Canadian Canoe Routes

Swift River
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Author:  Cordillera [ April 30th, 2012, 8:40 am ]
Post subject:  Swift River

Does anyone know about paddling the swift river below the highway to Teslin Lake? I know there is a small set of rapids a few km below the bridge on the alaska highway but you can put in just below that one. We did a short paddle below that last fall and it was very gentle easy paddle with a bit of faster current lower down. google image shows flat water with some kind of canyon?? several km up from Teslin Lake. There must be a barrier near the lake as jet boats don't get very far up.

Any info appreciated.


Author:  Cordillera [ May 26th, 2012, 11:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Swift River

I have found out a little more information on the Swift River so here is what I know.

The River below Swan Lake has some small rapids in various portions that prevent jet boats from travelling that section but apparently nothing too gnarly. Below the Smart River, there are a couple small rapids Class 2 or 3 About 8 or 10 k below Smart River, where the river starts to swing away from the highway, there is a trail that hunters use to access the river. From there downstream it is a float for about 10km (very flat and used by small boats with outboards). Then a small riffle. I have paddled this section and can verify the put in is easy (200 m trail to river) and the paddle is nice and easy.

Downstream past Swift Lake the river appears to be a float. The outfitter in the area uses motor boats on it so it is navigable. Somewhere not far above Teslin Lake there is what is reported to be a small waterfall with a short portage trail. this prevents jet boats from accessing the middle section of the river. The last few km of river just above Teslin Lake is used by jet boats in hunting season.

From where the Swift River meets Teslin lake looks to be a 50 or 60 km lake trip.

So; I believe that with one small portage, the Swift would be a very nice canoe trip with 50 or 60 km on a class 1 river, and one small portage, followed by 50 or 60 km on Teslin Lake. You could leave vehicles on the alaska highway and end at Morley Bay.

I will try to find out more but this is on my list of trips to look into if you like wilderness canoeing


Author:  elGuapo [ March 11th, 2015, 11:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Swift River

Has anyone here done this trip? I'm interested in the fishing?

Author:  Cordillera [ April 19th, 2015, 9:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Swift River

Since I posted I have canoed (with a motor!) the very top ten km, almost to the lake. There is just one nice fast riffle and very pleasant otherwise. The images that are now available make me pretty confident there are no hidden nasties.

There are fish and it's not fished much but I didn't have a rod along so can't offer more. I really think this could be a classic because you can manage a shuttle so easily. So many northern trips involve flying which is getting more expensive all the time.

Send me a note if you want more info including instructions to the put in.

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