Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


Have a question about your upcoming rafting trip? Perhaps the answer can be found below. Our helpful crew is always available via telephone if further clarification is needed (1-888-647-6444).


Where is Wild Water Adventures located?


All rafting trips depart from our RiverBase (2750 Beaverfoot Road, Golden BC), conveniently located on the TransCanada Highway #1. The RiverBase is halfway between the towns of Field and Golden, BC, and an easy 45-minute drive west of Lake Louise. Trips do NOT depart from Lake Louise. While we do have a sales office in Lake Louise, the rafts and crew are at the RiverBase! For accurate directions on Google Maps, simply enter ‘Wild Water Adventures RiverBase’ or click here.


When should I arrive at the RiverBase?


Guests for morning departures are to be at the RiverBase at 8:45 AM (MST). For afternoon departures, please arrive at 1:45 PM (MST). Guests are required to check-in upon arrival at the RiverBase.


Are there minimum ages and weights?


Yes! Because of the whitewater elements of the Kicking Horse River, all outfitters adhere to the same safety standards. Your safety is, after all, our number one priority. Please be sure to reserve the appropriate trip to avoid disappointment at the RiverBase. We do have a scale and are not afraid to use it! Please Note: Rafters must meet both age and weight requirements. No exceptions. Think of the signs at Disneyland: You must be this tall to go on this ride!


  • Gentle Introduction to Whitewater: Minimum 8 years of age and 50 pounds (23kg)
  • Whitewater Exciter: Minimum 12 years of age and 90 pounds (41kg)
  • Tradition: Minimum 12 years of age and 90 pounds (41kg)
  • Maximum Horsepower: Minimum 16 years of age and 100 pounds (45kg)
  • Evening Float: Minimum 6 years of age and 50 pounds (23kg)


What if I’m late?


Wild Water Adventures runs its trips like clockwork, and there is a reason for that. Morning trips have to be on time so afternoon trips can run on time as well. We also fully appreciate that guests have other activities to enjoy either before or after their time with us. Those who arrive at the RiverBase on time expect us to run on time as well. We kindly ask all guests to ‘know before you go’ how long it will take to drive from your location to the RiverBase and to take into account any potential highway delays or time changes. It is always wise to look at DriveBC and Alberta511 for road conditions the night before, and the morning of, your trip.


Email notices are sent to all guests, 48 hours prior to every departure, reminding everyone of road conditions and the RiverBase location. In other words, there really is no excuse to be late!


While we do appreciate that some delays simply cannot be avoided, please give us a call at 1-888-647-6444 to keep us up to date on your location. If there is space available on the next scheduled departure, then we will make every effort to get you on that trip. If, however, space is not available, your paid trip fares will be used as credit for a future date.


What is the cancellation policy?


Sometimes unavoidable situations arise that require canceling or modifying a rafting reservation. We understand such circumstances. Changes to a reservation can be made with more than 48 hours’ notice prior to rafting departure date, or with more than 7 days’ notice for group reservations with 8 or more guests. Cancellations made with at least 48 hours’ notice prior to rafting departure are fully refundable, or at least 7 days’ notice for group reservations of 8 or more guests. Cancellations within the final 48 hours / 7 days prior to any rafting departure are non-refundable.


Once your rafting trip is booked, we reserve your space and assign staff and resources to ensure everything runs smoothly. It is difficult to re-sell spots cancelled at the last minute. Any changes made to a reservation within the final 48 hours prior to rafting departure (or within 7 days of a group rafting departure), are non-refundable.


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


Are shuttle services available from Lake Louise?


Shuttle services from Lake Louise are available at an additional charge per person. Shuttle reservations must be made at least 48 hours prior to your rafting trip. Otherwise, we will assume you are driving directly to the RiverBase in your own vehicle. For shuttle information, please call us directly at 1-888-647-6444.


What if it rains?


Rafting trips depart rain or shine. Guests will get wet from the river anyway, so a little rain won’t make any difference! We provide lots of gear to help keep everyone warm, comfortable and content. If ‘thermally challenged’, pack along more synthetic polar fleece layers to help stay happy. Remember, mountain water is very refreshing!


Will I have to sign a waiver?


Yes. As with all adventure sports, guests are required to read, complete and sign a waiver in order to raft. Waivers must be signed and witnessed only at the RiverBase. Please do not arrive at the RiverBase with pre-printed waivers; we will only ask you to complete and sign the form again.  Guests under the age of 18 are required to have a parent sign on their behalf.


