Ghost River (AB) - Waiparous to Benchlands II

The river is an easy going, meandering river which runs through the bottom of a canyon. Most of the action comes from the many small ledges, waves piling up on the corners, small boulder gardens and the odd small surf wave. The river-wide, 1 metre ledge located about half way down the run no longer exists after the 2013 floods, or does not exist at 7 cms.

This run is very dependent on water flows. There is not a gauge per say but you can get an idea of what it is by looking at the Waiparous Creek gauge and the Ghost River above Waiparous Creek gauge. It can flood in the early spring so be aware of that.

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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!

Run Information


The take-out is in the small village of Benchlands. Benchlands is about 5km south of Waiparous on Hwy 540. From the put in drive south, turn into Benchlands and follow “Ghost River Road” into the river valley. The road ends at a small dirt turn around with a gate, the river is a 50 metre walk past the gate.

Put In

Drive to Cochrane, take Hwy 1a west to the intersection of Hwy 540 (about 15 km) drive north on Hwy 540 for 17km to the small hamlet of Waiparous. Once you cross the bridge, pull over and park in a small pull out about 150 metres past the bridge.

To get to the river, walk back towards the bridge, on the right hand side of the road a well used path leads down to the river. Start paddling on Waiparous Creek just under the bridge, float 50 metres down the creek to where the Ghost meets Waiarous Creek.


Small volume, meandering creek with a few small waves and ledges

Length & Time

8km, 1 Hour



Flow Information

We ran the river at around 3 m/sec which I would consider very low, but doable without too much damage to your boat. To get the most accurate water flow info, combine the Waiparous Creek and Ghost River (at Waiparous) stations.

I suspect that ideal flow would be around 6 m/sec.



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