It is currently December 11th, 2019, 1:30 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 15 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: December 7th, 2009, 11:35 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: April 13th, 2008, 12:07 am
Posts: 10
Location: Abbotsford BC
Happy December 7th to all!

I'm looking at a day-trip to paddle Chilliwack Lake and then pole up the Upper Chilliwack River at the south end of the lake. (See attached image) I've paddled the lake several times before, but never gone up the river except poking about the mouth a bit... From the end of the lake the US Border is only a couple kilometers, so I'm planning on crossing the border before I turn around.

Has anyone had any experience with the regulations governing back-country border crossings? I've been looking online for a while, and cannot find any answers on the border services' (US or Canada) websites. Once across the border I would be in the North Cascades National Park - their website mentions backcountry permits are required for overnight stays, but nothing else.

http://www.nps.gov/noca/planyourvisit/permits.htm

I am planning on calling them for information, but was curious if anyone else has any experience with this and if it is even a big deal. I'm guessing the possibility of running into US park rangers is pretty slim, but would like to be on the right side of the regulations if possible.

Any feedback would be great!


Cheers,

Dan


Attachments:
upper chilliwack.jpg
upper chilliwack.jpg [ 210.72 KiB | Viewed 5334 times ]
Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: December 8th, 2009, 2:00 am 
Offline

Joined: March 23rd, 2006, 11:21 pm
Posts: 1074
Location: Burns Lake, BC
Hey Dan, I don't have any info but look forward to a trip report from the area. :D


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: December 8th, 2009, 3:05 pm 
Offline

Joined: April 28th, 2008, 4:32 pm
Posts: 126
Location: Edmonton
I attempted to get permission to run a portion of the Kootenay River many years back, pre 911, and had nothing but trouble getting same. I was told that I had to pull my outfit from the river and go directly to a customs post. I could not set foot in the paranoid states of america at any time before customs.
I could not pre clear customs and could not return to Canada for any portion of the river above the US. Basically, they did not want me on "Their portion" of the river if I was also running from the Canadian side. Good luck getting legal access. I doubt very much that you can do this legally. The U.S. is very paranoid about unsupervised border crossing. Trying it without permission could at the least land you in a US jail and at worst you could be shot as an illegal. The area you mention is close enough to the lower mainland that you will be suspected of drug smuggling should you be seen by one of their satellites.

_________________

It isn't considered windy here until there are whitecaps on the toilets.



Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: December 8th, 2009, 4:46 pm 
Offline

Joined: February 10th, 2008, 4:41 pm
Posts: 320
Like Marv says the red tape is complex. I did a river two years ago that crosses into the US. I had to go to a specific border crossing named by them 36 hrs prior to my departure and submit photos and get documents. There was a fee of course. The same documents then had to be submitted at another border crossing nearer the river I was travelling on. I did it all and then when I paddled across I was observed and photographed by lowflying aircraft and agents in trucks. So be aware it is the paranoid states of america and if you go unannounced you will be up the proverbial creek without a paddle.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: December 8th, 2009, 5:31 pm 
Offline
CCR Assistant Administrator
User avatar

Joined: January 20th, 2003, 7:00 pm
Posts: 12090
Location: Simcoe County, Ontario
Canoeheadted wrote:
Hey Dan, I don't have any info but look forward to a trip report from the area. :D


Please, no photo documentation of the strip-search, though. :o

Looks so fantastic, sounds like such a hassle. :(


Barbara

_________________
I'm out of bed and I made it to the keyboard....what more do you want?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: December 8th, 2009, 5:48 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: April 13th, 2008, 12:07 am
Posts: 10
Location: Abbotsford BC
Thanks Marv, Stencil for your replies.

I guess it's the answer I was sort of expecting, but was hoping for someone to say something like 'oh the US is paranoid about everyone but backcountry travellers because we're all so up-front and honest and nice, they just let us walk over whenever...' :)

It's starting to seem like a bit much of a headache just for a daytrip. Stencil you're not joking - there actually were lowflying aircraft and trucks taking pictures? Somehow having that kind of entourage around would seem to remove the iconic image I have of poling up a wilderness river.

Canoeheadted- your trip report may have to come from another area, I'll have to see how my phone call to the National park service goes...

Barbara, I can promise I won't include that documentation. :)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: December 8th, 2009, 6:33 pm 
Offline

Joined: February 10th, 2008, 4:41 pm
Posts: 320
I shite you not. The aircraft made several passes and I can only assume the camera was clicking. We also saw a citizen in a field adjacent to the river and when we waved he gave us a long look and headed out -- no doubt to report them bad guys. They KNEW we were coming. Maybe it was an excuse for a training exercise. I was rather flattered by the attention at the time.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: December 8th, 2009, 8:17 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: July 9th, 2003, 11:48 am
Posts: 1485
Location: Back to Winnipeg
Hi Dan,

You could check on a local hiking forum (like ClubTread) or a hiking club in the valley - I believe there's hiking trails up there from where hikers routinely cross the border? Perhaps there's even a trail to the border? Does BC Parks (or its private operator) have info on those trails and the border? Can't see why it would be any different.

Also, some friends of mine have paddled the Skagit R. starting here and ending there, not sure what they do about border crossing info, but I'll check for you.

