General Rafting Questions

Should I go rafting? I’ve never been!

It’s important for you to know that most of our guests are first timers and we’ve designed our trips, equipment and safety briefings to be “first timer friendly”. All we require is that you have a good desire for fun and adventure and you’ll have a terrific time…and likely be back for more!


I’ve been rafting before…will it be exciting enough for me?

The Kicking Horse is a class IV to IV+ river through most of our operating season. If you’ve been rafting before, but never on the Kicking Horse, you’ll be impressed by the continuity of the river…lots of rapids and very little “calm time”. Also, unlike other rivers, no paddling is required to get from one rapid to the next! If you’ve been rafting before, we want to make sure you get the right trip, so just contact us.


Why you guys?

Excellent question and we’re glad you asked! The Kicking Horse River is renowned as a great river for rafting and, of course, there are others who run the river. While fun on the river is always what we strive for, we believe there is more to it than just that. You want to know that we are “Serious about Safety”. (See our “Guides” section below.) You want your trip to run on schedule, be greeted with friendly, happy, helpful and knowledgeable staff and get great value on your trip. That’s what we’re known for. We know that you want clean gear that gets replaced and upgraded frequently, clean facilities and a secure place for your personal items while on the river. You’ll get that from us, just the way that we’ve been doing it now for 28 years…it’s what we love to do and how we earned the trust and loyalty of our many return guests, sales agents, wholesalers, tour operators, fine hoteliers and locals who faithfully recommend our rafting trips year after year and wouldn’t consider anyone else.


Who will be my guide?

Our staff are truly the key to our past and future success. (Thanks to all of you out there!) Our guiding and driving team are MPHIA Certified (Mountain Parks Heritage Interpretation Assn.) so they know their stuff when it comes to area information! The team consists of men and women who possess a wealth of experience from numerous years of rafting and leading a variety of outdoor pursuits around the world. Check out these stats. Combined, we have professionally guided rafts on nearly every continent, 21 countries, 116 rivers…and enough river miles to easily go TWICE around the world at the equator! That’s a lot of guiding and risk management experience for you to benefit from, don’t you think? We generally require a minimum of three to five seasons of prior rafting experience before we see if new guides are up to our standards. Our guests constantly comment that they love our guide’s enthusiasm and cheerfulness for what they do, and the professionalism with which they do it. We love rivers and rafting and enthusiastically welcome each opportunity to share that passion with you and others like you.


Of course, all of our guides meet or exceed industry standards and we have on-going in-house training and safety meetings daily and throughout the season to constantly maintain and improve our skills and our Risk Management procedures.


Do we paddle or hang on?

You choose! If you prefer to assist your guide by paddling, that’s great! If you would feel more secure and enjoy your trip more by simply holding on to the safety lines positioned inside and around the raft, perfect. We encourage you to participate at a level that is comfortable to YOU! (“All-paddle” trips can easily be arranged if that is your preference, so just ask!)


How many people per raft?

We choose to carry just 8 guests per raft, plus your guide, rather than pack people in rafts to maximize profits as we see others do. We will sometimes go to 9 passengers per raft if it is a group that would like to stay together, or on our Gentle trip where we often have youths. Our rafts are rated for up to 12 people.

About Rafting Equipment

What gear will you provide for me?

Warmth, comfort and security…that’s what you want! You’ll receive quality wetsuits, neoprene booties and gloves, warm fleece pullovers, sprayjackets all included in the price, and, of course, government approved lifejackets and helmets. Our gear is cleaned and DRIED daily, and it is replaced or upgraded frequently.


What do I bring?

Not much, really! We’ll take care of almost all of it as part of the price you pay. Just bring your swimsuit (having it on ahead of time is helpful), dress appropriately for the day and bring a towel. You may want to purchase some souvenirs or photos, so perhaps you’ll want to plan for that.


Where do we change?

You’ll find our RiverBase Daylodge a comfortable, private and secure place to meet and prepare for your trip.  It was purposefully built for our rafting trips with REAL change rooms and washrooms. Your personal items remain dry and secure while you are having a good time on the river. You’ll never have to change in the bushes, alongside the river, or under tarps, that’s for sure!


I tend to get cold easily!

