20 Jan RAFTING IN REVELSTOKE VS RAFTING THE KICKING HORSE RIVER
Can Revelstoke white water rafting or Kicking Horse River white water rafting satisfy your craving for adventure? River rafting in the Canadian Rockies and British Columbia offers a huge variety of options. Some rivers are calm and gentle, others big and wild. Still others are somewhere in between. Each, no matter what, has its own personality, charm and unforgettable characteristics. Learn more about Canadian Rockies rafting.
Quite often, we are asked the question ‘What’s the difference between the Kicking Horse River and the Illecillewaet River, near Revelstoke?’ Both, after all, are classified as whitewater rivers. Let’s walk through the similarities and differences of these two popular rafting waterways.
Whitewater is Whitewater, Right?
The term ‘whitewater’ does mean wave action. There are, however, different grades of whitewater. Some waves, after all, are bigger than others. Grade 1 is flat, moving water (i.e. no waves, whatsoever). Grades 2 and 3 waves are splashier yet the raft can still pass directly over or through whatever is causing the wave. Grade 4 waves require technical maneuvering to specifically avoid rafting over the rock or drop making the wave in the first place. Grade 5 waves are not commercially runnable in British Columbia. Grade 6 is Niagara Falls in a barrel! Here’s a quick video, put together by a rafting outfit in West Virginia, explaining the different classifications.
Revelstoke Whitewater Rafting on the Illecillewaet River
Revelstoke whitewater rafting on the Illecillewaet River is perfect for those looking for Grades 1, 2 and 3 waves. There are plenty of friendly bounces and waves splashing over the sides of the raft. For this reason, it is ideal for families with younger children as rafters typically need only be at least 8 years of age.
Kicking Horse River
The Kicking Horse River offers a similar experience on our Gentle trip. It is bouncy, splashy and the ideal introduction to whitewater rafting. It is also suitable for those looking for a ‘mild’ whitewater experience without getting totally soaked.
This famous river also steps it up a notch into the ‘wild’ side of whitewater rafting. Here we have sections of Grade 4 waves and rapids in addition to Grades 1, 2 and 3. During high water season in June, when all the snow is melting in the alpine, those waves can even be classified as 4 Plus! We are talking about really, really big waves (the biggest in the Rockies, in fact). Rafters will get totally soaked on such trips. Check out our half-day Whitewater Exciter and full-length Tradition trips to experience this level of whitewater
For those looking for even more excitement, our Golden white water rafting Maximum Horsepower trip might just fit the bill. This trip offers twice the whitewater action as we run the BIG wave section TWICE (in two different styles of rafts). As rafters are required to paddle on the second run, this trip is perfect for experienced rafters who know how to paddle hard through the waves.
Which River To Choose?
Both Revelstoke white water rafting on the Illecillewaet River and white water rafting near Golden on the Kicking Horse River offer great rafting experiences. If bigger wave action is what you’re looking for, however, it’s worth the drive towards Golden and Wild Water Adventure’s RiverBase. With all the completed improvements along the TransCanada Highway east of Revelstoke, the drive is a breeze. Plus, there is so much to explore along the way in Glacier National Park and the town of Golden. Just remember the 1-hour time difference between Revelstoke and Golden!
How To Book?
Reservations for whitewater rafting on the Kicking Horse River can be made anytime before or during our May-September season. Simply click the yellow ‘Book Today’ button on any of our website pages. You don’t want to miss a Golden white water rafting trip this summer! Alternatively, call us directly at 1-888-647-6444.
Author: Deborah Wade