Join our giant flotilla of canoes and kayaks travelling 25 kilometres from Hope to Agassiz.
We invite you to paddle with us and a team of river scientists, an Indigenous cultural guide, historians and naturalists who will all share their knowledge and different perspectives of the mighty Fraser River. Bring your own boat or hop aboard one of our large, guided voyager canoes. There’s something for all skill levels, and a motorized escort boat will keep everyone safe on the river.
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.
As the population of this region continues to grow, it is increasingly important that we better understand and protect this incredibly important river.
Itinerary: Sunday, September 24, 2023
9:00 AM – Check in beside the Fraser River in Hope, followed by an introduction and safety talk. People with their own boats may drive directly to the Hope launch site to unload there if the vehicle is capable of driving over rocks and sand. Otherwise, park on Wardle St and carry boats down.
10:00 AM – Flotilla of boats departs from Hope, traveling 25 km downriver to the Agassiz, stopping for lunch and sights of interest along the way.
4:30 PM – Arrive at Agassiz / Cheam Fishing Village and Campground. Shuttle bus takes participants back to Hope (25-minute drive). Staff watch over boats at Cheam Fishing Village and Campground until participants return with their vehicles to load canoes/kayaks and head home. Those attending with others could do a car drop on either side if they prefer to depart immediately. Space on the shuttle bus is limited to 56 people. Please note that parking at the Campground is $10 for the day if you wish to leave your vehicle there.
- Be aware that times are approximate. Start and end times may vary slightly depending on speed of the group, weather conditions, etc.
- Hope Mountain Centre will have a staging area (tents and tables and signs) set up on the beach off of Wardle Street (approximately 586 Wardle St) in Hope. Keep an eye out for signage. Park on Wardle Street.
- Google Maps pin of approximate meeting location
- Note a shuttle bus will bring participants back to Hope at the end of the day to return to their vehicles. Participants with their own boats will then need to drive in their own vehicles back to the Cheam Fishing Village and Campground to pick up their boats where staff will remain to watch over the boats and any belongings left there.
- Cheam Fishing Village and Campground – Google Maps
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 you are required* to bring your own safety gear as well. We will be checking to make sure everyone has brought:
1) one life jacket/PFD for each person on board, 2) one bailer or manual bilge pump, 3) one sound signaling device, such as pealess whistle, 4) secure buoyancy fore and aft
Boat Safety Check List; PDF 69 kb
One buoyant heaving line at least 15 metres long is not required but highly recommended.
*We reserve the right to turn away participants/watercrafts if deemed unsafe or the required equipment is absent. Participants’ registration fee less a $50 administration fee per person will be refunded.
No river experience needed. These large canoes hold up 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 or special equipment is required. You’ll paddle the river as the Stó:lo and early settlers did! Participants will need to be able to manoeuvre in and out of a large canoe, and walk in the water to the watercraft across rocky, uneven river shore.
What to bring:
Participants should be prepared for the demands of changing weather and all belongings should be packed in waterproof bags (especially electronics!).
- This event is self-catered, please bring sufficient water for the day, lunch and/or snacks for yourself as needed.
- Hat, sunglasses and sunblock
- Sturdy footwear that you’re OK getting wet! —ie water shoes or secured sandals are good; wool socks inside old runners etc work well too
- Toque and gloves
- Rain jacket and rain pants
- Waterproof carrying bag
- Warm layers (non-cotton)
- String for glasses (it can get very windy!)
- Complete change of clothes
Sorry no cancellation
Leaders / Speakers
Siyámíya tel skwíx. Te lítsel kw’e te Sq’éwqel. Kwelaxtelot tel álex. Latsullh ewesteleq, syélxt, qas te sxé:ylt te Halq’emeylemqel. My name is Dianna Kay and my sister Karla (the taller one). We are teachers, academics, researchers, and writers of Upriver Halq’eméylem.
Jordan is a practicing fresh-water biologist who will show us some of the fish species found in the Lower Fraser. Look for Jordan’s beach seine net during the lunch break!
Rowan is a dedicated and passionate paddler and tripping guide. Having spent her youth and early life on downriver trips and paddling on wild waters such as the Red Deer River, the Bow River, the Klondike River, the Yukon River, a maze of Lakes and river across Algonquin Park, and the Vindelalven River in Sweden. She has taught both downriver tripping skills as well as broken into whitewater paddling and instructions over the past few years. Rowan loves to explore the connection between people and water, having worked with youth and families along these waters ways to help them connect and recognize the power of water, and to trust their own strength in navigating it. She is certified under the Ontario Recreational Canoe & Kayak Association as well as with Boreal River as a Whitewater Rescue Technician. Priding herself in having Canada’s waters flowing through her veins, she looks to the future in hopes of exploring more of Canada’s northern rivers and learning more of what the rush of whitewater has to offer.
Kelly has been a huge part of Hope Mountain Centre since the very beginning. He has shared his extensive knowledge as Outdoor Educator, Program Director in the past and recently turned his main focus on trail building and maintenance. He has a detailed knowledge of the plants, animals, and cultural history of the Fraser River