The Exceptional Exchamsiks

Jetboat the Skeena River Valley

If the Icefields Parkway is Canada’s most beautiful road trip, the Skeena River valley and its tributaries must surely be Canada’s most beautiful boat ride.  Glacier-fed rivers turn bright green and blue, shadowed by snow-capped mountains with streaking waterfalls.  The river is home to schools of migrating salmon and sought-after steelheads, and powerful jet boats are not only fun, they’re essential to navigate the shallow, twisting and changing tributaries that flow into the mighty Skeena River.  For jaw-dropping views,  charter a jetboat and knowledgable local guide to further explore the Exchamsiks River, winding its way up a sweeping valley and over water that can be just two feet deep.   A picnic lunch and invigorating swim top out a bucket list day on the water.

Cost : Tours operate on an hourly, half day or full day rate.  Click here for the latest prices.

Best time to go : Summer, June to September

Wheelchair friendly : Yes but call ahead to make arrangements.

Family friendly : Yes

Where to Stay:  We jet-boated as part of a summer activity package from Northern Escape’s boutique New Mountain Lodge.

Where to Eat:   Have a picnic and toast some ‘s’mores on a sandbank.

Official Site :   Book directly with Northern BC Jet Boat Tours, or build it into a summer bucket list at Northern Escape Heli Adventures.

Getting There : Tours depart from the northern BC city of Terrace, which is accessible by road or air.

Note from Robin :  We spotted a half dozen bears during the course of the afternoon, so keep an eye out for both black bears and grizzlies.   Expect plenty of eagles overhead, feasting on the spoils of migrating salmon below, and a few seals as well.  Local guides Rob and Fred had fantastic stories and were incredibly knowledge about the region’s natural and cultural wonders.   The Split Mountain is spectacular.  Once you turn up the Exchamsiks, the dial of natural beauty turns to 11.

Great Canadian Trails