Lost Canyon offers self equipped adventure kayakers and filmmakers a unique opportunity. The
seclusion of a beautiful forested, no phone signal, roadless canyon with numerous pool and drop class 2
to 3+ rapids at low water and 2 to 4+ rapids at higher levels. Fine food, comfortable accommodations
and shuttle service, just 2 kilometers from the take out at Swiss Ticino Guesthouse & Restaurant. This river
is just too small for white water rafting and the rapids are too dangerous for the vast majority of tourists
vacationing in Chiang Mai to kayak. As of this writing there are no commercial trips for tourists in this canyon!
I have completed 3 runs through Lost Canyon in November and December of 2013 without seeing anyone
other than the people paddling with me. 7 days of cutting trails along the rapids and not a single boat
went by or other person hiked by.
Right from the put in, the river offers class 2 white water as you leave the road behind and enter the
interesting rock formations of Lost Canyon. A few kilometers downstream you pass under the swinging
walking bridge as the canyon narrows and the rapids increase in size. The first of the larger rapids is
Flat Rocks Rapid offering the photographer/cinematographer excellent access along the large flat rock
ledges. Stand or sit near the edge and you are right in the action. Wade out in the eddy below the last
drop off for an into the lens angle. Those who wish to run the major rapids more than once or not at all,
I have established a trail system for that purpose. Towards the end of the canyon the pace really picks
up. The Island Rapid ending at Dayna's Rock leads to House of Rocks and Final Falls. These 3 rapids
are a real challenge at most water levels and the first 2 are explosive at high water. (see final note
below)With only 6 months of watching the water levels I still have to learn if the canyon is runnable
when the weather warms up again in a few weeks. Low water season started this year with the rains in
July and ends by October when higher water season begins. This year the river was very runnable up to
and following peak high water in late October, starting in early November and ending when the air
temperature got too cold in mid December as low water returned. I will find out if the canyon is
runnable in January and February.
Why am I telling you this? At 64 I can't paddle this canyon alone! Take me and my cameras with you.
There are very few class 3 or 4 small river paddlers in Chiang Mai. The paddlers here who have the
needed river skills, work everyday as kayak guides and kayak rescue on other rivers (Thailand's famous
Mae Taeng River is just up the road). My hobbies are outdoor photography and film making. With 30
years experience as a river guide and outfitter mostly in the USA and India, I have a variety of skills
that might come in handy on any river trip. For me, this is all about fun & exciting day trips exploring
the ever so peaceful and unoccupied Lost Canyon in my new NRS Outlaw, meeting new paddlers,
shooting photos, video and eating at Swiss Ticino with Frank.
The right side of The Island Rapid runs directly into Dayna's Rock. One can only imaging how
big and bad the hole caused by Dayna's Rock will be when the water is going over it. There is a high
water channel to the left of the island that gives the rapid it's name. Final Falls becomes a big powerful
recalculating wave at some high water levels and House of Rocks, directly above it can have explosive
holes. High water boaters try to look at both from the trail on the left side before running them. Out of
your boat in House of Rocks means swimming Final Falls, not a good thing at higher water.
There is wonderful walking and photography opportunities in the mountains and along the far side of
the river right from Swiss Ticino.
Frank and I have started cutting away the brush on the almost never used trail system that the Hill Tribes
established. There is much to see and explore.
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