Chilcotin is an awesome land bordering on the east are the Cariboo
Mountains, an to the west is the Coastal Range and the Pacific Ocean.
The area that lies in the middle features miles and miles of forest,
rolling hills and hundreds of lakes, with glacier fed rivers, crystal
clear streams. Fishing is one
of the many favourite past times in this region, other activities
include horseback riding, hiking,
gold panning and of course canoeing, kayaking and whitewater rafting.
The Cariboo is famous for the gold rush that open up this country,
while the Chilcotin is cattle and ranching country.
A favourite with paddlers is Quesnel
Lake, the deepest lake in the province. Unpredictable winds are
very common and definitely one of the hazards on the lake. The north
arm of the lake with its islands and many bays offers shelter to many
birds such as Canada geese, ospreys and eagles. Both black and grizzly bears can be seen,
other animals found in and around Quesnel Lake are caribou,
wolverines, coyotes and mink. Along the east arm of the
lake there are few moorage spots because of the steep cliffs which
mountain goats call home.
Close by is Horsefly Lake and Horsefly
River, both great paddling.
In the Chilcotin, the rivers you might want to explore include the
Chilcotin and the Chilko. Both are grade or class two to three in
low water. From Hanceville to Big Creek, as you run the Chilcotin
River it could take up to 8 hours. The river starts from an open valley
but drops into a canyon and rapids, next is a flat section and finally
the grade or class three rapids just past Big Creek.
The Chilko River/Chilcotin River, from Taseko River to Bull Canyon
is fast flowing with boulders, waves, sweepers and narrow spots. This
is a grade or class two to three in low water. Here the water is cold
and the area remote. Before you start your boating trip, check the
conditions of the water in both the Chilcotin and Chilko Rivers, as
they can both flood during the summer season.
One of the most famous canoe circuits in the world is found in the
Cariboo Chilcotin, it's the Bowron
Lake Canoe Circuit, which can take from four to seven days to
complete, it depends on the individual. It's located in the mountains,
east of Wells and wildlife is abundant here. Another popular canoe
route is the Turner Lake Chain, in Tweedsmuir
Park. This is a chain of six lakes with easy portages and good
A number of good paddling in the Cariboo Chilcotin is in remote areas,
so make sure to check with locals to water conditions and the hazard
you might encounter, always be careful. Be safe, have fun.
A Canoe Or Kayak Trip
BC Adventure Network members invite you to kayak or canoe with them: