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Mighty Fraser Circle Route

Kids jumping into the water at Cultus Lake Provincial Park

(BC Parks photo)

Chilliwack

Geography

Chilliwack is located at the end of the Fraser Valley, 100km/62mi east of Vancouver.

The rural farming community is approximately a 1.5-hour drive from Vancouver on the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1), and 30 minutes by car from the US border.

Nearby communities include Abbotsford and Mission to the west, Harrison Hot Springs and Agassiz to the north, and Hope to the northeast. Immediately north of Chilliwack lies the Fraser River, British Columbia's longest river. To the south is the Chilliwack River, which turns into Vedder River west of Vedder Crossing.

When visitors detour off the Trans-Canada Highway to explore Chilliwack, they soon realize how diverse and spectacular the local geography is. Chilliwack offers panoramic views of the rugged Cascade Mountains. Its vast stretches of farmland in the middle of the Fraser Valley flood plain have been cultivated and developed since the 1860s, when the landscape consisted primarily of swamps, grasslands and forest. Agriculture, food processing, and lumber remanufacturing remain major industries.

Several provincial parks adorn the area. Cultus Lake Provincial Park lies 11km/7mi southwest of Chilliwack and offers a huge variety of outdoor activities, like hiking and fishing, as well as habitat for wildlife, five species of salmon, and 100 species of birds. Bridal Veil Falls Provincial Park, just east of Chilliwack, takes its name from Canada's sixth-highest waterfall at 122m/400ft.

Climate

Chilliwack is blessed with a relatively mild climate. The average temperature drops to 1.6˚C/35˚F in January and peaks at 18˚C/64˚F in July. An average yearly temperature of 10.5˚C/51˚F has earned Chilliwack the title of having the "warmest spring" in Canada.

The average annual rainfall is 1,680mm/66in. Most of that total accumulates during the winter months, while sunnier weather prevails from June to as late as the end of October.