Soo River - Railroad Canyon

What It's Like
A short, stout addition to the classic section of the Soo. Easy access canyon with big holes.
Scouting / Portaging
1 hour.
When to Go
Summer - preferred when the Soo is medium and lower.
The Railroad Canyon of the Soo is a short, stout canyon found just above the put in of the classic section of the Soo near Whistler. While it's not long enough to be a whole river section by itself - any run will be followed by a trip down the classic Soo - its difficulty is so much above the classic run that it warrants its own description. It's a nice piece of whitewater that makes for an exciting start, adding a great class V challenge to the Soo.

It's highly recommended to run the classic run after the canyon, so use the usual Soo take out. The canyon put in is a minute or two further along highway 99 from the normal put in. Park your car at the Shadow Lake Interpretative Forest parking lot. Across the highway is an old road with a rusty yellow gate. Follow this road for about 100 meters to the obvious point where you can get in the river.

This section is more water level sensitive than the classic Soo. While it's possible at high water levels, most people will prefer it when the Soo is at medium or lower water levels.

The river is flat from the put in. There's a class IV entrance rapid above the canyon proper. Take out on the left and use the railway tracks to scout the big rapids. The canyon is a few hundred meters long, and the crux, a triple drop ending is a very large, sticky hole, is near the start. If necessary, portage along the rail bed. The classic Soo put in is just below the end of the canyon, where the fun continues!

Looking down the upper part of the canyon, with the three river wide holes.

Upstream view of the whole section.