North Thompson River

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North Thompson River
The Thompson River (6009932698).jpg
North Thompson River near Vavenby
Name origin: The Thompson River was named by Simon Fraser in honour of David Thompson [1]
Country Canada
Province British Columbia
Source Thompson Glacier
 - location Premier Range, Cariboo Mountains
 - elevation 1,675 m (5,495 ft) [2]
 - coordinates 52°40′56″N 119°40′25″W / 52.68222°N 119.67361°W / 52.68222; -119.67361 [3]
Mouth Thompson River
 - location Kamloops
 - elevation 339 m (1,112 ft) [2]
 - coordinates 50°40′55″N 120°20′28″W / 50.68194°N 120.34111°W / 50.68194; -120.34111Coordinates: 50°40′55″N 120°20′28″W / 50.68194°N 120.34111°W / 50.68194; -120.34111 [4]
Discharge for McLure Ferry
 - average 427 m3/s (15,079 cu ft/s) [5]
 - max 2,740 m3/s (96,762 cu ft/s)
 - min 39.2 m3/s (1,384 cu ft/s)
ThompsonRiverBritishColumbia Location.png
Thompson River's watershed

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[3] 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 including the Albreda River,[6] Thunder River,[7] Mud Creek,[8] Blue River,[9] Mad River,[10] Raft River,[11] Clearwater River,[12] and Barrière River.[13]

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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