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Encyclopedia > Fraser Canyon
View of Fraser Canyon near Fountain, BC
View of Fraser Canyon near Fountain, BC
View of Fraser Canyon looking upstream from Fountain, B.C.
View of Fraser Canyon looking upstream from Fountain, B.C.

The Fraser Canyon is a stretch of the Fraser River where it descends rapidly through narrow rock gorges in the Coast Mountains enroute from the Interior Plateau of British Columbia to the Fraser Valley. Colloquially, the term "Fraser Canyon" is often used to include the Thompson Canyon from Lytton to Ashcroft, as they form the same highway route which most people are familiar with. Image File history File links Fountaincanyon1. ... Image File history File links Fountaincanyon1. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (498x700, 231 KB) Summary This is my own picture taken in winter 1996-97. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (498x700, 231 KB) Summary This is my own picture taken in winter 1996-97. ... Fraser River watershed The Fraser River is the longest river in British Columbia, Canada, rising near Mount Robson in the Rocky Mountains and flowing for 1400 km (870 mi), into the Pacific Ocean at the city of Vancouver. ... The Coast Mountains are the westernmost range of the Pacific Cordillera, running along the south western shore of the North American continent, extending south from the Alaska Panhandle and covering most of coastal British Columbia. ... The Interior Plateau comprises a large region of central British Columbia, and lies between the Cariboo and Monashee Mountains on the east, and the Hazelton Mountains, Coast Mountains and Cascade Range on the west. ... Motto: Splendor Sine Occasu (Latin: Splendour without diminishment) Official languages English Capital Victoria Largest city Vancouver Lieutenant-Governor Iona Campagnolo Premier Gordon Campbell (BC Liberal) Parliamentary representation  - House seats  - Senate seats 36 6 Area Total  - Land  - Water  (% of total)  Ranked 5th 944,735 km² 925,186 km² 19,549 km... Fraser Valley is the section of the Fraser River basin in southwestern British Columbia downstream of the Fraser Canyon. ... Lytton in British Columbia sits at the confluence of the Thompson River and Fraser River on the east side of the Fraser. ... Ashcroft is a village in central British Columbia, Canada. ...

Contents

Geology

The Canyon was formed during the Miocene period (23.7-5.3 million years ago) by the river cutting into the uplifting Interior Plateau. From the northern Cariboo to Fountain, the river follows the line of the huge Fraser Fault, which runs on a north-south axis and meets the Yalakom Fault a few miles downstream from Lillooet. The Miocene epoch is a period of time that extends from about 23 to 5. ... The Interior Plateau comprises a large region of central British Columbia, and lies between the Cariboo and Monashee Mountains on the east, and the Hazelton Mountains, Coast Mountains and Cascade Range on the west. ... The Cariboo is a region of British Columbia along a plateau stretching from the Fraser Canyon to the Cariboo Mountains. ... Lillooet (formerly Cayoosh Flat) is a small but historic and highly scenic community on the Fraser River in western Canada, about 240 kilometres (150 miles) up the British Columbia Railway line from Vancouver. ...


Geography

View of Fraser Canyon in the area of the Nahatlatch River(the valley coming in at left
View of Fraser Canyon in the area of the Nahatlatch River
(the valley coming in at left

