This adventure was fun filled with white water rafting, sleeping in a First Nation teepee and savoring the exquisite cuisine at the Kumsheen Rafting Resort, located in the heart of the Fraser Canyon. In the summer of 1973, Bernie Fandrich had a grand idea of taking customers down the Thompson River on a raft. Although his business venture has grown into one of BC’s biggest and most successful rafting operation, it is still a friendly family run business. Today, they are proud to offer an all inclusive adventure accommodation package to adventure seekers of all ages.
I arrived at the Kumsheen Rafting Resort and made my way to my teepee. I was surprised to see how spacious it was inside as it had 3 beds and a lock on the canvas door. I was excited for my first experience sleeping in a teepee right by the river. I lit the candles when I got inside and made myself at home. There was a basket full of towels, matches, extra candles and a deck of cards. I placed my bag on the extra bed and went out to explore the grounds.
There were cabin tents and teepees along the cliff by the river. The office, dining facility and restrooms were on the upper grounds. On the lower ground were the volleyball court, swimming pool and hot tub. This rafting resort was an all-inclusive resort that also offered fully furnished canvas cabin tents and teepes on their private campgrounds.
It was a hot summer day, so I looked forward to river rafting hoping to cool me off. The Thompson River and Fraser River are known for their big warm waves and I wanted to experience this first hand. There are two ways you can go river rafting, on a power raft or on a paddle raft. I wanted to tackle these waves with my own arms, so I chose paddling.
I suited up in my wet suit and got into the rafting boat with my other paddling companions. The Thompson River was wide and snaked through the deep canyon. It didn’t take long before the white waters were hitting the side of our boat and the cameraman got completely soaked within the first 2 minutes. It was a turbulent and exciting ride, paddling over big rolling waves! We had to work together as a team to conquer the rapids.
Our guide pointed to a bear that was walking on the side of the mountain. At first it was hard to spot because of the trees and boulders but I finally spotted the bear. It was slowly making its way down to the river’s edge, probably to feed on some salmon. The scenery was beautiful and the rafting adventure was thrilling as we maneuvered the rapids quickly. My favorite part of the trip was when we got a chance to jump into the river for a swim. We held on to the rope that was attached to the raft as we drifted down the river. The water in the Thompson River was surprisingly warm because of the hot sun that warms up Kamloops Lake which feeds this river. It was both refreshing and warm as the strong currents carried me down. I could have drifted in the water for hours.
As we were paddling, our guide would call out the names of the rapids: Witch's Cauldron, Jaws of Death, Devil's Kitchen, and Washing Machine. Rafting pioneer, Bernie, had fittingly named most of the rapids himself during his rafting experience on the Thompson River and Fraser River. These rapids were just exhilarating.
Bernie named his rafting resort “Kumsheen,” after a Nlaka’pamux word meaning “meeting of the great waters.” It is where the two largest rivers in British Columbia meet in the Fraser Canyon, the Thompson River and the Fraser River. The Thompson River is a tributary of the Fraser River, draining 56,000 square kilometers of water into the longest river in British Columbia, the Fraser River. It was a memorable sight to see the two rivers meeting, the silt grey mixing into the aqua green color.Kumsheen’s goal is to “ensure that every guest leaves with a smile and with a desire to return again.” This was true for me as I have fond memories of my adventure and look forward to bringing family and friends with me next time.
1345 Trans-Canada Highway
Lytton, British Columbia
Phone: (250) 455-2296
Reservations: 1 (800) 663-6667