Something similar to Bowron Lake Canoe Circuit - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 06-30-2013, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
Scaling New Heights
 
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Default Something similar to Bowron Lake Canoe Circuit

Hi,

I just returned from a 9 day solo kayaking trip at Bowron Lake Canoe Circuit. I had wonderful time and liked that place very much. Over the years I live in Canada I somehow began to miss open campfires and they are allowed there, plus wonderful nature and lack of people (since it was off season) - all that had made the time I spent there very enjoyable and relaxing.

if someone is interested here are some pictures I have taken during the trip:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/11094650...ts/fvtfmjvkceg

I still have about 20 days of my vacation for this year left and now I am thinking about going somewhere else. Ideally, it would be a place with minimum of portages, not crowded (can be quite isolated, I don't mind) suitable for upper intermediate kayaking level (ocean / lakes) and where I could spent 5-10 days at once. I would not probably want to go longer than for 12-13 day per trip since I am getting bored in the end. Driving is not a problem, I would say up to 1000 km one way sounds good to me.

What could you recommend me in terms fitting my requirements and being not worse than Bowron Lake Canoe Circuit? Do we have something like that in BC or somewhere around?

PS: I have been already at the Broken Group Islands, thus I am not interested in this particular location.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 06-30-2013, 08:56 PM
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The Yukon is packed with canoe/kayak options.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 06-30-2013, 09:06 PM
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You could check out the Sayward Forest Canoe Circuit just north of Campbell River.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 06-30-2013, 11:31 PM
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Powel river forest canoe route was great. (lakes behind powel river city, not in rivers) not busy. nice place. 4-5 days.

don't bring kayacks though! LOL because you have to actually portage the canoes, not cart them.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 07-01-2013, 05:14 AM
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If you liked the Bowron Lakes then you'll probably like this idea as well.

Nation Lakes

http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/exp...pgs/nation_lk/

For something more remote you could look at this.

Artic/Pacific Lakes

http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/exp...c_pacific_lks/

A bit shorter trip but I think it would be a great trip as well.

Clearwater/Azure Lakes

http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/exp...kpgs/wg_clear/

Hope these ideas help.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 07-01-2013, 10:07 AM
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I would suggest the Broughton Archipelago -- there's no way you could explore all of it in a couple of weeks but you'd have time enough to really enjoy it's splendor.

Here's a report for a short 3 day trip that I did with my daughter and her boyfriend last year when they visited me there (I was in the Broughton for three months):

http://www.westcoastpaddler.com/comm...hp?f=11&t=5687

Lots and lots of explore and good opportunities for seeing whales, dolphins, bears, and other wildlife.

Dan
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 07-01-2013, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
Scaling New Heights
 
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Thanks everybody for the provided information, now I need some time to properly digest it.

Although a couple of things is already clear even now:

a) Powel river forest canoe route - I briefly read about it in May before Bowron. 48 miles of canoeing and 6.4 miles of portaging seems to be the wrong ratio, I rather ride the kayak than let it ride me, again. Done it at Bowron Lake Circuit and not looking forward to repeating this experience any time soon. Unfortunately, portaging is my weakest and the least favorite activity. So, this trip goes on the bottom of the list;

b) Yukon. I briefly checked yesterday the Internet, it seems the most popular kayaking activities there are Yukon 1000, Yukon 360, Yukon River Quest races (plus some local fun races). My first impression is that this is way beyond my level of expertise in all areas (white water kayaking, survival if required), plus I very doubt that it's a good idea to even consider participation in those races by myself, alone - although I might underestimate myself. One thing is absolutely clear - I immensely enjoyed reading the FAQ for "Yukon 1000 Canoe and Kayak Race":

http://yukon1000.com/new/FAQ.php

Lots of useful information and written in a very light, funny way, easy to read. My favorite part was about the kayakers in the next camp:

If the bear sees you as food, fight back with all weapons available. Use your bear spray, use logs, kick and scream. In this situation the bear does not understand the concept of surrender. Do not despair. Just because the bear is bigger and stronger and perhaps better armed than you are does not mean you are automatically dinner. The object of fighting back is not to win, but to persuade the bear that there is an easier dinner somewhere else. Point him at the kayakers in the next camp.

Some people like to carry fire arms. I don't. It is only legal in Alaska or the Yukon to shoot a bear in self defence, and if you do, you MUST recover the hide and skull. In the Yukon, you are also required to recover the meat. This means transporting it to a community. You can not take animal pieces across the border, so if you shoot a bear between Dawson and Eagle, you are required to take it back upstream to Dawson. Seriously.


The conclusion - I feel that Yukon is out of my reach, at least this year.

c) Nation Lakes - I am reading about this particular location on BCParks web site right now and trying to figure out the logistics of such a trip if I decide to go. Seems to be very doable and within my reach. That's the first candidate so far.

d) Broughton Archipelago - this is very tempting because it's open water. I quickly went through your trip report and will do it again later in a slow motion, as soon as I finish collecting information about Nation Lakes - it seems to be very interesting destination as well!
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 07-02-2013, 11:37 AM
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Murtle Lake.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 07-02-2013, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by g_mouse

c) Nation Lakes - I am reading about this particular location on BCParks web site right now and trying to figure out the logistics of such a trip if I decide to go. Seems to be very doable and within my reach. That's the first candidate so far.
We thoroughly enjoyed our Nation Lakes trip when we did it and would highly recommend it. A much better trip, in our opinion, than the Bowrons. Here is the link to our trip report:
https://www.clubtread.com/sforum/topi...TOPIC_ID=41150

PM me if you have any questions.

