Bowron Lakes Circuit

CanadaBritish ColumbiaFraser
Submitter & Author Information
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Additional Route Information
108 km
7 days
Loop Trip: 
Portage Information
No. of portages: 
Total Portage Distance: 
8000 m
Longest Portage: 
24000 m
Difficulty Ratings
River Travel: 
Lake Travel: 
Background Trip Info
Water Levels: 
Route Description
Technical Guide: 

A clockwise circuit through the Bowron Lakes Provincial Park, including:

Park Registration
Thompson Lake
Kibbee Lake
Indianpoint Lake
Wolverine Mountain
Isaac Lake
Betty Wendle Creek
4th night campsite
Isaac River and The Chute
McLeary Lake
Cariboo River
Lanezi Lake
Sandy Lake
Unna Lake
Cariboo Falls
Babcock Lake
Skoi Lake
Spectacle Lake
Bowron River and marsh
Bowron Lake
Finish at put-in point

Maps Required
Topo Maps (1:50,000): 
93 H/2 Lanezi Lake 93 H/3 Spectacle Lakes 93 H/6 Indianpoint Lake 93 H/7 Goat River
Special Comments: 

Arguably one of the most famous canoe circuits in British Columbia, and probably Canada. A 7-8 day loop through crystal clear lakes surrounded by awe-inspiring mountains.


Post date: Thu, 03/06/2008 - 20:24


Did the Bowron lakes tour in September 2006 - amazing. Not many people, we 2 camped alone 4 of 7 nights. Wildlife galore, swimming wihtetail, mule deer, and a moose plus the miscellaneous :D.
On Lanezi lake, stay on the right side where the camsites are - and start early. Left side is shorter, but a big problem to cross the lake in the end or paddle along shore with sidewinds & medium waves.. well, others capsized this day so maybe not too bad. For fishing, bring deep-running gear, we had flyfishing gear only and caught nothing !

Post date: Mon, 09/21/2009 - 14:55


We did the loop in August 2007 with 3 adults, 4 kids and a teenager. It was a great trip and we had typical weather (meaning it rained half the days). A good reference book is "THE BOWRON LAKES
A Guide to Paddling British Columbia's Wilderness Canoe Circuit" by Hoyde, Harris and Hull. Gives you all (and more) of the info you will need. When we were there, we saw 4 canoes capsized and wrapped around snags on the Cariboo river section. We helped the rangers pick up gear from one party that capsized the evening before. My husband and I have paddled many class II rivers so we had no trouble. You do need to know how to navigate river turns to stay out of the sweepers on the outside of the turn. Secondly, we saw many parties who didn't take basic precautions on the river -- like tying everything down and putting the weight low in the boat. Also note that the river is COLD, very cold. I think it was the coldest river I've been on.

Post date: Thu, 12/03/2009 - 21:04


I did the loop in 1973 with my Boy Scout Troop from Kirkland, WA. Absolutely gorgeous! A bear tried to get our food/toiletries the 1st night, but we had it up 9' and away from tree, so it failed, but we did it every night. A small mammal stuck his nose in my mouth while I was sleeping, but jumped and ran into my canoe/windbreak after I screamed at it. Don't know what it was; too dark. Encountered a huge moose in the river on the last day and my brother and I volunteered to pass him first. As we approached, he pulled his head/rack out of the water where he'd been grazing on the bottom and could've crushed us, but ran away when I called him like a dog. Funny, since he must've been 5 times our weight. Great trip!

Post date: Wed, 08/06/2008 - 21:53


Did the route July 22 to the 28th 2008, 6 nights. Absolutely beautiful scenery. Peaceful morning paddling with only one day of rain. Definitely be prepared for the rain! Some winds on Isaac and Lanezi in the afternoon, but was the worst on Bowron! Make sure you paddle back on the right side of Bowron! Saw several moose at Mcleary and made this Spectacular trip into a small photo book. Check out the Chris Harris Gallery at 105 mile Ranch.

Post date: Fri, 02/01/2008 - 15:22


Change the number of portages from 0 to 8

Post date: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 21:33


Did the route solo in August, 2007, but would recommend two people. Portages are easy with carts. Spectacular scenery and wildlife (Moose, bear, smaller animals). One night of rain, but otherwise beautiful. Plan on paddling in the morning, as winds really pick up in afternoon - especially on Isaac and Lanezi. McLeary Lake cabin a must visit. Watch out for sweepers etc.