Canoeing and Kayaking in the Vancouver Region of British Columbia Rockies






Canoeing and Kayaking in the Vancouver Region of British Columbia Rockies

Canoeing and Kayaking Vancouver, Coast and Mountains

Book a Trip | Travel info for Vancouver & Region.

Sea Kayaking in this area.

This region, the most populated in British Columbia, is able to offer some of the most interesting waters in the province, from small lakes to raging rivers. In and around Vancouver and area that's known as the Greater Vancouver Regional District there's solitude to be found on Burnaby Lake, Buntzen Lake as well as Deer Lake. If you want fast and exciting waters there's the Capilano and Coquitlam Rivers, while Seymour River and Kanaka Creek-Fraser River are grade or class 1 to 2 runs.

The larger lakes in this region, although close to civilization are often wilderness areas, where the shorelines can be steep and rugged, where winds can be chaotic and very sudden. One of the many larger lakes that is a great weekend get-away is Harrison, 125 km (78 mi.) east of Vancouver off Highway 7. Harrison Lake is 60 km (37.2 mi.) long and 9 km (5.58 mi.) wide in spots, its best you stay close to shore, watch the skies and always paddle with at least two or three boats. You can put in at the beach at Harrison Hot Springs to travel the beach road east and put in at the park and boat launch. There are frequent landing and camping sites on the west side of the lake, but on the east side camping is unorganized, landing and shelter can be hard to come by.

The Lower Squamish River with forests, wildlife and majestic mountains is a class or grade 1+ to 2 run but very hazardous while in flood. Put in north of Squamish on Highway 99, head up the Squamish Valley Road to the powerhouse and take out just past the Mamquam River. Mark your landing spot before you start this run, or you could find yourself in Howe Sound. Avoid the log jams and deadheads, there are a few standing waves to paddle, but this is basically an enjoyable day trip. The Upper Squamish River is also canoeable, but has class or grade 4 rapids, can be very uncertain, and not recommended for open canoes.

The Powell Forest Canoe Route can take anywhere from a couple of days of strenuous paddling to a week if exploring and taking your time. The circuit is 57 km (35 mi.) long with 8 km (4.9 mi.) of portaging. These lakes are typically the fjord west coast variety and the wind can be your worst enemy. Both Powell and Goat Lakes have steep banks (few landing sites) and strewed with dead trees along the shorelines. There are a few designated camp sites, but mostly its unorganized and they can be hard to come by as this is a rain forest area. Put in can be reached by taking the Sunshine Coast Highway 101 to Powell River, east of Lang Bay take the MacMillan Bloedel logging road north to Lois Lake. The Forest Service campsite on Lois Lake is your put in place, take out is at Powell Lake Marina. The circuit consists of the following lakes Lois, Horseshoe, Nanton, Ireland, Dodd, Windsor, Goat and finally Powell. There are other options for access and you can check them out.

Enjoy world class whitewater on the Chilliwack River, located south of Chilliwack. Take Highway 1, exit 119 south of Vedder Crossing for some exciting boating. The Chilliwack River is also famous for steelhead fishing, and the area is quite populated, so common courtesy applies to all who use this river. International competitions are a regular occurrence, the National Team trains on these waters, it's popular with rafters and swimmers alike, so it can become congested. The section between Pointa Vista to Vedder Crossing is a grade or class 2 run, its good for novice kayakers, guided and intermediate open canoeists, with put-in at the end of Osbourne Road or Chilliwack River Park. The Upper section of the river is a grade or class 2+ to 4 run that is approximately 10 km (6 mi.)starting at Slesse Creek put-in to Tamihi Bridge. The Chilliwack River can be challenging with rapids, log jams and sweepers. Before taking to the water, scout ahead. Be safe, have fun!

The easiest and best way to get information on where to canoe and kayak in a region, is to check with local equipment dealers, and if possible join the local canoe and kayak club.

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    Canoeing and Kayaking in the Vancouver Region of British Columbia Rockies