Opportunities for canoeing and kayaking adventures are abundant across British Columbia. Famed for its rugged coastline, B.C. also offers paddlers everything from peaceful, crystalline lakes and rivers to challenging white-water rapids.
Click on these links for quick information on some of B.C.’s most popular canoeing and kayaking destinations:
Click on the links below for quick information on canoeing and kayaking opportunities in the following regions:
This page provides a sample of the canoeing and kayaking destinations in BC Parks, but there are plenty more. To see a full list, visit the find a park page and, under ‘activities’, filter by ‘canoeing’ and ‘kayaking’.
To learn more about any of the parks listed below, click your park’s name. This will take you to that park’s webpage, which includes all the information you will need for a successful trip.
Located 11km north of Maple Ridge, Golden Ears is a great place to enjoy the splendour of the Coast Mountains. Canoeing and kayaking are very popular on Alouette Lake, and rentals are available in the day-use area.
Just north of Harrison Hot Springs, Sasquatch Provincial Park features a series of pocket lakes and scenic mountain ridges. Hicks and Deer Lakes are ideal for canoeing and boating, with commercial canoe rentals available at both lakes.
Stretching 5km across a wilderness area 140km north of Campbell River, Schoen Lake offers excellent canoeing and kayaking opportunities. You can set in at a rough launching area next to the Schoen Lake campsite.
Canoeing and kayaking are popular on Buttle and Upper Campbell Lakes in Strathcona Provincial Park. Buttle Lake is subject to strong afternoon winds that may be very hazardous to small craft.
Located in the heart of the Cascade Mountains, E.C. Manning Park sits within a three-hour drive from either Vancouver or the Okanagan. Lightning Lake is a popular spot for kayaking and especially for canoeing.
The entire Lightning Lakes chain is a peaceful area for non-motorized boating. You can rent canoes, kayaks, and small boats and set in from a car-top boat launch at the day-use area.
Bear Creek Provincial Park is a popular recreational area on the west side of Okanagan Lake. The park features kayak rentals, lakeside camping, and over 400m of sandy beaches.
Just south of Summerland, Sun-Oka Beach provides outstanding views down Okanagan Lake. All sorts of aquatic activities are popular in this park and kayak rentals are available.
A large wilderness area on western slopes of the Cariboo Mountains, Bowron Lake Park is world-renowned for its canoeing circuit. This encompasses a 116km chain of lakes, waterways, and connecting portages.
This full circuit takes between six and 10 days to complete, depending on your timeframe and skill level. If you are looking for a shorter trip, the west side of the circuit can be paddled in two-to-four days.
The Bowron Lake Canoe Circuit is recommended only if you have some previous wilderness canoeing experience. The number of daily departures is restricted, to reduce environmental impacts, so you are strongly encouraged to book ahead.
To see more about the circuit and learn how to make a reservation, visit the Bowron Lake Canoe Circuit reservations page.
Located about 20km southwest of 100 Mile House, Flat Lake Provincial Park features many small, interconnected lakes. The best way to explore this chain of lakes is by canoe.
Paddling the entire chain usually takes two days, but you can plan canoe trips of anywhere between one and three days. Kayaking is possible, but more tiring since portages are frequent.
Around 400km west of Williams Lake, Tweedsmuir South features the Turner Lake Canoe Circuit. This encompasses around 18km of lakes plus 2.5km of rivers, creeks, and short portages. The full circuit should take you three to five days.
This is an extremely remote area with snow possible any time of year. There is
no road access, so you must either hike in or charter a floatplane. The circuit is suitable only for experienced, physically fit, and well-equipped paddlers.
This backcountry area, around 31km west of 100 Mile House, protects a chain of 12 small lakes. Paddling the Moose Valley Canoe Chain is the best way to explore the park. Camping is allowed, but no facilities are provided.
The Nazko Lake Canoe Chain is in northern Chilcotin Plateau, northwest of Alexis Creek. This 20km route spans six lakes, connected by some short portages. Vehicle-access campgrounds are available at Loomis and Deerpelt Lakes.
