Stretching from the Canadian Rockies to Vancouver, the Fraser River is the longest river in British Columbia and is known as one of the most productive salmon fisheries in the world. Throughout its vast basin, outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy a range of recreation activities such as white-water rafting, fishing, wildlife viewing, and hiking.
Making appearances alongside some of Canada’s most popular highways, the Fraser River is hard to miss when driving east from Vancouver. Whether you are traveling on your own or as part of a group tour across western Canada, you are sure to stop for photos at some of the many scenic viewpoints. The most famous of these stops is known as Hell’s Gate, where you can enjoy views of the canyon from a suspension bridge, an air tram, and observation decks.xa0
For adventurous travelers, the Fraser River has much more to offer than just scenery. You can dive deeper by embarking on a fishing trip, white-water rafting adventure, or backcountry hike.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Fraser River varies greatly when it comes to scenery, size, and available activities—choose which part of the river you visit based on the activities that interest you.
- Fishing regulations are enforced so check online before grabbing your pole.
- Visiting on a guided tour enables you to enjoy views of the river rather than focusing on the road.
- The popular Hell’s Gate Airtram is wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
There are countless places along Highway 1 and Highway 16 where you can access the Fraser River. The easiest way to reach the river is by car or on a tour of western Canada. To view the Fraser Canyon from Vancouver, take Highway 1 approximately 125 miles (200 kilometers) to the viewpoint and attraction known as Hell’s Gate.
When to Get There
Since most of the Fraser River basin is mountainous and cold, it is best to visit during the summer months. Additionally, many attractions and recreation opportunities along the route are closed during the winter.
White-Water Rafting on the Fraser River
One of the best ways to take in the beauty and excitement of the Fraser River is on a white-water rafting trip. The dynamic river offers numerous different rafting opportunities ranging from scenic floats to adrenaline-inducing rapids. Most rafters head to the Hell’s Gate section outside of Vancouver. However, if you are looking for a scenic, less-busy stretch of the river, book a rafting trip that begins at the base of Mount Robson.