Illecillewaet (BC) - Box Canyon IV

This is a classic run that, along with Jordan River, help to put Revelstoke on the map as a kayaking town. It is the definition of a quality after work run as it goes right down to town and it can be done in 40 min once you know the lines. This stretch has a very wide range of paddleable flows, and is still fun when it is down at bare bones. “High” is relative to your bigwater experience, but things get very pushy in the canyon above 90 cms and it then becomes a class 5 endeavor. The Box has been paddled upwards of 180cms.

This stretch really has three defined sections:

1. The section from the railroad bridge down to the entrance of the box is an excellent warm up. It contains enough waves, boofs and characteristic moves to get you in the zone. Everything is boat scoutable there, with one bigger drop that flushes.

2. There is an obvious start to the Box section. The walls are sheer and the river goes around a couple blind corners. At lower water (20-45 cms) there is a significant drop at the entrance. As water levels go up, this drop disappears. There is no point to describe the rapids in the Box itself as you should either know the lines and the wood situation beforehand or you should scout the entire length of the box. Scout on the river right (It works well to do this before even putting-on, although you will be trespassing on the railroad. The best access to it is from a jeep track through the KOA campground). In the box, there are three egress points on the right, but in between these options are nil. The Box is actually quite short and finishes with a bang. The last rapid is a sharp left corner that leads very quickly to the biggest drop on the run KOA (Named because of its location adjacent to the KOA campground.). There is a significant stretch of class II between KOA and the White Mile.

3. “The White Mile” is a great finish to this run. It is a class IV boat scoutable, river running playground that is steep and continuous. There are some big holes in there at certain levels. Scouting can be done on the right (this is again easier if you do it before putting on). There is a bad Sieve at the end of this section on the far left. It is pretty far removed from the main flow, but definitely something to avoid.


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Run Information


From the intersection of Victoria and Highway 1 in Revelstoke head SE on Victoria Road for 2.6 km. Follow the main road as it bends left and crosses railway tracks, becoming 4th street E. Follow for 1 km and turn left into a clearing and parking area just before the bridge over the Illecillewaet.

Put In

From the Take Out, head NW on Fourth Street E for 1 km. Turn right onto Townley Street (Just before the train tracks). Follow Townley for 2.1 km. Turn Right onto Trans Canada Highway 1. Follow for 3.1 km. Turn sharply right onto a gravel drive that has two entrances (this turn comes up quickly on the inside of a right hand bend in the trans canada). Follow for 550 m and park before the train tracks. Put In is just on the upstream side of the train bridge over the Illecillewaet.


Box Canyon, Pushy River Running

Length & Time

4.5km, Couple_Hours



Flow Information

Season: Any time it is clear of ice. Typically high during snowmelt season (May/ June). Source: Glacier fed river. Gauge: Standard Flows 20cms-70cms (IV); Moderate Flows 70cms-90cms (IV+); High Flows 90+ (V)



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These photos were taken in late fall around 25cms.

Other Resources

Dave Best has some great photos of #3 and #4 on the Jordan as well as KOA drop on the Illi.

River Alerts

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