Extending 270 km north of Yale to the confluence of the Chilcotin River, its southern stretch is a major transportation corridor to the Interior from "the Coast", with the Canadian National and Canadian Pacific Railways and the Trans-Canada Highway carved out of its rock faces and in spots hanging above the river or many of the canyon's side-crevasses by dozens of bridges and trestles. Prior to the double-tracking of those railways, and major upgrades to Highway 1 (the Trans Canada Highway), travel through "the Canyon" was even more hair-raising than it is now. During the frontier era it was a major obstacle between the Lower Mainland and the Interior Plateau and the slender trails along its rocky walls - many of them little better than notches cut into granite, with a few handholds - were compared to goat-tracks and worse. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (479x700, 228 KB) Summary This picture was taken by my rather, Endre Cleven, about 1956. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (479x700, 228 KB) Summary This picture was taken by my rather, Endre Cleven, about 1956. ... Front Street, Yale, British Columbia circa 1882 during the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. ... The Chilcotin River is a 215 km (c. ... The Interior Plateau comprises a large region of central British Columbia, and lies between the Cariboo and Monashee Mountains on the east, and the Hazelton Mountains, Coast Mountains and Cascade Range on the west. ... The Lower Mainland is the name that residents of British Columbia apply to the region surrounding the City of Vancouver. ... The Canadian National Railway (CN; AAR reporting marks CN, CNA, CNIS), known as Canadian National Railways (CNR) between 1918 and 1960, and Canadian National/Canadien National (CN) from 1960 to present, is a Canadian Class I railway operated by Canadian National Railway Company headquartered in Montreal, Quebec. ... An eastbound CPR freight at Stoney Creek Bridge in Rogers Pass. ... Trans Canada Highway over Canada Map The Trans-Canada Highway is a federal-provincial highway system that joins all ten provinces of Canada. ... The Lower Mainland is the name that residents of British Columbia apply to the region surrounding the City of Vancouver. ... The Interior Plateau comprises a large region of central British Columbia, and lies between the Cariboo and Monashee Mountains on the east, and the Hazelton Mountains, Coast Mountains and Cascade Range on the west. ...


North of Lytton, it is followed by BC Highway 12, then from Lillooet to Pavilion by BC Hwy 99 (the farther end of the Sea-to-Sky Highway, though not carrying that name in this area). The BCR line follows the same stretch of canyon from Lillooet to just beyond Pavilion. Between there and the mouth of the Chilcotin River there are only rough ranching roads and the terrain is a mix of canyon depths flanked by arid benchland and high plateau. Between Pavilion and Lillooet, the river's gorge is at its maximum depth, with the river throttled through a series of narrow gorges flanked by high cliffs, though still flanked above those cliffs by wide benchlands which stand on the foreshoulder of the mountain ranges flanking the gorge. Lytton in British Columbia sits at the confluence of the Thompson River and Fraser River on the east side of the Fraser. ... Lillooet (formerly Cayoosh Flat) is a small but historic and highly scenic community on the Fraser River in western Canada, about 240 kilometres (150 miles) up the British Columbia Railway line from Vancouver. ... British Columbia provincial highway 99 is the major nouth-south artery through the Greater Vancouver Regional District. ... The British Columbia Railway (BCR; AAR railway that operated in the Canadian province of British Columbia. ... Lillooet (formerly Cayoosh Flat) is a small but historic and highly scenic community on the Fraser River in western Canada, about 240 kilometres (150 miles) up the British Columbia Railway line from Vancouver. ... The Chilcotin River is a 215 km (c. ... Lillooet (formerly Cayoosh Flat) is a small but historic and highly scenic community on the Fraser River in western Canada, about 240 kilometres (150 miles) up the British Columbia Railway line from Vancouver. ...


Hell's Gate

View of Hell's Gate looking downstream, c.1955
View of Hell's Gate looking downstream, c.1955

