Connecting with Mother Nature was an easier endeavour before she started following Rob Schneider on Twitter. Drop back into her life with today’s Groupon: for $27, you get two adult round-trip tickets and a pound of fudge made on-site at Hell’s Gate Airtram (a $54 value), about a two-and-a-half-hour drive east of Vancouver. This Groupon expires on October 11, the end of the airtram’s 2010 season.
The Hell’s Gate Airtram ferries sightseers and outdoor adventurers over the rushing waters of the Fraser River at Hell’s Gate and across to a tiny tourist town filled with a hodge-podge of historically themed activities. The intra-canyon aerial tramway offers picturesque panoramic views of the dramatic canyonscape during the death-defying drop into an area of reportedly high paranormal activity, with regularly appearing specters including the girl behind the gift-shop door, Edward, and the ghosts of past-eaten hot dogs.
In addition to two adult round-trip rides on the airtram (a $34 value), you'll get about a pound of fudge ($20) made on-site at the Fudge Factory and plenty of sites at which to conspicuously munch on the slab of chocolaty goodness. Tiptoe across the passenger suspension bridge that stretches over the narrow, 35-metre pass, and lean over the observation deck to take pictures of the scene. Explore the gift shop, reported paranormal hot-spots, and fisheries exhibition. Pan the river for gold and glitter, or simply make a day-trip of hiking the nearby trails.
Eight TripAdvisors give Hell's Gate Airtram a four-star average:
Hell's Gate Airtram
“We had to travel where no human being should venture for surely we have encountered the gates of hell,” wrote explorer Simon Fraser in 1808 as he navigated between the canyon's walls at their narrowest point—only 35 metres across—earning the passage the name Hell's Gate. Today, Hell's Gate Airtram aims to make the natural feature less terrifying; whereas Fraser had to cross this expanse in an unsteady boat, the company helps customers traverse its rapids over a suspension bridge or in a gondola. Bright-red cable cars descend from one canyon wall to the adjacent bank, granting their passengers birds-eye views of the churning river, the passage, and canyon wildlife. A metal-grate suspension bridge also lets visitors pause over the surging currents to take photos, stand for a moment of reflection, and cheer on any salmon swimming upstream.
On one of the canyon's walls, visitors can reach an observation deck beside a sculpture recreating Simon Fraser's ascent of the rocky walls on the rope bridges of local First Nations people. Inside the visitors’ centre, staffers moderate screenings of three films covering topics that include a documentary about sockeye salmon, a film exploring Fraser's climb up the canyon, and a documentary on the region's modern-day gold rush. The on-site café, fudge shop, and other attractions also play host to stories of hauntings there, which include tales from staff and past visitors about hearing mysterious voices and seeing spectral shapes in photographs.
43111 Trans Canada Hwy.
Boston Bar, British Columbia V0K 1C0Get Directions