8 rivers in 8 days: Big Silver and Revelstoke, BC

The put-in falls, or as we called it “the falls above the put-in.”

We just got off to a great start on our “Canadian Tour” 8 rivers in 8 days in BC. It was a lot like our trips in Ecuador, where we normally get 7 rivers in 7 days, only in Ecuador, there’s a lot less driving and a lot less bugs! The mosquitoes are wicked in BC this time of year!
Clear water on Big Silver.
It was a great plan-as-you-go trip, too. We had thought to go up to the Squamish/Whistler area, but thought that the weather and water weren’t going to be quite right. So we talked to some friends, looked at some maps, and decided to start out with the Big Silver River up north of the town of Harrison Hot Springs, then head over to Revelstoke for some creeks that we thought would be the right level there. We met up with Sam, Bear and John – fellow Americans on the plan B route – and had a great time.
Big Silver, tight canyon.

The Big Silver was beautiful and felt very remote – two hours of dirt road to get to the put-in. And as our friend and SWA guide Chris Tretwold says, home to some of the longest and prettiest slot canyons in BC.
Another tight canyon on the Big Silver

The Big Silver has a great class 4-5 upper section, a class 5 middle section, and a scenic class 2-3 roadside bottom section. The beta we got warned us to hike out of the upper section before the 3rd tight canyon. It was late in the day and the canyon entrance looked cool yet formidable, so we followed the advice we were given. I still don’t know what awaits in the 3rd canyon…
For more information on the Big Silver, check out Chris’ full report at: Bellingham Whitewater

Sam on the Jordan River, just outside Revelstoke.

We wanted to get to the Revelstoke area because we heard the water was good and dropping there.
We had great flows on the Perry, Jordan and Illecillewaet, and got to hang out in Revelstoke for a couple days while boating those. (sorry, no photos of the Perry and Illi Box Canyon).
Darcy on the Jordan.

While there we got the rare (to me at least) treat of riding a freshwater ferry. The road from Revelstoke to Nakusp crosses the Columbia River at Upper Arrow Lake, and there’s a ferry crossing there. We had great weather and the scenery was incredible.
Little boats riding on big boats.
BC has freshwater ferries, too.
The water was lower on the Kuskanax than we had hoped for, but the ferry and drive to the river was half the fun.

Don on the Kuskanax. Sweet drop. And drytop.

We then got into a funny bit of navigating. Bear and the boys had to get back to the US via vancouver, and we wanted to visit fellow SWA guide Tarquino while he’s working over in Golden, so we parted ways and Darcy and I headed over Rogers Pass to spend some time paddling and speaking Spanish. Tarquino has come a long way from the rivers around his home in Ecuador. I can’t believe he paddles in water as cold as the Kicking Horse!
Once we were in Golden, then it was only a couple hours south to the Toby river, then just a couple hours south to the Elk… but that’s a story for the next blog.
To be continued…

It’s easy to get lost in the whitewater in BC.
Here’s Bear on the Jordan.
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