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Cariboo Wagon Road - Fraser Canyon, British Columbia, Canada
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member The A-Team
N 49° 33.680 W 121° 25.902
10U E 613412 N 5491041
Quick Description: The Cariboo Wagon Road, built between 1862 and 1865, stretched from this spot at Yale to the gold rush town of Barkerville, 650 kilometres to the north, opening up the interior of the province to gold miners and settlers.
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 11/27/2014 9:11:44 PM
Waymark Code: WMMZ91
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member thebeav69
Views: 0

Long Description:
A plaque at this site reads:
Constructed between 1862 and 1865 by the colony of British Columbia, this impressive 650 kilometre-long road greatly improved access to the Cariboo gold fields. It began at Yale, head of steam navigation on the Fraser, and was part of Governor Douglas's plan to boost the economy and discourage American competition by drawing traffic through New Westminster. The road vastly reduced shipping costs to the mines and encouraged commerce and settlement in the interior. It also left the colony with a mounting debt, which contributed to British Columbia's decision to join Canada in 1871.
With its sheer cliffs, the Fraser River Canyon contained the most difficult terrain the wagon road needed to traverse. Between 1859 and 1863, Her Majesty's Royal Engineers blasted out tonnes of rock and built countless bridges in a feat of engineering dubbed at the time "the 8th Wonder of the World". Once it was completed, there was an easy route from the coast to the interior, where miners were flocking for the Cariboo Gold Rush. During and after the gold rush, settlers also used the Cariboo Wagon Road to access and colonize the interior of British Columbia.

North of this location, at N49 41.928 W121 24.680, a cairn at the south end of the 1964 Alexandra Bridge holds a plaque commemorating the work of the Royal Engineers. The plaque was erected and dedicated by The Engineering Institute of Canada and The Association of Professional Engineers of British Columbia in 1927.

Today, not much of the original Cariboo Wagon Road remains. Much of it was either destroyed when the Canadian Pacific Railway was built through the canyon in 1885, or when the more modern highways were built in 1926 and 1962. Some remaining examples of the route exist here, where Front Street follows the original route, and to the north at Alexandra Bridge Provincial Park, where the route over the bridge and on each bank of the river can still be seen.
Road of Trail Name: Cariboo Wagon Road

State: British Columbia

County: Fraser Valley Regional District

Historical Significance:
Created a route from the coast to the interior of the province, opening it up to gold miners and settlers


Years in use: 20 years

How you discovered it:
Online research and local knowledge


Website Explination:
http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/cariboo-road/


Why?:
The road was built to allow gold miners and their supplies to access the Cariboo gold fields, and to allow settlers to colonize the interior of British Columbia. The road was used by everything from wagons to stages, and there was even an ill-fated attempt to use camels!


Directions:
From the Trans-Canada Highway, turn south on Albert Street in the middle of Yale and drive to the end. The plaque and interpretive sign are at the intersection of Front Street and Albert Street.


Book on Wagon Road or Trial: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
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