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Region Details

Looking for the best places to Whitewater Kayak in and around Golden? Below are some great routes, trips and resources to help you Whitewater Kayak in and around Golden.

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I think it was John Grace who once said "It's all just training for British Columbia". He was referring to the super challenging creeking and multi day wilderness whitewater trips that are located all over this mountainous province. There is a lifetime worth of easy and intermediate paddling too. Whether it is multi day ocean trips, winter whitewater paddling on Vancouver Island, surfing tidal rapids, creeking in the interior, remote trips up north BC offers it all and then some.

Whitewater Kayak Trips or Routes

Golden

Upper and Middle Gold "Bachelor Paddle"
Gold River - The "Bachelor Paddle" section contains wonderful whitewater that is fairly steady right from the get go. Its a boulder garden wonderland with many boof friendly drops (up to 2 meters). At low and medium flows, the run contains short pools and numerous eddies between the drops. The character changes drastically as water rises above 25-30 cms. All the pools rush together and the run feels more continuous, and contains more bigwater features like diagonals and wave-holes. However even up to 70 cms the run maintains a grade IV feel (much like its distant neighbor the kickinghorse). That is with the exception of the biggest rapid on the run which pushes class V at higher water. This rapid is situated midway down the second half of the run (middle gold) and can't be mistaken as it is a much more significant horizon line than anything up to that point. Its a long rapid with big holes and pour-overs to dodge and runs through a steep sided valley that is moderately challenging terrain to navigate. The drawbacks of the run are it's remote location and its tendency to collect trees (large trees). However, as of 2017 there were minimal portages necessary and its short enough and high enough quality for multiple laps.
Lower Canyon
Kicking Horse River - Continuous white water, pretty full on in spring and early summer. As the water level drops this section of the river becomes manageable for a myriad of ability levels. From Paddling ABC: A demanding big water river run full of pushy currents and large holes. It is pretty much non-stop action from the put in for a few kilometers. The beginning of the run is a few back to back Class IV rapids. As the water level rises in the spring eddies disappear and you need to use micro eddies and the train tracks on river right to scout and portage. It can be tricky to see features as the water is usually milky due to silt. Underneath one of the train bridges is a play wave that comes in at moderate water levels. The last couple of kilometers into town are more mellow class II water. Definitely a run where a solid roll is key.
Split Creek to Thompson Falls
Blaeberry River - The following river description has been taken from BC Whitewater (https://www.bcwhitewater.org) and re-posted here with the author's permission (Michael Reeder). BC Whitewater is a non-profit whose goal is to provide a unified voice for whitewater paddlers in British Columbia, advocating for publicly accessible, free flowing rivers and speaking in support of river conservation. Sign up to become a member here: https://www.bcwhitewater.org/users/sign_up and donate to the cause of accessible, free-flowing rivers here: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=MYYAA7WFJRE9U&source=url ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This seldom run, but decent quality run provides a good intermediate option close to the town of Golden. It is slightly on the "adventury" side of class 3+ due to wood movement. While not the most classic section of whitewater, it is well worth the effort if you are in the area and looking for something besides the Kicking Horse.
Thompson Falls Section
Blaeberry River - The following river description has been taken from BC Whitewater (https://www.bcwhitewater.org) and re-posted here with the author's permission (Michael Reeder). BC Whitewater is a non-profit whose goal is to provide a unified voice for whitewater paddlers in British Columbia, advocating for publicly accessible, free flowing rivers and speaking in support of river conservation. Sign up to become a member here: https://www.bcwhitewater.org/users/sign_up and donate to the cause of accessible, free-flowing rivers here: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=MYYAA7WFJRE9U&source=url ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The canyons below Thompson Falls are a great addition to the low water, late season runs around Golden. Proximity to town, ease of access, beautiful canyons, stunning water colour and exciting whitewater combine to create a classic section of river. The run starts off with a ferry and a portage around a beautiful waterfall before seal launching into a gorgeous class 2 canyon. A brief break in the canyon walls signals the beginning of the whitewater. When the canyon walls go vertical again you are treated to a short, ultra-continuous class 5 canyon. After this there is some fun class 3 boogie before the river mellows out and a short section of "BC flatwater" brings you to the takeout where you can head back up for more laps, continue on downstream for some woody braided channels that lead to a lovely set of class 2+ canyons, or call it a day.

Local Paddling Clubs

Canoe Kayak Freestyle Committee National Programs

Canoe Kayak Canada Freestyle is responsible for the growth and development of Freestyle Canoe/Kayak in Canada. We work with provincial, territorial and local organizations to hold programs that support athlete development. We also host National Team trials and support athletes at the international level.

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