Season: The time for this run is normally August or September after flows have dropped.
Since the first descent in 1981 led by Rob Lesser and filmed by ABC, The Grand Canyon of the Stikine has become known as one of North America's greatest whitewater challenges. While ABC cut that trip short after deciding they had the footage they needed in the can, Rob returned with Lars Holbek and Bob McDougall for a complete descent in 1985. The river has joined the ranks of Devil's Canyon of the Susitna and Turnback Canyon on the Alsek as one of the continent's legendary class V+ bigwater runs. Only a handful of people have ever run all three.
This run is in Canada but the river does empty into the ocean after running through a thin sliver of Alaska along the coast.
As wilderness class V+ trips go, this is a pretty simple one. Keep in mind, however, that this also makes it easy to get in over your head--many trips on this river have ended in epics. The put-in is at the Cassiar Highway Bridge (Hwy 37) in northern BC, approximtely 1000 miles north of Vancouver, BC and 150 miles south of the Yukon border. To reach the take-out, drive north from the bridge to Dease Lake, once a Hudson's Bay trading post and major stop for trappers and miners, and today the government service and supply center for BC's northwest region. From Dease Lake head 68 miles west to Telegraph Creek on a rugged road that parrallels the Tanzilla River and then the Stikine River to the town of Telegraph Creek. Those who want to experience a wilderness adventure but avoid the whitewater can put-in at Telegraph Creek below the canyon and paddle out 150 miles to the mouth and then down to Wrangell, Alaska. You can then either arrange a float plane pick-up or take the Alaska Ferry.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwh1TqsvmNU Check out this video of the canyon on Youtube to help with scouting and to get an idea of what it's like. I deffinetly want to run this.
The final bit of this run can probably be done without entering the big canyon above. The native village just east of telegraph canyon has access. While you are not allowed to park here, it may be possible to drag a boat down the road and jump in from the bridge. This would give a 15km or so run down to telgraph creek with only a few class III or so rapids (can't really say what they are. I went up in a jetboat. My access run down the Tuya was a bit of an epic and never made it past the big falls).
Alternatively coming down the big hill after the Tuya bridge one could cut across a bit of forest and rap down a short cliff to catch the runout of the lower canyon. If one looked, I also seem to remember a cut or two through the cliff, but rapping on a fixed line may be the easiest way to go.
That would make a great intermediate run with only one bad whilry edy on a side of a rapid.
This gauge is far downstream in the US section of
the river near the mouth. Flows for the Grand Canyon
are less and are usually estimated; they are typically in
the range of 6000 to 14000 cfs.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
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