July 13, 2012 | Tips from Travellers >
Hudson's Hope, Water Activity Tours
View a larger image on flickr.com
It has been 10 years since the two hydroelectric dams in Hudson’s Hope have been spilled, so when it was announced that they were going to spill off some water, I hopped in my car to view this rarity for myself. The drive from Fort St. John to Hudson’s Hope truly is stunning! The highway winds through the vibrant green peace valley hills, which offers a great view for travellers. On my journey, I stopped at a designated viewpoint to stretch my legs and enjoy a birds-eye-view of the picturesque flowing Peace River.
After about an hour and a half drive, I arrived at the Hudson’s Hope Visitor Centre and signed up for a tour of the W.A.C. Bennett Dam. Since I had a bit of time to spare before the tour began, I explored the Visitor Centre and illuminated a light bulb by creating my own electricity while riding a bicycle. The W.A.C. Bennett Dam Visitor Centre also gave me the perfect spot to marvel at the enormous spillway. While on the underground tour of the dam, I learned so much! Were you aware that Williston Lake is the largest body of water in British Columbia? Or, that it is the 9th largest hydroelectric reservoir in the world? I really can’t explain just how large the turbines and generators are! You will have to go for yourself to compare your individual size to the massive machinery. My $6 for the underground bus tour of the dam was defiantly worth the money! Our personal tour guide was very friendly and informative on all of the scientific and historical information behind the W.A.C. Bennett Dam.
Additionally, this dam tour was unlike most tours since we were brought very close to the actual spillway to take in the massive amount of water rapidly being released. The picture above shows you a glimpse, but it really doesn’t do it justice. You need to feel the mist on your face, hear the loud rushing water, and feel how powerful something as simple as water can be. I left feeling much more knowledgeable about hydroelectricity and happy that I was able to experience this monumental spill-off event. Since it is not certain how long the spills will last, hurry down to the W.A.C. Bennett Dam and the Peace Canyon Dam in Hudson’s Hope!