Widgeon Creek - Trip Description
Trip distance (exploring entire estuary): 20 km
Trip to campsite: 9 km (return)
Hike to falls (return from campsite): 6 km
Coordinates (WGS 84):
N49 20.958 W122 36.934 - Put-in location (Grant Narrows boat launch)
- No. 3062 Small-Craft Charts: Pitt River and Pitt Lake (1/25,000)
Canadian Topographic Maps:
Few locations are as beautiful as the Widgeon Creek area. After coming to this spot many, many times over the years, it still holds a fascination for me.
Although it can get very crowded during the warmer months, it's still a terrific place to spend an enjoyable afternoon or day exploring the many arms of this tributary. Come on a rainy spring or fall day and you'll likely have the whole place to yourself.
Power boats are not permitted on Widgeon Creek, making this an excellent destination for novice paddlers. Care however, should be exercised when making the .6 kilometre crossing over Grant Narrows -- the narrows are effected by tide and wind and can sometimes get choppy. You'll also need to keep an eye out for power boats when crossing the narrows.
Most paddlers will take the most direct route to the campsite but the real beauty of Widgeon Creek is hidden in the many arms of the tributary. If you see an opening off of the main channels that is wide enough to get your boat through, I highly recommend investigating -- oftentimes, these openings lead to large waterways that make for great exploration as well as take you off the beaten track.
An unusual aspect of this tributary is that it's getting larger each year, but not by fanning outwards -- it's actually receding towards the mountains!
There's lots of nature to find here -- an abundance of plantlife and many bird species can be found. In fact, it's not unusual to see eagles, hawks, and great blue heron fishing for their dinner. Other wildlife include beaver, muskrat, otters, racoons, and the occasional bear.
There are many signs of beaver to be seen along the creek -- watch for two beaver lodges immediately after you cross Grants Narrows and enter the creek. If you're lucky and do a good job of exploring, there are even a couple of large beaver dams -- and if you're paddling in the creek at dusk you're likely to see a couple of the busy little fellows.
If you have time, I highly recommend the 3 kilometre hike to Widgeon Falls. This hike will take about an hour each way and is well worth the effort, especially on a hot summer day. The trailhead is at the campground and is an old deserted logging road, now called the Fool's Gold Trail -- this road leads the way to Widgeon Lake and beyond to the Mamquam area, near Squamish. Follow the hard-packed logging road for approximately 300 metres where you'll find a marked trail leading to the right -- this is the trail to Widgeon Falls. The trail winds up and down through the forest, following Widgeon Creek. There are several pools at the falls that are suitable for a quick dip in the icy waters on a hot day.
The majority of pictures in this album were taken on April 21, 2005 but there are also photos from two previous trips to Widgeon Creek.
Note: Use caution and pack out any garbage -- bears are sometimes spotted in the Widgeon Creek area.
N49 20.922 W122 36.934
From Lougheed Hwy in Pitt Meadows, turn north on Harris Road and proceed for 1.4 kilometres and then turn right on Dewdney Trunk Road. Follow Dewdney Trunk Road for aprox 3 kilometres and turn left on Neaves Road. Follow Neaves Road to the end (approx 13 km), where you'll enter the Grants Narrows Provincial Park.
Day parking is free. Overnight parking is $5.00 per night.
Trip date: April 21, 2005
Water condition: slight current
Submitted by: Dan Millsip
Images copyright: Dan Millsip