The Kicking Horse River is a popular Canadian spot for whitewater rafting. The Kicking Horse River is nestled among six national parks and two mountain ranges of the Canadian Rockies in a spectacularly scenic area.

The Kicking Horse River has three sections of whitewater ranging from class l to class V. The trip begins near Yoho National Park in calm water and gradually picks up speed as the river winds through beautiful scenery and crystal clear, pristine waters.

Along the way, there will be unforgettable and colorful rapid names such as Man-Eater Hole, Last Waltz, Rollercoaster and the mile-long Portage Shotgun.

Two rafting packages are usually offered

Mild adventure
Suitable for the whole family, the moderate and gentle whitewater trip includes some class II and III rapids. Take in the beautiful mountain scenery and learn how to paddle while moving at a leisurely pace through the whitewater. The journey is about 1-ΒΌ hours on the river. Lunch is normally served afterwards and you can also participate in a lively game of volleyball on the beach where the trip culminates. Children ages 5-11 may participate in this particular whitewater rafting trip.

Advanced adventure
Take on the whole river with 27kms of upper and lower canyon rafting. Starting with class ll and lll rapids, you can become accustomed to the river, the paddles and the guides while enjoying the impressive scenery of the Kicking Horse Canyon.

Next, it is on to the white-knuckle thrills of the lower canyon. Known for unfathomed, deep canyon walls and powerful rapids, this is the most challenging part of Kicking Horse River. The river slowly calms and then terminates in the town of Golden after a turbulent and intense white water journey. This trip will surely satisfy even the most daring thrill seeker.

    Notable area features include:

  • Mammals include the grizzly bear, elk, mountain goat, wolverine and porcupine
  • Bird life such as the American dipper, harlequin duck, bald eagle, osprey, barred owl, pileated woodpecker and many other mountain species
  • Large waterfalls include Wapta Falls and the spectacular Takakkaw Falls, dropping from the Daly Glacier to the Yoho River
  • Vegetation representing the four major ecoregions of the Canadian Rockies -- Interior Western Hemlock, Montane, Subalpine and Alpine
  • Fossil sites with more than 140 species, dating back more than 500 million years
  • The Wapato and Waputik ice fields

Additional information about the river

The river is considered navigable from late June to early August. The river system provides exceptional opportunities for experienced rafters on water ranging from intermediate challenging to very difficult, depending on water levels. It is also one of seven rivers in B.C, which has been designated by the province for use of commercial rafting companies.

Since the river is glacier fed, water levels are extremely variable, with maximum flows during hot periods in summer. This is a great trip for the first time rafter or the experienced veteran whitewater rafter.

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