Canadian Canoe Routes

An Alberta paddle for 2011?
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Author:  Laura P [ November 14th, 2010, 10:58 pm ]
Post subject:  An Alberta paddle for 2011?

What to do........

I've paddled the length of a number of rivers with DTB 08 and 10 in a Big canoe.
Now I'm thinking maybe a couple of rivers of the Athabasca River Basin in my little 16" RM Cruiser

I've done good chunks of both the Pembina and McLeod but would like to do the entire lengths.

Have any of you spent time doing the whole stretch?

Pembina River from Pembina Forks (hwy 40 & ftr 734) to
Confluence of the Athabasca River (near Flatbush)

McLeod River from Cadomin (same as Pembina, hwy 40 & ftr734) to Confluence of the Athabasca River in Whitecourt

Author:  Ralph [ November 15th, 2010, 9:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: An Alberta paddle for 2011?

I live in Edson and have done quite a bit of the McLeod but not all. It's one of my goals. I've done from Steeper (between Robb and Cadomin) to the Robb-Hinton Road and from south of Marlboro to the Peers bridge. Some runs I know very well and I know people who have done the parts in-between and down to Whitecourt. If you need information, I can accumulate it for you.
I've only done one two runs on the Pembina. One is a fairly long day trip from south of Entwhistle/Evansberg to Pembina River Provincial Park and the other run was from an resource road southeast of Edson down to another resource road. The latter trip was several hours. I went with some Weyerhaeuser employees who had maps and knew the way so I didn't pay as much attention as I should have. Again, I could accumulate some limited information, if you wish.

Author:  D.R.Zandee [ November 15th, 2010, 9:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: An Alberta paddle for 2011?

Let us know what you decide.

Author:  Laura P [ November 17th, 2010, 4:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: An Alberta paddle for 2011?

I've got maps, H2O info. etc. just wondering what others have enjoyed on either river

But its tough to decide which valley to explore.

How will I decide.?..... lol

Author:  Ralph [ November 17th, 2010, 6:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: An Alberta paddle for 2011?

I think you would enjoy either one. I haven't paddled many sections of the Pembina so my comparing them is going to be somewhat uninformed.
Both rivers start in the foothills. The put-in for the McLeod is near Cadomin which is just on the edge of the mountains. Scenery will have mountains in it for a while. I assume you are putting into the Pembina where the Forestry Trunk Road crosses it so that's further from the mountains. Both have lots of resource roads near their headwaters. The Forestry Trunk Road parallels the McLeod from near Cadomin to where it crosses the river on the way toward Robb. Both have lots of quad use and random camping. The McLeod might have more than the Pembina. If you are on the upper sections on a weekend, especially a long weekend, you won't be alone. Generally, the further you are from a road, the more wilderness you will have but the ____ quads seem to get everywhere. After the mountains have disappeared, you will be into forested foothills for a while then you will start to see more signs of people - houses and fields.
I believe the McLeod has some more challenging water especially the section between the Forestry Trunk Road and the Hinton-Robb road. That section is Class 2 with a couple of places that might be 2+. Both rivers will have lots of sweepers, logjams and some tight corners (some 90 degrees or more). The upper sections of both require some water or you will be bumping down gravel bars. I'm not quite sure what the flows should be for the upper sections (see Mark Lund's book) but the challenging section of the McLeod should be at least in the mid-twenties at the recording station above the Embarras River.
Both have sections with lots of meanders. I would think that the Pembina might be a longer paddle but I'd have to check on that.

I hope this helps. If you have questions, I'll try to answer them or, if I can't, I'll ask around.

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