The Legend of Sasquatch
Harrison Hot Springs is a hotbed for all things Sasquatch, but how did this come to be? People have always had a fascination with mysteries surrounding the legend of Sasquatch and frequent the area in hopes of someday catching a glimpse of the mystifying creature.
The Harrison and Chehalis region is located on the territory of the Sts’ailes First Nation, whose experience with the elusive beast date back thousands of years. The very word ‘Sasquatch’ is thought to be a mispronunciation from the Sts’ailes word ‘Sasq’ets,’ meaning ‘hairy-man.’
Local lore says the Sasquatch hold a reunion every four years beginning on the night of the full moon in July at the Mystery Valley caves located on the west side of Harrison Lake. For four consecutive nights, the Sasquatch meet, creating fires to signal their return.
There have been many ideas put forth over the years as to ‘what’ exactly the Sasquatch is. Some anthropologists believe that the legend of the Sasquatch is the product of collective cultural memory based on extinct hominids, while some believe that the Sasquatch is simply an animal lying somewhere between the realm of man and beast.
The Sts’ailes believe that that the Sasquatch is not an animal, not a figment of the imagination, but rather a supernatural entity that can vanish into the spirit realm at will; this may explain why the elusive being is so difficult to track down.
If you’re looking for a fun socially-distant activity, consider participating in the Tourism Harrison’s ‘Sasquatch Selfie Challenge.’
- Take a photo of the wooden Sasquatch located outside of the Visitor Center. He already has a great camera-ready smile, so no need to say “cheese.”
- Visit ‘Hot Springs Harry’ located where Hot Springs Road meets McPherson Road. ‘Harry’ was expertly carved by master chainsaw carver Pete Ryan. Harry is sitting on a bench with his arm outstretched, just waiting for his selfie.
- Located on #670 Hot Springs Road next to the Springs RV Resort sign, there is a formidable-looking Sasquatch with a large rock on his head (consider a more dramatic pose for this selfie).
- In Harrison Village Mall, you will find a strip mall with a number of charming shops and cafes. Carved by Randy Swope, a resident from Hope BC, you will find this Sasquatch pleasant and portly fellow who is so highly regarded, he even has his own designated parking space.
- Did someone say ‘Za? Located just south of the Harrison Village Mall, you’ll find another Sasquatch located at Village Pizzeria restaurant (this wood carving is popular with kiddos as he is one of the smaller Sasquatches in town).
- On the east corner of Hot Springs Road and Esplanade Avenue, you will see a large directory of businesses with a Sasquatch figure at the top of it. As you continue walking east, you’ll see that the sidewalk features a trail of Sasquatch ‘footprints’ along the way. Further down, on the lakeside of the street, you will see one of the newest Sasquatch statues near the performance stage. While he may have a fearsome look in his expression, this Sasquatch is closer to human size, so you can fit nicely together for a picture.
- The last Sasquatch on the list is much too large to fit in a ‘selfie’ but deserved a photo all its own. If you head to Harrison Springs Resort. Then continue past it on the walking trail that curves northwest, you will see a series of utility buildings featuring beautiful Indigenous art on the sides. This includes a very grand and eye-catching line-art installation of the Sta’sailes Sasquatch. This figure is a cultural icon of the Sts’ailes People; in fact, it is trademarked to the Sts’ailes First Nation and is internationally recognized. It is truly a work of art, so be sure to find this culturally significant Sasquatch (Sa:sq’ets)!
The most recent sighting occurred in March 2020 during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. ‘Harrison Harry’ emerged from his hiding place and began appearing in unexpected places throughout the Village of Harrison Hot Springs; he even made a surprise appearance at our hotel!
If you’re looking to seek out the elusive Sasquatch, or are just in need of a staycation, Harrison Beach Hotel features three stylish room types, offering a variety of unique, comfortable accommodations. Contact us to learn more.