July 23, 2011 | Tips from Travellers >
Hudson's Hope, Attractions
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Even though I’ve lived in the Peace Region for the past eleven years, the WAC Bennett Dam in Hudson’s Hope was a stop I somehow hadn’t made. As I had no previous experiences to pull from, I wasn’t sure what to expect, however I knew there was supposed to be a guided tour. We were quick to snap a few shots with our cameras before entering the Visitor Centre, which is situated on the edge of a hill overlooking the dam. The views of Williston Lake from this point are also quite expansive, and proved to provide us with many good picture opportunities, even though the day was a little less than sun filled.
The WAC Bennett Dam Visitor Centre reminds me more of a small scale Science World than it does a visitor centre. There were so many interactive displays to explore that not even the fifteen minutes before our tour was enough time to finish checking them all out! The staff were super friendly though, and ensured us that we would be able to return to the displays after our tour ended.
Upon boarding the bus, we both received bright orange vests to wear throughout the tour, while being introduced to our tour guide. I can’t say I was surprised by how knowledgeable our tour guide was, but I was definitely impressed. She provided us with lots of information , both historical and current, on the building and operating of the dam.
The WAC Bennett Dam is the one of the largest earth filled structures and behind it lies BC’s largest reservoir, Williston Lake. I thought that being driven toward an earth filled structure 600 ft high and 2 km across, meant to hold back a reservoir that covers nearly 410,000 acres, would be the highlight of the tour for me. However, once inside the powerhouse, the WAC Bennett Dam and its staff, continued to impress me.
After the tour ended and we had completed the last of the interactive displays, we were able to take a drive over the dam for even more photo opportunities. On either side of the road on the dam the road slopes steeply, which for me, was a rush in itself. Because I missed out on touring the dam in a school group, I’m happy I took the time to go explore it for myself. Though the dam is a little ways off the Alaska Highway, it is a worth while stop for anyone traveling or living in the Peace Region.