What is provided?


All rafters are provided with top quality wetsuits, neoprene booties and gloves, spray jackets, life jackets and helmets. All individual pieces of gear are clean and sanitized after every use (which we always did, even before COVID-19!).


What do I bring?


All rafters are kindly requested to bring just a few items:


  • Bathing suit (to wear under the wetsuit) – It is helpful to have your bathing suit on already, under your clothes, upon arrival at the RiverBase.
  • Towel (for changing afterwards back into warm, dry land clothes)
  • Polar Fleece/Thermal sweater (for added warmth on the river; AVOID COTTON AT ALL COSTS!)
  • Face Covering (for COVID-19 purposes)
  • Small Ziploc Bag (for dry storage of face-covering while on the river)


Can I leave my dog at the RiverBase?


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 travelling with an RV, please consider leaving the air conditioning running. While not a 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 a leash, are welcome to stretch their legs in the parking area. Please keep our RiverBase tidy by cleaning up after your pet.


Should I raft if I am pregnant?


Due to the refreshing temperature of the river, and the amount of bouncing and jostling about in the rafts, we recommend pregnant ladies remain on land and raft with us at a future time. The river isn’t going anywhere and neither are we!


Who will be my guide?


The Wild Water crew (both on-river and off-river) is the key to our success! The guiding and driving team are MPHIA certified (Mountain Parks Heritage Interpretation Association) and know their stuff when it comes to area information. The guiding team consists of men and women who possess a wealth of experience from rafting and leading a variety of outdoor pursuits around the world. Combined, our guides have professionally guided rafts on nearly every continent, 21 countries, 116 rivers, and enough river miles to easily go around the world TWICE (at the equator!).


To become a Wild Water guide, a minimum of three to five seasons of previous whitewater experience is required. We have very high standards. Our guests consistently comment on our guides’ enthusiasm and cheerfulness for what they do, and the professionalism with which they do it. All guides meet or exceed industry standards and in-house training is ongoing along with daily safety meetings.


Do I need to know how to swim?


Swimming ability (and overall good health) is recommended. It is, however, a personal choice to raft if any guest is a weak swimmer or doesn’t swim at all. Those with minimal swimming experience are best to let their guide know.


Rivers, in general, move quickly and the Kicking Horse River moves extremely quickly. Being comfortable in such a dynamic situation is strongly recommended. A comprehensive safety talk is conducted prior to every trip, before guests board the rafts. All rafters are given the knowledge of what to do in possible, but rare, situations. One can never be too safe on a raft!


Can I bring a camera?


Personal cameras and cell phones are to be left, safe and dry, in your vehicle back at the RiverBase. Trip photographers will be snapping pictures at various spots along the river, capturing splashes, laughs and smiles. These photos will then be on display for purchase after the trip.


Do we paddle or just hang on?


The choice is yours! To be more active, help yourself to a paddle and assist the guide as the raft moves downstream through the waves and rapids. If you prefer to sit back and hold on, that’s okay, too. Mix it up and do a bit of both. Guests are encouraged to participate at a level that is comfortable for them.


Later in the season, when river levels drop, ‘All Paddle’ rafts can be arranged, for either Gentle or Whitewater Exciter departures, so that everyone can paddle the entire trip. Simply give us a call to find out more.


What about the rafts?


Our standard rafts are 16-foot, oar-rigged, self-bailers. The guide sits in the middle of the raft, at the oars, for maximum control. Up to 4 guests sit in the section in front of the guide, and up to 4 guests sit in the section behind. Each raft holds a maximum of 8 guests plus 1 guide. Some guests are able to assist with paddles, while others hold on. These rafts are used for our Gentle, Whitewater Exciter and Tradition trips, as well as the first of two runs on the Maximum Horsepower (the second run being on smaller 14-foot, all-paddle rafts).


Where do guests change?


Our RiverBase is located on a picturesque 13-acre property, overlooking the Kicking Horse River. It is the ideal place to meet and prepare for your trip. The DayLodge boasts heated change rooms (one for ladies, one for gentlemen), hot and cold running water, proper washroom facilities and a large covered deck area to enjoy before and after rafting. Personal items remain dry and secure inside the DayLodge while guests have fun on the river.


How far is the RiverBase from Calgary and other towns?


Wild Water Adventures is the closest Kicking Horse river outfitter to Calgary. We are located 20 minutes before the town of Golden, saving guests 40 minutes of driving time!


