Bowron Lakes Canoe Adventure

A few weeks ago, my dad asked my family if
we wanted to do a canoe trip called the Bowron Lakes Circuit, a 116 km journey with lakes,
rivers, and portages. We bought the book, packed our things, watched
some questionably outdated canoeing tutorials, and hoped that the cumulative four times that
we had been out “training” were enough to prepare us for seven days on the water. After a five a.m. start, a couple of pit stops,
and 12 hours of driving, we made it to our destination. Day one of our adventure began with quick
registration followed by an uphill portage to Kibbee Lake. Lucky for us the circuit would only have 150
people on it In contrast to the usual 250, however unlucky for us it didn’t take long
to realize out “waterproof” jackets weren’t as waterproof as we had thought. After another portage and enough paddling
to realize what a bad steerer I was, we set up camp on Indian Point with some other canoeists,
and tried to air out our clothing in the shelter. The second day of our trip started with a
challenging portage leaving us with mud up to our shins and enough mosquito bites on
our faces to make it look like we had acne. Due to white capped waves, a strong head wind,
and impending rain, we stopped at a cooking shelter in Wolverine Bay. After the waves calmed down we carried on
to site 18, where we set up camp inside a shelter. Fatigue and malaise, likely due to hypothermia
the night before, knocked me out, and unlike my parents, I slept through the mice. We started our third day admiring the mountains,
glasslike water, and wildlife. Although sore in muscles we didn’t know
existed, we slowly started to feel slightly competent. After paddling to the end of Isaac Lake, we
found ourselves at the notorious Chute, quick moving water recommended for experienced canoeists,
something that we were not. Because of this we decided to portage around
it and watch others take on the waves. Before long we had past McLeary Lake and were
swept down the Caribou River. Upon Arriving on Lanezi Lake we were once
again greeted by more wind, rain, and waves. With four additional canoes trailing us, we
set out for site 34, Becker’s Lodge. In typical Bowron Lake fashion, our fifth
day on the water gave us beautiful views paired with our fair share of off and on rain. We optimistically believed that as we left
Lanezi Lake we would be leaving the rainforest behind us. After another day of paddling, we took a slight
detour to the beautiful Unna Lake, where we relaxed in the sand, went for a swim, and
tried our hands at fishing. For once, we awoke to a beautiful blue sky,
and in a nice change of pace, set off with a family that we had befriended on a hike
to the 24 meter tall Caribou Falls. After a short upriver paddle, we passed a
ranger station and completed a couple more portages. Per usual, the rain came back with a vengeance,
and once again cold and miserable, we set up camp on Mosquito Island at the edge of
Swan Lake. After days of hard work paddling,
we were on the home stretch, Bowron River, and Bowron Lake. The Bowron Lakes canoe trip was one of the
most physically and mentally demanding things my family and I had ever done together. There was beauty, but lots of rain; peace,
but mosquitos; fatigue, but fulfillment. There were times were we wanted to go home,
but times were we wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. It was an adventure unlike any other, and
one that we’ll remember throughout the rest of our lives, which begs the question, where
to next?

3 thoughts on “Bowron Lakes Canoe Adventure

  1. One of the best vids I have seen. Great job, fantastic quality. Good humour and the visual experience is beyond!!

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