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TOP 5 WHITEWATER RIVERS IN BC

Whitewater rafting in British Columbia is beyond compare. Those tiny water droplets tumbling down steep-sided mountains, turning into swirling, frothy frenzies entice adventurers of all ages.

‘TIS THE SEASON!

Snow is falling in the Rocky Mountains, peacefully covering trees, lakes and rivers. Filling our minds are thoughts of wooshing down slopes or gliding across frozen waterways or, perhaps, just nestling up next to a warm fire with a good book. It is that Winter Wonderland time of year. Dressed up in cozy clothes, boots and mittens, summer seems a long way off. Who, really, is thinking about whitewater rafting and getting completely soaked from the refreshing waves and rapids?    Give The Gift of Experience   Perhaps people with gifts to give are thinking of whitewater rafting! What better way to give someone the gift of adventure & experience than by giving a Wild Water Adventure’s gift certificate. Pick the specific trip, or a specific dollar amount, to create the perfect gift for someone you love (or simply like!). Gift certificates are available for all trips, including our two half-day trips (Gentle Introduction to Whitewater and Whitewater Exciter), our full-length trip (Tradition with gourmet BBQ lunch) and our super adrenaline, double shot trip (Maximum Horsepower). Gift certificates for any of our packages with Lake Louise Gondola or Golden Skybridge are also available.   The process couldn’t be easier. Purchase directly from our website (click the yellow Gift Certificate button on the bottom of any website page) or call us at 1-888-647-6444.  To have all the information emailed directly to you, rather than the recipient, simply enter your email address twice, into both fields. Print up the information right at home and then wrap accordingly. Afterwards, the lucky recipient calls us to make an actual reservation for a specific date and trip. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!    Canyon Lights in North Vancouver   For those in the Lower Mainland, head out to enjoy the Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge in North Vancouver. There’s a way to win not only a rafting trip for 4 on one of our river adventures, but an entire 4-day Rocky Mountain holiday courtesy of our friends at Cathedral Mountain Lodge. Follow the snowy owls throughout the property and enter to win this fabulous grand prize experience.        From all of us here at Wild Water Adventures, we wish everyone a Happy and Safe Holiday Season.  May your celebration be filled with love and lots of laughter! See You On The River Next Summer.     Author: Deborah Wade

ADVENTURE ACTIVITIES FOR GROUPS

Adventure activities for groups

Whitewater rafting on the Kicking Horse River is fun for groups, large or small. Bring your gathering of friends, family or colleagues for a day of fantastic waves, amazing scenery and heaps of laughter. Wild Water Adventures can accommodate any number of rafters, whether there are 8, 58, or 108 in your reservation. Family groups, corporate groups, social, wedding, work and school groups (just to name a few) all benefit from reduced fares.   Here are the most important pieces of information to know when planning a group adventure activities and rafting near Calgary experience with Wild Water Adventures.  Trip Options:  Group discounts are available for the entire Wild Water Adventures roster. Choose from the half-day Gentle or Whitewater Exciter, the full-length Tradition with lunch, or the double-shot Maximum Horsepower.  ** Lunch upgrade options are available for morning (8:45 AM) Gentle and Whitewater Exciter trips.  Please Note that minimum age and weight criteria apply to all rafting groups:   Gentle:   8 years of age and 50 pounds in weight  Whitewater Exciter:  12 years of age and 90 pounds in weight  Tradition:   12 years of age and 90 pounds in weight  Maximum Horsepower:  16 years of age and 100 pounds in weight   Group Discounts:  Rafting discounts are available for groups with a minimum of 8 rafters.  8 to 15 Rafters:             10% off rafting fares  16 or more Rafters:      15% off rafting fares                                            50 or more Rafters:     ** Call Us Directly About Pricing & Exclusive Departures **  Wedding and Birthday Groups:  To help celebrate an extra special day, we offer extra special discount arrangements for Birthday, Stag, Stagette and entire Wedding Party rafting trips.  Wedding Planners are welcome to contact us directly to chat about specific wedding party considerations.   4 to 7 Rafters:              Bride or Groom or Birthday Rafter receives a 25% Discount  8 to 15 Rafters:            Bride or Groom or Birthday Rafter rafts for FREE  16 or More Rafters:     Option A:  Bride or Groom or Birthday Rafter rafts for FREE                                            Plus Rest of group receives 10% Discount;    Or                                        Option B:  Bride and Groom both raft for FREE  Corporate Groups:  For even larger corporate groups, with 50 or more enthusiastic rafters, we are happy to work together, one on one.  Let’s make a day out of the office that much more fun and rewarding. In addition to rafting, we can build transportation and lunch options into your exclusively designed Play Day package so that all anyone need do is show up and have fun during your group adventure activities!  Inquiries, Reservations and Cancellations:  For further information or to make a reservation, simply call us directly at 1-888-647-6444. Payment in full, by credit card, is required at the time of booking. Cancellations require a minimum of 7 days’ notice prior to the reserved date of departure. Any cancellations or changes made to a reservation within the final 7 days prior to trip departure, or no-shows on the actual day of rafting, are non-refundable. ** Larger groups may have slightly different payment arrangements but the 7-day cancellation policy remains in effect.    Rafting together in a group, for any type of reason, is fun. Pure and simple. Join us this summer for some Golden white water rafting fun or even start planning your white water rafting in Banff group adventure for next summer.  It’s never too early to think about adventure activities and white water rafting in BC!    See you soon on the river!      Author: Deborah Wade

