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Bowron Lakes Circuit British Columbia

Discussion in 'Places to Paddle' started by webmax, Jun 9, 2013.

  1. webmax

    webmax Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Bowron Lakes Circuit, September 2013

    I wanted to canoe the Bowron Lakes Circuit for a long time and last September, when my brother came for a six week vacation, it was the perfect time to finally do it.

    We headed west from Alberta just after the September long weekend, I read somewhere that after the September long weekend, the circuit was practically empty.

    After a two day trip we arrived at the Bowron Lakes Provincial Park late in the afternoon. The weather was cold, rainy and very windy, not the weather we hoped to have for the trip, our mandatory briefing was scheduled for the next morning.

    The next morning the weather was quite different, sunny and no wind. We were the only party to attend the briefing and leave for the circuit that day, which suited us just fine. After we learned about the do's and don'ts of the course and paid our dues, we had to weigh the part of our gear that we would leave in the canoe over the portages. There is a 60lb. limit if you're using a cart for the canoe (which I really recommend).

    We headed out on a beautiful day and that's how the weather stayed for the whole trip, it was warm and sunny every day, the first two days we had some wind, especially, on Isaac Lake but since were in a pretty relaxed schedule, this didn't bother us much.
    The plan was to spend about seven day for the approximately 120 kilometre trip, so we didn't hurry and could enjoy the scenery.

    In the week we spent on the circuit we saw two canoes and on kayak, that's all. We had all the campsites to ourselves, never had problems to find any wood for cooking or a camp fire. \even the nights didn't get cold, we had one morning where it was around freezing, but it warmed up quite nicely, and the days were just balmy.

    In short, this trip came pretty close to being perfect, the timing, weather and everything else was just right. I love the fact that this is a circuit, where you end up where you start, and the scenery is just awesome.

    I would go again in a heartbeat, but only either early or late in the season, I don't want to image how this would be in the summer. The 'campgrounds' usually only have about 3 - 5 sites and I can see that there could be a run on campsites every day and ending up paddling farther than planned just to get a spot for the night.Bowron Lakes Circuit, September 2013

    I wanted to canoe the Bowron Lakes Circuit for a long time and last September, when my brother came for a six week vacation, it was the perfect time to finally do it.

    We headed west from Alberta just after the September long weekend, I read somewhere that after the September long weekend, the circuit was practically empty.

    After a two day trip we arrived at the Bowron Lakes Provincial Park late in the afternoon. The weather was cold, rainy and very windy, not the weather we hoped to have for the trip, our mandatory briefing was scheduled for the next morning.

    The next morning the weather was quite different, sunny and no wind. We were the only party to attend the briefing and leave for the circuit that day, which suited us just fine. After we learned about the do's and don'ts of the course and paid our dues, we had to weigh the part of our gear that we would leave in the canoe over the portages. There is a 60lb. limit if you're using a cart for the canoe (which I really recommend).

    We headed out on a beautiful day and that's how the weather stayed for the whole trip, it was warm and sunny every day, the first two days we had some wind, especially, on Isaac Lake but since were in a pretty relaxed schedule, this didn't bother us much.
    The plan was to spend about seven day for the approximately 120 kilometre trip, so we didn't hurry and could enjoy the scenery.

    In the week we spent on the circuit we saw two canoes and on kayak, that's all. We had all the campsites to ourselves, never had problems to find any wood for cooking or a camp fire. \even the nights didn't get cold, we had one morning where it was around freezing, but it warmed up quite nicely, and the days were just balmy.

    In short, this trip came pretty close to being perfect, the timing, weather and everything else was just right. I love the fact that this is a circuit, where you end up where you start, and the scenery is just awesome.

    I would go again in a heartbeat, but only either early or late in the season, I don't want to image how this would be in the summer. The 'campgrounds' usually only have about 3 - 5 sites and I can see that there could be a run on campsites every day and ending up paddling farther than planned just to get a spot for the night.
     

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  2. OP
    OP
    webmax

    webmax Curious about Wooden Canoes

    More photos

    More photos, I think they're worth a look
     

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  3. OP
    OP
    webmax

    webmax Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Even more photos

    Maybe it's too much, but it was so beautiful
     

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  4. OP
    OP
    webmax

    webmax Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Last batch

    I hope I didn't upload too many.
     

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  5. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    Wait.. you're concerned about posting too many pictures of your canoe, and some spectacular canoe trip scenery, here?
    Post more!
     
  6. MackyM

    MackyM LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Thanks so much for posting. This is now on my bucket list.
     
  7. Giiwedin

    Giiwedin Gouvernail

    I took this same route years ago, in very early June. It was a bit wet under foot but the mountains sported lots of snow. Mountain weather unpredictable. Extremely picturesque - particularly if you're used to the topography of Minnesota and Ontario.

    The key is to avoid the summer months. I'm told it's totally overrun with trippers - interestingly, many from Germany. The problem is that the steep terrain only allows a few campsites, and if you are there in high season, you'll be sharing every campsite with others - frequently many others. You're all following the same clockwise route, with no side exits. You can't take it backwards because of the punishing current on the Isaac River. So take it early or take it late.

    One odd thing about this mountain trip is the presence of grizzlies. All food must be placed in stout metal cabinets at grade or 15' up in the air on tree platforms that can't be reached by the bears. I found that the most dangerous part of this trip (perhaps any of my trips) was lugging bulky heavy food packs up ladders to the platforms. For all that effort, we never saw any grizzlies (fortunately).

    That said, it's a very nice, rewarding and not-too-demanding 8-10 day trip.
     

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    Last edited: Jun 11, 2013
  8. Giiwedin

    Giiwedin Gouvernail

    Here two shots of the 15' bear platforms, and two more of the mountainous terrain.
     

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  9. MackyM

    MackyM LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Great photos. Thanks for sharing.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    webmax

    webmax Curious about Wooden Canoes

    These days they have bear proof metal containers on ground level for the food stuff. Which makes it a lot easier to put away and it's out of the rain as well. Since we had the campsites to ourselves, we put everything we didn't need in the tent in there.

    You can see them in the background of the image, it's the only image i found of them.

    Max
     

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