Isn’t the River of Golden Dreams a dreamy name for a river?
Well, this river in Whistler really is like its name. And the weather has been perfect these past summer weeks for paddling a canoe or kayak down it. (Head down the river, and you’ll feel as happy as our paddler looks in our featured Tourism Whistler pic above :-)
Put in at Alta Lake to paddle first across the lake. You might see Canada Geese (and in early summer, perhaps cute little goslings swimming in a line by the shore).
At the end of the lake, you glide by a field of bulrushes. Then you enter the narrow, slow-moving River of Golden Dreams for a magical paddle through wetlands, eventually getting out at Green Lake.
If you go in high summer, the water level is usually low (only two or three feet) and you can lazily make your way along the river’s many twists, turns and sharp bends.
One word of caution: If you don’t want to get wet – consider portaging the tricky curve of the river (you’ll know it when you come to it!). Your canoe might tip otherwise, and you could get dunked (like one of us did), especially if the river is running high.
A guided tour of the River of Golden Dreams
The best way to enjoy the river? Take a guided canoeing or kayaking tour (three hours long).
Go with Whistler Eco Tours, and your naturalist guide will entertain you with tales about Whistler’s history (and fascinating local characters), as well as the area’s geography, wildlife and flora and fauna.
See that beaver den? It actually has different chambers – including a separate beaver “toilet” room and another room for drying off after coming in from the river.
Backroads Whistler also offers guided and self-guided paddling trips on the river.
Prefer a lazy float?
Do as the locals do and float down in a cheap little inflatable or inner tube, taking only the bare essentials (like beer or soft drinks dangling in the water to keep chilled – and duct tape for that “pffft…” sound).