Welcome To The 2021 Rafting Season!

Welcome back to the river!  The 2021 whitewater rafting season kicked off in grand style last month. The Wild Water crew was so happy to be back on the Kicking Horse River and moving about the RiverBase.  Although the season started later than usual, we now are up and running and having loads of fun with our guests.    2021 Heat Dome     After only four weeks into the season, the biggest challenge by far has been water levels. The heat dome of 2021 melted alpine snow in record quantities, feeding the river till it almost burst its banks. Locals in the area say they’d never seen the rivers so high. Some trips did require us to change which section of river we ran because the BIG whitewater of the Kicking Horse River was simply too big!  Water levels have come down and we are rafting the usual sections of the river once again.  We greatly appreciate the understanding and flexibility shown by our guests while Mother Nature threw us some curveballs.       Highway Construction    Just west of the RiverBase, on the TransCanada Highway, a mammoth construction project is underway. While there were daytime closures of the TransCanada Highway earlier in the year, only night-time closures are in effect during July, August, and the first half of September.  There is no need for guests to detour through Kootenay National Park and Radium on Highways 93 and 95 in order to reach the RiverBase.  Please continue to follow GoogleMap’s step-by-step instructions.   Nightly closures of the highway between the RiverBase and the town of Golden take place between 10:00 pm and 7:00 am, Sunday night through Friday morning.  Please refer to the Kicking Horse Canyon construction website for further details.    COVID-19     Wild Water Adventures continues to adhere to its extensive COVID-19 protocols established last year. Guests are kindly reminded to bring their own face covering to wear while at the RiverBase and on our shuttle buses. Face coverings, however, will not be worn while rafting. Please also bring along a small Ziploc bag for dry storage of your face covering while on the river.     Trip Cancellation Insurance    Wild Water Adventures has partnered with Tugo Travel Insurance. If interested in purchasing trip cancellation insurance, simply click here for further details.     COMING SOON!  Later this month, Wild Water Adventures will be announcing a new adventure package in partnership with Golden Skybridge.  Guests can raft either the Gentle or Whitewater Exciter and receive entrance tickets to Golden’s newest attraction. Stayed tuned!    Please simply call us at 1-888-647-6444  if there are any questions.   The office is open daily from 8 AM through 8 PM.    The 2021 crew is looking forward to seeing everyone soon on the river.       Author: Deborah Wade

