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Where the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living.

 

 

 

What Our Guests Say

  • We truly had a fantastic hike! We appreciate all the organizing and coordinating in making it a wonderful time. Thank you for all of your lugging and slugging! It was an unforgettable time!

    --Carol, Carla, Liz, (Ontario) and Sabine (Austria)
  • I also very much appreciated both your help (and patience!). It was definitely an incredible trip and one I won't ever forget.

    --Tracy, British Columbia
  • The guides were very very professional and I felt very safe in terrain which is different from North Yorkshire. They produced meals from those rucksacks which my husband thought I was pulling his leg. We did see some envious looks from fellow campers too.

    --Kate, Scarborough, Great Britain
  • Thank you for an excellent West Coast Trail trip. I really appreciate all your hard work and guiding skills. It is what made the trip so memorable.

    --Kevin, Northwest Territories
  • We had a great time and all the aches and pains were worth it!! By the time we got back to my house we were feeling great. Elaine felt very proud of herself. Anyhow, I think you are amazing guide and I hope we didn't wear you out!

    --Denise and Elaine, Calgary

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The Tour

The Bowron Lakes are considered the quintessential lake canoeing experience in Canada. The 116 km route, through the ruggedly scenic Cariboo Mountains, is comprised of 6 major lakes and a series of connecting streams, rivers and portages.

The portages of the Bowron Lakes are made easier through the use of specially designed carts which allow canoes and equipment to be wheeled between lakes. We compliment our canoeing with some short hikes to view the Isaac River cascades and the impressive Cariboo Falls.

Besides its natural beauty, the Bowron Lakes are a wildlife sanctuary. Paddlers may see beavers, bears, otters, and moose feeding by the waterways.The Bowron River estuary is a birdwatcher's paradise with an immense variety of bird life, including coots, mergansers, widgeon, mallards and Canadian geese.

Campsites along the Bowron Lakes, set aside for our sole use, ensure the solitude so necessary for a meaningful wilderness experience.

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Itinerary

A complete itinerary along with maps, clothing and equipment list, will be issued upon registration.

Day 0: Arrival in Vancouver.

Day 1 - Transportation from Vancouver to Bowron Lakes, by arrangement. Our campsite is at Bear River Mercantile. We will use the evening [dependent on our arrival time] to prepare for the next morning.

Day 2 - You'll be wondering whether this is indeed a canoeing expedition as the two longest portages along the circuit are today. The portages are made easier by the use of specially designed carts which allow canoes and a some equipment to be wheeled between lakes. The first portage is to Kibbee Lake. Kibbee Lake is a short lake, only 2.4 km long. Just the ideal length to begin to work on technique and acclimatizing muscles. Our second portage (2 km) will take us to Indianpoint Lake. A short paddle will bring us to our campsite at Kruger Bay.

Day 3 - From Kruger Bay, Indianpoint Lake narrows and our route wanders through a small marsh. Beaver dams and lodges dot the area. The Isaac Lake portage (1.6 km) brings us to Isaac Lake, the longest lake on the circuit. Some of the most breathtaking alpine scenery is located along Isaac and Lanezi lakes. Our campsite is Wolverine Bay .

Day 4 - Isaac Lake is notorious for its winds and sudden squalls. We will get an early start to take advantage of the morning calm. This will be a day to enjoy the surrounding grandeur and absence of any portages. We will stop to see the cabin at Moxley Creek and take in some of the earlier “artwork” of circuit paddlers. We will camp along Isaac.

Day 5 - Once again we will get an early start to take advantage of the calm. Our paddle continues amidst the surrounding peaks and ridges to our destination at the end of Isaac Lake. This will be a short day. Weather and conditions cooperating, we will have time to play in the fast water of Isaac River.

Day 6 - It's portage time again. The Isaac River connects Isaac Lake with McLeary Lake. After about a 1.6 km portage we will put in on Isaac River and cross over to the other side and continue portaging (1.2 km) to McLeary Lake. Along this stretch we will hike off the path to view Isaac Falls. McLeary Lake is but a backwater formed by the confluence of the Isaac and Cariboo rivers. Having paddled McLeary we will enter the Cariboo River for a winding (5.2 km) ride into Lanezi Lake. Our campsite is at Turner Creek.

Day 7 - Our paddle on Lanezi Lake takes us past imposing Ishpa Mountain (2530 m). We enter a short section of the Cariboo River at the end of Lanezi. This 1.2 km stretch of river brings us to Sandy Lake. Just before Sandy Lake are mineral deposits which attract animals. Sandy Lake is as the name implies. Shallow water and sandy beaches make it an ideal spot to take a dip. At the end of Sandy Lake we once again enter the Cariboo River for 4 km. Our campsite is Unna Lake. The vegetation is unique here, as it lies in a rain-shadow area, and as a result, is much drier than surrounding areas. After setting up camp, we will paddle to the south end of the lake and then hike 1.5 km to spectacular Cariboo Falls.

Day 8 - You will have become aware of the change from the high mountains and ridges of Isaac and Lanezi to a more undulating topography. We have to portage our canoes to Babcock Lake. Babcock Lake is an ideal location to observe moose, who enjoy the lush vegetation along its shoreline. A short (very) portage (400 m) will bring us to Skoi Lake. No sooner do we put in, than we begin another short (very) and final portage (400 m) to Spectacle Lake. Our campsite is Pat Point.

