Kicking Horse Canyon Construction Project & Rafting

The big talk around the RiverBase is the upcoming highway construction project. Over the past decade or more, the TransCanada highway, between Calgary, Alberta and Kamloops, British Columbia, has been expanded and upgraded.

The Kicking Horse, without question, is the best whitewater rafting in the Canadian Rockies. It also is the most convenient river to get to given its proximity to our nation’s number one transportation artery: the TransCanada Highway. Best of all, the Wild Water Adventures’ RiverBase is steps away from the TransCanada Highway. If driving east or west between Alberta and British Columbia, you’ll pass right by our front doorstep!

The big talk around the RiverBase is the upcoming highway construction project. Over the past decade or more, the TransCanada highway, between Calgary, Alberta and Kamloops, British Columbia, has been expanded and upgraded. One of the last remaining sections requiring renovation is the 4.8 kilometers running through the Kicking Horse Canyon.

This narrow, twisty and curvy bit of road, located just east of Golden, BC, has to be one of the most rugged and scenic sections of any Canadian highway (rivalling the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island). With the 2020 rafting season just around the corner, we here at Wild Water Adventures want to take a moment to update everyone on this impending project.


What To Know About The Kicking Horse Canyon Construction Project?


1. No construction is expected to affect the 2020 rafting season!

The procurement process has just begun and a final decision is not expected until September 2020. Therefore, the upcoming rafting season will not be affected by this construction project.


2. Location, Location, Location

Kicking Horse River Rafting  Wild Water Adventures is the closest rafting outfitter near Banff, Calgary and Lake Louise. Our RiverBase is strategically located alongside the TransCanada highway, several miles/kilometers before the actual construction site. Other outfits, based farther along in Golden, require guests to drive through the construction zone not once, but twice. Wild Water guests driving from the ‘east’ (i.e. Lake Louise, Banff, Calgary) won’t even see the construction site; in fact, all our put-in and take-out locations are nowhere near it. None of our Kicking Horse rafting adventures will be impacted, and daily schedules will continue to run with our usual clockwork precision.



Both British Columbia and Alberta have road-related websites offering updates on conditions and events. The day before your rafting adventure, we highly recommend looking at both DriveBC (Rocky Mountain region) and Alberta 511.

Summer is fabulous for rafting … and road construction! On any given week, a myriad of smaller projects can be found along the TransCanada highway between Calgary and Golden. Arrive on time at the RiverBase by first doing a little online research. Know before you go is a great rule of thumb for both the backcountry and the TransCanada highway!  We also highly recommend adding an additional 20 minutes to the expected driving time … just to be on the safe side.

Feel free to also give us a call directly at the RiverBase for updates. We are happy to provide information and insight on the local driving conditions. Our toll-free number is 1-888-647-6444.


Have no worry if your arrival at the RiverBase is ahead of schedule. The welcome will always be warm and friendly! Feel free to kick back at one of our picnic tables and take in the view and the sunshine. Or, nestle up next to a propane heater on the covered deck in case Mother Nature is in a bit of a bad mood! If the legs need stretching, take a mellow 15-minute stroll down to the river itself. Depending upon your choice of rafting trip, you may pass alongside that very spot in a short while. For those with plenty of time to spare (an hour or more), check out Wapta Falls. A brief 10-minute drive back down the highway, and 20-minute mellow trail walk, brings you to a miniature version of Niagara Falls. This also makes a worthwhile stop after the rafting trip.


Kicking Horse Falls
Photograph by Keith Young, 2006

Even with careful planning, and an additional 20 minutes added to the expected driving time, traffic and/or construction still causes delays. Inevitably each year, a small number of guests miss their rafting departure because of slowdowns on the highway. In such cases, we will do our absolute best to get everyone on the river by re-scheduling to another trip, either that day or the next.


Closing thoughts …

Joining Wild Water Adventures on the Kicking Horse River has never been easier. And, it will remain that way even after the Canyon highway construction project actually begins. Join us on the river and see for yourself.

There is absolutely nothing standing in your way!

Kicking Horse Rafting


Author: Deborah Wade

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