The Sooke is a small, rain-feed river used as a beginner training site. The fairly short run and proximity to Victoria makes the whole trip very manageable for beginners without being overwhelming, and can be completed a Winter afternoon. The river is runnable between November and March after a rain event, and is usually good if other rivers up island are running high.
At the top are two pools that work for eddy practice, the lower one (halfway down the parking lot) being the easier one. They are connected by a simple fast wavetrain the turns to the left. In here are good small eddies that will challenge beginners.
From there on the river has short sections of rapids. The most challenging is the one rock garden rapid just above where Charters River enters the Sooke. Here is where beginners may flip, but the pool below and lawn on river left makes rescue and recovery very easy.
There are several small simple waves for beginner surf practice, the only caveat is that the eddies tend to be very small, only holding two boats.
After passing under the power lines and a large, white, boarded-up house on river left look for a small clearing on the left side opposite a large mossy maple that extends over the river from the opposite bank. There is a gravel beach here, and the deep pool is going for beginners to roll on the river.
If you miss the take-out, the river gets flat and eventually you'll hit the silver bridge on highway 14. Take out river left, then walk back up to your car (2.5 Km)
Be aware that logs come and go occasionally on this run, mainly falling in from the banks. they tend to be river wide.
Both sides of the river are close to roads, and there are several houses on the river banks making getting off the river in an emergency quite easy.
If this space is blank there have been no alerts posted for this specific river.
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From Victoria driver to Sooke on Hwy 14. Near Sooke, turn to the right on Sooke River Road.
Park in the lot for the Galloping Goose trail where it crosses the road by the Sherwood Estates Trailer Park. There is an access trail in the estates which is public and leads up from the river to the road - it's about a 40 degree climb but not excessively long portage out. From there you can walk through the estate on the road and then to public parking. Do not park in the estates. There is a washroom at the North end which is large enough to work as a change room inclimate weather.
Continue driving on Sooke River Road to the first parking lot in Sooke Potholes Provincial Park. The North end has a set of steps down to the top pool. Half way down is a second set of steps to the next (calmer) pool.
There are toilets at this location, but not large enough to change in.
Beginner training run
When (which months), There is no public gauge in active service on this run. The SOOKE RIVER ABOVE CHARTERS RIVER (08HA059) gauge has been de-activated, but the visual staff gauge remains in place can be seen on river left below the park. Reading of 50 cm are low, 1.0 m good and 1.5 m is probably the highest you'd want to take beginner on.
At the top pool, look at the centre. At low water you'll see a large rock. At medium, the rock creates some glass waves. A thigh levels the waves will be just about gone.
No active gauge
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