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Trip List by Slow-travel

Fraser Valley into the Canyon - beautiful fall ideas

15 Aug 2006  I've lived all over North America but I'm a Fraser Valley girl at heart. I live in Vancouver now and still have a cabiin and a vacation condo in the Upper Fraser Valley. This is the stuff I do to relax and with visitors. I spend a lot of time outside and love to show visitors what the Fraser Valley has to offer.
4.0 of 5 bubbles based on 2 votes

Looking for a good weekend trip from Vancouver or for attractions on the way from Vancouver into the mountains? This list will give you a good day in the great outdoors, and is easily expanded to go over the weekend. It's moderately physical but mostly over flat ground so those pushing baby strollers or people with mobility problems can enjoy, too.

  • Category: Perfect day
  • Traveler type: Sightseeing, Active/Outdoors, Never been before, Repeat visitors
  • Appeals to: Couples/romantics, Honeymooners, Families with small children, Families with teenagers, Large groups, Seniors, Students, Budget travellers , Active/adventure, Tourists
  • Seasons: Fall
  • 1. Weaver Creek- The BEST place to see salmon spawning in the Lower Mainland

    This manmade maze of spawning channels on Weaver Creek is full of salmon from about October 1 onward. (check the site to see if the run is underway) The salmon turn bright red as they near death, and you will be astounded at the tenacity of the salmon in their drive to reproduce. To get there, take Highway 7 east from Mission or the Highway 9 exit from Highway 1 east of Chilliwack, and then Highway 7 west from Agassiz to Harrison Mills. Take Morris Valley Road about 15 minutes to the spawning channels. There is another project at Chehalis, too. Don't forget to look up into the trees to see the eagles that gather to feast off the dying salmon.

  • 2. World Sand Castle Building Championship at Harrison Hot Springs

    Sand sculptors gather from around the world to compete at Harrison Hot Springs each fall. The intricacy of the work they do and the size of the sculptures is displayed in dozens of large installations around the lagoon. Stop for a coffee at Muddy Waters coffee bar along the beach.

  • 3. Blue Moose in Hope- coffee, lunch, and internet cafe

    Whether you are heading up to see the Othello Tunnels, or just need a break on your journey, this is a great stop. They have wifi and also computer terminals, comfy seats, good food, and live music in the evenings. Hope is located at the junction of Hwy 3 and 1 as the Fraser River comes down from the mountains and the Blue Moose is on Wallace Street (the main street in town) across from the park. Take a look at the chainsaw carvings on display on Hope's main streets, too.

  • 4. Othello Tunnels - engineering feat!

    The Othello Tunnels were built about 100 years ago for the Kettle Valley Railway. Instead of one long tunnel, the engineer drafted a plan to cut through the mountains and create a series of tunnels. As with much of the former Kettle Valley Railway, the former rail bed is now walking trails. The Coquihalla River runs under the trestles at one point and sometimes fish can be seen trying to leap the rapids. Just looking at how worn and smooth the water has made the rocks through this narrow canyon is worth the hike. This is a good 3 km flat loop walk, with lots of informative signs. Kids love it! A flashlight is handy but not required. From Hope, follow Kawkawa Lake Road until you see the sign for the tunnels park. If you are more adventuresome, there is a 10 k walk, also quite flat. After the bridge on Kawkawa Lake Road, turn right just before the cemetery and proceed about 1 km until you get to the gate. You can park here and walk the 5k to the tunnels and back.

  • 5. Hell's Gate- Fraser River at its scariest

    Hell's Gate Tramway is about 45 minutes past Hope on Highway 1 through the Fraser Canyon. You take a tramway down over the river to the attractions on the other side. They have the usual hokey assortment of souvenirs and a fudge shop, but there is some nice pottery for sale and the restaurant is surprisingly good and priced well, too. (Try the salmon chowder) Also, if you are looking for a good edible souvenir, the fudge shop has packages of colourful rock candies with chocolate salmon on top that are quite clever. Many people skip the fisheries exhibit and films and that's a mistake. The films are done very well, especially the one on the life cycle of the Adams River salmon. Go out on the suspension bridge for some great photos. Take a look at the fish ladders down below and you might see salmon pooling for their trip up the ladders.

  • 6. Alexandra Bridge

    This is a wonderful walk (albeit a lot easier going down than up!) from the highway level down closer to the Fraser River. It also gives a glimpse into how treacherous the old Fraser Canyon road was. The Alexandra Bridge was replaced more than 40 years ago by the more modern bridge at a higher elevation up the canyon, but the old bridge gives a much better viewpoint of the river. Graffiti has defaced much of the actual bridge. However, if you walk over to the far side and look at the old concrete entry onto the bridge deck you can get a good idea of what the old road looked like.