A popular urban run with a picturesque canyon and fun rapids. Optional waterfall at the start.
III at low levels, IV when the water is high.
Scouting / Portaging
Varied - some of the river is in a deep canyon. Wood is often a problem.
When to Go
After heavy rain, usually in the fall/winter.
Lynn Creek sits squarely in both location and difficulty between the two other popular North Vancouver rivers - the Capilano and the Seymour Canyon. The Lynn is a small drainage with crystal clear water, fun rapids that cater to a wide range of boaters and even an optional waterfall at the put in to fire up. It is surprisingly high quality urban class III-IV fun.
A map of North Vancouver is all you need to find the Lynn. The take out is at Bridgeman Park just south of the Keith Road bridge. The put in is at Lynn Canyon Park. Being in an urban area there are many routes between the two. Get to the water by following the signs for the Twin Falls bridge found at the south (downstream) end of the park. It is a 5-10 minute walk from the parking lot to the water. Above Twin Falls is a serious section of whitewater of dubious runnability.
The Lynn has a visual staff gauge found at the take out bolted to a tree growing out of the river bed. The level is measured in inches. An additional gauge with green, orange and red markers is also found here. What levels are appropriate will vary widely with who is looking at doing this river. LiquidLore recommends 15 as a low level - the whitewater is class III and it is rocky. It can be done lower though - it gets run at and below 10. 20-25 is a good medium level without too many rocks and a good class III+/IV- feel. 30, at the top of the red marker, is a still a good level with class IV whitewater that may not be appropriate for intermediate or tentative boaters. The Lynn gets run much higher than 30 - difficulty increases accordingly. Again, appropriate water levels will vary greatly with who is here to paddle.
Because the Lynn is a small drainage it flashes up and down quickly, and it needs a lot of rain to get going. Typically the Cap and Seymour are high or too high when the Lynn runs. It has a propensity to collect wood so try and get the latest information, especially if you're going in at higher levels.
Twin Falls is the optional put in waterfall - it's found under the Twin Falls bridge. It's an intimidating drop that is usually run at lower levels with a bad rapid in the immediate run out. To run the falls seal launch in above it, otherwise the trail continues downstream on river left to an easy put in below the falls.
Below the falls are some open rapids. The canyon starts at the first sharp bend to the right with some fun warm up drops. Some of the rapids are difficult to scout or portage so the potential for wood is always something to keep in mind. If you're not comfortable sorting this sort of thing out yourself go with someone who knows the lines, or go first at low water. The end of the canyon comes after a short but noticeable narrowing of the canyon walls.
Below the canyon are a few kms of open gravel bed rapids to the take out. Take out on the right immediately after passing under the highway 1 and Keith Road bridges where it is just a short walk up to the cars. The gauge is found here at the take out. Enjoy!