While driving to and from our RiverBase for your Kicking Horse whitewater rafting adventure, there are plenty of stops to be made en route. Some stops may take only a few minutes, others a few hours! For driving to our RiverBase from Banff, please allow 1 hour 20 minutes.
Here are some recommendations to consider while driving west from Banff National Park on TransCanada Highway #1.
LAKE LOUISE: Seeing the iconic view of Lake Louise is a ‘must’ for many, along with historic Chateau Lake Louise. For an easy walk, follow the path behind the Canoe Docks up to a lovely viewpoint. If time allows, wander the shores of the Lake or head up to the Lake Agnes Tea House for tasty snacks and unbeatable views of both lakes, the Chateau and surrounding mountains. Wild Water has an office kiosk at the Chateau, just down the hall from the Front Lobby. Please drop by to say hello!
MORAINE LAKE: Nestled amongst the Valley of the Ten Peaks is stunningly beautiful Moraine Lake. This emerald-coloured mountain lake is incredibly popular from sunrise to sunset. Patience is required to visit this particular spot as parking is limited.
In the Village of Lake Louise, a small assortment of food and retail shops satisfy all sorts of appetites. If in the mood for a great breakfast, lunch or simply a latte, we highly recommend the Trailhead Café (the Trailhead Burrito is our favourite!). Laggan’s Bakery, just next door, offers plenty of tasty and quick options for breakfast to late lunch.
Between Lake Louise and our RiverBase, there are plenty of places worth exploring. The town of Field is fun, funky and eclectic with a lovely variety of guest houses and local artisans. If looking for a quick bite, try the General Store for tasty sandwiches and yummy baked goods! Truffle Pigs Bistro (right across the street) is the perfect place for a post-rafting dinner.
EMERALD LAKE is a 15-minute drive off the TransCanada Highway (TCH) and is well worth the time. A 5km trail wanders the perimeter of the lake with magnificent views of the surrounding mountains. If still in the mood for more water activities (after rafting!), rent a canoe and paddle around the lake …spectacular!
NATURAL BRIDGE is just off the TCH and on the way to Emerald Lake. This easily accessible stop highlights how the Kicking Horse River slowly erodes the soft layers of strata, leaving a natural ‘bridge’ of erosion-resistant rock spanning shore to shore. This area was important to Canada’s First Nations peoples as it provided a safe and easy way to cross the cold and mighty waters of the Kicking Horse.
TAKAKKAW FALLS is Canada’s 2nd highest waterfall and is about 15 minutes off of the TCH. Visitors can walk right to the base of the falls, or simply view the falls from the parking area. On the drive to the falls on Yoho Valley Road, stop at “The Meeting of the Waters” where the Kicking Horse and Yoho rivers converge. It is mesmerizing to see the two different–coloured rivers meet and slowly merge together.
SPIRAL TUNNELS is located off the TCH between Lake Louise and Field on the Big Hill. Trainspotters will love this stop. Interpretive signs describe the engineering and design marvel created in 1909 that has trains ‘spiralling’ through two mountains in order to traverse Kicking Horse Pass.
REMINDER: The drive from Banff to the RiverBase is both easy for the driver and easy on the eyes! The scenery is spectacular and stops can be made either before or after your rafting trip. For driving to our RiverBase from Banff, please allow 1 hour 20 minutes.
PLEASE ALLOW AT LEAST 1 HOUR 20 MINUTES FOR THE DRIVE TO THE RIVERBASE
Head west from Banff on TransCanada Highway #1 (TCH). After approx. 30 to 35 minutes, pass by the turnoff for Lake Louise (there are two gas stations in the village of Lake Louise if fuel is needed). Continue west on the TCH. Approximately 20 minutes after Lake Louise, pass by the small town of Field. Continue west for another 20 minutes or so.
Look for the overhead digital highway sign, just before the highway expands to four lanes. This is your cue to get into the far right-hand lane. Take the Beaverfoot Road exit, turning sharply to the right and then through a tunnel to a stop sign. Turn right and drive a short way uphill toward the Wild Water Adventures billboard. Turn left, cross a cattle guard and drive down the gravel laneway to the RiverBase. Park in the area on the right and get ready for a magnificent day on the Kicking Horse River!
When ONLY the best and most exciting will satisfy your adrenalin fix, this “Best of” the Kicking Horse River rafting experience will be your choice!
Stay for a night or two and enjoy two exceptional days of Banff river rafting in the Canadian Rockies, on the area’s best whitewater river.