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PostPosted: August 24th, 2012, 11:48 pm 

Joined: May 23rd, 2011, 9:47 am
Posts: 35
Here's a quick report of our recent trip with the Woods family.

Start: Tattoga Lake Resort. 5.5 hours north of Smithers up Highway 37. We stayed in one of the cabins and the Woods family tented. We had a hearty breakfast and mandatory coffee at the resort in the morning before we headed across the lake to the Klastline Plateau Trailhead.

We paddled 2 km across Tatogga Lake to the trailhead. The trail is pretty well marked and about 4 km of fairly steep ground to the alpine.
The hiking is amazing and we saw about 20 goats. If you have time, plan to spend a day or two up top. The Plateau just goes and goes!

After a quick return to the canoes we headed down the Iskut river. I knew it had been boated before and I had scouted the river from google earth so we were pretty sure it was flat water but we werent' sure about how much wood hazard we would encounter; we had not found any direct paddle reports.

From the Klastline trailhead it's about a 2km paddle to the start of the Iskut river. The first 1.5 km is straight and slow. Then the river starts to meander and there is lots of debris but a clear channel (this year!). The shore is very treed or swampy with no suitable camps for the about the first 3 km. Then a small creek enters from river right and there was an amazing camp; a nice gravel bar with lots of room for a several tents.

The next morning we paddled another 2 km on the Iskut. Just below our camp there is one narrow channel with lots of debris on river right but easy to get around. There were a few more potential campsites below the creek but the creek was the nicest spot.

After 2 km we arrived at the north end of Kinaskan lake. We paddled into a headwind on the west shore for about 14 km. There was one potential campite at a small creek several km down the lake but mostly the shoreline is rocky and steep.

The Lakes's west shore is spectacular; padding below rocky outcrops with the Tsatia Mountain range in the background.

About 14 km down from the North end we were tired after paddling hard into a headwind. Then we found a fantastic campsite on a small spit; room for several tents on a pebbly beach with lots of wood. This was the best campsite we found and there was no sign it had been used before!

The next day dawned wet. We paddled another 7 km to the south end of Kinaskan lake. There are several potential campsites near this end of the lake including an old outfitters cabin/camp just behind a rocky point about 1.5 km from the end of the lake. On the top of the rocky point are campfires that must be very ancient Tahltan camps as there are lots of obsidian flakes all over the ground; remnants from ancient days chipping away to make arrow heads from obsidian packed from nearby Mount Edziza.

At then south end of the lake we passed Kinaskan Lake Provincial park and entered the next stretch of the Iskut River. We had paddled this as a day trip before and were prepared for the fun. The river is about 6km of quick water with many boulders but a fairly easy channel all the way. It was very fun. It requires some moving water skills and is a great little river to practice on.

We entered Natadesleen Lake and paddled into a stiff wind to the portage trail. There is a campsite there with a couple small tent spots. The views from this lake are amazing and the fishing is unbelievable.

The next day we awoke to serious rain and so we headed out without making the paddle and hike to Cascade Falls at the outet of the lake. We'lll save that for another trip.

The portage is 1 km and in pretty good shape. Not suitable for canoe carts.

In total we covered 36 km with 24 km on the two lakes and 12 km on the two stretches of river, spread over 2.5 days of paddling. This is a real gem of a short paddle and it could be extended by putting in at the lake above Tatogga (Eddontenajon). The rivers require some skill to read and avoid the wood hazards but are suitable for beginner moving water paddlers.

If the weather was good we would have stayed longer and done another hike to the Todagin Plateau, which is an easy hike off the highway and there are lots of sheep. The country is amazing and we had a blast!

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PostPosted: August 25th, 2012, 7:20 am 

Joined: February 10th, 2008, 4:41 pm
Posts: 330
Enjoyed that. Paddling and hiking. Looks really good. Thanks.

PostPosted: August 25th, 2012, 4:29 pm 

Joined: January 22nd, 2005, 12:16 pm
Posts: 4044
Location: Toronto
I had wondered whether any of the Iskut can be paddled since I had found no reference to doing so.
The lower part looks like a write-off though.


A literal mind is a little mind. If it's not worth doing to excess, it's not worth doing at all. Good enough isn't.  None are so blind as those who choose not to see. (AJ)

PostPosted: August 25th, 2012, 9:09 pm 

Joined: May 23rd, 2011, 9:47 am
Posts: 35
I know of a couple guys who paddled the entire iskut in duckies, but portaged around the Forrest kerr Canyon and possibly lined some other parts. I think it would be pretty challenging in an open canoe though from what I have seen.

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