Kicking Horse River Whitewater Rafting (with lunch) (2022)

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Overview

Experience a thrilling white water rafting adventure and fantastic scenery on the Kicking Horse River during this half-day tour from Banff or Lake Louise. During your ride, paddle a calm section of the river before plunging into the canyon’s exhilarating class IV+ rapids, finishing with a post-rafting BBQ lunch (provided after AM tours and before PM tours). The tour includes optional pickup and drop-off in Banff or Lake Louise, all necessary river equipment, safety briefing, and professional river guides.

  • White water rafting adventure on the Kicking Horse River, ages 12+

  • Enjoy a scenic drive through Yoho National Park

  • Experience the thrills of rafting through class IV+ rapids

  • Safety briefing and professional guides

  • Pickup and drop-off from select Canmore, Banff, and Lake Louise hotels

What's Included

  • All river rafting equipment

  • Certified guides

  • BBQ lunch (including vegetarian options)

  • Local taxes

  • Hotel pickup and drop off (if option selected)

  • Gratuities

  • Video and photos of your rafting adventure available for purchase

  • Hotel pickup and drop off (if option not selected)

Departure & Return

This operator has two meet-up options available. You can either meet at the departure point below or select a location for pick-up.

Departure Point

  • 2936 Kicking Horse Rd

    2936 Kicking Horse Rd, Golden, BC V0A 1H7, Canada

    The River Base is located on Kicking Horse Road, off Beaverfoot Road, in Golden. There is plenty of parking on site.

Pickup Details

  • Banff Caribou Lodge & Spa

    521 Banff Avenue, Banff, Banff National Park, Alberta T1L 1H8 Canada

  • Samesun Banff

    433 Banff Avenue, Banff, Banff National Park, Alberta T1L 1B4 Canada

  • Mount Royal Hotel

    138 Banff Avenue, Banff, Banff National Park, Alberta T1L 1A7 Canada

Return Details

This activity will end right where it started.

Please Note

Lake Louise Samson Mall (out front of Wilson's Sports) in Lake Louise

Itinerary

Take a heart-pumping ride through the Class IV+ rapids of Kicking Horse River on this wet-and-wild half-day white water excursion. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or just looking for a fun way to cool off, this rafting trip is sure to please.

Start your day with an optional pickup from select hotels in Lake Louise and Banff.Check with your tour operator for the exact schedule.If you haven't selected the pickup option, make your own way through the picturesque Yoho National Park to the Kicking Horse put-in site in Golden. Before you jump in the boat, meet your river guides and get outfitted with necessary rafting gear.

From there, head out on the river, starting with a relatively calm stretch to allow you to get acquainted with your guides’ commands, paddle, and boat. Soon the canyon narrows and the true excitement begins, taking you on a pulse-pounding trip through the thrills and spills of the river’s Class IV+ white water.

Finish your rafting odyssey and disembark the raft for a welcome BBQ lunch (provided after AM tours and before PM tours), complete with vegetarian options. At the end of your meal, receive an optional drop-off back in Lake Louise or Banff, or make your own way home.

(Video) Rafting the Ultimate Adventure on the Kicking Horse River - Glacier Raft Company

Hydra River Guides

4 hours • Admission Ticket Included

This is the Hydra River Base. The place we start your unforgettable river adventure!Start your day by enjoying a scenic drive from Banff or Lake Louise through Yoho National Park. Upon arrival at the river base, you'll meet your river guides, get fitted with your rafting gear and enjoy the detailed safety briefing. Pose for a few group shots with your team, then head to the water!This unforgettable journey begins calmly, allowing rafters to familiarize themselves with the raft, their paddles and their guides' commands. Then, it’s onto the mighty rapids the Kicking Horse is famous for. As the canyon narrows, the waves build, drenching rafters in continuous rapids such as Shot Gun, Man Eater and Roller Coaster. It’s a popular whitewater journey that combines a mix of class 1-4 rapids, finishing 20 km downstream. After earning your bragging rights, head back to our private river base to enjoy a delicious BBQ lunch and view the photos of your journey. This tour is perfect for the first time rafter!Transportation to the river base from Banff is available for an additional charge. This trip is so popular we depart twice daily!

Kicking Horse River

2 hours • Admission Ticket Free

This is the mighty Kicking Horse River. This is the river we raft on all of our tours

Yoho National Park

1 hour • Admission Ticket Free

To get to the River Base from Banff, visitors will pass through the beautiful Yoho National Park. Guests can stop at the spiral Tunnels, Emeral Lake and the magical Takkaw Falls

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking

  • Minimum age is 12 years

  • Children must weigh at least 90 lbs to participate in this tour

  • Please Note: This trip is for people aged 12 years and up

  • Not wheelchair accessible

  • Stroller accessible

  • Not recommended for pregnant travellers

  • Most travellers can participate

  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 48 travellers

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.

