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Region Details

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

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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


Lower Kuskanax
Kuskanax River - When levels are primo, the Lower Kuskanax Canyon is home to some of the best, most continuous read n' run boogy water around. Starting with an optional river wide slide above a rowdy corner rapid, one begins to wonder what the remainder of the run might bring. Thankfully, the river opens up around the corner and quickly sets the tone with nothing but whitewater bliss for the remainder of the run. That being said, there are two rapids downstream to note.
Upper Kuskanax
Kuskanax River - When levels are primo, the Upper Kuskanax is home to some of the best, most continuous read n' run, boulder hopin' boogy water around. Slightly steeper and more 'creeky' feeling than the lower section, this beautiful run switches on from the get go. After clearing the top rapids and passing under the walking bridge, the river settles into a nice boulder garden groove that lasts for the remainder of the run. That being said, there are a couple blind corner drops and one mandatory portage (level depending) to note. If levels are up and you have the time, consider running both the upper and lower sections together (and portaging the entire middle section). This combo will make for a day of non-stop whitewater that is sure to leave a big smile on your face.
Middle Kuskanax (Falls Section)
Kuskanax River - The Middle Falls is a short but burly class V romp that is best run when the Upper and Lower sections are beginning to run low. Consisting of 4 big multi-tired bedrock moves, each with their own level of difficulty and potential for carnage, nailing the right flow will ultimately dictate which lines get run or easily portaged. All 4 drops are scoutable from shore with good eddy's to pull into and obvious portage routes on varying sides. Sneak lines exist when the main lines look mean, or if the level is too high. Knowing your group, taking your time, and having a throw bag ready at almost every feature is essential when running this short section that can be easily lapped on foot as no shuttle is required.
Barnes Canyon
Barnes Creek - Rarely visited, this short but unique low volume creek run acts as a simple backup plan when Whatshan Creek or the "Hippy Hole"(aka Upper Whatshan) isn't working for whatever reason. Not long after putting in you'll find a fun, cascading 4m bedrock drop with optional lines and the ability to lap it multiple times. From there down expect nothing but shallow, bedrock rapids running down a narrow canyon of sorts. Levels need to be on the medium side (late June, early July) and finding wood is very likely.
Gardener Falls (Park and Huck)
Gardener Creek - A 20" park and huck drop close to the road. Not worth the drive up from Nakusp just for this, but, i f you are up this valley for the ever classic Kuskanax a well worthy diversion

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.