HISTORY OF THE KICKING HORSE RIVER

Kicking Horse River history

River rafting in British Columbia has a long and well-established history.  Companies offering both multi-day wilderness expeditions and action-packed day trips have run guests down a multitude of BC rivers for close to 50 years.  The first commercial rafting outfit in British Columbia, in fact, Canada, was Canadian River Expeditions, founded in 1972 by Big John Mikes.  CRE specialized (and continues to specialize) in multi-day wilderness rafting expeditions in remote pockets of the province and territories.    The first-ever day-tripping company was none other than Kumsheen in 1973, setting up shop on the banks of the Thompson River.  This rafting destination remains a popular whitewater escape for those near Vancouver and the Lower Mainland.  Kicking Horse River History   Closer to the Rockies, near Golden and Lake Louise, the Kicking Horse River and valley has its own cultural and rafting history. Because of the steepness and dramatic elevation changes of the Kicking Horse River, Indigenous Stoney (Nakoda), Piegan and Kootenay (Ktunaxa) tribes chose to seasonally cross the mountains at gentler and more accessible locations.  McArthur Pass, near Lake O’Hara, and Lake Minnewanka, near Banff, offered much less challenging routes from one side of the mountains to another.   In 1858, the Canadian government announced the building of a railway to connect together eastern and western Canada. The Palliser Expedition was commissioned to locate the best possible route.  The obvious choice was Yellowhead Pass, near Jasper. It had the least amount of elevation change through the mountains.  The Kicking Horse Pass, historically known by First Nations as Wapta Pass, was not recommended at all.  The government, however, decided for two reasons that the treacherously steep Wapta Pass was the best option. It was the shortest route through the mountains (so likely would be the least costly); and, it was the most southern option, closest to the American border.  How Did The River Get Its Name?   During the Palliser expedition, Dr. James Hector was kicked by his horse and knocked unconscious (see where this is going?).  Given the national significance of the expedition’s mission and the doctor’s astounding recovery, both the river and pass were re-named from Wapta to Kicking Horse to commemorate this near-death event.   Rafting The Kicking Horse River   100 years or so later, in 1983, the Kicking Horse was rafted for the first time (modern rafting that is, compared to Huckleberry Finn style of rafting).  Local whitewater rafters, Linda and Daryl, made the actual first descent proving that certain sections were commercially runnable.     About 10 years later, in 1992, Wild Water Adventures popped onto the scene. The river quickly became known for its big whitewater action with Class 2 through Class 4+ waves and rapids. Besides the whitewater, guests also had the chance to see the river just as the early explorers did. With a wild and free-running river and largely untouched wilderness, guests experienced history first hand. Nothing much had changed in the past 150 years. The only new feature was the railway! Over the past 30 seasons, our rafts have run thousands upon thousands of guests down the Kicking Horse River. Many guests, known as Frequent Paddlers, return year after year to experience the true ‘kick’ of this river. Wild Water Adventures extends a heartfelt invitation for enthusiastic guests to step back in time and create their own Kicking Horse history. See you soon on the river!     

Early Booking Bonus For 2021 Season!

Happy Holidays from Wild Water Adventures! ‘Tis the season to be jolly, and to be planning activities for next summer. For a limited time only, guests can book their 2021 Kicking Horse rafting trips and save 20%. Make your reservation, before January 4th, either via our website or by calling us directly at 1-888-647-6444.  Simply use the code HolidayBonus2020. Early Booking Bonus  The holiday bonus applies to rafting fares on our Whitewater Exciter, Tradition, Gentle and Maximum Horsepower trips.  The bonus does not extend to the optional BBQ lunch on morning half-day trips, nor to packaged options such as Up The Mountain Down The River. Other Good News Book Now, Pay Later The beauty of booking now (and saving 20%) is that payment is collected only seven (yes, 7!) days before your rafting trip. Plan your summer activities now, and pay later. How great is that? No Charge To Change A Reservation Flexibility is the name of the game. If your reservation needs to change (the date, for example), there is no charge. As long as there is space available and we are given more than 48 hours notice from the original trip date (or, one week’s notice for groups of 8 or more), then there is no charge. Enjoy The Outdoors With Your Cohorts In this time of COVID-19, outdoors with your cohorts is definitely the place to be.  Our BYOB program (Buy Your Own Boatload) is perfect for guests who wish to have their own raft on a regularly scheduled departure. Minimum 4 guests required per raft; maximum 8. Dependent on favourable water levels. Different Water Levels Make For A Different Experience 2020 saw us ‘kick’ off our rafting season later than usual. Because of this, guests enjoyed waves and rapids at medium water levels; the high-water levels of May and June were missed entirely. For a truly BIG whitewater experience next summer, nothing is finer than rafting early in the season. Make Your 2021 Rafting Reservation Now! Make your reservation now, and save 20%, by calling us directly or visiting our website. Remember to book before January 4th!   The Wild Water Crew Wishes Everyone A Safe and Healthy Holiday Season! See You On The River Next Year   Author: Deborah Wade

