Squamish Kayaking / Canoeing

Squamish Kayaking & Canoeing

Kayaking in Squamish offers a wide variety of white-water experiences from easy beginner rivers such as the Mamquam, which flows directly through Squamish, to the short-but-fast rush of the Upper Cheakamus river to the north, a world class grade 4-5 run. The Elaho river offers almost year-round adventure of a grade 3-4 nature, and one has only to go upstream a few kilometres to discover the class six Ashlu canyon. The Squamish River itself is a long, pleasant grade 1-2 float through scenic river valleys.

One of North America’s highest concentrations of Bald Eagles can be seen from late November to early February. Further north of town there are a variety of runs of all intensities on the Cheakamus, Soo, Green, Cal-Chek and Birkenhead rivers. The best water levels tend to be from March to July and again in the fall when the rains begin in earnest. However, there is rarely a time when no rivers are available to the die-hard paddler.

The Mamquam in particular, almost always offers an excellent play-wave  and is a five minute drive from town, as well as a fine slalom course further upstream, frequented by some of Canada’s top racers. If you want to take courses to become more competent in a kayak, they are available. If you are an experienced kayaker, rentals, partners, and custom days can be arranged through local businesses.

Squamish River Estuary is an awe inspiring place for a gentle float in a kayak where you can view the many birds, seals, and amazing plantlife. Be aware of the west side as the current here can be strong. The local lakes such as Alice and Browning are safe places for first timers and children to try out the kayak.

Ocean kayaking is another opportunity you have in the Squamish area. Porteau Cove is for beginners with a nice paddle along the shore. Anvil Island, Christie Inlet, Pam Rocks and Gambier Island are for the intermediate to advanced kayakers.

Rentals, tours and lessons are available from local retailers. Check the Business Directory for listings.

The wild rivers of the Squamish River watershed offer water sport possibilities for people of all levels of experience. The Lower Cheakamus River is a fabulous venue for the intermediate paddler, while the Upper Elaho can challenge the best whitewater kayakers and rafters in the world. Squamish also boasts a kayak-training facility on the Mamquam River. Rentals are available from local retailers. There are also several rafting companies which run commercial trips in the area.

A favorite place to canoe is along the Squamish River Estuary. Observe ducks, herons, hawks, bald eagles, trumpeter swans, harbor seals, deer and even bear in their natural habitat. Enjoy the lush plantlife of marsh plants, sedge grass, wildflowers and forest trees. Look up to see the astounding views of The Stawamus Chief, Shannon Falls, Mount Garibaldi and Mamquam Glacier. A truly breathtaking experience.

There are also a number of lakes to canoe with a few examples being Alice, Edith, Fawns, Stump and Browning Lakes.

Rentals, tours and lessons are available from local retailers. Check the Business Directory for listings.

KAYAKING canoe in Squamish