The Bowron Lakes Guide

(1 customer review)




A Guide to Paddling British Columbia’s Wilderness Canoe Circuit

This 120 page guide book is a must for anyone preparing a trip on the world-renowned Bowron Lakes canoe circuit. It will answer your questions about bears & wildlife, campsites & fires, trip preparations, portages, weather, reservations & registration, natural & cultural history of the area, and what canoe and wilderness experience you’ll need to enjoy your trip.
The guide’s small format (6.75″ x 5.75″) will easily fit in a Ziplock bag in your pack so you can carry it safely on a trip! It includes:

  • The circuit by sections;
  • Basic paddling instruction;
  • The most challenging areas;
  • What to bring & what not to bring;
  • Appendices full of information.

The book also has 11 original canoeing illustrations by Claire Kujundzic, 10 maps of the circuit, and 29 paddling diagrams. It’s a comprehensive, indispensible resource for the Bowron Lakes canoe circuit, and it makes an excellent gift.


Above: sample gear list
Below: an example of commentary for one day’s journey.


Part One: Bowron Lake Park

  • The Circuit
  • The Circuit by sections
  • Natural history
  • Cultural history

Part Two: Decision Making at Home

  • Should we plan our own trip or take a guided tour?
  • What canoe experience is required?
  • What wilderness experience is required?
  • Basic Questions about the Lakes
  • What about weather and the best time to go?
  • How many days does the trip take?
  • How difficult are the portages?
  • What about campsites and fires?
  • What about bears and other wildlife?
  • Required Paddling Experience
  • Basic strokes
  • Basic manoeuvres
  • Trip Planning at Home
  • Planning the length of your trip
  • Large group planning
  • Paddling with children
  • Equipment
  • Canoe and equipment rentals
  • Food and water
  • First Aid
  • What Not To Take
  • Reserving your departure date
  • How to reserve
  • Registering at the Registration Centre
  • Travelling to the Bowron Lakes
  • By air or by vehicle
  • Points of interest along the way
  • Attractions in the Bowron Lake area
  • Wells and Barkerville
  • Local accommodation
  • Checking in at the Registration Centre

Part Three: Paddling the Lakes

  • Quiet and Moving water
  • The most challenging sections
  • The Chute
  • The Roller Coaster
  • The Isaac River
  • The Cariboo River
  • Other areas of concern
  • Part Four: Trip Activities
  • Bird watching
  • Fishing
  • Photography
  • Winter Trips on the Bowron Lakes
  • Wilderness and Canoe ethics

Appendix A: Bowron Lake Bird List
Appendix B: Bowron Lake Trees, Shrubs & Flowers

  • Campsite sizes & circuit distances
  • Acknowledgements

How to Paddle the most challenging sections:

Route paddling advice

Paddling instruction

Additional information

Book Information

5.5" x 6.5", 120 pp, 10 maps, 29 diagrams, 11 illustrations



1 review for The Bowron Lakes Guide

  1. Lisa McHaffie

    We used this guide in 2007 when we paddled the Bowron Lakes Chain. We are planning another trip in 2019. When we paddled in 2007, I made notes along the way. I think I knew we would always return to relive this incredible experience. Thank you to Chris et al. We are looking forward tom2019🏕

    • chris

      It’s one of the great trips; so glad you found our guide book handy!! I hope it kept you out of trouble!! Enjoy your trip next year.
      All the best. Chris

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