View topic - Kootney/nai River

Canadian Canoe Routes

Kootney/nai River
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Author:  happy dude [ January 30th, 2010, 9:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Kootney/nai River

Hi Folks, it have been a while since i have used this forum, been off accomplishing new white water achievments. This is a fantastic resource, so i am back to seek all of your help. I am in the midst of making a safety plan for a large canoe trip on a section of river i have never seen. The Kootney River downstream from Canal Flats - its convergence with the Columbia river. What is this section of river like? is it manageable in say a 25' north canoe? for beginners? how swift? and if accessable where? It is a loaded question but any help would be greatly appreciated.

thank you all in advance for your help.

Happy Dude

Author:  Marv [ January 31st, 2010, 1:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Kootney/nai River

The Kootenay/i River in that area is fairly big, slow moving (think narrow lake) and empties into Lake Kookanoosa which has varying water devels depending on draw down for US power needs. The trip will be interrupted by a mandatory portage to U.S. customs. Dont even think of bypassing this, they shoot illegal aliens. Expect your gear to be spread all over the parking lot there and book at least a half a day for this. Expect several difficult dam portages. These things are not friendly to canoeists. Coming back into Canada, another portage to customs and on into Kootenay lake. Watch out for sudden winds at any time on this trip. (wide valleys facing prevaling winds)
I did this trip in 1988 and it was a severe pain in the ass going to and through US customs. They have no understanding of river tripping and no patience for "Hippy weirdo granola eating wanna be indians" (their words). The short distance from the outflow from Kootenay lake to the Columbia river is not really a river anymore. It is a power generating facility and there are several dams in about a 30 mile or so stretch. Again, difficult portages up steep boulder strewn cliffsides. As to whether it is a worthwhile trip? It is not a fun undertaking at times and most of it is in the Paranoid States of Amerika. You will likely have visits from several overzealous police patrols who will believe you are terrorist invaders or drug smugglers. 50 years ago, probably a nice trip. Now, I wouldn't do it, we have too many alternatives that are in our own country. The Kootenay is wonderful from the headwaters to highway 3 which is a fine place to take out. Forget about the official BS in the States and do the Canadian portion.

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