From Calgary, the RiverBase is approximately 2 hours 30 minutes due west on TransCanada Highway #1. From Canmore, 1 hour 40 minutes; from Banff, 1 hour 20 minutes; from Lake Louise, 45 minutes. From Golden, the RiverBase is 20 minutes east on Highway #1; from Invermere, 1 hour 20 minutes north on Hwy 95 and then 20 minutes east on Hwy 1.


What are Wild Water’s COVID-19 protocols?


Wild Water Adventures is in full compliance with provincial health regulations when it comes to COVID-19. Not only are guests screened upon arrival at the RiverBase, but extensive cleaning and sanitizing regimes are followed before and after every trip. Each piece of equipment is cleaned and sanitized after every use, as are all our vehicles. Guests and crew alike wear face coverings (except when on the river) and hand sanitizing stations are located at various spots around the RiverBase. For more details, please refer to our blog posted last June, ‘We’re All In This Together’.


When should I book for the 2022 season?


The 2022 season kicks off on Saturday, May 21st. Reservations are already being accepted. As trips do sell out (especially weekends in July and August), it is always best to book sooner rather than later. To make a reservation, simply click the yellow ‘Book Today’ button on any Wild Water Adventures website page or call us directly at 1-888-647-6444.


Are Group Discounts Available?


Yes! With 8 to 15 rafters in your reservation, a 10% discount will automatically apply to all rafting fares. With 16 or more rafters, the discount is 15%.


Can I wear eyeglasses or sunglasses?


If eyeglasses are needed while on the river, please bring a safety strap for the trip. Alternatively, safety straps are available for purchase at the RiverBase. Sunglasses are best left in your vehicle for after the trip.


Can I bring or rent a GoPro?


Yes. Guests can rent a helmet with a mount if bringing their own GoPro camera, for $7.99 + tax. Simply let the Base Managers know when checking in at the RiverBase.


Can I purchase trip photographs?


Yes. Trip photographs will be on display back at the RiverBase after the trip. Simply chat to a Base Manager to purchase the collection or purchase directly from the website by clicking the ‘Buy Photos’ button at the top of any Wild Water Adventures website page.


Are food and drinks provided?


Full-Length Trip (Tradition): Back at the RiverBase, after rafting, a delicious gourmet BBQ lunch is served along with hot and cold beverages.


Half-Day Trips (Gentle, Whitewater Exciter, Maximum Horsepower): Back at the RiverBase, after rafting, a selection of hot and cold beverages are available on the deck.


*** Optional Gourmet BBQ Lunch upgrade is available for guests on the morning (8:45 AM) Gentle and Whitewater Exciter departures.


PLEASE NOTE: Due to COVID-19 health regulations, food items may vary for the 2022 rafting season.


What is Wild Water’s policy towards alcohol and drugs?


Wild Water Adventures has a zero-tolerance policy regarding drugs and alcohol. Any guest suspected of intoxication upon arrival will not be allowed to raft and his/her fare will NOT be refunded


Will the Canyon Highway Project affect access to the RiverBase?


No. Wild Water Adventures, unlike other Golden-based operators, is located east of the Kicking Horse Canyon. Guests driving from Lake Louise, Banff or Calgary should be able to avoid canyon road construction altogether. The RiverBase, put-in and take-out locations are all before the construction area. For more information, please refer to our recent blog.


For those driving from Calgary, Banff, or Lake Louise, there is NO NEED TO DETOUR through Kootenay National Park and Radium on Highway 93-South. PLEASE DRIVE DIRECTLY TO THE RIVERBASE VIA HIGHWAY #1 WESTBOUND towards Golden, BC.


Remember, we are the closest Kicking Horse operator to Calgary. There is no need to drive all the way into Golden to join our trips!

Will I see wildlife?


Possibly. Bears, wolves, elk, cougars and other creatures do live and move throughout the area. Keep your eyes peeled and maybe something will make an appearance!


Why raft with Wild Water Adventures?


Because we are the best! Even TripAdvisor ranks us as the #1 Activity in the Canadian Rockies. Since 1992, Wild Water Adventures has offered premium rafting experiences on the Kicking Horse River. After three decades of creating incredible memories for thousands and thousands of rafters, we continually strive to show our guests the best time possible on the river, while being as safe as possible, too. Don’t just take our word for it, check out what guests had to say after spending time on our rafts.


Contact Us




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