NAV­I­GATE YOUR CA­NOE DOWN A RIVER

Whistler Traveller Magazine - - RAVES & FAVES -

What ex­em­pli­fies “Cana­dian sum­mer fun” more than pad­dling a ca­noe across a lake with dra­matic views, and down a moun­tain stream past a beaver dam and lush, green forests and wild­flower-lined banks? In Whistler, the most pop­u­lar way to en­joy such an ex­pe­ri­ence is with a pad­dle down the River of Golden Dreams. Sev­eral com­pa­nies of­fer guided tours that take around three hours, in­clud­ing ap­prox­i­mately 2.5 hours on the wa­ter. The Cana­dian Wilder­ness Ad­ven­tures (CWA) tour can ac­com­mo­date be­tween two and 40 guests aged 6 and above. All safety equip­ment is in­cluded, and guests will re­ceive in­struc­tion on the strokes needed to ma­noeu­vre their tan­dem ca­noes down the river, which winds its way from Alta Lake to­ward the take-out just past Meadow Park. CWA takes guests across Alta Lake past the orig­i­nal site of Rain­bow Lodge, which was op­er­ated by Myr­tle and Alex Philip (who gave the River of Golden Dreams its name) start­ing in 1914. Once on the river, there is a beaver dam and an­other sec­tion where pad­dlers might need to “portage” their ca­noes — i.e., lift boats out of the wa­ter and carry them a short dis­tance down­stream. There are some twisty sec­tions, and de­pend­ing on wa­ter lev­els, the river can be a bit pushy, re­quir­ing pad­dlers to use the proper strokes to ma­noeu­vre the ca­noe, said Kristal Tay­lor, CWA sales and mar­ket­ing man­ager. “We do rec­om­mend a guide, as it’s not as easy as some might think.” cana­di­an­wilder­ness.com Back­roads Whistler also of­fers pri­vate guided and self-guided River of Golden Dreams ca­noe and kayak tours. Guests tak­ing one of the self-guided tours should have some river-pad­dling ex­pe­ri­ence, and all pad­dlers re­ceive an ori­en­ta­tion ses­sion at the start­ing point at Lake­side Park. There are sev­eral daily de­par­ture times for the Back­roads Whistler tours, and trans­porta­tion is pro­vided back to Whistler Vil­lage, or to Lake­side Park where you can en­joy the beach and pic­nic area. back­roadswhistler.com

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