At Hells Gate, British Columbia, near Boston Bar, the canyon walls rise about 1000 m above the rapids. Fish ladders along the river's side permit migrating salmon to bypass a rockslide that diverted the river during the blasting of the CNR line in 1913. The area around Hell's Gate carries the name Black Canyon, which may either be a reference to the colour of the rocks when they're in the rain, or the name of a community built on the cliffsides here during the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush. Today there is a specially-built air-tram, like the kind used in ski resorts, which takes tourists down to Hell's Gate, where visitors may view the fish ladders as well as the boiling rush of the Fraser's waters. A set of tourist pavilions with shops and cafe now occupies the site of the workmen's housing seen in the accompanying image. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (998x600, 234 KB) Summary This picture was taken by my rather, Endre Cleven, about 1956. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (998x600, 234 KB) Summary This picture was taken by my rather, Endre Cleven, about 1956. ... Hells Gate, British Columbia Hells Gate is a 35 metre (110 foot) narrowing of British Columbias Fraser River Canyon, located immediately downstream of Boston Bar. ... Boston Bar is a town in the Fraser Canyon of the Canadian province of British Columbia. ... Illustration of a male Coho Salmon The Chinook or King Salmon is the largest salmon in North America and can grow to 1. ... An eastbound CPR freight at Stoney Creek Bridge in Rogers Pass. ... The Gold Rush of British Columbia occurred after gold was discovered in the Fraser River Valley. ... Pool-and-weir fish ladder at Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River Fishways, most commonly referred to as fish ladders but also known as fish passes, are structures placed on or around man-made barriers (such as dams and weirs) to assist the natural migration of diadromous fishes. ... Fraser River watershed The Fraser River is the longest river in British Columbia, Canada, rising near Mount Robson in the Rocky Mountains and flowing for 1400 km (870 mi), into the Pacific Ocean at the city of Vancouver. ...

View of Hell's Gate looking across to east bank, w. CPR steam locomotive in background passing old railway housing, c.1945
View of Hell's Gate looking across to east bank, w. CPR steam locomotive in background passing old railway housing, c.1945

At Siska, a few minutes south of Lytton, there is a spectacular double rail bridge, with the continental mainlines switching sides of the river at the throat of a rocky gorge. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (962x600, 343 KB) Summary This picture was taken by my rather, Endre Cleven, about 1956. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (962x600, 343 KB) Summary This picture was taken by my rather, Endre Cleven, about 1956. ... Lytton in British Columbia sits at the confluence of the Thompson River and Fraser River on the east side of the Fraser. ...


Upper Fraser Canyon

Just north of Lillooet, narrow rock ledges choke the river just at the confluence of the lower canyon of the Bridge River, forming an obstacle to migrating fish that has made this spot the busiest aboriginal fishing site on the river, from ancient times to the present. Concentrations of First Nations people here, from all tribes of the Interior, were believed to have been in excess of 10,000. Lillooet (formerly Cayoosh Flat) is a small but historic and highly scenic community on the Fraser River in western Canada, about 240 kilometres (150 miles) up the British Columbia Railway line from Vancouver. ... The Bridge River is, or was, a major tributary of British Columbias Fraser River, entering that stream about six miles upstream from the town of Lillooet. ... First Nations is a term of ethnicity used in Canada. ...


Archaeology and History

At the mouth of the Canyon, an archeological site documents the presence of the Stó:lō people in the area from the early Holocene period, 8,000 to 10,000 years ago after the retreat of the Fraser Glacier. An archaeological dig farther upriver at Keatley Creek, near Pavilion, is dated to 8000 BP and dates from a time when a huge lake filled what is now the canyon above Lillooet, created by a slide a few miles south of the present-day town. The Holocene epoch is a geological period that extends from the present day back to about 10,000 radiocarbon years, approximately 11,430 ± 130 calendar years BP (between 9560 and 9300 BC). ... Lillooet (formerly Cayoosh Flat) is a small but historic and highly scenic community on the Fraser River in western Canada, about 240 kilometres (150 miles) up the British Columbia Railway line from Vancouver. ...


The history of the canyon is very rich, especially from Pavilion south to Yale. Geographer Cole Harris comments that the lower Canyon was home to the densest population on the continent up to the time of the Fraser Gold Rush, thanks to the fecundity of its fishery. Front Street, Yale, British Columbia circa 1882 during the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. ... Richard Colebrook Cole Harris (born 4 July 1936) is a Canadian geographer. ... The Gold Rush of British Columbia occurred after gold was discovered in the Fraser River Valley. ...


