We’re a week away from our yearly western Canada canoe trip, and are still undecided on where to go!

Until this morning we were sure we knew, but the heat wave broke and the rains and cooler air washed over us, and our minds wandered to hot places like Nevada. That’s a bit of a stretch though! We’d like to stay within a day’s drive of Vancouver.

We discussed Murtle Lake in Wells Grey Park, something we already did two years ago and loved, but decided we should be adventurous and explore new things.

Here’s a map of the four areas we’re looking at:

My first thought was that the family was ready for a good old fashioned canoe and portage trip. A little bit of water and dirt and pain mixed together! Erik is 8 now and can portage happily. Anita, on the other hand, well lets just say she’ll do it but would rather just be paddling all day. I looked into the Sayward Forest Canoe Route near Campbell River on Vancouver Island. Unfortunately it’s a very short loop (less than 50 kms total) with a disproportionate amount of portaging (8 km). That seems like fun to me, but not so much to Anita. I’m sure Erik will go anywhere as long as he has his roll of Hubba Bubba gum to keep his energy up.

Then I found Ross Lake in the Cascades in Washington. It reaches up into Canada just South of Manning Park. It looks fantastic, but we’re not absolutely sold on the idea yet.

Right now we’re looking at the Arrow Lakes (Upper and Lower) between Revelstoke and Castlegar in BC. These are more of a widening of the Columbia River, damned at one end by BC Hydro (sigh…) and accessible from a number of places. I can’t find too much info for the wilderness camping aspect of it just yet, so we’ll see what I dig up.

Written by Jens Petersen