A Paddler’s Paradise

The Slocan Valley is famous for its cool, clear mountain waters. In the old days, they transported logs and barges, and now we prefer to just play on them.

With excellent Class I – III rapids on the Slocan River and amazing paddling opportunities on Slocan Lake, the Valley is truly a paddler’s paradise.

Paddling the entire length of Slocan Lake is must for locals and visitors alike. There are numerous places to camp along the west shoreline, tarzan ropes to swing from and old ranger cabins to explore.

Just be careful. Slocan Lake is famous for sudden winds that seemingly come out of nowhere. Conditions can become quite dangerous very quickly so keep close to shore, always wear a lifejacket and be prepared. A sunny calm day can change in a matter of minutes.

The Slocan River is a narrow beautiful waterway with occasional rapids (nothing over Class III). You will need experience in reading and running whitewater, although there are many calm shallow areas on the river. Paddlers should be adequately equipped and know their abilities and limitations.

Intermediate-level paddlers might want to get a taste of the river between Slocan and Crescent Valley, a Class II, 80km trip that will take a full day. To shorten the trip, the river may be accessed at any of the bridges along Hwy 6, particularly between Perry Siding and Slocan Park. The most technical portion of the river (Class III) is just north of its confluence with the Kootenay River, a 5km stretch between Crescent Valley and Shoreacres, a popular play spot for kayakers and canoers. Put in at Crescent Valley and take out at Shoreacres, just downstream of the railroad bridge. Allow one to three hours.

If you wish to rent kayaks and SUPs or go on a guided adventure, our friends at Endless Adventure in Crescent Valley, ZET Kayaks Canada in New Denver or Columbia Kayaking will set you up! Check out the Outdoor Adventure category in our Valley Directory for more info.