If you describe yourself as someone who is often “thermally challenged”, you’ll find that the gear we’ve selected for you works extremely well to keep you warm.  We’ll even provide double-fleece pullovers on cooler days or if you are from warmer climates.  But we won’t kid you…the mountain water is refreshing! That’s why we work very hard to keep you warm and inside the raft!


Can we buy pictures?

Yes. We offer “on the spot” digital photo service…we want you to have the bragging rights for your friends, family and workmates who didn’t come with you!  Our photos are sold through an email link for $30.


Can we take cameras?

You should leave ‘em behind and not risk getting your camera ruined on the river. You can take some “before and after” photos off the river.


What about GoPro or similar sport video cameras?

You may choose to rent one of our GoPro HD video cameras, complete with SD card, at our “RiversEdge” gift shop for $39.  If you have your own GoPro, you can rent one of our helmets with a mount for just $8 to capture some great action video!

Safety Questions

I’m not a strong swimmer, or can’t swim…should I go?

Swimming ability is recommended and good health is required. It is your choice to come if you are a weak or non-swimmer and we have many each year.


Will I fall out?

While with an adventure activity such as rafting, there is always a chance that you may. Here’s what we do to minimize that risk.


First, you can hang on to our safety lines positioned around the raft. Unlike others, we use a guiding system so that our guests can securely hold on and “get down” when the guide feels it’s necessary, while the guide maintains control to still steer the raft…it’s technically called a “center-mount oar rig”. We’ve found it’s the best …two oars are better than just one paddle.  Our guests still paddle (four on every raft), but they don’t have to when we get to the big rapids…that’s the difference…and that’s when people typically may fall out of the raft.


Second, our safety briefings and demonstrations are clear, concise and thorough…we don’t rush through this just to get you on the river. We want you to be properly prepared.

Of about 7500 rafters per year, only 30-40 go for an “unscheduled” swim and it’s typically on our more advanced trips.


Why do you have minimum ages or weights (or both) for your trips?

Weight minimums are dictated by the manufacturers of our lifejackets for use in whitewater. Age minimums are either the industry standard of care or from our many years of experience and tens of thousands who have been rafting with us.

What about food…

Half-day trips: (Whitewater Exciter, Gentle and Maximum HorsePower trips.)

At the conclusion of the trip, we serve coffee, choice of teas, hot chocolate or juice.


Full day trip: (The Tradition trip.)

At the conclusion of the trip, back at the RiverBase, we serve coffee, a choice of teas, hot chocolate or juice as well as a delicious lunch with the crew.

Miscellaneous Questions

What if it rains?

Actually, rafting in the rain can be a lot of fun…you are going to get wet anyway! Our trips run, rain or shine.


Can I leave my dog at the RiverBase?

We fully recognize that more and more visitors to the region are travelling with their dogs. While at the RiverBase, safe and friendly dogs can remain in their owner’s vehicle at your own risk and discretion. As our guest parking area is fully exposed to the sun, please ensure your pet has plenty of water and that the windows/sunroof are left open to allow for ventilation. Leaving doors unlocked in the event of an emergency is recommended. If you have an RV, please consider leaving the air conditioning running. While not a full-service doggie daycare, our crew is happy to quickly check through the window to make sure your dog is not in distress. Please let us know when making your rafting reservation that your dog will also be arriving at the RiverBase.


In order to respect the comfort level of all our guests, we kindly ask that only humans wander about in our common green areas. Dogs, on leash, are welcome to stretch their legs in the parking area. Please keep our RiverBase tidy by cleaning up after your pet.


What if I’m lost and/or late for the trip I booked?

While we understand that these things happen, we try to stay on schedule for each trip departure time.  If you are having a hard time finding us and/or know you will be running late, please contact us and keep us updated.  You can reach us at 1-888-647-6444.


What if I need to cancel my trip?

Sometimes your plans may change or unavoidable situations arise that necessitate having to cancel or change your trip plans…we understand that. We provide you with a generous 48 hour cancellation policy for individual bookings, and 7 days for groups of 8 or more.


However, please understand that once your trip is booked we reserve your space, assign staff and resources to ensure your trip runs smoothly. Since few of these costs are recoverable at the last minute, cancellations inside of 48 hours (7 days for groups of 8 or more) of your scheduled trip departure are non-refundable and you will be fully charged.


In the unlikely event that Wild Water must cancel a trip, full refunds or alternate dates will be given.

Contact Us





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