Located at the southern entrance to the
spectacular Fraser Canyon, the town of Yale is
one of southwestern British Columbia’s oldest
and most historic communities, having been the
bustling steamship navigation capital during the
Founded as a Hudson’s Bay fort in 1848, Yale rose
to prominence as the inland terminus of the Fraser
River sternwheelers and a waystation for those
travelling up and down the Fraser River.
Explorer Simon Fraser himself camped here in
the summer of 1808, after his horrendous trip
down the river that now bears his name.
Like many towns in British Columbia, Yale’s
fortunes followed that of the Gold Rush.
In 1858 gold was discovered on a gravel bar just
2 miles south of Yale on the Fraser River.
This place was soon known as Hill’s Bar named
after the prospector who found gold there.
The discovery of gold caused a massive influx of
people to pour into the region from all over the
world, the majority of which came from the
California Gold Rush of 1849.
At the height of Gold Fever in 1858, this town
boasted 20,000 residents.
In 1862 the government paid for a road that started
in Yale and went for 400 miles to gold mining town
The narrow, steep, rocky road was called the
Cariboo Wagon Road – today’s modern highway
follows much of the old road.
During the period of railway construction in the
1880′s Yale became the main supply centre for all
the work in the Cascade Division of British
The railway that now passes right through the
middle of Yale in front of the museum and church
is the Canadian Pacific Railway.
Today the residents of Yale number only 200.
Though the gold ran out, Yale continued
prospering, as it still does today as a forestry and
Historic Yale is only a 15-minute drive north from
Hope on the Trans-Canada Highway 1.
The site is right beside the highway as it goes
Even if you’re going east via Highway 3, it’s a
convenient side trip.
Location: Yale is located on the Trans-Canada