North Saskatchewan (AB) - Nordegg to Rocky II
A three to five day trip with lots of different put in options. There are multiple put ins so it is possible to shorten this to a 2 day trip, a simple 30km over night, or even a 30km day trip. From the top the run starts in Nordegg and is mostly swifts for the first day. The North Saskatchewan river at this point is wide and braided. You need to keep your eyes open for wood in the river and for shallow gravel bed sections as the water levels get lower. From the put in at Nordegg there is a good campsite at 'Dutch Creek' about 6 kilometers downstream making for an easy for day after travel logistics. The next day of paddling is very beautiful as you pass through 'The Gap'. The river starts to become less braided at this point and you will encounter a few wave trains. You will also pass Saunders Ledge which is a put in a little ledge that can be tricky to spot from upstsream. There is established camping at Saunders if you would like but this makes for a short day. In between here and Devil's Elbow there is not a lot of great campsites. You can random camp or there is an old site at Sunset Creek. On day three you will pass Horburg which is another put in and marks 30km left until Rocky Mountain House. There is also camping here if need be. As you head towards Rocky Mountain House the rapids increase in difficulty and size. At Devil's Elbow is a class III rapid that can be avoided by hugging river right. Past Devil's Elbow down to Rocky there are some good rapids. Once you reach the Blue Bridge it is 5 kilometers to the Brierlies and the rapids pick up in difficulty again. Numerous Class II rapids that can be avoided relatively easily. This multi day run finishes at the Brierlies where there is a play wave that kayakers use often. You can go a few more kilometers downstream and takeout at where HWY11A crosses the North Saskatchewan River. A great, fun, and relatively safe multi day river trip.
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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!
Drive west on HWY 11 from Rocky Mountain House Approximately 5.5km after the junction of HWY11 and HWY22 you will reach a turnoff. Turn L, there may be signs saying something like national historical site. Follow this road to a T intersection. Turn L and follow this to the end where there is parking. This is the parking for the Brierlies. There are numerous other take outs available and you may want to do some research on that. They are all marked on the map.
For the put in at Nordegg go back to HWY 11 and continue W to Nordegg. From Nordegg turn S onto HWY734/Forestry Trunk RD towards Mountain Aire Lodge and the Red Deer River. You will quickly cross over the North Saskatchewan river, there is a pull off on the south side of the bridge where you can park and put in.
A multi day canoe trip
Length & Time
105km roughly from Nordegg to Brierlies, Multi_Day
The North Saskatchewan flows throughout the spring summer and fall. It is primarily regulated by the Bighorn Dam on Lake Abraham. The North Saskatchewan is fed by snowmelt, rain, and glacial melt. Low water would be below 150cms. Highwater above 300cms.
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