North of Yale is the deepest, most dangerous and fastest- moving section of the Fraser River, where sheer rock faces rise to dizzying heights and, down below, the boiling river smashes its way through a constricted channel. At the river’s narrowest point water thunders through a 33m/108ft-wide passage – prompting the first European to explore the region, Simon Fraser, to describe the gorge as “the gates of hell,” after he and his men inched their way along its cli s in 1808 using rope ladders made by their aboriginal guides.
Today, Hell’s Gate is one of the province’s most unique and popular draws, with visitors ‘ flying’ over the gorge in a gondola for a bird’s eye view of churning rapids and the fishways installed to help migrating salmon on their upriver journey to spawn. Sightseers can also watch award-winning videos at the onsite Fisheries Exhibit, sample the chowder at Simon’s Café and linger at the Fudge Factory, which boasts more than 30 mouth-watering flavours. Hell’s Gate also hosts special events throughout the year such as Canyon Appreciation Days each May and the annual Pumpkin Drop in October.