Top 10 Water-Fuelled Adventures
- Tube the Shuswap — a family tradition for generations
- Paddle the river astride a SUP board, paddling from bank to bank
- Kayak the quick running water below BC’s interior Skookumchuck Rapids
- Feel the tug of a salmon, whitefish or rainbow trout sampling the end of your fishing line
- Listen to nothing but the sound of water dripping off your paddle and the call of songbirds, canoeing the lower end of the river
- Swing your partner round and round to the sounds of Music by the River
- Celebrate the Shuswap at the annual BC Rivers Day festival in September
- Explore the shore, stroll the Heritage River Walk from Belvidere to Riverside Parks
- Take a family time-out for sandcastle building
- Feel the squish of sand squeeze through your toes, swimming up to a sandbar
The Shuswap River has always been a liquid highway of sorts…first for the Splatsin First Nation who plied its waters to trade their goods downstream and later, for the loggers who boomed their timber to mills along its shores. Travellers of another era floated the Shuswap aboard paddle wheelers, drinking in the sights along the way. The river’s not much different today. Folks are still floating by, only now on stand-up paddleboards, kayaks and inflatable rafts!
Tube the Shuswap
Tubing the Shuswap is a summer tradition here in the Okanagan. Blazing hot days spent dawdling in cool, running waters have a way of bringing out the kid in everyone. Splash about, go for a swim…escape your everyday world, after all…it’s hard to hold on to your worries bobbing along in the current, soaking up the sun.
Choose Your Route
There are several distinct tubing routes along the river, depending on how much time you want to spend drenched in the river, soaking up the sun. While some may be less than 3-kilometres long, the time it takes to splash your way from put-in to pull-out will vary throughout the season.
A = Float Time (Hrs) Spring/Early Summer
|Put In Point||A||B||C||D||E||Take Out Point|
|Brandt’s Hand Launch||2||2–3||29||4.5||Cooke Creek Rec Site|
|Cooke Creek Rec. Site||2–3||3–4||25||4.5||Dale’s Hand Launch|
|Dale’s Hand Launch||5–6||6–7||7–8||19||11||Trinity Bridge|
|Trinity Bridge||.5–1||1||1||11||2.5||Eby Hand Launch|
|Eby Hand Launch||3–3.5||4–5||5–6||6||11||Belvidere Park|
|Belvidere Park||.5||.75||0||1||Riverside RV Park|
|Belvidere Park||.5–.75||1–1.5||1.5||0||2.5||Tuey Park|
|Tuey Park||8||10||12||1||13||Grindrod Bridge|
|Grindrod Bridge||8||10||12||10||11||Mara Bridge|
|Mara Bridge||7||9||11||17||7||Mara Lake Park|
Shuswap River Ambassadors
Because the river’s depth and speed changes throughout the year you should check in with the River Ambassadors when you get here — they’re easy to spot in their signature green and blue shirts, stationed at hand-launch sites along the river. They’ll help you plan your route based on daily conditions, directing you to hand-launches, the put-in and pull-out points along the way. An adventuresome spirit, sunscreen, a life jacket and an inflatable raft are all you need to make warm summer memories that’ll last all year.
Water-Fuelled Fun — Paddle Skookumchuck Rapids
Most river activities take place on the mid-section of the Lower Shuswap, but, for something a little more rowdy, try kayaking the Skookumchuck Rapids. You’ll hear its roar before you see the churning water or feel the spray on your face…but one look at its swirling waters will tell you, you’re in for a good time!
Spring is the best time to suit up and challenge the rapids for an adrenaline soaked, water-fuelled ride from the upper reaches of the Lower Shuswap. No ordinary ride on the river, at Class IV, the rapids run fast and novice paddlers may find this section beyond their skill level, so you may want to wait until late July or event August, when water levels are lower, and the rapids slow down to Class II levels.
Guided Tours and Lessons
If you’re looking for expert guidance to master the river, check out the local outfitters who’ll gear you up, providing a lesson in oarsmanship and paddling as a team before setting out to conquer the rapids! And if you bring the whole family along, they’ll steer you through a gentle float further down the river with just enough fast running water to make it fun without sending anyone in for a swim!
Fishing the Shuswap
Kayakers and anglers know the section below the rapids is a perfect paddling spot. Put in at Brandt’s Landing Hand Launch for the full 29-km paddle to Belvidere Park. Feel the power of the river paddling through forested canyons or pull out on the shores and drop in a fishing lure — the water’s so clear you can watch the fish toying with your line. Salmon run here every year, returning to their spawning grounds. Spend a day fishing for rainbow trout or whitefish and discover how rewarding it is to catch, then cook, your own dinner.
A Gathering Place — Shuswap River Banks
The river is the heart of our community; it’s where we play and where we gather. You’ll find our Visitor Centre right on the banks of the river — make it your first stop when you come to town for expert guidance on all the things to see and do in town.
Gather with us on selected Sundays throughout the summer for concerts along the Shuswap’s banks. Bring your lawn chairs and a full picnic basket…dance a Newfie Jig or sway to cool jazz notes ringing in the air.