Canadian Canoe Routes

September Rivers? (BC, AB, SK, YT, NWT)
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Author:  brappinburro [ December 12th, 2020, 7:08 pm ]
Post subject:  September Rivers? (BC, AB, SK, YT, NWT)

Some friends and I are starting to spitball route ideas for next summer. Because of work one friend is only available in September. I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions for trip routes that still have high enough water in September. We're based out of Southern Alberta and BC and looking for something that'd driveable in a day or two. We're looking for class 2-3 water and maybe 8-14 days on the water.

I haven't really looked at maps myself yet but figure this is a good place to start for ideas.

Author:  jbcollier [ March 8th, 2021, 12:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: September Rivers? (BC, AB, SK, YT, NWT)

I'd strongly recommend getting: MARK'S GUIDE FOR ALBERTA PADDLERS. It contains a wealth of information on everything from rapid ratings, maps, campsites, recommended water levels, etc. I use it in combination with this site:

Where you can monitor current and recent river levels and look at average levels for specific time periods.

I'll leave actual recommendations to other, more experienced, trippers.

Author:  Ralph [ March 8th, 2021, 7:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: September Rivers? (BC, AB, SK, YT, NWT)

North Saskatchewan - you could start in the National Parks and Canoe to Edmonton or any number of access points before or after. The river has a portage in the Park and another around the dam on Abraham Lake but other than that you should be able to run the rapids. Parts of it are wilderness but parts are not.
The Churchill River - lots of options but it is often more lake than river.
Perhaps the Athabasca or the Peace?
I second getting Mark's book.

Author:  yarnellboat [ March 8th, 2021, 7:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: September Rivers? (BC, AB, SK, YT, NWT)

Thompson in BC?

Author:  brappinburro [ May 27th, 2021, 6:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: September Rivers? (BC, AB, SK, YT, NWT)


Author:  sthwaits [ May 29th, 2021, 10:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: September Rivers? (BC, AB, SK, YT, NWT)

River trips from Jack Wainwright's Canoe Trips BC book that look to be about a week with the author's descriptions are:

Columbia (upper) - about a week, no portages or named rapids
Peace - 10 days, fast water and chutes with minor standing waves
Dease - 10 days, mostly grade 1, a few grade 2, one grade 3
Fraser (Tete Jaune Cache to Penny) - about a week, mostly grade 1, some grade 2
Fraser (Penny to Quesnel) - 5 days, grade 1/2 above Prince George, up to grade 4 below Prince George in May to mid-July high water
Nechako - 4 days, up to grade 3 in some water levels
Stikine - 8 days, fast, large volume river, no significant rapids
Stuart/Nechako - 5 days, mostly grade 1, some grade 2/2+
Spatsizi/Stikine - 8 days, grade 2 on the Spatsizi
Stikine (upper) - 8 days, lots of grade 1 and 2

Note, I haven't paddled any of these yet, they just caught my eye when going through Wainwright's book. Let me know if you'd like more details from Wainwright's book on any of these.

What about the Kootenay River? Maybe shorter than what you're looking for but some grade 2 or 3 sections.

Also, have you seen this recent presentation ( on BC, AB, and SK rivers that was just posted on the Wilderness Canoe Association's youtube channel? Discussion of rivers starts at about the 20 minute mark.

Hope you find a good river and post a trip report.

Author:  brappinburro [ May 30th, 2021, 10:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: September Rivers? (BC, AB, SK, YT, NWT)

Thanks for all the suggestions. I’ll check out that video too. Haha I’m actually already doing tow runs down the kootenay

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