A giant flotilla of canoes, kayaks, and powered rafts will travel 25 kilometres from Hope to Agassiz.
Along the way, you’ll visit the gravel bars, side channels, islands, and riparian forests that make this part of the Fraser so important to fish and wildlife. Mark Angelo, founder of World Rivers Day, calls this part of the river the “Heart of the Fraser” in honour of the ecological wealth found there. The Hope-to-Mission stretch produces up to 10 million pink salmon annually, and hundreds of thousands of chum salmon. No other part of the Fraser produces more fish. In fact, 30 species of fish are found here, including the largest population of sturgeon in Canada. Ample bird and mammal species are also supported by the river and its forests.
A growing conservation initiative, headed by the Nature Trust and the International Rivers Foundation, seeks to better protect the river from encroaching development. As the population of the Lower Mainland continues to grow, it is increasingly urgent that we protect the natural values of this spectacular section of the world’s greatest salmon river.
We invite you to paddle with us and a team of river scientists who will share their knowledge of the Fraser. Escort boats will keep everyone safe on the river. Bring your own boat, or hop aboard one of ours. There’s something for all skill levels.
Comments from previous Rivers Day events:
“The resource people were outstanding. Safety concerns were fully addressed. A wonderful, wonderful day on the river.”
“The rivers day was awesome. Really like the presentations. Well organized, great group of people. WELL DONE!!”
“The entire program was excellent, and the weather cooperated!”
“Everything was good and I enjoyed it.”
“I had a wonderful time and really enjoyed the cultural experience.”
“I thought the trip was safely planned and the staff were all very friendly.”
- Your own canoe or kayak – $75/adult, $40/youth (8-18 yrs)
- Motorized raft – $120/adult, $60/youth (8-18 yrs)
- Voyageur canoe – $135/person
See “Skill Levels” below, to find out which travel option is best for you.
Age limit: Youth 8 years old and up are welcome. Must be accompanied by parent or guardian.
- Professional river guides
- Powered safety raft escort
- Bus transportation between Agassiz and Hope
- Professional educators to help you understand this part of the river
- First aid and satellite phone
Note: To keep prices as low as possible, please bring your own bag lunch.
Guided motorized raft participants will need to be able to get into and disembark their raft a few times beaches along the way. This may be the most challenging demand apart from getting to the watercraft across rocky, uneven river shore.
Voyageur participants will be expected to paddle, but we will be going down river with the river current so average physical fitness is required. Participants will be getting to the watercraft across rocky, uneven river shore.
Canoe/kayak participants will be paddling in a high-volume river and the stretch between Hope and Agassiz Bridge is a mix of class 1 and class 2 waters. Currents will assist paddling, so the trip is moderate in terms of physical demand. Participants will be getting to the watercraft across rocky, uneven river shore.
PADDLE YOUR OWN BOAT
People bringing their own canoes and kayaks are welcome. Entrants must have river experience. The Fraser is a moving, high-volume river and the stretch between Hope and Agassiz is mostly Class-1 water, with a few Class-2 water sections. Currents will assist your paddling, so the 25-km trip is moderate in terms of physical demand.
If you choose to bring your own watercraft, please note that we will be checking for the following safety requirements: 1) one life jacket or PFD for each person on board, 2) one buoyant heaving line at least 15 metres long (not mandatory), 3) one bailer or manual bilge pump, 4) one sound signaling device, such as pealess whistle, 5) secure buoyancy fore and aft.
Boat Safety Check List; PDF 69 kb
We reserve the right to turn away watercraft if deemed unsafe or the appropriate equipment is absent (participant’s registration fee–less $20 administrative fee per person–will be refunded).
No river experience needed. Travel in the comfort and safety of a large “J-rig” raft piloted by an experienced river guide. The raft offers stability and easy travel for folks who don’t want to paddle.
No river experience needed. These large canoes hold 10 to 20 paddlers and offer good stability. Each Voyageur is navigated by an experienced river guide (from the rear). Paddling is easy and no experience is required. You’ll paddle the river as the Stó:lo and early explorers did!
