Named after the explorer Simon Fraser, Fort Fraser is one of the oldest settlements in British Columbia, located on the Yellowhead Highway, west of Prince George. The pioneer roots of the area’s history date back to the fur trade, with the establishment here of a fur-trading post in 1806 by Simon Fraser.
The town was built 4 kilometres east of the original site of Simon Fraser’s fort, and is also the site of the last spike of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, driven on April 7th, 1914. The celebration is commemorated with a plaque marking the spot, and the railway is now the Winnipeg-Prince Rupert line of Canadian National (CN).
Fort Fraser was one of the most important trading posts for the Hudson Bay Trading Company for more than one hundred years, before finally closing in 1915. This east end of Fraser Lake is also recorded as the site of the first cultivated land in British Columbia.
Today, Fort Fraser is an active community sustained by forestry and tourism.
Location: Fort Fraser is located on the Yellowhead Highway, 44 kms west of Vanderhoof.
Fraser Lake Museum enables visitors to learn the story of Fraser Lake. Located at the Visitor Centre, itself a fine example of log-home construction, the museum displays remnants of the rich history of the Fraser Lake area, and an informative display on Dakelh culture.
Beaumont Provincial Park provides campers with open views of Fraser Lake and a breeze that keeps the mosquitoes away. Vehicle and tent campsites are available just off Highway 16 near the community of Fraser Lake. Beaumont was the site of the historic Fort Fraser in the 1840s, and there are still a few signs of the habitation around the park.
Climb the 25-million year old lava beds and volcanic cone of the extinct Red Rock Volcano. Trees over one hundred years old still thrive inside the volcano’s crater. Trails to Red Rock, also known as Table Top Mountain, lead from the Stellaq’o Village.
Wildlife: Watch for Trumpeter Swans on the Nautley River and the area between Stellako River and Fraser Lake, which is used as a nesting area. The bridge west of Fraser Lake is a good vantage point from which to view the largest waterfowl in North America and the largest swan in the world. The Mouse Mountain Hiking Trails provide a splendid view in the fall of hundreds of swans gathering in preparation for their journey south for the winter.
Nautley River: See one of the shortest rivers in the world; the Nautley River drains Fraser Lake into the Nechako River. Less than one kilometre in length, the Nautley River is an important traditional salmon fishing spot for the local Nadleh Whut’en First Nation people, as it has been for ages.
Hiking: Hikers can follow the Mouse Mountain Hiking Trails and the Ormond Creek Trail on the north shore of Fraser Lake. The trailhead is just beyond Peterson’s Point Campsite. The same trails are used for cross-country skiing in winter. Mouse Mountain Hiking Trails provide an added bonus in the fall, with a splendid view of hundreds of swans gathering in preparation for their journey south for the winter.
Fishing: Some of Canada’s best sports fishing is found in the Vanderhoof/Bulkley Valley region. Summer sees a great annual salmon run on the Stellako River, between Fraser Lake and Francois Lake to the east, making it a superb spin-casting and flyfishing river. The host of small lakes in the area provide excellent fishing for rainbow trout.
Paddling: Paddlers can challenge the Stellako and Nechako Rivers, suitable for novices and experienced canoeists. Located on the edge of the Lakes District, which comprises over 300 lakes, canoeing is very popular in this area and you are seldom far from a great place to paddle.
Canoeing & Kayaking in the Nechako and Tweedsmuir Park, Northwest BC.
Golf: Golfers can head to Molyhills Golf Club, located in the heart of the beautiful Glenannan tourist area, on the shores of East Francois Lake. Molyhills offers a short but challenging par 36 golf course, with scenic views of Francois Lake.
Golf Vacations in British Columbia.
Winter Activities: Winter is a great time to be in the valley, with outdoor activities including cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and ice fishing, with hockey and curling played in indoor facilities. Northern British Columbia enthralls visitors with its beauty, hospitality, and vast open wilderness spaces accommodating every outdoor recreation known to man.
West of Fort Fraser is Fraser Lake, an attractive lakeside community alongside the Yellowhead Highway 16. The pioneer roots of the area’s history date back to the fur trade, with the establishment in 1806 of a fur-trading post by Simon Fraser near the east end of Fraser Lake.
East of Fort Fraser Lake is Vanderhoof, the geographical centre of the province of British Columbia, nestled in the fertile Nechako Valley, on the banks of the Nechako River.
Circle Tours: See the best of Northern BC on one of the Circle Tours that capture the wonders of the north. The Circle Tour of Northern British Columbia incorporates the Alaska Highway through the Rocky Mountain foothills to Watson Lake in the Yukon, linking with the Stewart/Cassiar Highway and Yellowhead Highway 16 in the south. The Inside Passage Circle Tour and the Native Heritage Circle Tour follow the same route, from Port Hardy on Vancouver Island north by ferry to Prince Rupert. Catch another ferry to the Queen Charlotte Islands, or venture east on the Yellowhead Highway to Prince George, and south through the peaceful Cariboo to Vancouver along the historic Cariboo Wagon Road.
Circle Tours in British Columbia.