Cheers!
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 07-02-2013, 04:34 PM
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Another vote for Murtle.
We've done it a few times so this year I think it will be Nation Lakes, but if you've never been to Murtle put it high on the list.
No portages! None! Yet the lake is big enough to spend at least a week at.


Edit: There is the initial portage down from the parking lot, of course. Very good trail and once you're there it's all one big lovely lake.
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 07-02-2013, 06:55 PM
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It's been over a dozen years since I did the Sayward Lks circuit, but I recollect that it took about 3 days traveling at an easy pace. The shortest portages required a canoe carry (often two carries for boat and packs), but the longer ones were on old logging road and we used a portable two wheeled cart, holding the canoe and packs.

It's an interesting area in that it had a huge forest fire many years ago (1930's?) and the surrounding hills had trees of even growth, so it resembled first growth, without the patchwork of cut-blocks, from a distance.

The campsites that were boat access only were the best, as the ones that were vehicle accessible were "not so nice".

I really liked WestCoastPaddler's trip description and photos of the Broughton Archipelago area.

Peter
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 07-03-2013, 09:57 PM
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300km long loop in Tweedsmuir Park.
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 07-03-2013, 11:22 PM Thread Starter
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===
Broughton Archipelago.

WestCoastPaddler: I really enjoyed reading your trip report, no doubts its a great place to spend some quality time. However, I noticed the following:

a) Sea Kayak Rental - Telegraph Cove
--
Q. I am traveling alone, will you rent me a kayak?
A. North Island Kayak will typically Not rent to solo paddlers. If you believe that your skills and preparation should exclude you from this rule, please contact us and explain why.
--

So, there is a chance that I might have some problems with renting a good sea kayak and in this situation I would definitely need a good one.

b) Fresh water is quite limited, so you either bring all drinking (clear that you can cook etc, using ocean water, it will just save you some salt) or you harvest rainwater. There are couple of trickles and a bay (forgot the name but its a private land) where one could get resupplied - I don'd find myself very often in a situation like that.

c) Crossing, Blakney passage especially. Very useful and interesting discussion:
http://www.westcoastpaddler.com/comm...3678&view=next

Last time when I was reading tide and current tables was more than 1 year ago when I was taking Paddle Canada courses. Something tells me that if I am not absolutely certain that I can (right now, independently and on my own) _properly handle all aspects of the crossing I better not do it on my own, no matter how its sound to others because my safety should be primarily my concern.

A possible alternative could be a water taxi - 400$-500$ if not shared and its not clear if it is a round trip.

All in all, from the current point of view it does not seem to be a piece of cake, some further careful and accurate consideration is required but most likely I will say "no" to this trip, at least this year.

PS: What is bothering me in this situation even more that the dangerous crossing is why in 50% of all cases I see the definite article i.e. "The Broughton Archipelago" and in other 50% just "Broughton Archipelago" - this is not the same. Example (Wikipedia):

a) The Broughton Archipelago is a group of islands on the northeastern flank of the Queen Charlotte Strait;
b) Broughton Archipelago was named in 1792 by George Vancouver in honor of William Robert Broughton;

How come?
===
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 07-05-2013, 12:01 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by alexcanuck

Another vote for Murtle.
We've done it a few times so this year I think it will be Nation Lakes, but if you've never been to Murtle put it high on the list.
No portages! None! Yet the lake is big enough to spend at least a week at.
Saw your post from 2011 about sharing the shuttle cost, you were planning the trip to Nation Lakes on the Labour Day weekend. Now you have mentioned this year and I would like to know if you are still interested in that proposition (sharing the shuttle cost). I am thinking about end of August/start of September mostly to make sure that it will not be crowded (and I cannot do it in July - for sure).

***

Yes, I read about Murtle, the easily accessible lake with one very doable portage. But I am a bit concerned by the following statistics for this place: number of parties (2-4 persons) on the lake (daily) :

a) June, Sept -> 4 - 10
b) July, August -> 25-40

similar (to some extend) to Bowron (up to but no more than 50 people on the circuit any given day) but far smaller place to share, July and August are the busiest months.
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 07-05-2013, 12:51 PM
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The Columbia River can be nice. I did Radium to Golden over 3 days. Mostly slow enough it's kind of like a lake. Random camping and no people (on that stretch, not sure about other stretches). You can do as long or as short a section as you like.

Kinbasket Lake if you want remote. Endless possibilities to explore and all random camping.

Paddled the Desolation Sound and then round East and West Redonda Islands (trip report here
https://www.clubtread.com/sforum/topi...TOPIC_ID=37104). Desolation Sound might be busy but not the rest of the route in the first week of september.
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