North Saskatchewan (AB) - Blue Bridge to Brierlies II

A quick beginner run that has lots of fun packed into it. The nice thing about this run is that based on where you go on the river it can be as easy as a class I float or ramp up to some class III whitewater. The rapids do not span the whole width of the river so they can be avoided by going around them. The run starts at a blue rail bridge with some swifts. The rapids tend to be on the river left shore with a few sizeable waves and holes. With a confident trip leader you could boat scout everything. There is one hole called 'Garbage Can' that would flip a boat. There is nothing that would hold someone and the washouts are all relatively clean. The run finishes up at a play spot called 'The Brierlies' which is a wave that comes in at medium to high water and presents some great playboating. It is located in the river right channel of an island at the take out. When the wave is good people often park and play here as you can ferry across to it from the take out.

River Alerts

If this space is blank there have been no alerts posted for this specific river.

Map

The symbols can be clicked on and provide some simple explanations of why they are there. You can also use the symbols to get directions from Google Maps to the put in/takeout. A handy thing!

Run Information

Takeout

From Rocky Mountain House turn west (towards KFC) at the lights at the intersection of Hwy 22 (also Hwy 11) and 52 Ave (the lights by Sobey's). Continue west on 52 ave past the Hospital and across the North Saskatechwan River Bridge. Continue west on Hwy 11A for 5 km past the bridge. Turn south (left) on RR 8-0 and go 1.6 km to a stop sign. Turn left on TWP 39-2 and continue east for 1.8 km to the Rocky Mountain House National Historic Park river access. Parking (and camping) is available at the park along with a canoe launch for the Brierley Rapids. National Historic Park Entry fees apply to all visitors.

There is also a National Historic museum here that explains about Voyageurs who used the North Saskatchewan river as a fur trade route. To access the museum continue on the walking trail that starts at the parking lot.

If you want to avoid National Historic Park fees you can park at the river access by the water treatment plant beside the North Saskatewan River bridge on 52 ave.

Put In

Go back down the road towards the T intersection. Do not turn back towards HWY11A. Instead continue straight along this gravel road which parallels the river. After 1.6 kilometers turn left before the railroad track tunnel and go south to the blue bridge. There is parking here and a set of stairs that lead down to the river. Watch for nails and broken glass on the ground.

Character

Beginner playboating

Length & Time

5km, Couple_Hours

Gradient

Unknown

Flow Information

The North Saskatchewan is fed by glaciers, snowmelt, and rain however it is dam controlled at the Bighorn dam and the water comes from Lake Abraham. This means that the river is generally navigable throughout the spring, summer, and fall however the best playboating is when the North Saskatchewan is up towards high water levels in the spring.

Gauge

http://www.environment.alberta.ca/apps/basins/DisplayData.aspx?Type=Table&BasinID=4&DataType=1&StationID=RNSASRMH

Media

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