During the Gold Rush, 10,500 miners and an untold number of hangers-on populated its banks and towns during the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush of 1858-60, during which it was the setting for the bloody but largely-unknown Fraser Canyon War and the opera buffa farce of a series of events known as McGowan's War. Details of these events can be found under their respective titles and other historical material in the pages on the towns named in this article. Other important histories connected with the Canyon include the building of the Cariboo Wagon Road and the construction of the CPR. The Gold Rush of British Columbia occurred after gold was discovered in the Fraser River Valley. ... The Gold Rush of British Columbia occurred after gold was discovered in the Fraser River Valley. ... The Fraser Canyon War, also known as the Canyon War or the Fraser River War, took place in the fall of 1858 during the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush in the newly-declared Colony of British Columbia, which would later become a province of Canada. ... Opera buffa (a form of comic opera), also known as Commedia in musica or Commedia per musica, is a genre of opera. ... McGowans War, also known as Ned McGowans War, was an episode during the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush which precipitated a political and military crisis with the potential to foment annexation of the newborn Crown Colony of British Columbia to the United States. ... A portion of the Cariboo Road, circa 1867–1868 The Cariboo Road (also called the Cariboo Wagon Road, the Great North Road or the Queens Highway) was a project initiated in 1862 by the colonial Governor of British Columbia, James Douglas. ... An eastbound CPR freight at Stoney Creek Bridge in Rogers Pass. ...


The river is navigable between Boston Bar and Lillooet and also between Big Bar Ferry and Prince George and beyond, although rapids at Soda Canyon and elsewhere were still difficult waters for the many steamboats which piloted its "foamy brine" in the 1800s and early 1900s. One vessel in particular is worthy of note, the MV Scuzzy, which was built with multiple-compartment hulls to preserve it from sinking due to rock damage. It was used to haul equipment and supplies during the construction of the CPR. Boston Bar is a town in the Fraser Canyon of the Canadian province of British Columbia. ... Lillooet (formerly Cayoosh Flat) is a small but historic and highly scenic community on the Fraser River in western Canada, about 240 kilometres (150 miles) up the British Columbia Railway line from Vancouver. ... There were several people named Prince George, and places named after them: George, Prince of Wales Prince George, Duke of Kent Prince George, Duke of Cambridge Prince George of Denmark Prince George of Yugoslavia Prince George I, Duke of Westrogothia Prince George (Blackadder character) Prince George, British Columbia Prince George... Beginning of the Napoleonic Wars (1805 - 1815). ... // First flight by the Wright brothers, December 17, 1903. ... An eastbound CPR freight at Stoney Creek Bridge in Rogers Pass. ...


With the construction of the CPR in the 1880s came the destruction of key portions of the Cariboo Wagon Road, as there was no room for both railway and road on the narrow, steep mountainsides above the river. As a result, the towns of Lytton and Boston Bar were cut off from road access with the rest of the province, other than by the difficult wagon road to Lillooet via Fountain. During the automotive age and following the construction of the CNR, a newer version of the road was built through the Canyon. This was named the Cariboo Highway until the construction and designation of the Trans- Canada Highway in the late 1950s-early 1960s. An eastbound CPR freight at Stoney Creek Bridge in Rogers Pass. ... A portion of the Cariboo Road, circa 1867–1868 The Cariboo Road (also called the Cariboo Wagon Road, the Great North Road or the Queens Highway) was a project initiated in 1862 by the colonial Governor of British Columbia, James Douglas. ... Lytton in British Columbia sits at the confluence of the Thompson River and Fraser River on the east side of the Fraser. ... Boston Bar is a town in the Fraser Canyon of the Canadian province of British Columbia. ... Lillooet (formerly Cayoosh Flat) is a small but historic and highly scenic community on the Fraser River in western Canada, about 240 kilometres (150 miles) up the British Columbia Railway line from Vancouver. ... The Canadian National Railway (CN; AAR reporting marks CN, CNA, CNIS), known as Canadian National Railways (CNR) between 1918 and 1960, and Canadian National/Canadien National (CN) from 1960 to present, is a Canadian Class I railway operated by Canadian National Railway Company headquartered in Montreal, Quebec. ... British Columbia provincial highway 97 is the longest continuously-numbered route in the province, running 2,081 km from the Canada/U.S. border at Osoyoos in the south to the British Columbia/Yukon border in the north at Watson Lake, Yukon. ... // Recovering from World War II and its aftermath, the economic miracle emerged in West Germany and Italy. ... The 1960s decade refers to the years from January 1, 1960 to December 31, 1969, inclusive. ...


