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The Tatshenshini/Alsek Rivers (the Tat) (North by Northwest):

Up in the northwestern corner of British Columbia is a river rated as one of the seven best whitewater runs in the world. The river is the Tatshenshini. Not only is it an exciting rafting river, but it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Tatshenshini River combined with the Alsek River watershed is a Class ‘A' provincial park. This means there can be no development within this park area.

The Tat starts in southwestern Yukon, flowing south into BC. It slices through the St. Elias and Fairweather mountain ranges and joins the Alsek River to rush into the Pacific Ocean. It carries more water than the Colorado River. More than eight million hectares (nineteen million acres) of land are linked with Canadian and US national parks to form the largest international protected area in the world.

This region is significant for many reasons. It is home to the world's largest non- polar icefields and Canada's only population of glacier bears (a rare blue-black species of the black bear). The Tat is a major salmon river and along the banks are wildlife such as woolly mountain goats, Dall sheep, wolves, moose, ermines, beavers and a large number of grizzly bears. Canada geese, hawks, gyrfalcons, wandering tattlers, tree swallows, willow ptarmigans and bald eagles are part of the different birds found within this wilderness park. Low-bush cranberry, wild celery and wild cucumber are natural plant life along the Tat.

In total, the 260 km (161 mi.) river journey attracts whitewater kayakers and rafters from all regions of the world. When the Tatshenshini joins the Alsek River, its whitewater to the extreme. Huge clunks of glacial ice, large rapids, waves, canyons and rocks must be negotiated, this is not a river for the weak and timid. Raft trips can be arranged with experienced and qualified guides on all or just portions of the run. For raw pristine wilderness, glaciers, grizzlies and the ultimate in whitewater rafting, the Tatshenshini/Alsek is your answer.

The Stikine River (North by Northwest):

Stikine means ‘a great river' in Tlingit language . . . and it truly is one of the great rivers of North America. The Stikine starts in the Cassiar Mountains high up in the Spatzizi Plateau Wilderness Park and is approximately 640 km (400 mi.) long, cutting through the mountains to head to the Pacific Ocean. It starts by flowing east, makes a big arc north, then continues to the west and finally heads south to the ocean. As the Stikine enters the ocean near Wrangell, Alaska it forms a large delta to become an important salmon spawning ground.

The Stikine, with its stretches of whitewater, has a reputation of being one of the best whitewater rafting rivers in the world. From the headwaters at Tuaton Lake, the river drops 1370 metres (4,500 feet) before it reaches the ocean. No one has run the full length of the river, because of the Grand Canyon. Canada's largest, the Grand Canyon is 96 km (60 mi.) long. This stretch of torrent water rages through narrow rock cliffs that are up to 300 metres (985 feet) high. Mountain goats are the only animals that can successfully climb and live in this region. Grizzly bears and caribou inhabit the surrounding plateau. Rafting on the Stikine is done above and below the Canyon. This is whitewater rafting that is lean and mean with rapids, eddies, pools, steep drops, rocks and sweepers.

First time and experienced rafters can enjoy the excitement of running the Stikine with fully qualified guides and outfitters. These top notch establishments offer trips that they personalize to meet your ability and high energy levels. Whitewaer rafting outfits cater to persons wishing to run the Stikine from start to finish (except the canyon), or to raft the upper section, or just the lower section. The options are yours. Enjoy the remote wilderness and the exuberance of running one of the best, the Stikine River in the North by Northwest region of BC.

The Babine River (North by Northwest):

Located north and east from Smithers, the Babine River, known as one of the world's greatest steelhead rivers is also a world class whitewater river. The river starts at Babine Lake and flows through scenic wilderness country and into the Skeena River. Like other rafting rivers in BC, the Babine, offers excitement and thrills such as the Grizzly Drop. It has all the necessary items to make it a top notch river run.

The Babine River is an excellent rafting river and operators work from June to September offering whitewater trips. Guides and outfitters who know the region feature customized runs for the novice and the experienced rafter. Spectacular scenery, abundant wildlife and stirring whitewater make the Babine River an absolute must run. 

Explore other rafting opportunities on the rivers of BC

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British Columbia Rafting Adventures