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Alexandra Bridge was completed in 1863 as part of the world-famous “Cariboo Wagon Road” which connected Fort Yale to the gold fields of Barkerville. Declared the “eighth wonder of the world” when it was completed in 1865, the wagon road played a key role in the gold rush economy of the 1860’s, and in the development of the new colony of British Columbia.
The Alexandra Bridge you see today was built in 1926, when the Cariboo Wagon Road was upgraded for automobiles. When you visit this historic suspension bridge today, look for the original 1863 stone footings which can clearly be seen supporting the 1926 structure. The 1926 highway and bridge were superseded by the modern highway we travel today (completed in the early 1960’s).
Alexandra Bridge footings (Photo: Hope Mountain Centre)
At Alexandra Bridge Provincial Park in the Fraser Canyon, you can see the historic bridge, as well as surviving sections of the Cariboo Wagon Road. Access is easy, with a one-kilometer, gently-graded trail linking the parking lot to the bridge.
1860's Wagon Road (Photo: Hope Mountain Centre)
Nlaka’pamux Culture in the Canyon
Alexandra Bridge is within the traditional territory of the Nlaka’pamux (Thompson) First Nation. Just upriver of the bridge, there was once an important village called Kequeloose that boasted a large population supported by the river’s abundant salmon resource. From the bridge, you can see fishing sites that have been used for thousands of years. Salmon has traditionally been caught with spears and dip nets from the rocky walls of the canyon, then filleted and hung to dry in hot summer winds. Nlaka’pamux culture is very much alive, and these traditions continue to the present day.
Hope Mountain Centre is working to improve historical interpretation and infrastructure at Alexandra Provincial Park, in collaboration with Spuzzum First Nation, New Pathways to Gold Society, and the Ministry of Transport.
Directions and Maps
Alexandra Bridge Provincial Park can be reached via Highway-1 in the Fraser Canyon. Drive 48 km north of Hope on Highway-1. Shortly after passing Spuzzum, you’ll cross the modern highway bridge over the Fraser. Look for the park on your left, after crossing the bridge. Parking, picnic tables and outhouses are available at the trailhead.
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