July 12, 2009 | Tips from Travellers >
McBride, River Rafting
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A full day in the Robson valley, on any day of the week, is always a nice break for city folk like myself. Two and a half scenic hours east out of Prince George, past Sugarbowl-Grizzly den and the Ancient Rainforest, the valley floors widen and the hills roll into mountains as you get closer to the BC/Alberta border.
With an unbridled view of Mt. Robson, it is among the thousand-metre peaks over the headwaters of the Fraser River that Mount Robson Rafting begins their whitewater route. A family owned business with roots reaching back to the 1970’s, Mount Robson Rafting offers both scenic float trips for the camera-saavy, and whitewater rafting on the Fraser and Beaver Rivers for the adventurous. While on the Fraser, look forward to Wildcat, Terry Fox and “The Ejector”; just few of the well-known stretches of rapids that will greet and soak you before you drift towards a set of Class V waterfalls. Luckily, a portage route bypasses Rearguard Falls, while you pause and get misted by the falls while guides reset the raft. Float closer to Rearguard Falls and the team’s standby-guide/photographer can get great group photos, and will rip the photos to a CD and have it available at the office before you leave. Continuing downstream, raging torrents roar past gravel bars, eddies and sweepers and you can learn a bit about the local history and geography from your trusty guide. A deep, flat section of water usually invites the wettest and bravest guests for a quick dip as you float to your takeout point near the end of the route.
My time in the Robson Valley was perfect despite scattered thunderstorms looming over the peaks. McBride and area is beautiful, especially in the summer when the valleys are lush with vegetation and wildlife viewing opportunities abound.