Glaciers, grizzlies, eagles, salmon, totem poles – river rafting through Northern BC is a spectacular journey through untouched wilderness settings, old growth forests, and pristine rivers.
Rafting trips can be a single day float down a gently moving river, or a multi-day whitewater wilderness expedition into some of the most remote and beautiful places settings in North America. The Babine-Bulkley, Tatsenshini-Alsek, and Gataga-Kechika rivers are some whitewater rafting highlight areas in this region.
Whether you’re looking for thrilling whitewater adventure or a slow, scenic trip for the whole family on an iceberg-filled lake, rafting in Northern British Columbia offers something for everyone. Safe, professionally guided trips will present Northern BC in its very best light.
Rafting in Northern BC
Many rivers in Northern BC host a variety of salmon runs, which attract grizzly and black bears, as well as bald eagles, moose, wolverine and lynx. Whitewater thrills aren’t the only reason for rafting here – wildlife viewing and photography are an essential part of this area’s rafting experience.
The Babine River is also known as the “River of Grizzlies” and cuts through a remote section of the Coast Mountain Range. Suitable for beginner paddlers, you can expect to see a migratory population of grizzly bears fishing for salmon from July to late September. Spectacular totems and First Nations cultural artefacts are also on display as the river winds through Gitksan villages.
Highlights—Babine River and Bulkley River
Your rafting adventure along the 150-km/93-mi Babine River (in the Smithers area) during salmon-spawning season takes you into an isolated wilderness filled with thrilling rapids and narrow canyons, and gives one of the finest grizzly bear-viewing opportunities in the province.
Descend the famous whitewater known as “Grizzly Drop,” where even the salmon struggle through the swift current as they fight their way through the paws of the mighty grizzly bears. At the end of the journey, you are greeted by the magnificent totem poles of Kispiox Village.
The Bulkley River boasts over 30 rapids and is one of the most exciting and scenic whitewater day-rafting trips in BC. It ends near ‘Ksan Historical Village in Hazelton, where the Bulkley and Skeena Rivers meet.
- Rated: Babine I to IV; Bulkley III to IV (visit the BC Rafting page for information on rafting classes).
- Approximate time required: 1 day for the Bulkley; 5-10 days for the Babine
- Best time: July to September for the Bulkley
Related Website: British Columbia River Outfitters Association
Photo and Info Courtesy of HelloBC