JoesKayak's Submission - Entered on 12/1/2015 12:34:00 PM
There is currently no Gauge Data on this stretch. Please Email us if you have details about a realtime gauge for this river.
Minimum Recomended Level: 350 cfs Maximum Recomended Level: 1000 cfs
From Lillooet just after you cross over the Fraser River into town, turn right onto Seton Lake Road, follow the main road north through town which eventually becomes Bridge River Road. Allow plenty of time, it's a long drive.
Continue up Bridge River road, after 12 miles or so there's a great veiwpoint where you can stop and check out the Coliseum, a big crater carved out by the river. Continue on and in a few miles the road descends the canyon and crosses the Yalakom River. Put-in here on the Yalakam.
A couple miles north of Lillooet, the Bridge River road crosses the Bridge River, just upstream from the mouth. This is the takeout. There is alot of First Nations fishing here when the Salmon are running. Be courteous and stay out of their way. There is alot of private land here, but there's a trail just below the bridge on river right. Take a look at the river here to get an idea of the river level.
IMPORTANT: The Bridge River Indian Band owns all the land along this run and permission must be obtained prior to putting on. Call 250-256-7423 to request permission http://xwisten.ca/
Beautiful run through deep canyon on the dry side of BC. A real gem for summer boating.
Run Description [Season: July-August]
The Bridge River features some spectacular canyon scenery and some nice whitewater. Most of the whitewater is not too difficult, there are alot of class 3 and 3+ rapids with a few 4 and 4+. However, do keep in mind, the river is in a steep canyon with the road usually far above you, so this run should be approached as a wilderness run.
The Bridge river used to be a major tributary of the Fraser, but after the Tarsaghi Dam was built, most of the water is now diverted through a the mountains to the Seton River to the south. These days, the larger part of the water comes from the Yalokam River.
There's no gague on this part of the Bridge River, so you'll have to rely on a visual check. I've found the River to be at medium to medium-high levels in July and medium-low in August. About 300-400 cfs at the takeout is the low end of runnable. 400-800 is medium. 1000 or more would be medium-high to high. These are approximations, of course.
At the put-in on the Yalakom, you jump immediately into some fast class 3+ creeky fun for a couple hundred yards to the confluence. Coliseum rapids follow soon which is a long class 4 boulder garden split by an island. At the end of the rapid you'll have a fantastic view of the Coliseum. As you leave the Coliseum some fun rapids follow and soon lead to Jade Drop, class 4. If you want to scout Jade proceed carefully and eddy hop down from the Colisem as the rapids build up as you approach it. Jade is formed by a coule huge rocks that block up the river. At medium levels there's a sweet slot between them, but at lower levels this slot dumps onto a rock making a rocky left hand slot the only option.
Below Jade, more fun 3 to 3+ rapids follow. The next class 4 is Crane's Ledge which features a ledge into a powerful hole followed by a left turn in front of some big mid-river boulders.
Below Crane's ledges, the river mellows for many miles with alternating class 2 and 3 sections and some fantastic canyons and rock walls. The Bridge is on the dry side of the mountains, so often on summer runs you have beautiful hot weather.
The whitewater picks up again towards the end of the run. When you see powerlines high above that means you're getting close to Hard Hat rapids. In older guides it's listed as class 5, but at the levels I've run it's more class 4+. The rapids seem to get progressively harder on the approach to Hard Hat at the end of a good class 3+ boulder garden, get out on the right to scout. Hard Hat is seperated into left and right lines by a big midstream rock. The left side is usually a bit easier, a rocky S-turn. The right side has a couple steep drops into big holes before flushing through a tight passage- great fun! Good rapids continue all the way to the takeout. One of the final drops has a nasty rock that could cause a pin, so keep a look out here.