A Journey down the Nimpkish River

Trip down the Nimpkish

Lake close to the Nimpkish Valley


The Nimpkish river is one of my favourite parts of COLT. It signals the  of the whitewater training and take great pride in the students accomplishments. Also it is a very beautiful place. The Nimpkish is the largest river system on Vancouver Island. Stretching from the mountains of Gold River to the Ocean it has a reach of over 100km’s.

At the put in for the Upper with Ben and Thomas in the Canoe

When we first arrive we check out the level from the bridge over looking Woss Falls. During the fall we can find very different levels as this is typically when Vancouver Island experiences a lot of rain. Fortuantely we find the river in good shape and we are good to go on the Upper.

We arrived at the put in and proceed to get the gear organized and pump up the raft. about tens minutes later after checking the pressure on the raft…”BOOM” as the zipper on the Aire tube blows out. The tube was still intact so we used some rope and threaded things back together. Twenty minutes later Laurel and myself were off to run the shuttle as the group prepared lunch.

Scouting on Day 1

There is lots of fun rapids and some good skill building on the upper section. The main rapid is Boulder Garden which is mid way into the run.  Boulder garden is great… it is filled with little and big boulders. Provides good manoeuvring opportunities for the group and is over 500m long.

There were lots of smiles as we made it past each rapid heading down toward Woss Falls. With a nice and easy portage we were on our way to the first night camp. Good food and a camp fire brought an end to our day.

Coffee is important.

The Lower section of the Nimpkish river is a mellower with long sections in between the rapids. Though thoughts of the Notch and Iron Mine rapid will keep you on your toes. The weather stayed well throughout the trip with the rain coming when we were asleep or on the river. Perfect timing really.

Paddling below the Notch

There were a few swims and some good times had by all. If you get to the Island and looking for a fun adventure the Nimpkish river is lots of fun.

There is also rafting on the river in the spring and early summer through Destiny Adventures.

Fresh Snow on the Hills

Look forward to the next time. Enjoy the pictures below.

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Follow Dave along as he chases whitewater in Kayaks and Rafts on Vancouver Island and around the world.