River Rafting In The Time of COVID-19


Whitewater rafting on the Kicking Horse River, near Banff National Park, might just be the best outdoor activity to enjoy in the coming months. Once everyone gets the green light to move about more freely in our COVID-19 world, the river will be the place to be.

High on everyone’s minds are three critical questions: ‘Where do we go? What do we do? And, is rafting a good activity in the time of COVID-19?’.

Question #1: Where Do We Go?

Staying relatively close to home, and exploring further into our own provincial backyard, is the message from our health experts. Weeks and weeks of cooped up isolation mean that fun-seeking adventurers are wondering where they can go to play. The Canadian Rockies could not provide a better wilderness setting in which to kick back, relax and blow off some pent up COVID-19 steam. When permitted, hop in your car, truck or RV and road trip out to Banff, Jasper, Kootenay and Yoho National Parks. Long-lasting summer memories can still be made without travelling too far from home.

Question #2: What Do We Do?

The world may have changed in the past several months, along with how we interact with each other within that world. One aspect, however, that remains steadfast is the importance of spending time in nature and wilderness. River rafting has always offered a grand, naturally wild experience: a chance to deeply breathe in pine-scented air; gaze out at stupendous mountain scenery; and, vigorously shake off cascading water after ploughing through a thrilling set of waves and rapids. Recent articles in the L.A. Times and Men’s Journal reflect on this exact thought.

Also worth noting is that the river is already running at a high level, and forecasted to remain so for the season. This summer will be the perfect time to experience the true ‘kick’ in the Kicking Horse River!

Returning to the question of ‘what do we do?’, the answer is simple. Let’s go rafting!

Question #3: Is Rafting A Wise Activity In The Time of COVID-19?

In a word, yes.

Public health officials encourage activities that involve being in wide-open spaces. ‘Outdoor rather than indoor’ is the motto when it comes to choosing what to do. For a summer adventure, river rafting could not be better suited to put a smile on a guest’s face while respecting public health advice.

Wild Water Adventures adheres strictly to industry safety standards regarding how to raft a river. Provincial guidelines regarding COVID-19 will be met with the same high standard of care. Whether it be at the RiverBase, on our shuttle vehicles, or on the rafts themselves, government safety measures and protocols will be followed to the letter. Exceptions will not be made.

Guests gather at the RiverBase, our main hub of activity, before and after the rafting trip. Fortunately, the naturally spacious setting ensures no one needs to feel crowded. Extensive measures will be implemented to uphold both distancing and sanitary requirements. Similar considerations will also come into play while transporting guests to, and from, the river.

On the raft itself, guests are already spaced between the bow and stern (or, front and back).  Each 16-foot raft holds 8 guests, with 4 in the front, and 4 in the back. The guide sits at the centre of the raft, rowing with the oars. Private raft options are available for intact travelling groups along with fully private departures available for large groups of up to 32 people.

Whether on land, in a vehicle, or on a raft, face coverings will be worn, by both guests and crew, if the 2-metre distance cannot be maintained. Guests are required to provide their own face coverings.

Rafting gear provided by Wild Water includes wetsuit, wetsuit booties and gloves, spray jacket, life jacket and helmet. Over the past 29 years, it has been our modus operandi to clean, dry and sterilize gear after every single use. With such well-established systems already in place, we are good to go for COVID-19 procedures. For additional warmth, guests are encouraged to pack along their own polar fleece sweater or polypropylene layer. You’ll have that much more fun when warm and happy on the river!



Opening day on the river is SATURDAY, JUNE 27th!


The entire crew at Wild Water Adventures wishes to reassure each and every guest that your health and safety remain our Number 1 priority. That is the way it has always been and will continue to be. Adjusting our current safety-conscious operations to incorporate COVID-19 health measures requires only minor tweaking.  We are, essentially, ready to ‘rock and raft’.

To chat about summer possibilities, simply give us a call at 1-888-647-6444.


We do look forward to seeing everyone on the river.

Remember to bring your bathing suit, towel and face coverings!

Best White Water Rafting Near Calgary

Author: Deborah Wade

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