Well…. we thought this would be a quick tour starting at the edge of the city and ending about 7km outside the city. We had a late start at about 5:30pm. Sunset is about 10:20pm at this time of year so we thought we were in the clear!!! Well. This 28km trek is a pretty good feat! We did fish a bit so that slowed us down but the stretch took us about 6 hours! We got off the water around 11:30pm in the pitch black starry sky!
Luckily we parked on the Far East side of the bridge and not in the Joffrey day use area as the gates close at 8:30pm and we would have been locked in! Our truck was locked in at riverbend for the night as they close the gates at dusk. At the finish point we had to carry the boats up a small hill to get to the Jeep but it’s totally manageable.
Prepared for the night we did have lots of snacks and headlamps so we were in no harm. There are a few sections of class 1 rapids, so great for novice paddlers. Generally the Red Deer River is pretty slow, unless they release the dam or it’s spring run off time. I always recommend wearing your PFD having lots of water and sunscreen.
This is a great stretch and although we should have left a little earlier, we could have stopped at many of the bends and fished a little more. But it was a great quiet stretch full of wildlife !