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
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.
A Canoe Or Kayak Trip
BC Adventure Network members invite you to kayak or canoe with them:
BC Sport Fishing Group: The Fraser Valley, rich with rivers and surrounded by the Coast Mountains offers an incredible backdrop to unique and amazing world-class Salmon fishing and Sturgeon fishing. We offer a great fishing experience while maintaining a sustainable fishery. more
Duncanby Lodge: Duncanby Lodge offers a level of outstanding service and amenity quality that is unparalled by any other fishing resort. Located at Rivers Inlet, this bountiful fishing paradise, matched with the breathtaking BC coast, is truly a sight to behold. more
Ecosummer Expeditions: Have a whale of a time at Orca Camp! Sea kayak with Orcas and Humpback whales along BC's Johnstone Strait. Join an intimate group of travelers, paddling out on three, four, or six-day kayaking adventures with expert guides. more
Highland Cream Resort: Our 3 fully equipped 3 & 4 bedroom chalets with hot tubs overlook Gun Lake, 190km north of Vancouver & 2-hours north of Whistler. Rent includes a canoe, kayak, windsurfer paddle boat, & aluminum boat with motor. All you need is food, drink, & an adventurous sp... more
Pitt River Lodge: Only one hour from the city, we’re Vancouver’s ultimate fly fishing destination, the only lodge on the entire river! Drift the Pitt River with the most experienced guides, & enjoy our comfortable full service lodge. Exceptional year round fishing for salmon, ... more
REO Rafting Adventure Resort: Raft BCs best rivers near Vancouver, Kelowna & Whistler. Enjoy a hot tub, sauna, private beach, serene wilderness & hiking trails. REO adventure vacations include kayaking, fishing, hiking, canoeing, & more. Stay in your own tent, rivers edge cabin tent, or l... more
ROAM (Rivers Oceans and Mountains): Experience the most unique vacations with whitewater rafting, sea kayaking, whale watching, heli-hiking and multi-sport activities. We offer unprecedented access to pristine wilderness environments and places no other adventure companies dare to venture. more
Steveston Seabreeze Adventures: Experience our warmth and hospitality as we share with you the pristine BC West Coast wilderness. Our love is to observe marine animals in their natural environment, and to share that experience with our tour passengers. Join us for the thrill of a lifetime! more
Sunshine Coast Resort Hotel and Marina: Executive & oceanfront cottages, ocean-view suites & rooms, along with boat rentals & spectacular marine tours to world renowned Princess Louisa Inlet, Pender Harbour boat tours & professionally guided fishing or sailing charters. Sunshine Coast Resort has it ... more
Tyaughton Vacation Rentals: 2.5 hours north of Whistler, we are located in the mountains on Tyaughton Lake. There are endless winter and summer adventures from hiking, fishing, and horseback riding -- to skiing, snowmobiling, and more. Join us for a weekend getaway, or family vacation. more