Canadian Canoe Routes

Vanderhoof to Williams Lk 2015
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Author:  smithers bc [ September 9th, 2015, 3:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Vanderhoof to Williams Lk 2015

Our family paddled this route over 11 days this past Aug/Sept 2015. Total km was around 375. Two of the 11 days were rest days. We averaged 40km/day.
Setting up the shuttle for this paddle was easy. I dropped the family and gear at the municipal campground in Vanderhoof and then drove our truck to Soda Creek which is 30km from Williams Lk. Soda Creek is where we ended because downstream from here the whitewater gets substantially bigger. I parked at the takeout and found a local farmer to drive me into Williams Lk where I took the greyhound bus back to Vanderhoof the same day.
From Vanderhoof to the junction of the Stuart River the river is rather slow, meandering and shallow. Campsites were limited as the water level (dam controlled) was still high. The first rapids were Isle Pierre and White Mud River rapids. We ran both with a bit of scouting class 2. There are class 2+ to 3 in these rapids for the more adventurous but with our 5 and 7 year old girls we took the conservative lines.
I would advise boiling or treating your water on the Nechacko as I picked up Giardia that fortunately did not kick in till after the trip.
From the White Mud River rapids to PG the river picks up a bit of speed. Average paddling speed was 8km/hr where as on the Fraser it was more like 10km/hr.
We stopped at Fort George Park at the junction of the Nechako and Fraser. Kids had a turn on the park and some ice cream cones were enjoyed.
The Fraser had two canyons to navigate through. Fort George Canyon was first. After some diligent scouting the river left line was class 2 which we ran with only a few lateral waves coming onto the canoe deck.
We then came to Cottonwood Canyon which was quite impressive. This 1/2 km long feature must really get some serious hydraulics during high water as the entire river squeezes through the narrow entrance. Again after scouting and a rather intimidating up stream ferry at the mouth of the canyon over to the calmer river right line we ran the canyon with no issues class 2.
From here to Quesnel was filled with big river valley scenery and some type of whitewater every few kms.
The Fraser is pretty silty from the snow/glacier runoff from the upper Fraser so we filled our water jugs from running creeks whenever we could.
We took a rest day in a motel in Quesnel (Fraser River Bridge Inn) as there is no campground on the river and it was cold and raining.
It took us a further two days to paddle from Quesnel to Soda Creek.
Over all an excellent river trip with great scenery, challenging whitewater, pioneering history, we had the river to our selves and easy logistics. L

Author:  Ralph [ September 9th, 2015, 7:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Vanderhoof to Williams Lk 2015

Thanks for posting. Nice family pictures.

Author:  canoeguitar [ September 10th, 2015, 8:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Vanderhoof to Williams Lk 2015

Great to see a TR from B.C. I used to live out there, and would love to get back out for a trip. Maybe in the next few years.....? Hmmmm....

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