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North America Natural Wonders
Ellesmere Island
Mackenzie Delta
Gros Morne National Park
Gulf of St. Lawrence
Western Brook Pond
Hell's Gate
Burgess Shales
Cathedral Grove
Banff National Park
The Drumheller Badlands
 Brooks Range

 

 

 

Hell's Gate
Hell's Gate, British Columbia
British Columbia, Canada
Earth's Natural Wonders in North America
 
Width of Hell's Gate-110 feet (35 meters)
Depth of Hell's Gate 500 feet (152 meters)
Flow rate of Fraser River 3.9 million gal/sec. (15,000 cubic m/sec.)
Hell's Gate, British Columbia [3]

 

 

Hell's Gate Airtram
The Hells Gate rapids along the Fraser River are located at the narrowest section of the Fraser Canyon and form a major obstacle to spawning sockeye salmon. Hells Gate was the site of a major salmon fisheries disaster in 1913, when much of the salmon run for that year was unable to pass through the rapids due to an obstruction. The obstruction was caused by rock debris dumped into the river during the construction of a railway tunnel, which is visible along the midpoint of the cliff. [2]
Hell's Gate Airtram [4]
 

 

Hell's Gate is a 35 metre (110 ft) narrowing of British Columbia's Fraser River, located immediately downstream of Boston Bar in the southern Fraser Canyon. The towering rock walls of the Fraser River plunge toward each other forcing the waters through a passage only 35 metres (110 ft) wide. It is also the name of a rural community at the same location.

The first recorded history of Hell's Gate is found in the explorer Simon Fraser's journal, 1808. There he describes this narrow passage as an "awesome gorge" He also says that "surely this is the gate of hell". On June 26, 1808 Fraser passed along the cliffs on a series of bridges and ladders built by local Nlaka'pamux people.

Construction of the Canadian Northern Railway in 1914 blasted thousands of tons of rock into the river below the railroad grade which further constricted the river and damaged sockeye salmon runs. Thirty years of scientific planning and several years' construction have not completely repaired the damage. Hell's Gate's fishways, built by a joint Canadian-American Commission, were completed in 1946.

The route of the present Trans-Canada Highway through the Fraser Canyon parallels, roughly, the fur brigade trail of the Hudson's Bay Company, which was built over the shoulder of the Cascade Mountains high above the east bank of Hell's Gate, as the route north from Kequaloose (opposite Spuzzum) was completely impassable, even for mules. Beginning with the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush of 1858 Canyon a usable mule trail was built through the Canyon towards the 'Eye of Morello', a route which the new colonial government invested in heavily to build the Cariboo Wagon Road. The Cariboo Road was completed in 1864 but destroyed by CPR construction in the 1880s. A road through the canyon was not opened again until 1922 as the Cariboo Highway.

The Canadian Pacific Railway runs through the canyon. Construction through the canyon took four years and was completed in 1884. Across the river is the Canadian National Railway. Originally called the Canadian Northern Railway, this stretch was completed in 1914. Rockslides during construction narrowed the channel just above Hell's Gate, resulting in the need for the present fishways[1]

You tube video

Big water on the Fraser

 

Rubiconmike1
June 11, 2007

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References
 
1-Wikipedia- Hell's Gate, British Columbia, Canada-retrieved 7/18/2009
2. 1,001 Natural Wonders You Must See Before You Die 2005-p. 29- Michael Bright-retrieved 6/22/2009
3. Wikimedia Commons-Hell's Gate-retrieved 7/18/2009
4. Wikimedia Commons- Hell's Gate Airtram-retrieved 7/18/2009
 
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