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Region Details

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

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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

Revelstoke

Upper Raft Run
Illecillewaet River - An exciting trip with great class IV wave trains.
Number 1 - Number 6
Jordan River - The Jordan is a classic local Revelstoke creek run. Super high quality whitewater, super close to town. At lower flows it is pretty manageable pool drop creeking, as the flows get higher the difficulty and consequence quickly goes up. It is a great length run for multiple laps or just a quick few hour blast. The scenery is beautiful, locals friendly, this is a 5 star creek run for sure.
Box Canyon
Illecillewaet River - An after work local favorite, this beautiful narrow canyon finishes downtown Revelstoke. Unfortunately, a glacial flood from Woolsey creek upstream deposited copious amounts of wood along the river several years back and created a massive log jam immediately below the biggest rapid on the run (KOA). At medium-high flows this log jam poses a serious hazard with water moving fast from the rapids upstream into and under the 50m long pile of logs. Portage is mandatory and best done on river right. The narrow nature of the canyon above KOA is also prone to collecting wood. Use extra caution or check with the locals on the current wood situation before dropping in.
Upper Perry
Perry River - The Upper Perry is a popular option during the spring when other creeks are too high. There are two put in options, one immediately below the Upper Canyon and one above the Upper Canyon. At lower levels (>80cms) the Upper Canyon adds two fun IV/IV+ rapids to the run. At higher flows (<80cms) the canyon quickly becomes class V and is most often portaged (on river left). Look out for Carls hole, an extremely trashy hole at the bottom of a long rapid mid run. It features an undercut rock island immediately downstream that often collects wood just to add to the hazard.. If the Upper Perry is too low be sure to check out the Lower Perry Canyon!
Sutherland Falls
Blanket Creek - Blanket Creek is a short and extreme series of drops and waterfalls set in a deep, tight, picturesque canyon. Made famous by the clean 18 meter Sutherland Falls which has made its debut in numerous kayaking flicks, Blanket is the epitome of technical low volume creeking. The canyon is also a favorite hangout for rock climbers (gives you a sense of what kind of a place this is). It is immediately apparent from the highway bridge that this run has a long way to fall in a short distance. The lake feels very close, yet is very far down. If you have come for a quick adrenaline fix, look no further.
Sorcerer Canyon
Sorcerer Creek - This run is situated in a remote location accessed by logging roads about an hours drive north of Revelstoke. It flows through a canyon carved out of smooth bedrock that is similar to other creeks in the Revelstoke area, and produces challenging scouting, and portaging conditions. That being said the canyon walls, relatively speaking, are not too tall, so it is possible in most places to fight through the devils club and rope your gear and friends in and out of it. Expect high quality whitewater that feels very similar to the "Lower Perry" and possibly a half grade lower than the "Jordan". The last time we ran this section it was riddled with wood and with all the logging in the area upstream, it is unlikely to change much in the near future. When the run is flowing clean of wood, it could be an outstanding section of grade IV+ creeking. Just come with a Grade V attitude and treat it as exploratory.
Bostock Bridges Section (Upper Upper)
Illecillewaet River - A great alternative to the upper raft run. Long, fast and continuous sections with minimal places for rescue. More narrow and creeky than other illy runs, with lots of fun boofs! Watch for new wood as this a high water spring run and changes frequently.
Waterfalls
Mulvehill Creek - Mulvehill Creek is mostly un-runnable, however the two bottom most waterfalls can be a worthwhile park and huck when the level is right.
Hike in Classic
Tangiers Creek - The Tangiers was a classic class 3-4 river run prior to the road being de-activated in 2017. It is still worthwhile, but seldom paddled due to the 6km hike in and the availability of other similar quality runs nearby. It is a great option if you want some extra exercise as both the hike in and the run itself have outstanding scenery with fun class 3/4 whitewater to top it all off.
Boat Launch
Williamson Lake - A small and delightfully warm lake near the town of Revelstoke. A great place for a short paddle on a warm day or a place to brush up on your rolling.
12km to 6km
Big Mouth - Be prepared for a beautiful wilderness adventure, cruising down narrow continuous rapids, surrounded by many unique rock features and old growth forests.
6km to Columbia River
Big Mouth - The river opens up more beyond this Put In. Still has continuous character, with more water from side tributaries creating even more surf waves!
Lower Jordan
Jordan River - Enjoy the classic Jordan River in a mellower fashion. This section is continuous and is always hosting new wood!
Town Section
Illecillewaet River - Cruise through the divide between Southside and Arrow Heights with view of Begbie on a hot day! Great introduction to whitewater run. Continuous and some wood hazards!
Above Canoe Route
Goldstream River - Excellent continuous class 3 river running. Boulders and wave trains galore, once it starts it is consistent whitewater until the takeout. About 2/3 of the way down the run on a wide right bend there is a large log jam. The river is moving fairly slow at this point and it is easy to spot from upstream. As of spring 2019 there was a 3m gap at the river left shoreline that is passable. This could change so be weary when approaching.
Upper Pingston
Pingston - One of B.C.'s best steep creeks. Classic whitewater; continuous, clean, few portages and a handful of bigger rapids. Not much is "must run", but be prepared to run a good amount of class 5 if you put on as either too much portaging or hiking out would be a lot of work and probably end in the dark. If the upper is too high the middle is a good back up option.
Bottom to Albert Canyon
Tangiers River -
Goldstream Falls
Goldstream - A fun four waterfalls just off the highway, runnable at low flows late in the year.
Lower
Downie River - A short and sweet section with two main rapids connected by continuous Class 1-3.
Lower Pingston
Pingston - The following river description has been taken from BC Whitewater (https://www.bcwhitewater.org) and re-posted here with the author's permission (Richard Maggs). 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 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hard charging BC creeking at its gnarliest. Hectic continuous class 5 with even scarier portages. Often full of wood. An absolute treat on its own or as the finisher to a long day of Pingston paddling.
Upper
Jordan River - The Upper Jordan is a once formerly popular section of Jordan in recent years has fallen into obscurity with a deactivation of the logging road which previously provided vehicle access. Now access entails a 4km hike up the old road if wanting to paddle this fun, if not classic section. The run itself consists mostly of class III boulder gardens, with one short canyon. Unfortunately it is littered with wood hazards, making it a less than ideal section for a swimmer, but still somewhere where solid paddlers can have some fun.

Resources

Revelstoke Paddlesport Association

PO Box 78 Revelstoke, BC V0E 2S0

http://www.paddlerevelstoke.ca

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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