Day 9 - This is our last day on the circuit. We will leave early in the morning in the hopes of completing our paddle by mid-afternoon. Our paddle will take us past Pavich Island, once named Deadman's Island, as it was believed that many Takullis died here from small pox. At the end of Swan Lake we will enter the Bowron River for 4 km. The Bowron River estuary is a prime bird area. There is an immense variety of bird life found here. The Bowron River empties into Bowron Lake and the last lake in the circuit. Our hope is that we will have sufficient time to visit Barkerville, restored historical center of the Cariboo Gold Rush. We will stay in Williams Lake for the evening.

Day 10 - We will return you to Vancouver, arriving in the late afternoon or evening.

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What's Included

Coastal Bliss and it associates provide the essential elements of the hike for you:

West Coast Trail sample menu
Sample Menu

Included:Transportation from the point of origin and return, Bowron Park user fees, accommodation in Williams Lake, camping fees, cooking gear, camp stoves, tents, meal preparations, canoes, canoe carts, paddles, life jackets, canoe dry bags, meals/snacks/beverages on the expedition, tarps, major first aid supplies, emergency radio or satellite phone, and professional guides.

Excluded: Transportation to point of origin, transfers, accommodation and food other than included in the itinerary, gratuities, and personal equipment.

Meals: All food while on the canoeing portion of the trip.

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Getting There

If you are travelling into the Vancouver, Victoria, or Nanaimo area from afar, you should arrive at the departure location for your trip the day/evening prior to the trip start date and plan to leave the day following trip return.

You can fly to Vancouver (airport code YVR) or Seattle (airport code SEA) then connect to Vancouver Island using ferry, bus, or air, or arrange flights directly to Vancouver Island.

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Where to Stay

NORTH VANCOUVER ACCOMMODATION
It is difficult to recommend accommodation as needs and price considerations vary. Tourism British Columbia can help you locate the accommodation that best suits your needs. In North America phone, 1-800-HELLO BC 1-250-387-1642 or visit www.HELLOBC.com/

We do recommend that accommodation be selected in North Vancouver, as this is our point of departure for this tour. We have suggested 3 inns, but more are possible.

Best Western Capilano Inn
www.bestwesterncapilano.com or 1-800-644-4227
Grouse Inn
www.grouseinn.com or 1-800-779-7888
Holiday Inn Express
www.hiexpressnv.com or 1-800-663-4055

PICK UP
We will pick up from the above 3 accommodation locations, as well as from Park Royal Bus Stp ( South Side). Busses run directly to here from North & West Vancouver , and from Downtown. If you choose to stay in Downtown Vancouver or Richmond (location of airport) it will be up to you to meet us at one of the above stated pick-up locations. Your guide will contact you the day before your tour with final confirmation of pick up time and to check that you and your belongings have arrived.



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Preparing

How you prepare for your adventure is important. Being well prepared will enhance the quality of your experience. Because we are travelling in wilderness, it is very important for you and for the rest of your adventure group that you are fit enough to handle the level of difficulty and demand with no problems. Our guides know how to minimize the impact of these demands as much as possible, but they cannot remove them. The depth of your experience can only increase if you have made sure that you have prepared well.

Your preparation will be different for different activities. Preparing for a kayak trip is different from preparing for a hiking trip. We have provided some basic information that can be downloaded through the following links to pdf documents. If you do not have the Adobe Reader, you can download it from the Adobe site by clicking here.

Use the links below to download some of the preparation files for this hiking tour. When you book your tour, we will send you a complete preparation packet to help you get ready. We've also included a couple of infographics to help you along.

 



Packing List

Important Details

Hints and Tips

How you prepare for your adventure is important. Being well prepared will enhance the quality of your experience. Because we are travelling in wilderness, it is very important for you and for the rest of your adventure group that you are fit enough to handle the level of difficulty and demand with no problems. Our guides know how to minimize the impact of these demands as much as possible, but they cannot remove them. The depth of your experience can only increase if you have made sure that you have prepared well.

Your preparation will be different for different activities. Preparing for a kayak trip is different from preparing for a hiking trip. We have provided some basic information that can be downloaded through the following links to pdf documents. If you do not have the Adobe Reader, you can download it from the Adobe site by clicking here.

Use the links below to download some of the preparation files for this hiking tour. When you book your tour, we will send you a complete preparation packet to help you get ready. We've also included a couple of infographics to help you along.

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Need Gear?

We have gear available to rent if you don't want to buy a particular piece of equipment, or need to travel without it. 

Look over the following list to help you decide whether you want to rent. If you decide to rent gear, you can tell us on the phone or book it online with your tour.

Canoeing Tours:

Item  Cost
 Sleeping Bag Rental  $55.00
 Thermarest Rental  $15.00

 

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You are responsible for food while travelling. We will stop several times on the drive from Vancouver to the Bowron Lakes and on the return trip where you will be able to buy food.
Strenuous: portaging canoes takes place on somewhat difficult terrain (rocky/rooted paths) at times, food and gear are loaded and unloaded from canoes several times a day for portaging and camping, weather and conditions can significantly increase difficulty.