About Western Canada

red_deer_river_ABWelcome to theWestern Canada – Alberta and BC

From the Canadian Shield bedrock of the Slave River in the Northwest Territories, the northern, central, southern Rockies on the Alberta/BC border to the lush rainforests of BC; one question remains: Oh, where to paddle, where to paddle? If anything helps the decision making issue it’s that one can usually arrange for year round paddling somewhere out west. To help you out some, here is a brief description of Western Canada. Those links to clubs and school on this site; check them out because you’ll find location descriptions and perhaps a paddler or two to hook up with! The Rocky Mountain Corridor extends from the Crowsnest Pass in southern Alberta and takes you through the Kananaskis and north to Jasper and Grande Cache. When you fall off the continental divide in any of these areas you’ll end up putting your boat in the water respectively from the south to the north in Fernie, Invermere, Golden and Clearwater, BC. There are three main highways in BC and many smaller ones to get lost on. In winter its best to choose the one that poses the shortest distance and is open. The summer months leave one pondering about which rivers you’ll paddle on your way to the coast. Questions like; if you take this highway there do you take a different one back, become the daily norm. Do I stay on the Yellowhead and head up to Quesnel, Smithers and Terrace to paddle some of the finest creeks around? Do I head to Vancouver Island or stay in the Fraser Valley? How about Skookumchuk? Is it running? One thing is certain; there is park and play along the way and something for every level. Should you feel you’ve mastered driving, take the plunge; head north 18 hours from Calgary to the Slave River which is located just outside the northern most Alberta border. With 5 sets of rapids, one can best describe this river as the bouldering of whitewater paddling. The only disclaimer to be offered: Plan on staying for no less than 10 days.

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September 24th, 2017

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