Summer officially ends this weekend (September 21st), but apparently whoever controls the weather didn’t get the memo. The rain has returned to southern British Columbia in full force, bringing colder fall weather earlier than usual. Vancouver had a pretty mild summer overall, but there were plenty of beautiful days to enjoy, and our day of floating down the Alouette River in Maple Ridge was definitely one of the highlights.
Because of the changing weather, we’ve had to alter some of our plans for September, including a planned hike to Panorama Ridge in Garibaldi Provincial Park and we were forced deal with the reality of the weather forecasts. So instead of enjoying the great outdoors this weekend, we are instead looking back at some of the summer adventures we did have, and the Alouette River seems like a pretty good place to start. This lazy river float is one of the best hidden gems located near Vancouver, and it did an amazing job entertaining us for an afternoon in early August.
The Alouette River is located in Maple Ridge, a suburb in the Fraser Valley east of Vancouver. It has become a popular place for locals and tourists to cool off in the warm summer months. The setting is incredible; surrounded by the incredible wilderness of British Columbia, this slow moving river is crystal clear and not nearly as cold as you might expect. The Alouette River originates in Golden Ears Provincial Park, fed by the water of Alouette lake, and eventually connects to the Pitt River, Fraser River and empties into the Georgia Straight.
There are many different options for this journey; we chose one of the longer options, which travels from Allco Park to Davison Pools. To complete this journey, we did require two cars as we had to shuttle between the two destinations. If you don’t have two cars at your disposal, its possible to park at the finish line (Davison) and make several shorter trips.
We’ve heard the “conditions” are much better in the early summer, when the water level is higher, this didn’t stop us from having fun. While we may have got stuck on a few shallow rocks and struggled past a few of the small rapids along the way, we survived our journey along the river. While our backsides were a little bit bruised after some hidden rocks caught us by surprise, these weren’t the cause of any injuries, just a lot of “complaining” and laughter.
This was our first time doing this trip, and now that we know how great of an adventure this is, we will definitely be making this a regular spot to visit in the future. Investing in a good floatation device – we were all using the popular Dreamboats that a friend of ours sells – is a good way to enjoy the outdoors of British Columbia. While the weather might not be fitting for lazy river floating anymore, reliving this experience has only got us more excited for next summer. We will be back!