Deas Slough - Trip Description
Total distance: 9 km (5.5 miles)
Coordinates (WGS 84):
N49 07.595 W123 03.284 - Put-in location (Deas Island Park)
- No. 3490
Canadian Topographic Maps:
Deas Slough is a sheltered cove located just north of Ladner that is a popular location for rowers and wake boarders. There are daily schedules for each group but paddling doesn't create a problem as long as you stay out of the main channel.
When wake-boarders are using the slough, you can expect the water to be a bit choppy -- especially if there are several tow boats out at the same time.
If you follow the east shoreline, you'll pass a large condominium building just before the Deas Harbour Marina. You can paddle in between the shore and the marina but you'll have to duck your head under the gangway during high tides. After passing under the Deas Slough bridge, you'll notice a small inlet to the left, this inlet makes an interesting 2 km (return) side trip through a narrow slough with overhanging trees and branches that eventually ends at River Road. This side-trip is especially good in the spring and summer when all the trees and bushes are lush with leaves.
It's possible to paddle between the shore and Captain's Cove marina but again, you'll need to duck underneath the several gangways during high tides -- be aware that at least one of the gangways has a number of very sharp nails on the underside. As you approach the main arm of the Fraser River at the mouth of the slough, you'll most likely notice stronger currents. Be especially aware in this area if tides are falling.
There are a lot of birds to be seen in Deas Slough as well as otters and beavers. The marsh areas at the northwest end of the slough are particularly good for spotting ducks.
Overall, Deas Slough is a terrific location for a paddle and makes a particularly great summertime early evening destination.
If you want to have a longer paddle, consider heading to Ladner or across Ladner Reach to Kirkland Island -- just be mindful of the tides and tugboat wakes.
Caution: You may encounter very strong currents and very large wakes from tugboats if you venture outside of Deas Slough. The main arm of the Fraser is not a place for beginners.
From Highway 99 just southeast of the George Massey Tunnel, take the River Road exit north towards North Delta. Head towards River Road approximately 2.3 kilometres where you'll see the entrance to Deas Island Park on the west side of the road. As you enter the park, you'll see a large gravel parking lot on the south side of the driveway. Park in this parking lot -- the put-in is at the west end near the rower's clubhouse.
Parking is free. Plan to be back before dark as the park gate closes at dusk.
Paddling Through History: Sea Kayak Vancouver and Victoria
by Aileen Stalker and Andrew Nolan
The Vancouver Paddler: Canoeing and Kayaking in Southwestern British Columbia
by Glen Stadham
Trip date: February 24, 2005
Weather: Sunny, cold
Wind: Slight wind
Water condition: Smooth, rippled
Submitted by: Dan Millsip
Images copyright: Dan Millsip