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Chilliwack River Kayaking

Chilliwack River Kayaking

The Chilliwack river offers great kayaking opportunities, including some excellent white water at the rapids near the Tamihi Bridge. Watch for the metal flags strung above the river east of the Vedder Crossing Bridge that outline the kayak slalom course. The Chilliwack is graded from Class ll to Class lV with rocks, boulder gardens, blind corners, haystacks, and surfing waves. The canyon portion is steeper and more demanding. Chilliwack River highlights include the Picket Fence Rapid, Cable Pool, Boulder Run and the Race Course. There are 33 kilometers of the Chilliwack river to run. Only advanced kayakers should attempt to paddle when the river is at full flow. Those looking for intermediate-level paddling should try the section between the Chilliwack river salmon and steelhead fish hatchery and the Vedder Bridge, a distance of about 20 kilometers. Canada's national white-water kayaking team regularly train in the Chilliwack river.

There are three primary runs on the Chilliwack river:

The Canyon
5.5 miles (8.8 km), class IV, most of the year but best after rainfall or with snowmelt. Access is simple as Chilliwack Lake Road parallels the entire run on river left. From Tamihi bridge continue upstream towards the fish hatchery at Slesse Creek (6 miles, 9.6 km). There is good river access (the take-out) on river left just downstream of the bridge across Slesse Creek. Continue 4 miles (6.4 km) up the road to the next bridge across the Chilliwack. This is a good access point.

The Canyon run is best at flows of 34 to 46 cms (1200-1600 cfs). At flows below 34 cms the run becomes more technical and you can still run it down to about 20 cms. At flows above 46 cms and up to 80 cms the holes start to get a little bigger and the run becomes more demanding. Above 80 cms most features are washed out.

Slesse Creek (Fish Hatchery) to Tamihi Rapid (bridge)
5 miles (8 km), class III, most of the year but best after rainfall or with snowmelt. Use the take-out for the canyon as the put-in. Ride the creek 100 yards down to the river or put in directly on the Chilliwack. The takeout is at the end of Tamihi Rapid on the downstream side of the Tamihi bridge (good access from the campground on river left). This last rapid is the most challenging on the run (class IV at higher water) and can be viewed from the bridge.

Pointa Vista (Osborn Rd.) to Vedder Crossing
4.7 miles (7.5 km), class II, fall and spring

Chilliwack River Kayaking Resources:



chilliwack tourism
chilliwack chamber of commerce
city of chilliwack
downtown chilliwack
chilliwack hiking club - hike chilliwack

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