British Columbia is home to some unreal mountain ranges. Glacier rivers flow through stunning landscape. Calm flowing rivers mixed in with deeper slow moving spots. The many interior costal regions create some amazing ocean floating. Spring is still chilly but summer is golden. Vancouver island plays host to some of the best floats in the province.
ALLOUETTE RIVER - MAPLE RIDGE
This section will take a couple of hours to float. The river can be quite shallow, so there may be sections you need to walk past. Going earlier in the Summer would be best as the water level will be higher. A little busier than the nearby Coquitlam river, but overall pretty under-the-radar. Clearly the word isn't out to the greater population in Maple Ridge or Vancouver.
COQUITLAM RIVER - PORT COQUITLAM
The river can be shallow, so early Summer is better than later. Expect to bouce off some rocks on the way down. The last stretch from Gates Park to Pitt River Road is much slower and deeper. Dropping in to the higher section isn't recommended as the rapids are much stronger. There is a great bike trail along the river bank. Throw a pile of bikes in the truck and you can get back to your car upriver on two wheels. Also eliminates the need for a shuttle car. This section will take about 2 hours to float
VIMY RIVER - DUNCAN
Dreamboats would not exist without this float. It's where we fell in love with floating and is still our fave to this day. This winding float has some little forks and rapids that make it super fun. The water is a great temperature for swimming and there's even some cliff jumping about 3/4 of the way down. It does end in somewhat of a canyon, so the sun will disappear earlier than you want it to. Best to start before 12:30pm for that reason. This route doesn't have any rental companies on it, so it's a lot less busy than the route from Cowichan Lake. Also, the water can get pretty shallow in August, depending on the rainfall etc. Best month to go is July. Expect the float to take about 3 hours
COWICHAN RIVER - SKUTZ FALLS
This is a more intense float, with multiple rapids sections. Life jackets strongly recommended. Do not go past the well marked exit sign. The canyon that follows is not floatable. Approx floating time 1.5 hours
COWICHAN RIVER - COWICHAN LAKE
Multiple entry and exit points are possible, depending on how long you want to float. You can extend the float past Little Beach if you can arrange a place to park on Hudgrove Road. The river front is private there, so don't go trudging through somebody's yard without permission. This float starts at the weir in the lake and picks up speed as it gets into the river. There's also a little bridge in Cowichan Lake that you can jump off into the water, but be careful as it can get a little shallow. The float to Little Beach takes around 2 hours and shuttle service is available from The Tube Shack - see cowichanriver.com.
COWICHAN RIVER - STOLTZ POOL
This section of the river is more active than the Vimy or Lake route, but a little more mellow than the Skutz Falls section. Expect to navigate through some little rapids sections. Approx floating time 1.5 hours.
GOAT RIVER - CRESTON
Details on this float are hard to come by, but expect it to take around 2 hours to complete this section.
GRANDBY RIVER - GRAND FORKS
The Granby River is one of the best floats in BC, flowing through beautiful scenery with clear water. The full route takes around 4 hours. It's also possible to continue on to the merge with the Kettle River if you want to try an alternate route Between the Kettle and the Granby, Grand Forks is among the best floating destinations in North America.
KETTLE RIVER - ROCK CREEK
A nice relaxing float that takes about 3.5 hours.
KETTLE RIVER - GRAND FORKS
Multiple entry and exit points are available as you float through the town of Grand Forks. It's possible to float sections above and below the one outlined here as well.
NANAIMO RIVER - NANAIMO
The Nanaimo river has numerous very dangerous sections and many people have died on this river. Be very careful with this float and be sure to talk to some locals before you go. Tell them your planned route and ask them if it is safe at that time of year
NECHAKO RIVER - PRINCE GEORGE
2-3 hours of leisurely float time. The river is wide and deep so no trouble spots to watch out for. Have fun!.
A leisurely, slow float along the straight channel between Skaha Lake and Okanagan Lake. Bring a bunch of pals to raft up with, some snacks, and some tunes. The most popular and well-known float in Canada. The native band runs a shuttle/rental business at the drop in point called Coyote Cruises in cae you need those services. Since it goes right through town it's pretty easy to find parking or even take a cab back to the top after you're done. Make sure to get out at the steps before you go under the bridge and into Skaha Lake. Many people have died here are the current is VERY strong. Other than that, the channel is very safe. Approximate floating time is 3 hours
PUNTLEDGE RIVER - COURTNEY
This section of the Puntledge is pretty quick, lasting from 30 minutes to 90 minutes, depending on the water levels from the weir. It can get a little shallow, especially from late-July into August. Best time to go would be in July when the water is warmer but still not too low
RIVER OF GOLDEN DREAMS WHISTLER B.C
Slow moving river, so some people bring paddles to for the slower sections. The river can get pretty low by the end of the Summer, so best to go in June/July. There are beaver dams along the way, so this river has claimed a lot of inflatables. Plan on this float taking about 3 hours. Many people choose to put in at Alta lake and start by floating across the lake to the river entrance, which will add a bunch of time to the float. Tthe city is getting worried about the damage to the environment from floaters, so be on your best behavior so they don't have an excuse to shut this down. Keep the beautiful places beautiful!
Shuswap river - ENderby (LOWER ROUTE)
The float from Eby to Belvidere is 3 in early Summer, stretching to 6 hours in late Summer The section from Belvidere to Tuey Park ranges from 30 minutes in early summer to 2 hours in late Summer Trinity Bridge to Belvidere is up to 7 hours in late Summer
Similkameen RIVER BROMLY ROCK - KEREMEOS
Multiple entry/exit points are accessible as the highway follows the river valley. The river can be a little cold, so the best month is July, when the weather is hot and the river is still high. Bromley Rock is along this route, which is a popular cliff-jumping pitstop/campsite along the highway. Bromley Rock to the Red Bridge is 4-5 hours Red Bridge to Pine Park is 2 hours Red Bridge to Kobau Park is 3-4 hours
SLOCAN RIVER - WINLAW
Approx. float time 3 hours Pretty mellow stretch of the Slocan with calm waters. There are several beaches along the route and the river as a sandy bottom. Excellent for frequent dips to cool off in the heat.
STAMP RIVER - PORT ALBERNI
There are many dangerous sections of rapids on the Stamp River that must be walked around if the water levels are not right. Talk to a local and discuss your plan before going to make sure the river is safe at that time.
THOMPSON RIVER -KAMLOOPS
This is a slow, relaxing float on a pretty big river. An excellent way to escape the heat in the Summer time. Many entry/exit points are available as river access is pretty frequent along the river. Police have been known to patrol the river issuing warnings for life jackets etc.