Chilliwack River - Slesse to Tamihi

Contributed by Claudia Schwab
What It's Like
Gravel bars, pool drop, some floating
Class
III, one IV- @ Tamihi
Scouting / Portaging
Easy to scout
Time
2-3 hours
When to Go
Year round, may be too low in winter and late summer if it hasn't rained for a while
Gauge
39.9cms↑ (Apr 21 14:05)
This description may contain outdated info.

Gauge and Levels
: Environment Canada, Chilliwack above Slesse Creek. Low: 1.1 m. Medium: 1.4 m. High: 1.7 m.

Scenery
: Even with lots of houses and trailers on the banks you will see plenty of nature when you are on the river. Watch for eagles and salmon, especially when the latter are running. Lots of paddlers and fishermen.

Length of Run
: 12 km

Length of Shuttle (one way): 10 km

Special Considerations
: Watch for wood. Tamihi Rapid is the most difficult drop on the run and class IV at medium and higher flows. Scout and, if you choose to, portage on the left. When the salmon are running fishermen frequent the Chilliwack River. Although most are friendly, it is not uncommon to encounter some who are rather hostile. Don’t take it personally - they are probably hostile to other fishermen too. It is best to just move on and let them be or better yet, paddle the upper two runs where fishing is prohibited.

Directions
: For general directions to the Chilliwack River/Vedder Crossing see (7). The take-out is on the left just above “Tamihi Rapid” or if you prefer to run the rapid, on the left just above the bridge about 11 km east of Vedder Crossing. To get to the put-in follow the road east for another 10 km to just below the Chilliwack - Slesse confluence. There is plenty of parking on the left (river) side of the road. Alternative put-ins are at Allison Pool (15 km east of Vedder Crossing at a campground) and at Thurston Meadows (another campground 18 km from Vedder Crossing).

Description
: If you start at Slesse, there is not much time for a warm-up. The first drop below the put-in has changed considerably in the last couple of years and is now pretty exciting. Further downstream the river takes on pool-drop character with long flat stretches, some nice drops and short boulder gardens. Look for a good play and an ender-spot on the left at “Allison Pool”. An interesting rapid is at “Trailer Park”. The last drop in this run, “Tamihi” is significantly more difficult than the rest of the rapids in this section. Scout it or portage it on the left (possible on the right too). Slalom racers are often practicing on the gates in this rapid.