Upper Canyons of the Fraser

There are other canyons on the Fraser that are not considered part of the Canyon, notably at Soda Creek, between Williams Lake and Prince George. The official but comparatively diminutive Grand Canyon of the Fraser is in the river's upper stretch through the Rocky Mountain Trench, between Prince George, but despite its name it has neither the roughness of water nor the depth and severity of canyon as is found in the area of Lillooet or between Boston Bar and Yale. Fraser River watershed The Fraser River is the longest river in British Columbia, Canada, rising near Mount Robson in the Rocky Mountains and flowing for 1400 km (870 mi), into the Pacific Ocean at the city of Vancouver. ... A small bench of land at the mouth of Soda Creek and ten miles north of Williams Lake became the terminus of the first sternwheeler steamboat in the upper Fraser River, launched in the spring of 1863. ... Williams Lake is a city in British Columbia, Canada. ... These cutbanks on the Nechako River are Prince Georges signature natural landmark. ... The Grand Canyon of the Fraser is a short gorge on the Fraser River in north-central British Columbia about 30km upstream from the confluence of the Bowron River and about 100km due east of downtown Prince George, British Columbia. ... The Rocky Mountain Trench is a huge glacial valley stretching 1500 km (930m), running unbroken from the Flathead Lake area of Montana to the Liard River in far northern British Columbia. ... These cutbanks on the Nechako River are Prince Georges signature natural landmark. ... Lillooet (formerly Cayoosh Flat) is a small but historic and highly scenic community on the Fraser River in western Canada, about 240 kilometres (150 miles) up the British Columbia Railway line from Vancouver. ... Boston Bar is a town in the Fraser Canyon of the Canadian province of British Columbia. ... Front Street, Yale, British Columbia circa 1882 during the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. ...


Almost all of the rivers and creeks feeding the Fraser from Williams Lake south have their own canyons which open onto the Fraser, or are just up side-valleys a few miles. These include Marble Canyon, Churn Creek, the Chilcotin River, the Bridge River, Seton Lake and Cayoosh Creek, the Stein River, the Nahatlatch River, the Coquihalla River and the innumerable smaller creeks flanking the river between Kanaka Bar and Yale. Fraser River watershed The Fraser River is the longest river in British Columbia, Canada, rising near Mount Robson in the Rocky Mountains and flowing for 1400 km (870 mi), into the Pacific Ocean at the city of Vancouver. ... Williams Lake is a city in British Columbia, Canada. ... Marble Canyon is a small but impressive canyon in the south-central Interior of British Columbia, a few kilometres from the Fraser River. ... The Chilcotin River is a 215 km (c. ... The Bridge River is, or was, a major tributary of British Columbias Fraser River, entering that stream about six miles upstream from the town of Lillooet. ... Seton Lake is a freshwater fjord draining into the Fraser River at the town of Lillooet, British Columbia, about 22 km long and 243 m in elevation and 26. ... The Coquihalla River, just outside Hope, British Columbia The Coquihalla River is located in the Cascade Mountains near the town of Hope, British Columbia. ... Front Street, Yale, British Columbia circa 1882 during the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. ...


