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Clearwater River Road (pages 131-144)

Clearwater River Road (pages 131-144)

The road is closed at km 9.4 and impassable.

On July 2, 2020, a major rainstorm in the Trophy Mountains caused a flood that rushed down Spahats Creek and into the Clearwater River, carrying huge amounts of debris and boulders. The footbridge on the Clearwater River Trail crossing Spahats Creek below the falls was destroyed. All this material poured into the Clearwater River, pushing its channel westwards and quickly washed out the Clearwater River Road near km 11.

The River Road has been closed since then. You can still access The Kettle at km 8.1, but the gate at km 9.4 is closed. This has been a disaster for Clearwater tourism because the road is very popular with anglers, wilderness campers, kayakers, and hikers, and Interior Whitewater Expeditions depends on the road for launching their rafts for the mid-river trip.

Two Clearwater forest companies, Dale Miller Logging and Wadlegger Logging, stepped forward and generously offered to repair the road, donating their equipment and labour. It was hoped that the road could be re-opened in late summer and salvage part of the season, but unfortunately government bureaucracy got in the way. Nine months later, in April 2021, work got underway. The crew was on the second day of repairs when they dug into a rock slope and discovered that it was seriously unstable, extending a long way up the steep mountainside. Work stopped and the assessment was grim. Stabilizing this rock slope would be far beyond the scope of the volunteer work. Solving the problem has gone back to government engineers and later it will be a case of finding the funds for major repairs which could reach $1 million. The road is expected to be closed for at least two years.

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