Ah, the Lillooet river – So majestic and serene.
If you’ve ever been to Pemberton BC, you can’t help but notice the powerful, green river that flows through the valley. It captures your attention immediately and all you can think about is being surrounded by its natural beauty.
Recently my partner, Pearce and I, were invited to hop on board (literally) with Mountain Beaver Adventure Company for a stand-up paddle down the Lillooet river.
Now, I am not a water person. Despite teaching 7 years of swimming lessons, I don’t do water. Especially moving water. But – I won’t say no to trying something once, so of course, I accepted the invitation.
The trip was very easy to coordinate. We met our guides Kam and Darolyn in the Pemberton Meadows, where our shuttle (Approach Angle Shuttle service) was loaded and ready to take us to the river put in.
We arrived a few minutes later and carried our boards down to the rivers edge. My heart was beating fast as I approached the water. The guides gave clear direction on our objective and ensured we had/knew how to use all the proper safety equipment provided. Swift water is no joke and they made sure to inform us of any upcoming hazards or tricky sections before heading into the water.
As soon as I got on the board, my nerves calmed and I became excited. I’ve only done paddle boarding a handful of times and never on moving water. SO this was very new for me! Pearce, however, was in his element.
We cruised down the river and the guides chatted with us along the way, sharing local knowledge and recommendations on other activities. We stopped halfway down and hung out on a private little beach. It was refreshing to be somewhere without crowds of people – overcrowded is the typical look for any beautiful places on the South Coast of BC. This place felt wild. We could hear birds singing and we were the only humans in sight.
As we paddled the last stretch of river, I felt totally relaxed and in control. I imagined myself doing this again and bringing other friends along. The experience wasn’t over when we pulled the boards out of the water, it was time for beer!
After the paddle, we headed to the Beer Farmers (locally grown and locally crafted lagers and ales on a 4th generation organic family farm). This was another highlight of the day! Rolling into the farm felt homey and rustic. We sat outside for a pint and reminisced on the day.
Some things I was overly impressed by on this trip:
- The quality of the paddle boards (NRS brand). I’ve used boards before that feel shaky and awkward. These were inflatable but very sturdy. I never felt like I was going to plunge into the water at any point.
- The guides. Kam and Darolyn were extrememly well versed in the swift water/paddle world. Kam is a member of Pemberton Search and Rescue and holds a high amount of respect and wisdom on the river. They both knew the area very well and could offer tons of advice on good things to get after in Pemberton.
- The price. It’s $75 bucks for the entire experience. Which is one heck of a deal!
- The beer! We were very impressed with the brewery. The atmosphere fed into the wild river experience perfectly. The rustic barns, local vibes and quality beer was the perfect ending.
If you are looking for a fun getaway, I highly recommend checking out Mountain Beaver Adventure CO – you’ll be pleasantly SUP-rised by how much you like it ;)!
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