The Lower Mainland portion of the Fraser Valley is Canada’s year-round flower growing region, rivalling Holland. It is surrounded to the North, the South, and to the East with rugged mountains, lakes, and recreation. North of Hope, you enter the Fraser Canyon, with the trans-continental railroad on one cliff-face, and the Trans Canada Highway on the other (with Hell’s Gate offering great views of both), and north east of Hope is the wide-open Coquihalla ranching country.
On the north-bound route of the Fraser, inwhat is called the “Fraser Canyon”, are the communities ofHell’s Gate, Boston Bar, and Lytton. The Fraser Valley has a population of about 236,000. The major industries in the Fraser Valley reflect that of the whole province. Forestry, agriculture and trade are the top job-creating industries, followed by tourism.
Vancouverwas named for Captain George Vancouver, who in 1792, fourteen years after sailing here under Captain Cook, returned to the area in 1792, and spent the next two years exploring the area in search of the western end of the “Northwest Passage”.
The Fraser River is named for Simon Fraser, the first white man to paddle the river to the sea in 1808. The Fraser River begins south of the #16 Yellowhead Highway btweeen JasperAlberta and Tete Jaune Cache, about 1,375 km (871 mi) upstream. He thought he was descending the Columbia River until the wild river made its abrupt westward turn at Hope(too far north to be the Columbia). The area boomed the gold rush of the 1850s, which brought many settlers into the region. This eventually pushed British Columbia to join Canadian confederation, and promoted the building of the Canadian Pacific Railroad.
Daytime temperatures and night-time temperatures are fairly consistent because of the moderating influence of the sea. Vancouver is sheltered from the worst of Pacific Ocean weather systems by Vancouver Island. In the summer time, you can generally expect hot and sunny weather, with only occasional precipitation. In the fall, winter, and spring time, expect rain more often than not…after all, there’s a reason the grass and tree-leaves are green year-round.
Always carry an umbrella with you in case of rain. Vancouver gets 54 cm ( 21 inches) of snow each winter and a total of 1167 millimetres (46 inches) of precipitation per year. The city has 164 wet days (where it rains at least part of the day), mostly in the non-summer months (any months whose name contains the letter “r” has rain).
This area has basically three zones: The “Lower Mainland”, the more densely populated area between Hope and Vancouver, The “Upper Fraser” between Hope and Lytton, which flows through a canyon with both the Trans Canada Highway and the two trans-continental rail lines hugging the canyon walls, and then the Thompson River which runs east from Lytton toward Kamloops.
Fraser Valley Road Trip Planner (explore our directory)
Look for what to see & do, and where to stay in the Fraser Valley and the nearby communities. First click on the LOCALE to search, then use the CATEGORY filter on the left side for the feature of interest! And you can also explore nearby Greater Vancouver (west of Langley and the Pitt River)
Only those in a hurry, or who have already done the Fraser Canyon and the Okanagan, should zip along the much faster #5 Coquihalla Route between Hope, BC and Kamloops BC (the speed limit for most of the route –in summer– is 120 km/h) which enables traffic between Calgary and Vancouver in a 12 hours driving day (traffic permitting)