WestCoastPaddler.com

 Home / About  Paddling Locations Gallery  Kayak and Accessory Building  Desktop Wallpaper Images  Community

> Interior Regions > Bowron Lakes

The Chute to Lanezi Lake
Distance Travelled: 16 kilometers (10 miles)
Weather: Sunny and warm with strong winds on Lanezi Lake

This segment of the circuit is by far the most exciting as it requires paddling in the running waters of the Isaac and Caribou Rivers.

The first section of running water is the Chute at the end of Isaac Lake -- you can opt to portage around this section if you choose. It's wise to portage if you have any doubts about your ability to paddle through this short section of fast running water. Once past the Chute, you'll paddle down the Isaac River for about a kilometer before needing to exit the river. From the take-out, you'll portage a short distance before the trail brings you back to the Isaac River. You'll paddle another short distance before getting out on the opposite side of the river for yet another short portage to McLeary Lake.

On this last portage, and as you get close to Isaac Falls (you'll hear them quite easily), watch for a narrow foot path that leads down the embankment from the main trail. This foot path leads to a terrific view point near the base of the falls -- it's well worth the short steep hike to see it.

McCleary Lake is quite small at less than 1.5 kilometers long but is very nice. You'll notice how clear the water is -- if you need to filter water, this is a good place to do it as the water from the Caribou River, Lanezi Lake, and Sandy Lake are very silt laden and can clog water filters quickly.

Once you enter the Caribou River, things start happening fast. The heavily silt-laden Caribou River runs quite swiftly but not so quick that it's difficult in a canoe or kayak if you're paying attention. It's important to keep a watch out for deadheads (sunken logs), sweepers (trees that have fallen into the river along the banks), and other hazards. It's best to stay in the main current in the middle of the river to avoid these hazards.

After the section of river between McLeary and Lanezi Lakes it is advisable to stay near the north shore of Lanezi Lake as the wind can kick up very fast. We found this out first hand and after setting out on Lanezi Lake in absolute calm conditions we experienced high winds that created two to three foot wind waves -- this change occured in a time period of about ten minutes! There are very few spots along Lanezi Lake where you can safely get out of your boat so be prepared to paddle through it if rough weather ensues.

Once you get to Lanezi Lake you'll immediately be aware of the difference in geography that you experienced getting to this point. The mountains are lower (but no less spectacular) and the water is a completely different colour (greyish-green) due to the high concentration of silt.

We had met up with a father and his son and daughter in a canoe at McLeary Lake while we were eating lunch. They had continued on past us and got caught in the wind storm on Lanezi, some distance ahead of us. We paddled quickly to catch up to them and stayed with them until we could find a spot to land -- at campsite #34. Since it was getting late in the day, we decided to all camp together which worked out great as the kids were similar ages to John and Maddie and they all got along very well. We ended up having a terrific evening sharing a campfire and lots of laughter.
IMG_0848.jpg IMG_0860title01.jpg IMG_0861a.jpg