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PostPosted: August 24th, 2008, 12:41 am 
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Joined: August 23rd, 2008, 12:33 pm
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I'm trying to pull together a 4-day canoe expedition in late September with a group of 20 college students with varying canoe experience. I'm looking for something no more than 6 hours from Edmonton, challenging enough to be fun for this age group, yet taking into account the range of skill (beginners to intermediate). Any suggestions?


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PostPosted: August 24th, 2008, 2:38 pm 
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Joined: February 21st, 2008, 2:11 pm
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Location: Calgary
Good thread here that may put you in the right direction.

http://www.myccr.com/SectionForums/view ... p?p=265344


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PostPosted: August 24th, 2008, 5:59 pm 
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Given the size of your group, the constraints on distance from Edmonton, time of year, and abilities of participants, I think that the North Saskatchewan River is the best bet for your group. There are several options (and many more sub-options as well) for trips upstream of Edmonton:

1) Nordegg to Rocky Mountain House - this is a two or three day trip with a fair bit of CI to CIII whitewater. This is very fun section of river for those who like whitewater. The more difficult sections can generally be avoided by staying on the inside of bends. However, given that your group is likely to have relatively inexperienced and unskilled paddlers, this section could be a bit much for you.

2) Rocky Mountain House to Drayton Valley - this is about a 3 day paddle (about 130 km from my recollection). The water is milder than on the Nordegg to Rocky run and where rapids are encountered (usually on outside of bends) they are generally CI to CII.

3) Drayton Valley to Edmonton (or Devon). - this is a 3 or 4 day paddle (about 130 to 150 km). The water is generally milder than further upstream and rapids are usually CI.

I have paddled all of the above routes. For a September trip, the waterlevels should be very manageable for your group. The entire route is very scenic and there is potential to see abundant wildlife. All routes also offer many locations for wilderness camping either beside the river or on the various islands encountered along the routes.

An excellent guide for these routes was published by Mark Lund (Mark's Guide for Alberta Paddlers) and is available at MEC, Totem Outfitters and various other locations.

regards
Dave


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PostPosted: August 24th, 2008, 6:01 pm 
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double post - sorry


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 Post subject: Rocky to Edmonton Route
PostPosted: August 26th, 2008, 11:17 am 
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How hard do you think we'd have to push with a larger group to go from Rocky Mountain House to Edmonton?


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PostPosted: August 26th, 2008, 6:25 pm 
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Location: Edmonton Alberta
Rocky to Edm' is tooooo far for 4 days.

3 days from Rocky to Drayton bridge is 3 good "solid" days of paddling. Drayton bridge to Twilleger park is 3 good full days of paddling. Through the city itself is a good 6 hours, lots of bends.

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PostPosted: August 27th, 2008, 9:48 am 
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What are we talking about here as a good solid day of paddling (six hours, eight hours...)? Would there be an access point downstream from Rocky but before Drayton that would put the paddle into Edmonton closer to 4.5 days? Ideally we'd like to get out at the 50th street pedestrian bridge.


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PostPosted: August 28th, 2008, 12:01 pm 
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Anyone ever use the access at Boggy Hall (southwest of Drayton Valley)? I'm looking through Mark's Guide and noticed that he's listed it as a possibility.


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PostPosted: September 1st, 2008, 3:09 pm 
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Location: Beaumont, AB
There is an access to the NSR just downstream of Blue Rapids that we have used in the past. If weather has been dry recently, you can drive on oil field roads very close to river to gain access. If weather has been wet, access can be very difficult, even for 4x4. From this access point to the Wiley West Campground (just downstream of Drayton Valley highway bridge) it is about 1 day paddle. From Wiley West Campground to Devon would be about another 3 days. It would likely be about 1 full day of paddling to go from Devon to the 50 Street bridge in Edmonton.

regards
dave

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"Everyone must believe in something. I believe I'll go canoeing" - Henry David Thoreau


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PostPosted: September 22nd, 2008, 11:36 am 
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Joined: August 23rd, 2008, 12:33 pm
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Thanks everyone for your good advice. 16 of us put in at Drayton on Monday and landed in Laurier Park on Thursday. We had been planning to camp on Big Island Thursday night before finishing off early Friday afternoon at Capilano Park, but we overshot the "island" (it really isn't an island at this time of year) and were a kilometer or so past it when we realized our mistake. Fatigue and strong headwinds made it impossible to turn back, so we called for an early pick-up and cut things a day short.

Does anyone know if there is any other islands, crown-land or areas we could have legally camped within city limits? There's a lot of undeveloped land near the Anthony Henday bridge, but we weren't sure who owned it. I know years back we were able to camp in the Blackmud ravine...

We really couldn't have had a more beautiful week of weather this time of year, in the mid to high twenties all week! Thanks again for all the help with this. A great site that I'll most certainly reference in years to come and recommend to my colleagues.


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