|Canadian Canoe Routes
|Pelly River; Faro to Pelly Crossing
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|Author:||Cordillera [ August 20th, 2015, 11:52 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Pelly River; Faro to Pelly Crossing|
here's our report on our Pelly River trip this summer.
We were seven paddlers, of moderate skill and much enthusiasm. We took one solo boat and three tandems. We departed Whitehorse at 9 am on July 27th with KanoePeople. It was about 5.5 hours drive to the put in at Faro.
Day 1: Paddled 13km in 1.75 hrs.
Day 2. paddled 39.5 km in 4.5 hours. Slower water.
Day 3. Paddled 33 km in 4 hours. Ran Little Fishhook around lunch. It is pretty much as described in Mike Rourke's book. With fairly low water there is an option to "bump and grind" on river left. The obvious line down the centre V and then traverse right wasn't so obvious to a couple of our boats once they got into the action and they ended up further left in some froth where there are a couple of hidden rocks. However, these "alternate lines" are actually OK, and even if you capsize here its pretty low consequence. At this water level this rapid does require a little skill..... Big Fishook was a non-event
Day 4. Paddled 46.4 in 5.5 hours. Earn River was easily bypassed RL
Day 5. paddled 51 km in 6 hours. Slower water. Cutoff was easy with no standing waves and just a few boils. Camps were harder to find here and we ended up on a high bar on RL where we had the only real bugs of the trip.
Day 6. paddled 36 km in 4.5 hours. River was slower here. A very large cutbank on RR five km below camp turns the river very silty from here down. The MacMillan River is also very silty.
Day 7. Paddled 59.6 km in 7 hours. This was a long day paddling into the the wind. The water got faster above and through Granite Canyon (which was a relief). Granite Canyon was fun with some stronger waves and chop at the bottom end. The best campsites are at the top and middle of Granite Canyon. The camp in the trees at Needlerock creek was not that appealing so we kept paddling...and paddling....and paddling.... There is nothing for 16km below Needlerock creek, which is how we ended up with such a long day. the campsite, marked in the guide was pretty good, so worth paddling to.
Day 8. paddled 16 km in 2.5 hours.
Summary; This was a great river for paddlers looking for something a little more challenging than the Yukon or Teslin. A couple spots require some boat maneuvering and river reading. We had great weather with rain a few days. Except for a couple spots the campsites at lower water levels were easy to find and nice. The scenery, all along was classic Yukon; mountains, big sky, and space. Bugs were almost non-existent
I would recommend taking an extra day, unless you are hard core paddlers. we could have used slightly shorter paddling days. The river is not that fast, so you have to work to make 40km per day.
For the last 100 km the river water is not that nice and side creeks are very few. We filled a five gallon pail with water when we found a clear side stream during the day for cooking and drinking water.
We saw one other canoe party, one jet boat up near Faro, and one boat in Granite Canyon. There was very little sign of other people.
I highly recommend this trip.
The photo below is Little fishhook. You can see the major V that is the best line at the water levels we ran, but you can also see some froth wave/rocks at the bottom so the best line was to go down the V and then traverse to river right to avoid those.
...and some scenery....
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