The Fraser – A River of Life and Legend
Share the stories and meet the people who live, drive, hike, white water raft and canoe along the Fraser River in British Columbia, Canada.
Cariboo – Hubble Homestead to Sheep Creek Bridge
The Cariboo region, a misspelling of the word caribou, the animal that once roamed the region in abundance, extends from the city of Prince George south 250 kilometres to Sheep Creek Bridge west of the city of Williams Lake. The Cariboo section of the Fraser River is characterized by undulating forested hills mingled with hayfields that dot low-lying river terraces.
Upper Reaches – Rocky Mountains to Hubble Homestead
The defining geographical feature of the Upper Reaches is the Rocky Mountain Trench. As if a farmer’s plow had cut through soft soil, the trench forms a broad furrow of land that ranges between ten and thirty kilometres wide. The glacial river runs through that trench and is hemmed in on both sides by mountain ranges: the Rockies on the north and the Columbia Mountains on the south. In the Upper Reaches the river ambles past the small communities of Dunster, McBride, Crescent Spur, Dome Creek, Penny and finally the Huble Homestead Historic Site, which marks the end of the Upper Reaches.
If the Fraser were defined by seasons, the three-hundred-kilometre Grasslands section would be its summer. In this semi-arid, less accessible area, the river regenerates from its more polluted condition upriver and again becomes a wild river. Accessible by back roads or by floating in rafts, this section is awash with an ecosystem that comprises small, precise plants that roll like a carpet over lofty, craggy river terraces delineated by bands of yellow and green. It is also defined by its many ranches.
Hells Gate – River Canyon
With turbulent back eddies and unforgiving hydraulic whirlpools, the swift-moving waters in the Canyon section—a magnificent stretch of river between Leon Creek and the present-day town site of Hope—remind all living things that the Fraser River is mighty, and only those with river knowledge should venture out on this portion of its beautiful yet unforgiving currents.
Steveston – Lower Reaches
From the city of Hope to the Fraser River’s estuary—a distance of approximately 170 kilometres—everything about the river changes. As the river descends through this region, the land adjacent to its banks transitions from that of relatively low population density to very high. The shift in population signals a change to the transportation network that gives access to the river and the Pacific Ocean.