Harris Creek

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Rivers, Pacific Northwest

Harris Creek
Harris Creek, Photo By Bud Logan

Harris Creek joins the San Juan River, south of the bridge, close to the town of Port Renfrew on southern Vancouver Island. The creek is quite long and has varying types of flow, everything from raging canyon drops, to calm lowland flows at the San Juan Joining. The upper Harris Creek is a wild raging stream that has many drops, rapids and falls while the lower stream is much calmer. On its shore you will see the Harris Creek Spruce, the biggest spruce in the world. This creek is a very popular kayak river with some small but continuous drops in a tight canyon run, very exciting to run, the run is a bit short though, that’s to bad.

Harris Creek
Harris Creek, Photo By Bud Logan

The summer run of steelhead in creek is during June and July and is a small run, but the winter steelhead run in February and March is much better. The Coho Salmon spawn in the fall is pretty awesome also. There are Rainbow Trout, Cutthroat Trout and even a few Dolly Varden Char in the river.

Access to the creek is along Harris Creek mainline and is a decent road. You can access the creek on the Robertson and Hillcrest logging roads from the southern shore of cowichan lake also. There are numerous rec sites and plenty of places to set up wilderness campsites along the creek. This a beautiful area of the island.

There is plenty of wildlife including birds, plants and large animals like black bears, roosevelt elk, cougars, wolves and black tail deer, along with lots of the smaller creatures of the forest. The birds here are plentiful with a huge variety and there are wildflowers everywhere. When you come this way for a visit, remember to bring your camera.

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