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North Thompson River facts for kids

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North Thompson River
The Thompson River (6009932698).jpg
North Thompson River near Vavenby
ThompsonRiverBritishColumbia Location.png
Thompson River's watershed
Country Canada
Province British Columbia
Physical characteristics
Main source Thompson Glacier
Premier Range, Cariboo Mountains
1,675 m (5,495 ft)
River mouth Thompson River
Kamloops
339 m (1,112 ft)
Length 365 km (227 mi)
Discharge
  • Location:
    McLure Ferry
  • Minimum rate:
    39.2 m3/s (1,380 cu ft/s)
  • Average rate:
    427 m3/s (15,100 cu ft/s)
  • Maximum rate:
    2,740 m3/s (97,000 cu ft/s)
Basin features
River system Fraser River
Basin size 20,000 km2 (7,700 sq mi)

The North Thompson River is the northern branch of the Thompson River, the largest tributary of the Fraser River, in the Canadian province of British Columbia. It originates at the toe of the Thompson Glacier in the Premier Range of the Cariboo Mountains, west of the community of Valemount. The river flows generally south through the Shuswap Highland towards Kamloops where it joins the South Thompson River to form the main stem Thompson River.

For most of its length, the river is paralleled by Highway 5, and the Canadian National Railway (both of which cross the river a couple of times). The North Thompson passes by several small communities, the most notable being Blue River, Clearwater, and Barriere.

Tributaries of the North Thompson River include Canvas Creek, the Albreda River, Thunder River, Mud Creek, Blue River, Mad River, Raft River, Clearwater River, and Barrière River.

The North Thompson's largest tributary is the Clearwater River, which joins at the town of Clearwater. The Clearwater River drains much of Wells Gray Provincial Park.

A notable feature along the North Thompson is Little Hells Gate, a mini-replica of the much larger Hells Gate rapids on the Fraser River. About 17.4 kilometres (10.8 mi) upstream from the small town of Avola, the North Thompson River is forced through a narrow chute only about 30 feet (9.1 m) wide, creating a rapid that resembles the Fraser's famous rapid. Many river rafting companies offer a variety of trips through the rapids.

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