image
CBA logo


Bowron Lakes Canoe Tour

In our hearts, we all live on the land. That is the real world. We take away the obstacles to experience what is real, to experience your bliss. We show you the way. That's Coastal Bliss Adventures.

Look For Your Bliss Now
Background

We Take Care Of You

We do the planning, logistics, and support. You do the experience and the fun.

All-inclusive Tour

From pickup to return, we cover everything you need, except your personal items. We take you to and from the trip start, and feed you well along the way. We can't guarantee weight loss on our tours.

Knowledgable Guides

Our guides get out into our areas. They know the ins and outs of the trip and provide exceptional interpretation of flora, fauna and history. You'll know more after you leave.

Supportive Preparation

We give you an entire packet of information on how to prepare, what to bring, how to pack, and a plan for training so you can fully enjoy the trip. Our care for you starts before you even arrive.
  • Canoe Tour Bowron Lakes lakeshore
  • Canoe Tour Bowron Lakes looking down the lake
  • Canoe Tour Bowron Lakes canoeing the lake
  • Canoe Tour Bowron Lakes canoes and mountains
  • Canoe Tour Bowron Lakes river between lakes
  • Canoe Tour Bowron Lakes mist on the lake
  • Canoe Tour Bowron Lakes paddling
  • Canoe Tour Bowron Lakes sunny, misty day
  • Canoe Tour Bowron Lakes paddling in a pod
  • Canoe Tour Bowron Lakes sunset over lake
  • Canoe Tour Bowron Lakes cloudy sky reflection
  • Canoe Tour Bowron Lakes lake and mountains

Bowron Lakes
10-day Canoeing Tour

from $1895

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.

  • CANOEING DAYS: 7.5
  • TRAVEL DAYS: 2.5
  • RATING: BEGINNER

  • Dates And
    Availability

  • Itinerary

    Itinerary

    This is our typical itinerary for this tour. Because we are travelling in wilderness, itineraries can change. There are many factors that can affect how a tour actually runs. We confirm pickup times by phone, email or SMS at least 12 hours before.

    Most of our tours are group tours. On these tours, you enter into a group dynamic. Decisions made by our leaders are directed to the welfare of the group. Although they strive to meet individual needs, the overall welfare of the group takes precedence over the specific wishes of individuals.

    This trip begins in Vancouver/North Vancouver, where we will arrange your pickup to drive to the location where we begin the activity.
    You should be here at least one day before the start date of your trip. Your guide will contact you at the accommodation you listed the day before the trip start date to answer last minute questions and announce a pick-up time in the morning. Please remember that we can only pick up in North/West Vancouver for this trip. If choosing to stay in Vancouver, you can easily reach North/West Vancouver by using our public transit system. Locate an accommodation that is on a direct transit line to North or West Vancouver.

    • Day ZERO

      Arrival in Vancouver/North Vancouver in preparation for pickup and departure the next morning.

    • Day One

      Transportation from Vancouver to Bowron Lakes, by arrangement. Expect to leave around 6 a.m. The route to the Bowron Lakes is through the interior of B.C. and highlights various scenic landscapes and towns. The drive will take about 12 - 14 hours [includes stops]. Our campsite is at Bear River Mercantile. We will use the evening [dependent on our arrival time] to prepare for the next morning.
      All meals on this travel day are your responsibility.

    • Day Two

      We will attend an 9:00 am orientation at the registration center. This is a requirement of the park. 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 that allow canoes and some group equipment to be wheeled between lakes. Personal Equipment must be carried in the Dry Packs we provide.
      The first portage to Kibbee Lake (2.4 km). Along the way will be evidence of a blowdown area. In 1975 a fierce storm, with winds over 100 km/h, knocked trees over like bowling pins. Kibbee Lake is a short lake, only 2.4 km long. Just the ideal length to begin to work on technique and acclimatizing muscles. As we paddle across the lake we will pass a creek which drains Thompson Lake. In the distance we will see the snowcapped mountains of the Cariboo Range. Our second portage (2 km) will take us to Indianpoint Lake. A short paddle (2.8 km) will bring us to our campsite at Kruger Bay (#1).
      Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner provided (B, L, D)

    • Day Three

      About 2.5 km 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 (38 km) lake on the circuit. Some of the most breathtaking alpine scenery is located along Isaac and Lanezi lakes. Our campsite is Wolverine Bay (#2). Across the lake from our campsite is Wolverine Mountain (2,056 m) and Mount Peever (2,100 m). A number of peaks have been named for servicemen killed during WWII.
      Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner provided (B, L, D)

    • Day Four

      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 (4 km) and take in some of the earlier “artwork” of circuit paddlers. Another cabin is located at Lynx Creek (7.6 km) near Betty Wendle Creek. Our campsite (#3) is about another 8 km.
      Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner provided (B, L, D)

    • Day Five

      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 (#4). This will be a short day. Weather and conditions cooperating, we will have time to play in the fast water of Isaac River.

