Stein River

Section of river: Stein River (Devils Staircase to take-out on the Fraser River)
Difficulty: Class 5+ in high water; Class 4-5 in moderate and low water levels
Length: 6 KM (4 miles) on Stein plus 5 KM floating on the Fraser River
Season: August to September
Best rapids: A, B or See What Happens, Touching the Void, Down the Drain, Rooster Tail, Notch Waterfall

stein-raft-18The Stein River is one of the most challenging white water rafting adventures offered in Canada. Plunging through a beautiful wilderness canyon, the Stein is the steepest river that is commercially rafted in Canada (145 feet per mile drop). The run is ideal for advanced whitewater paddlers.

2-day Stein trips include one full day of training on the Nahatlatch Canyon. Stein practice drills may include raft flipping and swimming rapids. Day two begins with a shuttle to the Stein Valley trailhead at the entrance to the Nlaka’ Pamux Park. The rafts are rolled sausage style for the 5 Km hike to the put-in below the Devils Staircase, an unrunnable Class 6 rapid. Each participant must assist in carrying the rafting and safety equipment such as paddles, lifejackets, pumps and dry bags. The hike takes 1.5 to 2 hours.

stein-river1The Stein kicks off with a series of extreme Class 4 and 5 drops. The river is chock-a-block with big boulders and holes and crews will quickly learn to high-side and use the boulders effectively in navigating the river. At the Class 5 rapid named Touching the Void, rafts are usually portaged at most water levels. Below the Void, the Stein is mostly Class 4+ whitewater, but because the river is so steep it has to be considered grade 5. Flipping or wrapping a boat could result in a long swim.

The amazing thing about the Stein: no calm sections! After at least 30 Class 4 and 5 rapids, the Stein drops right into the Fraser River. The trip take-out is located on the Fraser River at the cable car ferry just north of Lytton BC. Some of the best rapids include Touching the Void, Down the Drain, Notch Waterfall and Rooster Tail.