Pat.

_________________
Learning to paddle is like learning a language:
It's easy to learn the basics, but will you be understood in a strong wind?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: December 10th, 2009, 1:56 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: April 13th, 2008, 12:07 am
Posts: 10
Location: Abbotsford BC
Thanks Pat for the reply - I would be interested in hearing about your friends' crossing the border on the Skagit...

I spent some time on Club Tread - several people have hiked the Chilliwack River Ecological Trail that follows the river upstream, but no one wrote anything about going beyond the border. Every description of the trail mentions that it continues into the states, but nothing else is mentioned except that you need a backcountry permit for the North Cascades National Park.

However after some more hunting, and having no idea how I eventually found it, I think I have my answer... see the following link.

https://help.cbp.gov/cgi-bin/customs.cf ... _topview=1

According to the US Customs & Border Protection, to be legal, you have to enter through a port of entry, and they say there are no programs in place for backpackers, hikers, etc to be exempt from this requirement. So Stencil I'm not sure what the permissions you obtained were - according to the CBP they shouldn't exist...

I haven't quite given up yet though - still going to try calling North Cascades National Park to see if they can shed any more light on this (having a hard time reaching them since it's off season). I'm even more determined now - saw some photos of the river - looks like it would be a beauty for poling.

http://www.clubtread.com/sforum/imagePr ... 600&t=7061


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: December 10th, 2009, 7:20 am 
Offline

Joined: February 10th, 2008, 4:41 pm
Posts: 320
Well just like any civil servant they tell you no hoping you will go away. If you are persistant and access the right person you will get the info you need. Remember boaters on the ocean cross the line all the time and there are protocols in place. They also exist for inland waterways.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: December 10th, 2009, 5:46 pm 
Offline

Joined: October 2nd, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 1155
Location: seattle, Washington USA
I can't offer much current information on crossing, except to say that I've crossed from the San Juans to the Gulf Islands and back a number of times sailing and never had any problems. This was all pre9/11 so it's doubtless different. In my crossings, all we had to do was report to a custom's post at the earliest opportunity. Roche Harbor being one point. Sometimes there was a custom's officer present, other times a phone call to declare anything from the office's phone. Since 9/11, things have obviously gotten much tighter. There have been issues with drug smugglers crossing the border through the North Cascades. The prudent thing would be to ask first, as the consequences for not are quite real these days. Perhaps just a radio check would be all that is needed. Sounds like a great trip. When are you planning on doing it?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: December 10th, 2009, 6:58 pm 
Offline

Joined: June 12th, 2008, 11:32 am
Posts: 159
That area is a designated ecological reserve -- no boats (i.e,. canoes), bikes or vehicles allowed.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: December 10th, 2009, 11:46 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: April 13th, 2008, 12:07 am
Posts: 10
Location: Abbotsford BC
erich - not sure exactly when this will happen, soon hopefully.

canuckjgc wrote:
That area is a designated ecological reserve -- no boats (i.e,. canoes), bikes or vehicles allowed.


Hey Canuckjgc - thanks for the reply. I was surprised to read that, so I went to the ecological reserve's website to read the restriction to double check; here's what they say. http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/eco_re ... kr_er.html

"Ecological reserves are not created for outdoor recreation. Most ecological reserves, however, are open to the public for non-destructive pursuits like hiking, nature observation and photography. Consumptive activities like hunting, freshwater fishing, camping, livestock grazing, removal of materials, plants or animals are prohibited by regulation in ecological reserves. Motorized vehicles are not allowed. "

It's not listed, but hopefully canoeing is still counted as a 'non-destructive pursuit'! :)

On another note - had a chat with a friendly park ranger down south of the border. Said ranger gave me 2 answers, the practical one and the official one. The official one - go to the nearest customs post and fill out forms for permission. The practical answer - probably 1% of people crossing the border for recreational backcountry purposes bother with this, and this ranger had never heard of anyone being arrested for this reason. That being said, the ranger also indicated that border patrol had been known to be in the area, but in their experience with this sort of scenario they doubted that even the border patrol would do anything beyond checking identification and searching for illegal items. However as I'm the kind of person that would probably feel guilty & nervous the entire time across the border if I didn't have permission, I think I'll see how hard it is to get the forms filled out.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: December 14th, 2009, 2:20 pm 
Offline

Joined: June 12th, 2008, 11:32 am
Posts: 159
There was a "no boating" sign there -- you may wish to check if that includes canoes, but I think it does. Typically there are no boats allowed on eco reserve waters.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: December 26th, 2009, 4:14 pm 
Offline

Joined: April 26th, 2006, 12:14 am
Posts: 575
Location: Surrey, BC
I paddled Chilliwack Lake and took a bunch of photos and posted a trip report about it, if you're interested, here's the link:

http://picasaweb.google.com/tomfromvan/Chilliwack_Lake_Paddle?feat=embedwebsite#

I was gonna go up the river at the south end, but decided against it.

It's a very nice lake.

_________________
aka Cyberhun, callsign VA7FAB

Mariners must navigate these waters the same way a mouse negotiates a kitchen patrolled by cats: by darting furtively from one hiding place to the next.
"The Golden Spruce", John Vaillant


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 15 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group