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Wondering if anyone has any guide books/info/websites for planning a private Chilko Chilkotin Fraser River trip in BC. Some great US river planning tools, just haven't seen anything for planning BC trips.

Thanks for the help.

Brad
 

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Claudia Schwab's book "Whitewater in Southwest BC" details a run on the Chilko of the Class 4 section not far downstream from the lake. It is aimed at Kayakers but it applies to all whitewater runners and it's very detailed and well organized. http://www3.telus.net/cschwab/bc_ww/book.html

You might want to get your hands on a copy of the BC Backroads map books - the Cariboo-Chilcotin-Coast BC book for maps of the area: Cariboo Chilcotin Coast BC Backcountry Maps - don't follow their river running/paddling section though as it's generally not very good. Claudia's book is very good. I have it.

Here are some of Glacier Raft company videos of the run as they have some videos of their multi day trips on that river.

Here is part 1 of a run from 2010: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQ8UZdFhMUs
and Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCE9xfuKj2Y

Rapids of note are the Bidwell rapids and the White Mile which is a Mile of class 4 rapids apparently (and looks pretty exciting on the above video). There are others obviously.

Supposedly a spectacular area - life changing from what I've heard.
 

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Had a friend get off last week.

Lots of Grizzlys - bring bear spray said he saw 5 in 2 days! Saw huge deer and flocks of pelicans.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Perfect. I bought Claudia Schwab's book and it's great. Sooo many new rivers to explore.

Thanks for the info.

Happy Boating.
 

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Hey Brad,

Done the Bidwell section a fair bit in the 90's and early 2000's. I've always did it in Sept., lots of eagles and bears when a salmon run is happening. The video's posted above, doesn't do the Chilko justice, it's at a very low level. Here's a link to the Chilko gauge -http://wateroffice.ec.gc.ca/report/report_e.html?type=realTime&stn=08MA002&dataType=Real-Time&startDate=2015-09-01&endDate=2015-10-01&prm1=3
I've been on it from 1.6 to 1.2, from looking at the video its around 1.2. The prime level for the Chilko is 1.5, big waves, Bidwell is pushy but manageable, there's a lateral wave on river right(entrance) that pushes you to river left where the holes are in the bottom left. Punch through the lateral with momentum and its easy to avoid the holes. Definitely scout it, it drops quickly and depending on the level there can be logs on the bottom left of Bidwell. I found at 1.6 some of the features got washed out, and 1.3 and lower is quite boring (whitewater wise) compared to 1.5.

Hope this helps.
 

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We did this trip at very high water. Well we missed most of the Chilko which was a very good decision at that water level. It did not look like a high water year but it turned out to be one because it was so hot the glaciers were melting at a huge rate. There are sometimes 2 peaks one for snowmelt and one for glacier melt. Make sure you are familiar with the hydrographs for the area. The person who did our shuttle was a kayaker and he said there were 12 foot standing waves for miles in the Chilko when we put on the very lower end of the Chilko. Most of the boat ramp was under water in a low snowpack year but it was over 90 degrees, hence the glacier melt was huge. Most of the run was not too bad but good luck finding an eddy to stop there were a couple of very long class 4 sections on the Chilcotin the guide books don't describe well, at that level Johns Canyon really kicked butt. If you flip there isn't much help so be prepared for self rescue, not much along that route. Be prepared to build your own campsites on the Chilcotin, some were good others were rarely used. Loppers were very helpful. Finding a shuttle is interesting there was a decent kayak store at Williams Lake who did ours. Inquire well in advance. Great trip, deep in First Nation areas (Tribes) just know that you are on your own not many people on it which makes it a great trip. This shop did our shuttle http://redshreds.com/
 

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Hey river2run, when did you do your trip? How much $$$ was the shuttle? Chilko is very continuous from Bidwell on, the "whitemile" has continuous 12' waves and a couple of 14' (level dependant). If you're looking for whitewater its alot of fun. We camped at Taseko junction(great camping spot) on the first night of arriving, then drive up to the upper section, run Bidwell (without gear), camp at Taseko again, then load up the gear and carry on. Addds to the shuttle though.

The Chilcotin has some big water as well, not as continuous as the Chilko, but Farewell and Big John canyon have flipped boats.
 

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We did it in mid July. I don't remember the exact cost but it was fairly spendy, and it takes them a while to find drivers to do the shuttle. Farewell and Johns Canyon were both pretty big at that water level. We did it about 4-5 years ago. We put in close to where the Chilko meets the Chilcotin and we took out on the Fraser so it was a long shuttle if you add the Chilko to that you have a really long shuttle. I am glad we did not do the Chilko at that water level, there was an empty raft tied up on the Fraser. I assume someone flipped and lost the boat, and some of the locals on the Fraser tied it up. It was very close to flood stage when we did it much of the boat ramp was under water, stopping was a challenge since there were no eddies.
 

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July 13 it peaked at 1.76 and dropped to 1.64 by July 16/17. I've never run it above 1.6, it would be very pushy at 1.76 and not much for eddies on the Chilko. 1.64 would be OK, believe it or not rapids are smaller than 1.5!!!
 

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The Northwest Brigade Paddling Club has a guide book that covers the central/northern bit of BC from Almost smithers to the Upper Fraser and down to the Chilko. It is a little dated but a good reference.
Shoot me a PM if you want one as I have a few boxes (and at 20 canadian pesos it's almost free)
 

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Chilko info

Hi, I work commercially on the Chilko. A couple of points: the Glacier video is a low water run-mid Sept.. High water is often mid July and the river is, of course significantly more difficult then. Eddies are tiny and there is timber in the water for the length of lava canyon. The chilko newton road is washed out and won't be repaired anytime soon. Shuttle is from Chilko lake -Tylos provincial park -to Churn creek on the Fraser. One way drive time 5.5 hrs, much of it on rough gravel roads.Hope this helps.Speycatters info is good- this info from last season.
 

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How much whitewater

Thinking about doing this in September. How much whitewater is there relative to say the Grand Canyon of the Colorado? Some descriptions make it seem like there is just isolated miles of whitewater with lots of flat in between.
 

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How much whitewater is there relative to say the Grand Canyon of the Colorado?
I did the Chilko, Chicotin and Fraser down to Lillooet in August 1984. My recollections after 32 years and lots more river miles may be different than I would see it now. The Chilko is the real deal. My friend did it in his 14 ft bucket boat and his wife did nothing but bail. He was very afraid the whole way. We followed the next day on a guided trip in an 18 ft self bailing SOTAR. Much of the Chilko had large waves kind of like the Grand Canyon, but the gradient was much, much steeper. Unlike the Colorado, the Chilko is not pool drop and the rapids are much longer. We rejoined my friend at Hanceville on the Chilcotion. I rowed a 12 ft bucket boat with my wife as a passenger. I don't recall the rapids in Farwell Canyon as being very difficult and I was a very neophyte boater at the time. The Fraser has lots of big volume flatwater and no rapids until Lillooet. We portage at least one of the rapids just upstream of Lillooet after talking to the First Nations people who were fishing there.
 
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