Tuesday, June 14, 2011

to hell's gate...and back!

From explorers to fortune seekers...many attempted to traverse the waters of the Fraser River in years gone by...and all met their greatest challenge at a pass within the Fraser Canyon at the place we now call Hell's Gate.

The explorer Simon Fraser mapped this section of the river as his greatest challenge.  'A place where no human being should venture, for surely we have entered the gates of hell'...was what he wrote in his journal.

Despite Simon Fraser's warning...and with the river at peak levels...we decided that it was a good time to take a tour of Hell's Gate.  We did just that on Sunday! 

We discovered there were two ways across...the tram or a hike down into the canyon and a stroll across the bridge.Most of us opted for the tram!

Once the first car was loaded...it plunged out of sight and down across the canyon.  It was rather like a large-group zip-line experience!  Most painless...however.

We also learned a few things while we were there.  Who knew that twice the volume of water flows through Hell's Gate than that which flows over Niagara Falls?  Nor would I have guessed that the water boiling beneath us was 180 feet deep.  And this is the river that is home to the world famous salmon run!  Those fish do not have it easy.

We walked the bridge...checked out the gift shop and museum...

...and felt a little of what Simon Fraser would have experienced in 1808.  We had salmon chowder and ice-cream...

...or treats from the fudge shop.  We sat next to the roaring river and enjoyed our goodies in the company of friends... 

...and soon the last tram car was heading for the other side.  It seemed no one was too eager to spend the night at Hell's Gate...and soon we were all homeward bound. It's always fun to play tourist close to home!

Had we driven a few miles beyond Hell's Gate...we would have had a chance to visit the town of Vancouver Bar...

 Lloyd Forman photo
...formerly known as Boston Bar.  In the very recent past it underwent an official name change...something to do with the Stanley Cup playoffs...and it makes sense to me! 

Enjoy your day...


  1. Oh sure, conveniently the names are changed...LOL!

    That looks like a wild place and I'm sure that Mr. Fraser had it pretty rough. Beautiful, though.

    You're right. Finding those fun day trips close to home is like finding treasure.

  2. More beautiful photos... Thanks for taking me to Hell's Gate on this quiet Tuesday morning. I enjoyed the trip!

  3. I love how y'all are getting rid of Boston in your regions signs. Now if you can just win one more game!! I'm cheering for you. What an amazing river. I enjoyed the history and facts.

  4. HI Mrs W:

    On Saturday, we loaded up the vehicle and made the same trek! We stopped at the Alexander bridge for a picnic and small hike first, then carried on to Hell's gate. Just wondering if you knew that you can opt for a season's pass, instead of a regular ticket? It doesn't cost extra you just have to request it at the time you purchase your tickets. It is a really nice deal because you can use it until October the 10th. We sure realized the rush of the valley dissapears quickly. What a beautiful drive it was. Have a greqat day! Krista Neels

  5. I've never been to the canyon, but it's on my list of ideas for stay-in-BC vacations. The cable ride looks scary!

  6. Thank you for the post! I would love to visit B.C., but I won't be able to for a long time. It's nice to travel there via your posts! :)

    Have a blessed day!

  7. How many times have we tried to go across that tram only to arrive too late in fall? This is the year....at some point I want to go to Hell's Gate and back and say I did. Great photos.

  8. What awesome photos and very educational :-)
    But....I'm happy just looking at your front porch!


  9. After our wedding in Prince George many years ago, we drove to Vancouver for our honeymoon, stopping at Hell's Gate enroute. I can't remember if the tramway was there then, I'll have to check my photos.

    Too funny about the name change. So sad about the Canucks last night. Will they come through tomorrow?

  10. LOL! Love the town's name change for the occasion ...hopefully it will be inspiration for game #7!

    There is a "Hell's Gate" area in the East River, here in NYC. The first Dutch explorer named it that because of the rocks and tidal currents. I do believe that the Fraser River has an even rougher passage...your photos are beautiful!

  11. What a fun day!!! Those waters look like our rivers around here, lots of high water and flooding in Montana. Great photos, Pat and I love to take day trips and this would be interesting for us!

    Have a good day!

  12. Hell's Gate has been on the List of things to do when family comes home for a long time... maybe next time... or we will just finally go with family that is here.
    Good thing to know...they are not open year round. You have beautiful pictures! I was there in the 80's and do not remember too much about it.

  13. Beautiful! What majestic views!Looks like a great day! Having been to Niagara Falls with my daughter, the comparison was interesting. That's a lot of water!! :-)

  14. That's very impressive! Love places like that, although I think I would opt for the walk and bridge. How fortunate to have a place like this so near.

  15. It's a beautiful place although it looks a little on the scary side!

  16. that fudge is out-of-this-world delicious! would sure love the recipes, especially the ones for the chocolate, pecan and caramel mix and the chocolate & butterscotch? mix. two of the best sellers, I understand.

    Going back again, just for the fudge!


'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson