We’ve been traveling through British Columbia and Alberta on our way to Alaska trying to paddle as many rivers as we can. Canada has so many great rivers to offer anyone in the whitewater scene. So far we’ve paddled the Kananaskis, Toby Creek, the Horsethief, the Maligne, the Athabasca, and the Kicking Horse River. And now, my new favorite, the Fraser River!
The Fraser River is just outside Jasper National Park in British Columbia. The river is fed by a glacier which means the water is cold and has a beautiful blue color. It’s also the longest river in BC, stretching almost 1400 km and we only paddled 1% of it, including Overlander Falls.
Overlander Falls is a 30 foot vertical drop at the take-out of the class IV section and the put-in for the class V. Cardy and I were the most stoked for this! There’s also a trail leading to the falls with an over look for anyone wanting to see it.
The class IV, Fraser River was loads of fun! It was pretty continuous and consistent with big waves and holes that pushed you left and right. There were a lot of great boofs that weren’t mandatory, but very recommended. The Fraser is a great river to push your limits and get more comfortable with class IV. Thankfully it was mostly clear of wood, unlike many others we’d been on that were full of log jams.
There were the obvious Class IV consequences. Other than getting stuck in huge holes, another hazard would be swimming. If you swam you’d have a long way to go before getting to shore because it was so continuous. So, have a solid roll and paddle hard and you’ll have a great time!
Overlander Falls was by far the highlight! Stay to river right for the least amount of danger. There is a big cave river left behind the falls that you don’t want to end up in it. Boof the right side and hold on for a short free fall. Next thing you know you will be at the bottom, either flipped over or already with a fist in the air!
We were all full of adrenaline and have this desire to chase waterfalls forever, just for that thrill of free falling! Only wanting to go bigger and bigger each time. Kenny and Dally have maps and lists of all the falls within our route to Alaska.
After Overlander Falls the boys, Brody, Kenny and Dally, continued downstream through the class V canyon with our new friend Bret. Bret was super cool! He is a Jasper local and showed us all the lines on the river and shared beers with us at the end. Cheers Bret!
I hope you enjoy this 4 min video I put together of the Fraser River and Overlander Falls! It might just inspire you to be a freefaller like us, if you’re not already chasing waterfalls!