View topic - north thompson - clearwater to kamloops

Canadian Canoe Routes

north thompson - clearwater to kamloops
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Author:  Brendan1 [ February 18th, 2011, 7:00 pm ]
Post subject:  north thompson - clearwater to kamloops

thinking about doing this trip in early may. anyone have any first hand insight, rating of difficulty etc? thanks.

Author:  Hugh [ February 21st, 2011, 8:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: north thompson - clearwater to kamloops

I've only driven this section usually end of March to access Wells Gray for skiing. From the highway it seems to be a shallow river with gravel bars. There are a couple of sections where the valley narrows and the road and river are close by. I'd assume there is some WW perhaps ledges.
Early May the volume hasn't kicked in as the melt up in the mtns is just getting started. I base this on paddling rivers like the Bow in AB and the Kootenay in eastern B.C.


Author:  smithers bc [ April 12th, 2013, 9:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: north thompson - clearwater to kamloops

My family paddled this route in September of 2011. We put in at the bridge in Clearwater and paddled to the Halston Bridge in Kamloops.
We took 9 days as this was our first river trip with our then 15mth and 2 1/2yr old girls. We took two rest/play days along the way.
The paddling was generally class 1 with a few class 2 wave trains and river braids to navigate.
The most challenging rapid is a big s curve at Heffley Cr. We scouted and ran the upper rapid and had some water come over the bow onto our sleeping youngest. We eddied out easily
river left and lined down the lower section. Great sandy camp site below this rapid on river left.
Fishtrap rapids just north of McLure was the other challenging section simply because the river braided into 3 or 4 branches. We chose a river left option which was not the best option. We had to quickly eddy out and line around a sharp corner with dead heads. River right is the way to go as it looked like most of the current flowed that way.
Great river side camping all along the route as the water level was low. Fire wood is also plentiful.
The best camp site was just south of Barrier and Exlou on a big river right bend. Sand. Sun and great hiking behind camp in the dry pine and sage.
Current speed varied from 3 to 18km per hour.
Almost no traffic but a lone jet boat near Clearwater fishing.

Overall an excellent trip and well worth doing....

It made us realize:

1) that yes extended canoe trips with kids is possible;
2) the trip location does not have to be remote nor does the paddling have to hard in order to have an excellent canoeing experience;
3) canoe spray decks are a must (we have a 4 cockpit deck being built for us by Northwater);
4) 17' is short for a family canoe (we are having Clipper build us a 20' Mackenzie ultralight);
5) where are all the other canoeists (especially families)????

Our next post on the BC forum will be from April 2012 N to S on Okanagan Lake...13 days....110km...

File comment: Great hiking behind camp
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File comment: Paradise camp south of Exlou
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File comment: The "river guide" up front
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File comment: River side camping
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