Rafting Calgary style infers a certain level of adventure. Just think of the word ‘stampede’ and images of cowboys (and cowgirls) riding atop bucking broncos come quickly to mind. White water rafting conjures a very similar image: rafts and rafters bucking and bouncing downstream while holding on tight. For the best stampede, Calgary is where it’s at. When it comes to the best white water rafting near Calgary, look no further than the world-famous Kicking Horse River.
What Makes The Kicking Horse The Best Calgary White Water Rafting?
The ‘Horse’ is the best Calgary white water rafting for several reasons. It could be because of its nature and personality or its variety of waves and rapids. Perhaps location is a factor. The Kicking Horse is the best for all these reasons … and more.
From its source waters, high above the Continental Divide near Lake O’Hara, to its confluence with the mighty Columbia River in Golden, BC, the Kicking Horse runs wild and free. No man-made structures control it, no concrete walls hold it back. For its entire 80km (50mi) length, the river moves and behaves according to its own natural personality. The Kicking Horse is able to be itself, and that’s how every river should be.
What Makes A Free-Flowing River The Best?
Free-flowing rivers, compared to dam-controlled rivers, such as the Kananaskis, fluctuate in their own natural cycle. When the weather warms up in the spring, and the alpine snow melts, then the water level in the rivers increase. Later in the season, once all the snow has melted, then the river level decreases. It is a natural ebb and flow that only Mother Nature controls. This means that in June, when the river lets loose and is pumping, Calgarians can experience THE biggest and wildest whitewater in the region … with nothing holding it back.
Are All The Waves Big?
The next best feature of the Kicking Horse, for Calgary rafting, is its variety of waves and rapids. Different sections of the river offer different sized waves. The upper section has bouncy and splashy waves and offers the perfect introduction to whitewater rafting. These waves fall into the Class 2 and Class 3 category of white water intensity.
Farther downstream is Middle Canyon, where the BIG whitewater is found. The river, in a state of perpetual frenzy, moves over, above and around obstacles (i.e. rocks!). Here rafters experience Class 2, Class 3, Class 4, and even Class 4+ white water on extreme high-water days. These are the waves for which the Kicking Horse is famous. The Middle Canyon is non-stop whitewater action from start to finish. Other rivers, such as the Bow near Banff, offer some big waves but nothing in comparison to the continuous white water action found on the Kicking Horse.
Isn’t The River In British Columbia?
Yes, indeed, and rafting the Kicking Horse is so worth the drive! The best white water rafting near Calgary is found just across the Alberta / BC border. Isn’t that a great reason to spend a few hours in the province next door? It couldn’t be easier to get to the river, thanks to the TransCanada Highway and straightforward directions from Google map. Along the way are plenty of Rocky Mountain sites to see and Canmore, Banff, Lake Louise, and Field have fabulous places for humans (and vehicles) to fuel up! Better yet, pack your camping gear and spend an evening under the stars after your day on the river (refer to Parks Canada). It really is worth the drive (did we say that already?).
When Can I Get On The River?
The Kicking Horse season runs from mid-May to mid-September with the busiest months being July and August. A great way to enjoy white water rafting near Calgary, while avoiding the busy summer crowds, is to drive out either before, or after, those two summer months. The river is at its highest throughout the month of June. Experience the biggest of the big whitewater thrills … without the crowds!
Book The Best White Water Rafting Near Calgary Today!
It is obvious that the best Calgary rafting is found on the Kicking Horse River. All that is left to do is make a reservation! Easily book online or give us a call at 1-888-647-6444.
Wild Water Adventures is Canada’s premier whitewater rafting outfit. Perfectly situated near Banff and Lake Louise, getting here for your adventure will be a breeze. Learn more about us here.
See You On The River!
Author: Deborah Wade