    • Day Six

      Guess what? It’s portage time again. The Isaac River connects Isaac Lake with McLeary Lake. Although part of the river can be run, we won’t take any chances. 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 (11 m). McLeary Lake (1.2 km) 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. A review of response to various scenarios and paddling technique, with attention to stumps and sweepers in the river, will result in a safe experience. Our campsite is at Turner Creek (#5).
      Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner provided (B, L, D)

    • Day Seven

      Our paddle on Lanezi Lake takes us past imposing Ishpa Mountain (2530 m). Ishpa is Takulli for My Father. 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. Keep your eyes peeled! 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 (4.8 km) we once again enter the Cariboo River for 4 km. Our campsite is Unna Lake (#6), a beautiful spot. 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 (26 m).
      Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner provided (B, L, D)

    • Day Eight

      You will have become aware of the change from the high mountains and ridges of Isaac and Lanezi to a more undulating topography. We will backtrack to Babcock Creek. The creek (1.2 km) empties into Babcock Lake. We have to portage our canoes to Babcock Lake. Babcock Lake (2.8 km) 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 (pronounced squaw) Lake (0.6 km). No sooner do we put in, than we begin another short (very) and final portage (400 m) to Spectacle Lakes. Our campsite is Pat Point (#7), 5.2 km from our Spectacle Lakes put in point.
      Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner provided (B, L, D)

    • Day Nine

      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. It is 3.2 km from Pat Point to Swan Lake. Swan Lake (5 km) is an extension of Spectacle Lakes. 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 (7.2 km) and the last lake in the circuit. The lake permits power boats and a number of private residences can be seen along its shore.
      The lead guide and Parks Canada may need to make alterations to travel and campsite selections, during your Bowron Lakes tour.
      Our hope is that we will have sufficient time to visit Barkerville, a restored historical center of the Cariboo Gold Rush. Barkerville entry fee cost is your responsibility.
      Adults (19-64): $14.50
      Seniors (65+): $13.50
      We will drive to either Quesnel or Williams Lake for the evening at a local motel/hotel.
      Breakfast provided (B)

    • Day Ten

      We will return you to Vancouver, arriving in the late afternoon or evening.
      All meals on this travel day are your responsibility.

  • What's Included
    Included Not Included
    Transportation from and to the departure location (pick up and drop off) Your transportation to the departure location (from your home)
    All canoeing gear Water Boots or shoes
    A dry portage pack for your items Sleeping bags or mats (available for rent)
    All park fees and camping fees any National Park entry fees (may change as Parks alters their policies)
    All meals (except on any travel days) Some food (on travel days)
    Professional guides Gratuities are not included. Recognizing your guide for their hard work and care is always appreciated; $10-20/day per guide is recommended.
    Tent (shared)  
    A substantial preparation guide  
    Gear rental options  
  • Getting There And
    Where To Stay

    Getting There

    Vancouver

    Many of the major North American carriers fly into Vancouver or alternately, Seattle. Check with your travel agent for details. There is a bus service, Quick Shuttle at www.quickcoach.com, from Seattle’s airport to hotels in Vancouver. These run daily and are affordable. For more information, in North America, phone 1/800/665-2122 or 1/604/940-4428 – Fax 1/604/940-4429. Information regarding shuttles and other airport information is available at www.yvr.ca/
    On Your Own: We can pick up in Quesnel or meet you at Bear Mercantile, on Bowron Lake. Air: Daily flights with Air BC at www.aircanada.ca/ Bus: Daily with Greyhound Bus at www . greyhound .ca . Car: Take Barkerville turnoff just north of Quesnel on Hwy 26. It is 89 km (53 mi) to Wells. Proceed through Wells toward Barkerville. Look for signs for Bowron Lakes. A 28 km gravel road will lead you to the Bowron Lakes.
    Journey with us from North Vancouver From Vancouver Airport there is an Airporter Bus, as well as the SkyTrain, which takes you to Downtown Vancouver, Water front (Sea Bus terminal) Transit Link

    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.
    SureStay Hotel by Best Western North Vancouver Capilano www.bestwestern.com or 1-800-644-4227 Econo Lodge Inn & Suites www.choicehotels.com or +1-604-988-3181 North Vancouver Hotel www.northvancouverhotel.ca or 1-800-663-4055 Travelodge by Wyndham Vancouver Lions Gate www.wyndhamhotels.com or +1-604-985-5311

    PICK UP

    We will pick up from the above 4 accommodation locations. 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 (very early, generally between 6-6:30am) and to check that you and your belongings have arrived.

  • Preparing

    Preparing For Your Trip

    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 or kayaking tour. When you book your tour, we will send you a complete preparation packet to help you get ready.Please take this seriously. Most people are unaware of the demands of a coastal environment, particularly with keeping dry and warm. Your preparation will really help make your coastal hiking or kayaking tour a great experience.



    Packing List-What To Bring

    Important Details-Preparing Yourself For Kayaking Or Canoeing

    Hints and Tips-Mostly for Backpacking, but lots of good overlap

  • Gear Rental

    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.

    Item Price
    Sleeping Bag Rental $35.00
    Thermarest Rental $15.00