The Coquihalla River
is located in the Cascade Mountains near the town of Hope, British Columbia
Hope is a district municipality located at the confluence of the Fraser and Coquihalla rivers in the province of British Columbia, Canada. Hope is at the eastern end of both the Fraser Valley and the Lower Mainland region, and is at the southern end of the Fraser Canyon...
. It originates in the Coquihalla Lakes and empties into the Fraser River
The Fraser River is the longest river within British Columbia, Canada, rising at Fraser Pass near Mount Robson in the Rocky Mountains and flowing for , into the Strait of Georgia at the city of Vancouver. It is the tenth longest river in Canada...
The Coquihalla River divides two portions of the Cascades, the Skagit Range
The Skagit Range is a subrange of the Cascade Range in southwestern British Columbia, Canada and northwestern Washington, United States, which are known in Canada as the Canadian Cascades or, officially, the Cascade Mountains...
and the Hozameen Range
The Hozameen Range is a mountain range in southwestern British Columbia and northern Washington, straddling the division between the Coast and Interior regions of that province...
. The river flows through a deep, narrow valley, dropping 3400 feet (1,036.3 m) in 33 miles (53.1 km), a tumultuous course that creates an incessant roar.
in the Halq'emeylem language of the Stó:lō
The Sto:lo , alternately written as Stó:lō, Stó:lô or Stó:lõ and historically as Staulo or Stahlo, and historically known and commonly referred to in ethnographic literature as the Fraser River Indians or Lower Fraser Salish, are a group of First Nations peoples inhabiting the Fraser Valley of...
, is a place name meaning "stingy container". It refers specifically to a fishing rock near the mouth of what is now known as the Coquihalla River. This rock is a good platform for spearing salmon. According to Stó:lō oral history, the skw'exweq
(water babies, underwater people) who inhabit a pool close by the rock, would swim out and pull the salmon off the spears, allowing only certain fisherman to catch the salmon.
The Coquihalla Highway, which runs from Hope to Kamloops, derives its name from running alongside this river between Hope and the toll booth about 50 km away. It is the more widespread use of the name via that highway that is responsible for the euphemistic pronunciation.
Portions of the motion picture First Blood
First Blood is a 1982 action thriller film directed by Ted Kotcheff. The film stars Sylvester Stallone as John Rambo, a troubled and misunderstood Vietnam War veteran, with Sheriff Will Teasle as his nemesis and Colonel Samuel Trautman as his former commander and only ally...
were filmed there.