Bow River (AB) - Harvie Passage III+

Closed for repairs post-flood. Must portage. For more information see this report by the AWA.

Harvie Passage is the new whitewater play park constructed at the old weir in Calgary, AB. On river right is a class II channel and on river left is a class III+ channel. The class II channel is a series of small rapids with well defined eddys. This channel can be accessed from the river bank and is scouted easily. The eddys are quite strong and have well defined eddy fences. This is an excellent and safe spot to practice your beginner/intermediate paddling skills. If you have never paddled before and are interested in starting out your best bet would be to contact a local paddling store such as Undercurrents or Aquabatics.

The class III+ river left side is whole new ball game and a BIG step up from the river right channel. This side is usually accessed by putting in upstream of the old weir and paddling down into the features. Alternatively you can also ferry across the easy river right channel to the midstream island and put in from there. If you are comfortable paddling on the easy channel I would suggest trying out the Kananaskis River as the next step in your paddling progression. Paddling on this left side requires a confident roll and and knowledge of how to paddle in holes. This is not to discourage you from paddling here, just to make you aware that there is a significant difference in consequences and difficulty between the river right and river left channels.

On the river left side, big side, the most commonly surfed feature is called “gene simmons” and is a glassy green wave. It is usually big enough to hold you and do a spin on. I have trouble catching air on it although I am sure people have been able to blunt off it. The eddy for this feature is large and easy to catch as long as you don't swim, be aware that downstream is the stickiest of the 5 drops called “fight club”. I dont have much experience paddling on any of the larger holes so if someone can add some detail about them that would be great.


River Alerts

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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

Pearce Estate Fish Hatchery(Pearce Estate Park), this is in Calgary. Take a look at the Google Map to determine the details of how to get there from where you live.

Park in the parking lot. Walk towards the facility and turn to the right and follow one of the several paths you find there. They all lead to the water with a little meandering and a couple minutes walk.

Put In

The Put In is the same as the Takeout

Character

Urban playboating at its finest!

Length & Time

500m. You could spend half an hour or a few hours here. All depends on what you want to do!

Gradient

N/A

Flow Information

As this is on the Bow River it can be paddled from spring through fall. It is relatively new and we are all still figuring out when it is best to paddle and when it becomes dangerously high. As always be safe and use caution but this section of river should be good to go from April to October at various flow levels. The Bow River itself is “low” below 100cms and high above 250cms. At lower flows I believe most of the water goes over the Class III drops so be aware if you are paddling in from upstream.

Gauge

Bow River @ Weir:
34.24cms
2017-10-22 11:05:00

Media

Other Resources

River Alerts

AquabaticsCalgary PaddleAlberta