explore real trails again!

      Things are opening up a bit in the UK too. I hope you are both doing okay!

  5. Girl, these photos are AMAZING! I still can’t believe I missed out on so many great hikes when I lived in Vancouver. I can’t wait until I can visit a check a few out – including this one! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Yaaay! I hope covid-19 lets you visit – although you should never feel bad for missing hikes here. We’ve been here for three years now and I still feel like we have barely scratched the surface of amazing hikes!

  6. This hike sounds amazing. The views over the lake from the viewpoint look spectacular. I’m adding this one to my Canada bucket list for when I can make it over there!

  7. Another awesome post miss trail queen! Until reading your posts I had no idea how much awesome hiking there is near Vancouver. I love that depending on how you feel, you can stop or go the longer distance. 10k sounds like a perfect distance and has everything with a mossy trail, insane views and a workout! 😁

    1. Yeees! There are actually a couple of harder (and even more fun sounding) trails in this area near Harrison hot springs… it’s just our hiking legs are a bit weak right now so we decided to opt for an easy trail. 😉

    1. Yaay! I am glad it;s not just me. I looove seeing all the different mosses. It’s fab in winter too as everything stays green all year ’round.

    1. Yay! I am glad you like the look of it too. It’ll be even better once covid-19 calms down more…as you could finish the hike by bathing in the hot spring…

  8. I was wondering if this was your wedding anniversary treat Josy?. Was this yesterday? 6 years is not to be sniffed at.. Well done to you both. Lis

    1. Nope, this was a few weeks ago. We went to an amazing waterfall to celebrate our anniversary. I’ll post about that one soon.

  9. This looks like such a beautiful hike! What a happy coincidence that you decided to carry on along the logging road as I think that viewpoint looks like the most epic of them all!

    I noticed that you mentioned that there is only one small opening in the trees at Campbell lake, so a few people will have to squish together. Isn’t it strange how our trip planning has changed/ will have to change with recent events, i’m sure at one point, this wouldn’t have been noteworthy, but is now a really important piece of information!

  10. Harrison Grind And especially the lake looks so peaceful and picturesque! We haven’t visited Vancouver yet but it’s on our bucket list. So when we go there someday, we’ll make sure to go hiking in Harrison Grind!

  11. Harrison Grind seems to be a pleasant and enchanting hike. I like these kinds of hikes that give you an opportunity to focus on natire. The Cambell lake looks so ethereal.

  12. Oh wow it must be amazing to go on a proper hike again! This really makes me want to go somewhere that’s close to nature as really miss that being in a town and city. The views look absolutely stunning and that is something I always look for in a hike. This one looks absolutely perfect for a day trip 🙂 you got such great weather too!

  13. Thank you so much for sharing this experience! It looks like a great hike and the views are absolutely beautiful.

  14. This is so beautiful! I’m so glad to hear that you’re able to go back to the mountains in BC! Harrison Grind looks like it’s everything beautiful the Pacific Northwest is known for! Hot springs also sound heavenly; hopefully they will open up again by fall when the weather gets a little cooler!

  15. Ahh this trail looks so gorgeous! I don’t know if I would survive the first part, but it would be amazing to get to see Campbell Lake. Those are some amazing views and shots!

  16. Great post! Thank you! I plan to do this hike with my sister next week. We will be sure to go early and keep our eyes peeled for the lookouts.

    1. Yay, I am glad it helped Chelsea! I hope you have a fantastic time! As it’s a bit hotter now, I guess that is anther reason to start super early!

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