An international stream, the 220-mile long Kettle River has its genesis in the West Kootenay region of British Columbia. It dips into Washington, turns north again into Canada, then makes one more border crossing for its final 33-mile run to the Columbia River near the town of Kettle Falls, Washington. In the process, it offers many miles of paddling opportunities.
The trip described here starts in a forest of mixed conifers, then flows into a broad, lush valley of dairy farms, cattle ranches, and alfalfa fields. Deer are amazingly abundant on the farms, and beavers are busy felling the cottonwoods that grow thick along the river. There are no notable rapids during normal river flows. The lower 4 miles are popular with locals on inner tubes.
© Verne Huser, Rich Landers, Dan Hansen, and Doug North/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.