North Thompson River facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsNorth Thompson River
North Thompson River near Vavenby
Thompson River's watershed
|Main source||Thompson Glacier
Premier Range, Cariboo Mountains
1,675 m (5,495 ft)
|River mouth||Thompson River
339 m (1,112 ft)
|Length||365 km (227 mi)|
|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.
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.
North Thompson River Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.