Kitlope River estuary visit

Single-handing my wooden sailboat into the Kitlope changed my life.

Grass in the foreground gives way to epic mountains of the Kitlope valley.

Photo by Alex Harris / Raincoast Conservation Foundation.

This spot on a map of BC means little until you follow the 70-mile Gardner Canal that branches off Devastation Channel and winds its way deep into the coastal mountains of northern BC. 

While single-handing my old wooden sailboat, ERN, I was reminded of my first trip to the mountains and the thrill of seeing the spectacular scenery along the old two-lane Banff-Jasper Highway.

But now I was experiencing the same wonder and awe as the canal zig-zagged its way through the coastal range where countless waterfalls embroidered forbidding rocky cliffs before rushing through the deep green forest until joining the milky waters of Gardner Canal.

On a sunny day the serried precipices are a palette of reds, ochres, gold, greys and blacks. Passing through each turn of the narrow channel was like turning the pages in a book of photographs from a land of make-believe until arriving at the estuary of the Kitlope River. The river’s wide expanse of grasses and sedges stretch for over a mile across the upper part of the estuary before shallows extend far into the bay.

What a feeling of joy when I learned that Raincoast was planning to secure the protection of all the large carnivores that inhabit this area of peace and beauty. Now it’s pay-back for times of rejuvenation and peace while enjoying Mother Nature’s blessings to BC. I am happy to contribute to this legacy of a rich variety of flora and fauna. From  wolves to black bears to grizzlies, all the Kitlope’s carnivores will be protected from the devastation of trophy hunting.

A cliff face looms over the water in the iconic Kitlope valley.
Photo by Alex Harris / Raincoast Conservation Foundation.