Best Canada Whitewater Rafting – The Maximum Horsepower Trip

Looking for the biggest and best Calgary rafting adventure with the most whitewater action to be found in the Rockies?  Look no further than Wild Water Adventure’s Maximum Horsepower rafting trip on the Kicking Horse River. The MHP, as we like to call this particular trip, definitely lives up to its name.  It is not one, but TWO runs down THE best section of whitewater the Kicking Horse River has to offer.  Rafters experience 24 exhilarating rapids and cover a total of 24 kilometres of river distance (the longest possible whitewater trip near Banff National Park!) But the adrenaline rush does not stop there. To make this double whitewater trip even more exhilarating, rafters power downstream in two different styles of rafts. The first run, in our ever-popular 16-foot oar-rigged rafts, gives everyone a chance to warm up and get familiar with the river. For the second run, we completely change it up and launch everyone in smaller 14-foot all-paddle rafts with the guide being just another paddler. Believe you me, those two feet make a world of difference! Smaller rafts accentuate everything:  the bounces, the smashes, and the hits!  It may be the second run on the same section of river, but it will be a completely different experience.  Not only that, but everyone (and, I mean everyone) will have a paddle in their hands.  100% participation is required from each and every rafter.  There is nothing finer than digging in and paddling hard when your guide hollers out commands. WHO CAN RAFT THE MHP? The MHP is twice the whitewater action of our single-run Whitewater Exciter, and paddling is mandatory on the second run.  Because of this, every rafter must be at least 16 years old AND weigh at least 100 pounds. Muscle power, stamina, and enthusiasm for double-action whitewater are key characteristics. WHEN IS THE MHP OFFERED? Smaller boats require the Kicking Horse River to be running at a certain water level. We want to have fun, but more importantly, we want to be safe. If the water level is too high, the smaller boats are not appropriate. The 2022 MHP season kicks off July 20th, pending favourable river levels, and runs through to August 27th. Two weekly departures are offered on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons. Generally by the end of July and into August, the river is at the perfect level for the MHP. WHAT IS PROVIDED FOR RAFTERS? As with all Kicking Horse rafting trips, guests are asked to bring a towel, their own bathing suit/swimming shorts and a heavy polar fleece/polypropelene sweater (for added warmth on the river). In these times of COVID-19, guests are also asked to bring a face covering and ziploc bag (for dry storage of your face covering while on the river).  Wild Water provides guests with clean, dry and sanitized wetsuits, wetsuit booties, spray jackets, life jackets, and helmets.  Even wetsuit gloves are available (a piece of gear that I personally don’t raft the Kicking Horse River without!).  Once back at the RiverBase after the second run, and in dry clothes once again, hot beverages are served and trip photographs displayed. To Find Out More About The MHP, Or Any Of Our Kicking Horse Rafting Adventures, Simply Give Us a Call at 1-888-647-6444. See You On The River! Rafting The Kicking Horse Since 1992 Author: Deborah Wade

The 2020 Season Has Begun!

The 2020 Kicking Horse rafting season has ‘kicked’ off!  The Wild Water crew is so happy to be back on the river welcoming guests from British Columbia and Alberta, as well as other Canadian provinces. This year marks Wild Water Adventure’s 29th year of operations. We could not be more proud of all that has been achieved over the past three decades.  Protocols for safety and hygiene are so well entrenched that even COVID-19 could not stop us! Our 2020 rafting roster continues to offer daily departures on the half-day Gentle and Whitewater Exciter trips, as well as the full-length Tradition.  Later in July, the double-shot Maximum Horsepower will be offered on Saturday and Wednesday afternoons. River levels to date have been, in a word, exceptional. Between the massive quantities of snow melting in the alpine and the heavy rains of spring, gung-ho rafters can take their pick of adjectives to describe river conditions. Cranking, pumping and blasting are all appropriately descriptive. For those thinking about rafting, now is definitely the time to be on the river!   NEW FOR 2020: PRIVATE RAFTS   Two more fine words available to rafters this year are ‘private rafts’. For those wishing to have only their family or friends on board, the Build Your Own Boatload program, or BYOB, is perfect. Guests can feel more at ease on the river with their own guide and raft while still being part of a larger flotilla. All it takes is 4 to 8 guests to have your own raft on a regularly-scheduled Gentle, Whitewater Exciter, Tradition or Maximum Horsepower departure. The 2020 Season So Far   After only one week on the river, the 2020 rafting season is shaping up to be as fun-filled and exciting as ever. We invite one and all to come out to the river, share the laughter and have a lot of fun.  There is no need to let COVID-19 keep you at home. Feel free to refer back to the previous post which outlines our company-specific COVID-19 protocols. For information on all our departures and the BYOB program, simply give us a call at 1-888-647-6444. The office is open daily from 8 AM to 8 PM. Here’s to a great summer of river rafting. We look forward to seeing everyone soon.   Rafting the Kicking Horse Since 1992 Author: Deborah Wade

