The Fraser River is the longest river in British Columbia, the fifth largest in Canada and has been designated as a Canadian Heritage River because of its importance to the development of BC. The Fraser River played an important role in our history with ties to the indigenous people, fur traders, gold seekers and the early settlers of British Colombia.
Like many of you, I have only seen certain parts of the Fraser as I have travelled through various parts of BC. Our tour takes to you to the source of the mighty Fraser. It begins as a tiny trickle flowing from a bubbling spring that was discovered by Beautiful British Columbia Magazine in 1980s. Fewer than two hundred people have been to the source and many of those travelled there with Wells Gray Tours. Access is difficult. The closest road is 50 km away and there are no trails into the area, so flying in by helicopter is the only way to go. Our scenic flight will provide beautiful views of the Rampart Mountain Range and the Bennington Glacier before landing at an elevation of 2000 meters in alpine meadows. Here is where you will want to have your picture taken with one foot on either side of the Fraser River. Watch as your Tour Director scoops up a bit of water to carry to the mouth of river where it will be released it into the Pacific Ocean.
A float down the river with an interpretive guide will leave you with facts and tales of the importance of the river to both the aboriginals and early settlers. After our disembarkation from the raft we will head north to the “Big Bend” where the Fraser makes its turn south. Here is the famous Giscome Portage Trail and the Huble Homestead built to serve travellers on the Fraser River. From this point south, the river becomes more familiar to me as it passes through Williams Lake, Hat Creek Ranch and Lillooet where it enters the Fraser Canyon. Hells Gate is a must stop in this area of the Fraser Canyon as the sheer rock walls force the Fraser River to thunder through the narrow passage. We will take the cable car across the river and have time to walk the Alexandra Suspension bridge which was built in 1926.
At Hope, the Fraser River flows into the fertile Fraser Valley as it turns west to the ocean. A river boat safari with a naturalist is included on this less travelled and viewed portion of the river.
In New Westminster, we board the paddle wheeler MV Native for a journey down the last 30 km of the Fraser. Don’t miss out on the “Water Ceremony” where the well travelled water gathered at the source of the Fraser River are ceremoniously poured into the Pacific Ocean completing the journey.
Bragging Rights: This tour will leave you with memories, new friends and the knowledge that you are among the very few who have made this journey.
Written by: Joan Niemeier
Itinerary from BC Interior
Fraser River from Source to Mouth
Itinerary from Victoria