To Hell and Back

By Dee Walmsley

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If you haven’t been Hell's Gate, it is well worth the two-and-a-half-hour drive from Vancouver.

Pack up the picnic basket, grandchildren and, yes, even the dog for a good day's outing full of fun for the kids and breathtaking scenery for the young at heart.

The highway is superb. En route, the grandkids will experience tunnels, trains and whitewater rafters bobbing down the Fraser River.

Once there, just outside Boston Bar, hop aboard the Swiss-made cable car for the short trip over the swirling river’s water, where you can freshen up in the washroom before taking part in the days activities. The kids will love the fudge and ice cream parlour, while granddad pans for gold and grandma browses through the gift shop. Face painting, a snack bar with delicious-looking hamburgers and a small history museum add to the excitement.

The gorge is only 110-feet (34 m) wide. It took nearly 30 years of engineering to design the fish ladders after a 1913 rock slide triggered by blasting rock for the rail line nearly blocked the river, depleting the fish stocks. Today, you can see the entrance the fish take around the slide from the bridge and cable car.

Plenty of photo opportunities wait to fill the memory scrapbook and, when the day is done, you can walk back across a metal bridge, where, if you look down past your feet, you’ll see the white water swirling below. For the faint-hearted, there is always the return trip by cable car.



The entrance fees are $17 each for seniors and students, but if you go on Canyon Appreciation day in May, it’s free and you can pick up day passes for future visits for a fraction of the cost! For more information, check out the website at

Located in the Scenic Fraser Canyon Hwy #1
Follow exit #170 off Hwy #1 at Hope
Follow exit #362 at Kamloops

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