Accessible via Clearwater or 100 Mile House, Wells Gray offers excellent canoeing and kayaking opportunities. Murtle Lake, Clearwater-Azure Marine, Mahood Lake, and the Corridor area are all ideal for paddlers.
Situated in a pristine mountain valley, Murtle Lake is world-famous as the largest canoe-only lake in North America. The north and west arms are approximately 20km long, and the lake averages three kilometres wide.
Once of BC Parks’ most popular destinations, Mount Robson Provincial Park is near the Alberta border and Jasper National Park. Moose, Yellowhead, and Whitney Lakes are mostly suitable for canoeing, but strong winds are common.
Taweel Provincial Park is a remote, picturesque area 20km west of Little Fort. The area includes a large lake connected to smaller lakes by trails, making it ideal for canoeing and kayaking.
This is a wilderness park, accessed via a gravel road. BC Parks provides no camping or day-use facilities. However, there are private resorts and cabins available along Taweel Lake.
Approximately 55km northwest of Kamloops, Bonaparte Plateau features many small lakes that are popular with canoeists and kayakers. This is a remote area where portages are not maintained, and only very rustic campsites are available.
Lac Le Jeune
An easily accessible getaway near Kamloops, Lac Le Jeune is renowned for its plateau lakes and rainbow trout fishery. Canoeing, boating, and camping are all available here.
Just a half-hour drive from Kamloops, Paul Lake offers a beautiful lakeshore campground and opportunities for canoeing and boating. The lake’s cool, clear waters make this an ideal spot for paddlers of all ability levels.
Located 36km southeast of Kamloops, Roche Lake Park is a backcountry area featuring seven lakes popular with canoeists and kayakers. The park is accessed via a gravel road and user-maintained campsites are available at two of the lakes.
Located on the west shore of Slocan Lake, northwest of Nelson, Valhalla Park is a premier destination for both Canoeists and Kayakers. Nine camping areas, many with sandy beaches are available. All are boat access only.
Nestled in the Monashee Mountains, Gladstone is 20km northeast of Grand Forks. The warm, clear water of Christina Lake is ideal for canoeing and kayaking. The park includes numerous sandy beaches that are accessible only by boat.
Situated around 40km southwest of Fernie, Kikomun Creek is a great spot for canoeing and boating. Canoeists are welcome at Surveyors Lake, and rentals are available. There is a year-round boat launch at Lake Koocanusa.
Babine River Corridor
The Babine River Corridor is an 85km stretch north of Smithers. It is a world-renowned rafting and kayaking area, with rapids that can be extremely treacherous. Guided trips are available through local rafting companies.
The Stuart-Trembleur-Takla Lake boating system is in north-central British Columbia. It comprises nearly 300km of waterways across long, narrow lakes that are among the region’s most significant.
Located 141km northwest of Prince George, Carp Lake Provincial Park is a popular area for canoeing, kayaking, and backcountry camping. Rough water is common on the lake, so avoid going out in high winds and always wear a lifejacket.
Around 115km southwest of Prince George, Finger Tatuk has a series of beautiful lakes providing opportunities for canoeing or kayaking. Paddlers can stay at rustic backcountry campsites in the park.
Huchsduwachsdu Nuyem Jees / Kitlope Heritage Conservancy
Sitting on the Central Coast, 50km northwest of Kitimat, this conservancy offers great river and lake canoeing and kayaking. The area is accessed by motorboat, so visitors must be experienced in ocean navigation and wilderness survival.
Hidden among the forests and rock canyons of the Coast Mountains, Kleanza Creek is a gem for experienced backcountry paddlers. Whitewater kayaking opportunities offer extraordinary adventures, when approached with caution.
Situated in the Skeena River Watershed, Lakelse Lake is surrounded by the mountains of the Kitimat range. Canoeing, windsurfing, and sailing are all popular activities in this park.
Tā Ch’ilā [a.k.a. Boya Lake]
Boya Lake in Tā Ch’ilā Provincial Park is perfect for canoeing and kayaking enthusiasts. Many islands and bays are waiting for you to explore. Canoe and kayak rentals are available.