The summer whitewater kayaking and rafting season is humming along, and boaters are loving this bout of balmy weather to enjoy their paddling. Chilliwack residents are blessed with having the Vedder/Chilliwack river running right past our door, as it is well regarded as one of the best whitewater kayaking rivers in Southern BC. If you haven’t been kayaking yet, why not? Get started, but read these tips on kayaking on the site first to get you prepared. The Chilliwack /Vedder river forms Chilliwack’s southern border and begins at Chilliwack lake and eventually drains into the Fraser River at the base of Sumas Mountain. Over this relatively short run the river picks up a vast volume of water with the runoff from all of the huge peaks in the Cheam range and the ranges to the south of the the Chilliwack River valley entering into it. Although many of the tributaries to the Chilliwack River do not offer the same volume of water, they too are host to some great play boating and creeking.

If you are not into paddling you might be asking yourself what makes this river so good? Well to begin with, unlike many other rivers of this length and size, the Chilliwack/ Vedder is amazingly accessible with put-in and take-out points all along its course. This attribute is great for short afternoon and evening paddling sessions that can take place after work, still allowing you to be home by dinner. Bringing in your own kayak might be an idea if you want a quick session, some people transport their kayaks around in trailers with them. If you’re thinking of purchasing one, you might want to look at something similar to these trailer reviews to see what other people with kayaks think about each different brand and design ect. Then you’ll be able to visit the Chilliwack river as often as you like.

The access points also segment the river, making it possible for both the first time paddler and the Olympic Athlete to find water that can accommodate within their skill level. The river is classed between II and IV and contains boulder gardens, pool drop and surfing waves for paddlers of all interests. The Vancouver Kayak Club calls the Chilliwack river their home terrain and the national whitewater center is based right here in town, a testament to the caliber of this local asset.

If you are looking into giving some whitewater activities a go you will find no shortage here in town. The Chilliwack Center of Excellence, and Purple Hayes School of Kayaking are great local recourses for coaching and training if it is Kayaking that you are looking for. Others might feel more comfortable taking a ride with one of the local rafting companies to ply the big water, and you are sure to find an adrenaline rush there as well. Take a look at Chilliwack River Rafting and Hyak Wilderness Adventures to book you and your friends in for an afternoon of fun.

Whatever whitewater activity you choose be sure to get properly trained, always go with a partner, and have the appropriate equipment to ensure your safety. As with all other backcountry activities let someone know when you are heading out, where you are going, and when you will be back. Happy Paddling.

– Sam Waddington – Owner of Mt. Waddington’s Outdoors : Equipping you for Rock, Water, Snow, Sand, Wind and anything else the Outdoors can throw at you!

Published in The Chilliwack Progress “Alive Outside” – August 1st, 2013

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