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Fraser River from mouth to source

1A-KaartThe Fraser River in the Canadian province British Columbia is also known as the Salmon River. 

It is a vast home to millions of salmon that swim out to the ocean after they are born and eventually return, after four or five years, and fight their way back upstream where they spawn and die.

This impressive life-cycle prompted the Travelling-along-Rivers team
by way of an exception to follow this river from mouth to source instead of the other way round. In the same direction taken by the salmon as they return to their place of birth. 

The Fraser River – named after the voyager Simon Fraser – has its mouth in the Strait of Georgia, between Vancouver Island and the southwestern point of Canada, not far from the border with the United States. The river delta has two arms. The southern arm lies between the city of Richmond and the international airport of Vancouver, while the northern part flows south of Richmond.

Up to the town of Hope, the river flows through Fraser Valley, a vast lowland valley.

This is followed by a 600-km route in a northerly direction. Along this part of the route, Hell
s Gate is the main tourist attraction.

Near Lytton, the Fraser River welcomes the inflow of the Thompson River and at Prince George the river bends off in an easterly direction.

In Mount Robson Provincial Park, returning salmon face increasingly arduous obstacles, such as the waterfalls of Rearguard. The source of the Fraser River is located near Mount Robson, on the western slopes of the Rocky Mountains.

Tree trunks being transported from Vancouver Island to the Fraser River.                                               

The mouth of the Fraser River.

The mouth of the river has two arms.

The Pitt Polder stretches between the Fraser River and a tributary, the Pitt River. This area was created halfway through the previous century, with the help of Dutch dyke builders.

Near Hope

Hells Gate is the most frequently visited location along the Fraser River. The way the river narrows here can clearly be seen from the airtram near Boston Bar. 

Between Lytton and Lillooet. 

7B-Bridge Quesnell

The Fraser River Bridge in the town of Quesnel forms part of the walking route known as the Riverfront Trail, which follows 5 km along the banks of the river.

Paddlewheel Park in Prince George, is a favorite relacing spot for locals. The parks name reflects this locations historical background. Steamships with paddlewheels formed a distinctive feature of the riverscape in bygone days.

The Ancient Cedar Forest near Dome Creek  halfway between Prince George and McBride  is part of the Rainforest Conservation Corridor. 

This geographical location is particularly important as most of the temperate rain forests in western Canada stretch out along the ocean. The Ancient Cedar Forest is situated more than a thousand kilometers inland. Giant cedar trees have been found growing in this recently discovered forest, some of them estimated to be between a thousand and two thousand years old. A 2.5-km footpath courses through the forest. The last part of the footpath offers a striking view of Mount Sir Alexander. This mountain, which is 3,200 meters high, is situated in Kakwa Provincial Park in the heart of the Rocky Mountains.

The transport of felled trees, a familiar sight on Canadian highways.

Leaving the highway now and again brings an immediate sense of peace and quiet. For example, near the little village of Dunster, with its beautifully decorated Flower Bridge spanning the Fraser River.

15A-Bordje Rearguard Falls

For most of the returning salmon the Rearguard Falls in Mount Robson Provincial Park form an impregnable obstacle. Only the strongest of the Chinook species manage to pass this point successfully.

The wild waters of the Fraser are perfect for rafting at the foot of Mount Terry. 

The mountain was named after Terry Fox. In 1977 he discovered that he was suffering from a rare type of bone cancer. One of his legs had to be amputated. While recovering, he came up with the idea of a Marathon of Hope - a run across Canada to raise money and generate publicity for cancer research. Between April and September of 1980 he ran more than 5,300 km, covering nearly 40 km per day. He drew world-wide media attention and raised $1.7 million. Canadians donated an additional $23 million to the fund. Terry Fox died in 1981.

Moose Lake is the only lake on the course of the Fraser River. The lake is almost 12 km long and its southern edge is bordered by high mountains. To the north, the Yellowhead Highway closely follows the banks of the lake.

The Yellowhead Highway follows a long stretch of the Fraser River

An impressive view of the Overlander Falls can be found after just a short walk from the highway.

View on Mount Fitzwilliam.

22-Bordje Simon Fraser

The river disappears from view

At this point it is still 48 kilometers to the source of the river on the western slope of Mount Robson. A footpath does exist, but it leads through fairly inaccessible and mountainous terrain and is not advised for untrained hikers. 

Two extra reports:

Icefields Parkway and Rocky Mountaineer

After following the Fraser River, the team returned to Vancouver via the famous Icefields Parkway, located between Jasper and Lake Louise. After this journey by car, the team boarded the Rocky Mountaineer in Calgary, a luxuriously furnished train that took them back to Vancouver in two days.