Fraser Canyon Tunnels

The Fraser Canyon Highway Tunnels were constructed in the late 1950's to about the mid 1960's as part of the Trans-Canada Highway project. There are seven tunnels in total, the shortest being about 57 meters; the longest, however, is about 610 meters and is one of North America's longest. They are situated between Yale and Boston Bar. 1950 (MCML) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ... 1960 (MCMLX) was a leap year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1960 calendar). ... Trans Canada Highway over Canada Map The Trans-Canada Highway is a federal-provincial highway system that joins all ten provinces of Canada. ... World map showing North America A satellite composite image of North America. ... Front Street, Yale, British Columbia circa 1882 during the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. ... Boston Bar is a town in the Fraser Canyon of the Canadian province of British Columbia. ...


In order from south to north, they are: Yale, Saddle Rock, Sailor Bar, Alexandra, Hell's Gate, Ferrabee and China Bar. The Hell's Gate tunnel is the only tunnel that does not have lights, while the China Bar tunnel is the only tunnel that requires ventilation. Hells Gate, British Columbia Hells Gate is a 35 metre (110 foot) narrowing of British Columbias Fraser River Canyon, located immediately downstream of Boston Bar. ...


A recent project at the Ferrabee Tunnel has been to install warning lights that are activated by cyclists before they enter the tunnel. This was required because the tunnel is curved. It is expected that the China Bar and Alexandra tunnels will get the same warning lights as they too are curved.


See also

Rivers

The Bridge River is, or was, a major tributary of British Columbias Fraser River, entering that stream about six miles upstream from the town of Lillooet. ... The Chilcotin River is a 215 km (c. ... The Coquihalla River, just outside Hope, British Columbia The Coquihalla River is located in the Cascade Mountains near the town of Hope, British Columbia. ... Fraser River watershed The Fraser River is the longest river in British Columbia, Canada, rising near Mount Robson in the Rocky Mountains and flowing for 1400 km (870 mi), into the Pacific Ocean at the city of Vancouver. ... The Thompson River is a major tributary of the Fraser River in the south-central portion of British Columbia, Canada. ...

Towns and Localities

Boston Bar is a town in the Fraser Canyon of the Canadian province of British Columbia. ... Hope ( ) is a community of approximately 7,000 people located at the confluence of the Fraser and Coquihalla rivers in the province of British Columbia, Canada. ... Lillooet (formerly Cayoosh Flat) is a small but historic and highly scenic community on the Fraser River in western Canada, about 240 kilometres (150 miles) up the British Columbia Railway line from Vancouver. ... Lytton in British Columbia sits at the confluence of the Thompson River and Fraser River on the east side of the Fraser. ... Spuzzum is a very small town (population below 50) in British Columbia, Canada on the Trans-Canada Highway, approximately 50 kilometres north of Hope, thus is often referred to as being beyond Hope. ... Front Street, Yale, British Columbia circa 1882 during the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. ...

Other


  Results from FactBites:
 
YALE and FRASER CANYON, BC, Canada -- Fraser Valley Guide: Boston Bar, Hell's Gate, Lytton, North Bend, Siska, ... (341 words)
On Highway #1 with the Fraser Canyon and the Highway #1 tunnels to the north, Hope and area to the south, with the Fraser River to the west and mountains to the east.
With the Gold Rush in 1858, Yale became the head of navigation of the Fraser River as the rapids above Yale were impassable to the stern wheelers.
Hell's Gate is the narrowest portion of the Fraser River and during the spring freshet, the river may rise as much as 100 feet.
Fraser Canyon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1321 words)
View of Fraser Canyon near Fountain, BC View of Fraser Canyon looking upstream from Fountain, B.C. The Fraser Canyon is a stretch of the Fraser River where it descends rapidly through narrow rock gorges in the Coast Mountains enroute from the Interior Plateau of British Columbia to the Fraser Valley.
Colloquially, the term "Fraser Canyon" is often used to include the Thompson Canyon from Lytton to Ashcroft, as they form the same highway route which most people are familiar with.
The area around Hell's Gate carries the name Black Canyon, which may either be a reference to the colour of the rocks when they're in the rain, or the name of a community built on the cliffsides here during the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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