Canoeing Across British Columbia

We are in Lake Country

We are in Lake Country

Well, we didn’t really canoe across the Province. We drove with our canoe on top of the car behind the RV, but it was in water much of the time as we explored the many lakes of northern British Columbia along the Yellowhead Highway. We left Jasper National Park and the Canadian Rockies and took our time (two weeks) wandering west to Prince Rupert on the Pacific coast in time to catch our ferry ride to Vancouver Island.

We stopped in Prince George for two days. This was the first “big city” we’d seen for weeks so we were able to stock up on supplies and enjoy having internet in our RV again instead of needing to find a Tim Horton’s.  Then it was on to Tchesinkut Lake, just outside the town of Burns Lake. We found a camp right on the Lake so we decided to spend a week. The weather was beautiful and the fishing decent, mostly small rainbows. The scenery is less spectacular than what we had been enjoying in the Rockies, but it was relaxing to be in one spot without all the “pressure” to go off and see the sights and the canoe was on the water every day.

A Typical Rainbow

A Typical Rainbow

Weather is always a factor when we travel. You want to fish or see the sights and generally are looking to spend time outdoors, but rain and wind can’t be avoided. So when we moved on the Telkwa and Smithers we never took the canoe off the car and only spent a day and a half there. The weather wasn’t improving so we moved on. We didn’t move far. We got to Hazelton, about 40 miles down the road and decided to spend some time there. It’s the confluence of the Skeena and Buckley Rivers and at the foot of some nice mountains, has several  lakes and is the historic heartland of the Northwest Coast First Nations people. We stayed at the ‘Ksan campground, site of a reconstructed Gitxsan village and a museum that portrayed the lifestyle of the people who have lived there for centuries. These native people are master carvers and their totem poles were most impressive. They are actually family or clan histories and are read from bottom to top. They are carved out of a single cedar  tree.

'Ksan Historical Village in Old Hazelton

‘Ksan Historical Village in Old Hazelton

Native Artwork and Carvings

Native Artwork and Carvings

When we weren’t exploring native culture were were fishing on Lake Ross. This was the best fishing we have had to date. Every one we caught was a big, fat, colorful brook trout and we had the whole lake to ourselves whenever we went out. As usual, we released them all so someone else could have the same pleasure sometime down the line. Since we never saw anyone else on the lake the whole time we were there, so it may be a while before the fish have to worry about getting caught again. We decided to stay put and and keep fishing Ross Lake and cut back on the time we had allocated to see Prince Rupert. It’s a coastal town and we weren’t going to do any salt water fishing, so we decided to just drive down the day before our ferry reservation and see what we could see in an afternoon. More fishing awaits on Vancouver Island.

A Prize Catch

A Prize Catch

About JudithC99

Wanderer. Writer. Artist. Photographer. Learner. Traveler of the Red Roads


  1. Penny

    Rich must be in heaven!

  2. That fish is huge, too bad you have to release it.
    Prince Rupert is where we also disembark on our last leg from AK but arrived there at 2AM and drove straight to Smithers.

    • wow, that’s a long way to go in the middle of the night. It stays light late up north, but not til 2 amwe don’t like driving in the dark and we rarely go more than 250 mile in a day, usually under 200. We are fortunate not to need to be anywhere at any particular time so we can take theses red roads at our leisure

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