CANMORE: A fun and funky mountain town with plenty of shopping, hip and trendy restaurants and a vibrant downtown which is fun for wandering, window shopping or people watching. Streetside cafes are great places on a nice summer’s day. Gas (petrol) stations are easily accessible just off the highway and the prices tend to be a bit more reasonable than Banff or Lake Louise. If looking for accommodations, there are plenty of options from which to choose.
BANFF: Banff is one of the most popular tourist towns in North America and offers fine shopping, dining and sightseeing experiences. PLEASE NOTE: If planning to stop in Banff, Lake Louise or anywhere else within Banff National Park, visitors are required to purchase a Park Permit.
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!
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.
Driving to our headquarters for some Calgary rafting? When driving from Calgary to Wild Water Adventures RiverBase for your whitewater rafting adventure, allow approximately 2 hours 30 minutes from Canada Olympic Park on the west side of Calgary. If driving from the South or SW of Calgary, allow 2.5hrs; or 2.75 hours if coming from Calgary International Airport.
Head west on the TransCanada Highway #1, passing turnoffs along the way to Kananaskis Country and the towns of Canmore, Banff, Lake Louise and Field. If you need to stop en route for fuel or personal needs, Canmore has plenty of gas stations and fast food options. Continue westward on TCH #1 towards Banff and Lake Louise.
Approximately 20 minutes after Lake Louise, past the town of Field (on the left). Continue on for another 20 minutes. 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!
Roadside Stops Along The Way
Between Lake Louise and our RiverBase, there are plenty of things worth exploring. The town of Field is fun, funky and eclectic with lovely guesthouses and local artisans. If looking for a quick bite, try the General Store for tasty sandwiches and yummy baked goods!
- EMERALD LAKE is a 15-minute drive off the Trans Canada Highway (TCH) and is well worth the drive. You can canoe on the lake or take a lovely walk around its perimeter.
- 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.