Thompson River Rafting BC
The Thompson River begins at Kamloops BC where the North Thompson and South Thompson River converge. The river flows through one of the driest and hottest regions in British Columbia, ensuring warm water and big wave action ideal for rafting BC.
The Thompson River is the largest tributary of the mighty Fraser River (British Columbia’s longest river) draining an area of 21,600 square miles.
The first descent of the Thompson River took place during low water in October 1828. Governor George Simpson of the Hudson’s Bay Company and fifteen of his men ran the river in two large freighter canoes and a heavy, dory-like boat that they paddled across Kamloops Lake and down the Thompson River.
The most popular rafting BC section is between Spences Bridge and Lytton, a distance of 25 miles. The very best rapids on the Thompson – 18 in total – erupt in the last 10 miles of the river from The Frog rapid at Nicomen Falls to Lytton BC.
In 1973, the first commercial rafting BC operation began when Bernie Fandrich advertised an 8-mile tour through the Thompson River rapids near the tiny town of Spences Bridge, about 4 hours from Vancouver BC. The one-hour rafting trip sold for $8.00 (adult fare) or $5.00 (for children).
River rafting BC started small. The business consisted of a 4 x 8 ft “Raft Rides” sign on the highway, a 15-ft travel trailer that served as an office and living quarters for Bernie and a friend, and a VW shuttle van. The fleet consisted of one 15-ft Avon Professional River Runner raft. A few lifejackets, oars, and a river raft guide with more enthusiasm than the Dallas Cheerleaders rounded out the company assets on the Thompson River.
However, he was hooked on rafting BC, saw the potential in rafting the Thompson River, and stuck with it for almost four decades growing his Kumsheen Rafting Resort and whitewater rafting business a little at a time.