Squeezed between the Coast and Cascade mountains on three sides, at the junction of the Coquihalla and Fraser rivers, Hope is a hub of highways that travel in all directions.
To the west, across the Fraser Valley flatlands, lies Vancouver; to the east is Manning Provincial Park; the only access road to the Skagit Valley runs south of Hope, while the awe-inspiring Fraser Canyon journeys north.
The resulting access to such diverse terrain is extraordinary – a blend of coastal rainforest and desert canyon, alpine meadows and craggy mountain tops. Although the choice of how to experience such diversity and back-country wilderness depends largely on preference and experience there is plenty of wilderness that is easily car-accessible.
Manning Provincial Park
The road through Manning Provincial Park climbs over the Cascade Mountains with terrain that goes from moist, coastal rain forests to snow capped peaks, and beside lakes, rivers and expanses of subalpine meadows filled with wildflowers.
Skagit Valley Provincial Park
Skagit Valley Provincial Park borders Manning Park's western boundary and both parks share many natural attributes, though for those who are well experienced in the outdoors, the valley provides more untamed, back country options. Access is limited to a single gravel road via a four-wheel drive which eventually leads to the US border and even more mountain wilderness.
Carved by the fast moving Fraser River, the high walls of the Fraser Canyon descend from the Interior Plateau, following the line of the huge Fraser Fault which runs on a north-south axis from Lillooet. The waters rush towards the Pacific Ocean, cutting through the Fraser Valley flatlands long made fertile by the river's frequent flooding.
Scenic Highway 7
The scenic Highway 7, also known as Lougheed Highway, follows the Fraser River from Hope to Vancouver. Unlike the speedier Highway 1, Highway 7 passes through many of the valley's picturesque communities such as Agassiz, Harrison Hot Springs, Mission and Pitt Meadows. Visit farms, cheese-makers and gardens en route to turn a two-hour trip into a fulfilling day.
Climate & Weather
Hope's temperate climate is generally dry in summer wet in winter and snow, which averages 169cm/67in, usually stays only days. However, it can be affected by the different geo-climatic zones of its surrounding environs. For example, westerly winds come in across the flats and before they head up the canyon, create a few gusts in the early afternoon in and around Hope. These are the same winds that hit Mount Hope and give wind-dependant gliders their lift.
In winter, as the moist Pacific air rolls up against the mountains, it generally produces rain at the lower altitudes and snow at higher ones while the protected valleys just northeast of Hope, can experience far less precipitation and sizzling hot summers. Average temperatures are 22.7°C/72.9°F in summer; -2.2°/28°F in winter; with an annual rainfall of about 177cm/70in.