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PostPosted: June 6th, 2005, 9:42 am 
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Joined: June 6th, 2005, 8:22 am
Posts: 5
Location: North Carolina
Greetings from swelteringly hot North Carolina!

Six of us are vacationing in Kananaskis/Banff/Jasper for 10 days beginning June 24 through July 4th. Unfortunately for the other five members of my group, I have been designated the trip leader.

We had planned on doing a lot of backpacking, but I tore my ACL playing soccer two weeks ago. We still plan on doing a lot of hiking, but I would also like to go on a one or two-day river canoeing trip somewhere between Kananaskis and Jasper. I have the most river experience and have canoed/kayaked class I-IV. All members of the group have been on overnight canoe trips on class I-II waters; having said that, my primary concern is safety.

My perfect trip would be to take a two-day canoe trip on class I-II water, surrounded by beautiful scenery, and also be able to do a little trout fishing. If there are class IIIs on the journey that wouldn’t be a trip-killer, we can always avoid the rapid or portage. We will have two vehicles, one private vehicle and one rental, but I doubt we will have the ability to transport 3 canoes ourselves. We might, though. While we are far from perfect, we do practice ‘Leave No Trace’ ethics and are barb-less catch-and-release fly-fisherman.

Do you guys have any advice on trips that might work and/or outfitters? Any advice is much appreciated.

Great forum! Thanks, in advance.

Jed


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PostPosted: June 6th, 2005, 12:25 pm 
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Joined: June 16th, 2003, 11:41 am
Posts: 43
Location: Canmore, AB
For a two day trip, might I suggest the Bow river from Lake Louise down to Banff.

Not a huge distance but there are a couple nice sets of rapids along the way and a great river side camp ground at Castle junction. Contact parks Canada, they have a river guide that they can fax out. Shows you the rapids and gives good descriptive of the route and where the camp sites are.

It follows the Trans-Canada highway but you do not see it all that often.

That failing, I just came back from a three day paddle up Lake Minnewanka in Banff National Park. Beautiful camp sites on a huge lake. Unbelievable views, I will try and post a couple pics soon. Info on the lake and the sites should be on-line. Google for park info or PM me later.

Bill

ps, how do I post some of my latest trip pics?


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PostPosted: June 6th, 2005, 4:24 pm 
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Joined: June 6th, 2005, 8:22 am
Posts: 5
Location: North Carolina
Hi Bill,

Thanks for the response. I would love to paddle that section of the Bow. I'm just worried about the safety of the less experienced members of our group. While we can pair more experienced people in the boat with less experienced people, the less experienced people have only been canoeing in moving water a couple of times. Without having seen the width of the river, the speed of the water, etc., I am unsure as to whether I should take these less experienced people down this section of the Bow.

What skill level do you think these folks should possess?

Thanks,
Jed


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PostPosted: June 6th, 2005, 5:10 pm 
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Joined: June 16th, 2003, 11:41 am
Posts: 43
Location: Canmore, AB
The Bow river is mostly clcass 1 with a set of class 111 at Lake Louise (which can be avoided) and another set of class 111 at Red Earth Creek, (can be line but an attempt should be made)

Your people should be ready for fast water with some standing waves but mostly straight forward class 1 stuff.

The lower half of the river is relatively slow and wide.

Huge amounts of wildlife, spectacular views!

I believe there are threads on this very trip (I can be done in one long day but you don't get the benfefit of camping out)


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PostPosted: June 6th, 2005, 5:12 pm 
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Joined: June 16th, 2003, 11:41 am
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Location: Canmore, AB
I am pretty sure DR Zandee is the guy to ask about the Bow. If I am not mistaken he even posted pictures.

Am I correct?


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PostPosted: June 6th, 2005, 5:13 pm 
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Joined: June 6th, 2005, 8:22 am
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Location: North Carolina
Fantastic! Thank you, Bill. I have been goofing off at work for the past hour and found the other threads.

Thanks for your help.

Jed


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PostPosted: June 7th, 2005, 12:12 am 
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Joined: May 11th, 2003, 9:32 pm
Posts: 135
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Hi Jed,

I have a PDF file that describes the section from Louise to Banff. Send me a PM with your email address, and I'll send it to you. Its a report from 1978, but it's still pretty accurate. I've paddled sections of it and the views are pretty spectacular. Based on the description of your party, I would portage Louise Rapids or start below them. At high water levels, Red Earth Creek rapid is pretty straight forward, but it can be a bit trickier at lower levels.

You can check water levels for the Bow here: http://www3.gov.ab.ca/env/water/ws/data/hydro/figures/_RBOWBANF.gif

Cheers
Al


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PostPosted: June 7th, 2005, 9:03 am 
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Joined: December 11th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 515
Location: Ft. McMurray
I can think of quite a few 2 day trips between Banff and Jasper, but would agree with Bill that Lake Louise to Banff fits your groups abilities and expectations.
5 Reasons why it's the right trip
1) World Class Scenery
2) Feels like wilderness but it's definetly not remote
3) Easy safe paddling and good camping
4) Canoe rental place on the Bow River in Banff is where you will finish so it is very convienient.
5) This stretch of river gives you a taste of it all.

Here are some pictures.
This is what the upper section looks like. Swift, clear, and nothing above CI.
Image

This is what Red Earth Rapids look like.
Image
Image

This is what the lower section looks like paddling into Banff. Slow, wide, and meandering.
Image

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PostPosted: June 7th, 2005, 9:17 am 
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Joined: December 11th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 515
Location: Ft. McMurray
Go here for your info and license for fishing.
http://www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/ab/banff/visit/visit14d_e.asp

Go here to get your back-country camping passes which will be required if you camp along the river.
http://www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/ab/banff/visit/visit5_e.asp#information

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PostPosted: June 7th, 2005, 11:55 am 
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Joined: June 6th, 2005, 8:22 am
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Location: North Carolina
Man, what a place! Thank you all for the great information. Hopefully we will be able to paddle the Bow and bring back some good pictures to share with you guys.

Thanks again,
Joe (aka "Jed")


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PostPosted: July 25th, 2005, 2:39 pm 
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Joined: June 6th, 2005, 8:22 am
Posts: 5
Location: North Carolina
Hi Folks,

Just wanted to give you a quick summary of our trip.

We ended up not paddling the Bow due to the water level and the abilities of some of our members, but we did manage to paddle Maligne Lake in Jasper for a couple of days. If you haven't made that trip yet, you won't be disappointed. The backcountry campsites are great and the fishing is good, but the scenary is spectacular.

Thanks again for the information.

Adios,
Jed


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PostPosted: July 26th, 2005, 8:21 am 
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Joined: December 11th, 2002, 7:00 pm
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Location: Ft. McMurray
Good choice man! How did you figure that out?
Did you camp at Cornet (the end) or Fishermans?
Did you do any hiking?
http://www.darinzandee.wildrec.net/Maligne%20Lake%20Sept%202004.htm
Image
Image

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