Sunday, September 23rd, 2018
8:00 AM – If you are NOT bringing your own boat, park your car at the Agassiz Bridge. A shuttle bus will take you from Agassiz Bridge to Hope. The river trip will end at the Agassiz Bridge, allowing you to drive directly home from there.
9:00 AM – Check in beside the Fraser at Hope, followed by an introduction and safety talk. People with their own boats should drive directly to the Hope launch site and park there. The shuttle bus will return you to your car at day’s end.
10:00 AM – Flotilla of boats depart from Hope, traveling 25 km downriver to the Agassiz Bridge, stopping for lunch and sights of interest along the way.
4:30 PM – Arrive at Agassiz Bridge. Shuttle bus takes participants back to Hope (25-minute drive). Staff watch over boats at Agassiz Bridge until participants return with their vehicles to load canoes/kayaks and head home.
For those who are NOT bringing their own boats, park at the Agassiz Bridge. See map below.
For those who ARE bringing their own boats, drive directly to the Hope launch site and park there. See map below.
Participants must use their own vehicles to get themselves and their boats to the start location.
A shuttle bus will take those who are NOT bringing their own boats from Hope to the Agassiz bridge at the start of the day so that these participants can drive home directly from the Agassiz bridge at the end of the day.
A shuttle bus will take those who ARE bringing their own boats back to Hope to pick up their vehicles at the end of the day. Then these participants will drive in their own vehicles back to the Agassiz bridge to pick up their boats–staff will remain at the Agassiz location to watch the boats belonging to these participants until they can come back to pick them up.
Participants should be prepared for the demands of changing weather and all belongings should be packed in water-tight bags (especially electronics!).
- To keep prices as low as possible, please bring your own bag lunch.
- Snacks and extra water
- Hat and sunblock
- Sun glasses
- Sturdy footwear — river shoes or sandals are good, and wool socks inside old runners work well too
- Rain gear
- Knapsack or carrying bag
- Polar fleece or acrylic/wool top (warm when wet)
- Retainer or string for glasses
- Complete change of clothes
- Wind breaker
Everyone age 19 & over must sign a liability waiver form in order to participate in this program. Please take time to read this form because you must understand and agree to it when you sign it. By signing it you are waiving certain rights, including the right to sue. This form will be available to sign when you check in. Please seek legal counsel if you have any questions. Everyone age 18 & under must have an informed consent form signed by their parent or legal guardian in order to participate. Please contact us if you need this form prior to arrival at this program.
Everyone age 18 & under must have an informed consent form signed by their parent or legal guardian in order to participate. Please contact us if you need this form prior to arrival at this program.
Boat Safety Check List; PDF 69 kb
Fraser River Gravel Reach by Dr. Michael Church; PDF 1.3 mb
Fraser River Gravel Reach Website (click on ‘Reports & Publications’ for more information)
If a registration is cancelled 7 days or more before a program starts, HMCOL will refund the program fee and equipment rental fees (as applicable) minus an administrative cost of $20 per person. Program and equipment rental fees will not be refunded if a cancellation is received less than 7 days before the start of a program. A program may be cancelled at the discretion of HMCOL. If a program is cancelled, participants will receive a full refund of program and equipment fees.
A NOTE ABOUT LIABILITY
Hope Mountain Centre carries liability insurance and maintains excellent safety records. Due to the nature of outdoor programs, these trips do involve some personal risk. Hope Mountain Centre assumes no responsibility for personal injury or damage to personal property and we will require each participant to sign a liability release and assumption of risk form before participating in this program. Please be aware that activities typical of this program involve many risks, dangers and hazards including, but not limited to: accidents which occur during transportation or travel to and from events; slips and falls; loss of balance; impact, cold water immersion; repetitive strain injuries; dislocated shoulders; hypothermia, frostbite, sunburn; changing and inclement weather conditions including storms, blizzards, whiteouts and high wind; steepness of terrain, tree wells, crevasses; avalanches, cornices, landslides and falling ice, snow and objects; encounters with domestic or wild animals; negligence on the part of releasees and other participants. While we love animals of all kinds, we ask that you please leave Fido at home.
Please register for this program online. For more information, call 604-869-1274 or email us at email@example.com