SW BC trips?

Hi folks,

Looking for some suggestions for a 7-10 day SW BC trip out of Vancouver. Headed up from the Southwest US with 4 guys. We have lots of wilderness + whitewater multi-day experience in the lower 48 but none in BC. Poring over maps but need some guidance— there’s so much up here! Any good suggestions for a 7-10d trip ideally with some alpine hiking and some small/med volume Cl II-III?


I was about to post the same question as a buddy and I are looking for options the first week of Aug. Would be interested to hear what you guys come up with.


So I posted the same question on the Packraft Canada FB page and Cameron from Van messaged me. Below is our dialog…

Hey there! Not sure what dates your thinking of, but I’m hoping to scout a run down the Pitt River late next week/early the following week and can share beta if you’re interested.

It’s a 1-2 hike in over Garibaldi Park, the river is mostly Class III with a couple canyons and rapids that might need to be walked. There’s a hot spring near the end, and you probably want to figure out a water taxi exit to avoid paddling 30 miles of tidal flatwater…but might be what you’re looking for.

Otherwise there are a bunch of possible options a bit further north in the Chilcotins (upper Bridge River, Lord River, etc…) that all are going to require a float plane or heli-assist.

One big thing is that you’re kinda looking at at least one of the following around here - roadside rivers, complicated logistics, major bushwacking or following very old/unmaintained trails, mandatory portages or Class IV-V runs.

If you have a sense of timing/logistics I can maybe give some more ideas/advice though!

Also…sorry for the random message, saw your post in Packraft Canada and thought this might be easier to help out with via message
You added Cameron Fenton on Messenger.
Thanks Cameron! My buddy and I are getting together tonight to chat about the trip. I’ll follow up with additional questions we may have. Was wondering about the Bridge River (trib of the Lilloet, right?). Have you run that?
You can now call each other and see information like Active Status and when you’ve read messages.
Also, our dates are Aug 3 -11 or so.

Awesome, the Bridge is a tributary of the Fraser, it flows down a valley that’s sort of parallel to the lillooet, and I haven’t run it yet but have been scoping a trip on it for a while.

Access is a bit of a challenge to the upper Bridge, you can either fly in with Tyax air or - maybe - hike in over a pass just north of aletheny pass. From the glacier down it looks like its mostly Class II with one really nasty canyon section and one section that looks like it could be runnable with Class III/IV rapids. That would put you at the top of Downtown Lake, which has logging road access or where you could hike back out over Aletheny from.

The lower bridge, below the lake has a kayak run on it: http://www.oregonkayaking.net/rivers/bridge/bridge.html
The Bridge River, British Columbia
The 16.5 mile class IV Bridge run begins with the confluence of the Yalakom River and the Bridge River. Until recently, the Bridge river rarely rose to boatable levels, but that has changed as tribal influence has brought increased releases from Terzaghi Dam up to protect the native salmon runs on t…
There’s a tributary of the Lillooet called Meager Creek that I’ve paddled and could be explored higher and linked up with the Lillooet for a longer run, or there’s the upper section of the Lillooet above the hydro project that could be pretty cool
Cool. Thanks! Lot’s to contemplate. Where is the Lord River?
And how difficult is Meager Cr?

Lord crosses over above the Downtown Lake, one valley over from the Bridge and it drops into Taseko Lake.

Here’s a TR from someone who ran it (again, needed a float plane pickup and probably some complicated shuttle logistics): http://packrafting.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=2623

Meager is solid Class III+ with a Class IV section that’s a longish portage around.
Lord River, SW BC - packrafting.org
Cool. Thanks.

You could theoretically also cross over to Meager from the Squamish Valley on the old Stoltman Wilderness Trail but there are some major access issues both in terms of road washouts on the Elaho and some river crossings on the hike in that sound like they’re pretty dicey since the trail hasn’t been kept up in over a decade: https://forums.clubtread.com/27-british-columbia/38023-elaho-meager-trail-stoltmann-wilderness.html

Basically all longer packrafting trips in SW BC are likely to include some kind of major unknown/logistical hurdle.
Elaho - Meager Trail (Stoltmann Wilderness) - ClubTread Community
After a few months of being really interested in visiting the Stoltmann Wilderness, I decided enough snow had finally melted for a reconnaissance trip