A classic North Coast hike in mission. Large bedrock slides and rapids in the rainforest.
Scouting / Portaging
All rapids can be easily scouted and portaged.
Day mission. 30 min paddle across Skeena, and a few hours each of hiking and paddling.
When to Go
May/June for the main runoff season. Responds well to rainfall.
Contributed by Ali Marshall
This hidden gem of a run tucked away in the North Coast rainforest west of Terrace delivers adventure of all sorts. The only road access is on the other side of the Skeena River valley, so getting to the put in involves ferrying across this large river coupled with a classic BC bushwhack up into the mountains. Those who sacrifice the sweat required to undertake this mission will be rewarded with the most unique, granite bedrock formed whitewater in the region.
Heading west from the city of Terrace, drive 78 km past the Kitsumkalum River bridge to a point just opposite of the Khtada River valley. The train tracks running along the highway will be very close at this point, and if you squint hard enough you can see the last rapid of the run dropping into the Skeena. With no convenient place to park it is advisable squeeze as far off the road as possible.
Paddle 2 km across the Skeena, heading straight for that last rapid of the Khtada. The Skeena is tidally influenced here, so there may be some exposed sand bars to get out and walk across. To gauge the level, observe the final rapid of the Khtada. If it is bony, it's too low; if it looks like it's pumping, it's quite high.
The trailhead to begin your trek into the woods is located on the river right side and can be found with a quick recon into the woods. This overgrown trail will likely present a large amount of blown down timber blocking the path and backpack-style carry systems are not recommended. Hike for roughly 2 km to a large pond, paddle to the far end, and then hike 150 m in a WSW direction and you will find the flatwater stretch upstream of the goods.
The run consists of three large slides interspersed with very fun class 4 rapids. The first slide is the very first piece of whitewater you will encounter, and it should serve as a personal gauge of the run for every member of the group. If you are not willing to run the first slide, you will likely walk the other major slides as well. All drops are easily portaged.