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.

1B-Kaartje Watershed

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 forms 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.

The Fraser River drains an area of 220,000 square meters

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.

Report: Salmon Trek still a mystery

1D-Nadering monding op zee






Tree trunks being transported from Vancouver Island to the Fraser River                                               

1E-Monding

The picture above was captured from the Cessna Skyhawk in which the team followed the river to where it nears Chilliwack

2A-Fraser monding

The mouth of the river has two arms

2B-Monding bruggen



Adjacent to the bridge, near the city of Vancouver, a new span was opened in the autumn of 2012


 The river meandering through the Fraser Valley

3B-Fraser Pitt Polder



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.

4-Hope 1

Near Hope, the returning salmon start swimming their 600-km route in a northerly direction

6-Hells Gate bridge

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.

Report: The turbulent history of Hells Gate

7A-Tussen Lilloet en Quesnell












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.

Report: 'Fraser River Bridge historical monument

8B-Prince George2



Paddlewheel Park, on the edge of Prince George, is a favorite spot for local city-dwellers to relax. The parks name reflects this locations historical background. Steamships with paddlewheels formed a distinctive feature of the riverscape in bygone days.

9A-Ancient Forest

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. 

9B-Ancient Forest Panorama

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.


10-Bij McBride

The surroundings of the river near McBride form a haven of blissful rest

11A-Houttransport





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

12-Dunster Flower bridge1

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.

14-Kort na Tete Jaune

Mount Robson Provincial Park, near the Rearguard Falls

15B-Rearguard Falls
15A-Bordje Rearguard Falls


For most of the returning salmon, the Rearguard Falls form an impregnable obstacle. Only the strongest of the Chinook species manage to pass this point successfully.


16B-Rafting
16A-Fraser bij Mount Terry Fox  2

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.

17-Moose Lake

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.

18-Verkeersbord Moose19-Laatste bochten








The highways display plenty of signs warning about passing moose 

















The Yellowhead Highway follows a long stretch of the Fraser River

DSC 0423

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

Report: 'The Overlanders: one woman to 200 men'

21-Blik Mt Fitzwilliam







View on Mount Fitzwilliam

23-Laatste blik Fraser22-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. During the last part of this journey, the train spent a long time travelling alongside the Fraser River.

Report: ‘Icefields Parkway: impressive scenery'

Report: 'Rocky Mountaineer: the ultimate in indulgence

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