The Gate to Hell

  • posted May 31, 2011at 4:00 PM

The Fraser River has played host to voyageurs and contractors, fortune seekers and big time losers, bank robbers to soul stealers, prostitutes to big time dealers.

This massive body of water flows today sensing victory over anyone who challenged its now global notoriety. There is however one particular section on the river where an on-going battle between man and nature intensifies. The planet Earth large enough to stage such a battle since the beginning of time, the size and magnitude cut by an early ice age leaving a 110 ft battle ground between two mountain ranges…..

The early explorer Simon Fraser mapped this section of the Fraser River as his greatest challenge. “A place where no human being should venture, for surely we have entered the gates of hell” was terrifyingly scribed in his journal. A description so bone chilling, so dangerous, yet so precise.

From Google Earth the thunderous passage looks like a merrily stream, the captain aboard a passenger airliner says “it’s worth a look”, and recently spirits from the underworld have come back to use it as their playground.

A landmark that “every person on this planet should experience for themselves as it has been left for us to witness”, say travel writers.

Hells Gate.

The entire flow of water from over 84000 square miles (135,185 km) of British Columbia roars at 200,000,000 gallons (757,082,400 litres) per minute through this narrow gorge. At 25 miles an hour (40 km) twice the volume of water flows through here at flood level than Niagara Falls. Still, nature chooses this course for its salmon run.

In 1913 the Canadian National Railway burrowed its way through to the Rockies. Workers triggered an accidental slide at Hells Gate that throttled the river and almost destroyed one the most magnificent sockeye salmon runs in the world.

Thirty years of research and work by dedicated scientists and several years of construction were required to repair the damage caused at the hands of mankind - an engineering feat that would go on to help change the environmental world in which we live.

Today the International Fishways stand as a symbol of two nations standing united for a common cause. Built by a joint Canadian – U.S. Commission, these...

A historic crossing in Gold Country

  • posted May 31, 2011at 4:00 PM


The community of Spences Bridge was first known as Cook’s Ferry, named after Mortimer Cook, an enterprising fellow that ran a raft type cable ferry across the Thompson River, enabling travellers on the old wagon road to cross and continue their journey up to Ashcroft.

During construction of the Cariboo Wagon Road, former Royal engineer and road builder Thomas Spence won the contract to build a bridge across the river to replace the ferry. He had already contracted much of he road construction work from...

How Artsy is Ashcroft?

  • posted May 31, 2011at 4:00 PM

Gold Country has many hidden treasures, including the talents of our many artists and crafts people. Although many of these artists paint for hobby and relaxation purposes, some of them have earned international acclaim as well.


Beat the heat

  • posted May 31, 2011at 4:00 PM

Ashcroft is located in the middle of a desert belt and therefore has hight summertime temperatures ranging from 30-40 C which makes the Ashcroft Pool Park a popular place.
The outdoor pool opens on the May long weekend and usually boasts quite a crowd at its public swims. There is a hot tub in addition to the kids' wading pool and swimming pool. The park area has a...

Ashcroft Cache Creek Journal Videos

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