We Are In This Together: COVID-19 Protocols For All Rafting Guests

THE 2020 RAFTING SEASON ‘KICKS’ OFF ON SATURDAY, JUNE 27TH! Thank you for your patience. We are so excited to welcome everyone back to the Kicking Horse River, for the best whitewater in the Rockies!  In this time of COVID-19, the river truly is the place to be. With naturally wild landscapes and waterways, who wants to be indoors when there is so much fun to be had outdoors?  At Wild Water Adventures, safety has always been the #1 priority. COVID-19 will not change that in the slightest. Our crew will be in full compliance with provincial health protocols and guidelines.   Guests, as well, will kindly be required to adhere to these new protocols. We are, after all, in this together.      Please be sure to familiarize yourselves with Wild Water Adventures‘ COVID-19 protocols, before arriving at the RiverBase: Remain at home if a) feeling unwell or displaying symptoms of COVID-19; b) have been in contact with anyone else who is unwell or displaying symptoms of COVID-19, or c) have returned to Canada in the past 14 days. Guests will be screened before entering the RiverBase. Guests will be required to sign a declaration of health and release of liability waiver, as well as agree to contact tracing. Kindly provide your own face covering(s), and small ziploc bag, for when a 2-meter distance is not possible with other guests and crew. Face coverings must be worn by all when in the change rooms and travelling by bus between the RiverBase and river (crew included). Face coverings will not be worn on the rafts due to river safety. While on the river, face coverings will be stored in your own ziploc bag and kept in the pocket of your spray jacket. Please have your bathing suit on before arriving at the RiverBase to make changing into rafting gear more efficient. Personal clothing and items not needed on the river will be kept in your own vehicle. A cloth or plastic bag will be useful to keep such belongings organized. Car keys will be locked in a safe at the RiverBase. For added warmth and comfort while on the river, we recommend bringing a polar fleece sweater(s) and/or polypropylene layer(s) to wear on top of the wetsuit. Do NOT bring cotton sweatshirts (they are useless when wet, and will only keep you cold). Post-trip snacks nor the BBQ lunch, regrettably, will not be available this year. Please fuel up before the trip (i.e. have a hearty breakfast or lunch first!). Hot beverages, however, will be served after the trip, back at the RiverBase. It is a good idea to bring your own water bottles and water supply. Wild Water Adventures will not be able to top up water bottles. Guests will handle and touch only the equipment provided directly to them, and not handle equipment provided to other guests. In other words, keep your hands on your own gear! Pack along your own hand sanitizer to complement provisions at the RiverBase. Be prepared to regularly clean and sanitize your hands! Maintain a 2-meter (6-foot) physical distance at all times from guests who are not part of your cohort family or group. Credit and debit payment is preferred for souvenir items and trip photographs purchased at our gift shoppe. As always, bring along an adventurous spirit and smile on your face! A guest not in compliance with any of these protocols, unfortunately, will not be able to raft. Wild Water Adventures’ Implemented Safety Measures: Monitor the health of the crew on a daily basis Enforce physical distancing Use of PPE where recommended Reduce the number of touchpoints and increase cleaning of remaining touchpoints Wild Water staff are trained on enhanced cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing procedures Guests and staff alike must adhere to Wild Water Adventures‘ policies and procedures A full list of the company-specific COVID-19 measures will be posted at the Wild Water front desk. We Can Do This! As so many people say today, we are in this together. With everyone’s respect and cooperation, we will still be able to have a heck of a lot of fun on the Kicking Horse this summer! Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or queries at 1-888-647-6444 or info@wildwater.com. We look forward to seeing everyone, soon, on the river.   Author: Deborah Wade