Clearwater to Kamloops N Thompson River

CanadaBritish ColumbiaFraser
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Additional Route Information
130 km
9 days
Loop Trip: 
Portage Information
No. of portages: 
Total Portage Distance: 
0 m
Longest Portage: 
0 m
Difficulty Ratings
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Lake Travel: 
Not applicable
Not applicable
Background Trip Info
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Route Description
Technical Guide: 

My family paddled this route in September of 2011. We put in at the bridge in Clearwater and paddled to the Halston Bridge in Kamloops.
We took 9 days as this was our first river trip with our then 15mth and 2 1/2yr old girls. We took two rest/play days along the way.
The paddling was generally class 1 with a few class 2 wave trains and river braids to navigate.
The most challenging rapid is a big s curve at Heffley Cr. We scouted and ran the upper rapid and had some water come over the bow onto our sleeping youngest. We eddied out easily
river left and lined down the lower section. Great sandy camp site below this rapid on river left.
Fishtrap rapids just north of McLure was the other challenging section simply because the river braided into 3 or 4 branches. We chose a river left option which was not the best option. We had to quickly eddy out and line around a sharp corner with dead heads. River right is the way to go as it looked like most of the current flowed that way.
Great river side camping all along the route as the water level was low. Fire wood is also plentiful.
The best camp site was just south of Barrier and Exlou on a big river right bend. Sand. Sun and great hiking behind camp in the dry pine and sage.
Current speed varied from 3 to 18km per hour.
Almost no traffic but a lone jet boat near Clearwater fishing.

Overall an excellent trip and well worth doing....

It made us realize:

1) that yes extended canoe trips with kids is possible;
2) the trip location does not have to be remote nor does the paddling have to hard in order to have an excellent canoeing experience;
3) canoe spray decks are a must (we have a 4 cockpit deck being built for us by Northwater);
4) 17' is short for a family canoe (we are having Clipper build us a 20' Mackenzie ultralight);
5) where are all the other canoeists (especially families)????