The Fraser is the longest river in B.C. and fifth longest in Canada
Chilcotin River is rated among the best and most challenging whitewater rafting worldwide
The Chilcotin River is rated as one of the best and most challenging in North America for whitewater rafting. Some of the most spectacular scenery is found near the Chilcotin’s confluence with the Fraser River, south of Riske Creek.
The Chilcotin River, with headwaters in the wilderness region near the Ilgachuz Range, winds its way through mountains, open valleys, grasslands and canyons as it hurries to meet the Fraser. As it rushes along, the Chilanko and Chilko rivers join in, making it another excellent rafting river in British Columbia.
The Fraser River is British Columbia’s longest river and the fifth longest river in Canada. With its headwaters originating in the Rocky Mountains at Mount Robson, the Fraser stretches for 1,368 kilometres (848 miles), ultimately flowing into the Pacific Ocean, and is a prime destination for whitewater rafters in search of adventure.
The Fraser River is the chief spawning grounds in North America for the Pacific salmon. It starts as a meandering flow but quickly changes into a rushing torrent as it accumulates silt and hydraulic volume as other rivers and streams feed it. The primary tributaries of the Fraser are the Nechako, Quesnel, Chilcotin, and Thompson rivers. The Fraser River Canyon is both scenic and impressive with the walls rising more than 914 metres (3000 feet) and the waters of the river passing through a 27-metre (90 feet) gorge at Hell’s Gate.
Farwell Canyon, on the Chilcotin River was once the site of a native village. A bridge spans the spectacular canyon, carved through limestone and sandstone, creating water-carved formations on the rock walls. Ancient hoodoo rock formations and native pictographs can be found on the cliff south of the bridge.
The Fraser River was visited by Sir Alexander Mackenzie, the Canadian explorer, who followed its upper course on his expedition in 1793 to the Pacific Ocean. The river takes its name from Simon Fraser, the Canadian explorer and fur trader, who, in 1808, followed the river to its mouth, establishing fur trading posts along the way. The river valley was the domain of the fur traders until the gold rush of 1858.