  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.

  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.

  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.

  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s cancelled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

  • This experience requires a minimum number of travellers. If it’s cancelled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

about cancellations.

Traveller Tips

Great lunch, safety education, warm gear provided and all-around awesome time on the river, we HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!

Reviews

5.0

230 reviews

Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews

(Video) Family White Water Rafting on BC's Kicking Horse River

Reviews by Viator travellers.

Showing 1-10 of 230 reviews

Excellent Rafting Experience

s2smith2019,

Sept 2019

Our family has been rafting before but are not experts. The ride was just the right amount of fun and excitement. We would do it again.

White water rafting!

David B,

Aug 2019

Excellent guiding down fun rapids - class 1-4!! Our guide-Adam was competent, fun and informative! We had a great time!!!

What a blast!!!

Todd_G,

Aug 2019

Went on this trip because my daughter was bored of class 2 and 3 rapids. Kicking horse did not disappoint!! We went with Hydra because of the reviews. The team was awesome. Our 2 guides Dave O and Adam were fantastic and so much fun. We had great people on our raft as well!Thanks Team Hydra!!

Fantastic!

Ken D,

Aug 2019

What a GREAT experience! We had the time of our life! Great rapids, great group on the boat, weather was amazing and Dave O. was an amazing and super fun guide! Thank you so very much.

Great Experience on the Kicking Horse

Brian_K,

Jul 2019

We had a great time and a great guide. Family of 8 with teenagers and parents. The trip was well organized and our guide Christie was great. She was very knowledgable and kept us engaged and working together. This river is great because you get the rapids in a pretty quick time frame. Not a lot of float time, but more so going from one rapid to the next. Makes the 90 minute drive from Banff worth it. Definitely recommend this trip.

White Water Rafting with Hydra

Shelley_R,

Jul 2019

We visited Hydra last week, July 17, 2019 while on our Canadian vacation. We went on the afternoon adventure rafting tour and absolutely LOVED IT!! A major highlight of our entire week! Our guide was Dave O. who was so chill and laid back, yet completely knew what he was doing which put any nerves at ease. Great lunch, safety education, warm gear provided and all-around awesome time on the river...we HIGHLY RECOMMEND!! 👍🏻👍🏻

Good times on the river

saspezi,

Jul 2019

It was our first time white water rafting and after this, I will be on the lookout to do it more places! Luke was our guide and he was calming, informative and funny. The ride itself is a ton of fun, and you are surrounded by some beautiful scenery that you can take in when you aren’t battling rapids haha. Definitely do this!

(Video) Full day Kicking Horse River rafting in Golden, BC

BEST TRIP EVER

sabena r,

Jun 2019

This was the highlight of our week. We felt completely safe but simultaneously thrilled and excited. Adam was the best captain ever!

third party booking was a problem

Viator is a terrible way to book this experience. The departure time was not clearly stated on the email and we ended up missing our time. We planned our vacation around this event, and we spent hundreds of dollars, but Viator refused to refund our money.

Great Staff/knowledgable/safe

Jason_S,

Jul 2018

Wonderful friendly staff. Fun adventure and felt safe and cared for! The food was good and the wet suits provided really made the trip comfortable despite cooler weather. Highly recommend this company to anyone.

Awesome Experience!!!!!

Melody_D,

Jul 2018

I was a bit nervous when booking this tour as I've never been rafting before. I booked it for my husband and myself. From the check-in to the end of the trip everything was great. The staff was so helpful at explaining everything. We actually drove ourselves to the Hydra site from Banff, which was great because we had time to stop by and do the lower falls trail at Johnston Canyon on our way to Kicking Horse River (we booked the afternoon river trip). By the time we arrived for the afternoon trip lunch was ready! We had a grilled burger and potato salad, pasta salad, and some brownies all. Our river guide was Dave O. I can't say enough about how great of a guide he was. He's definitely been doing this for a long time so it made for a fun trip down the river! The water was chilly but the gear they give you was more than enough to keep the body warm. I actually welcomed the splash of cold water. You can't go wrong with booking this trip! I highly recommend it! Thanks so much Hydra for the wonderful experience!

So much fun!

cook7179,

Jun 2018

Eric was our guide and made this a memorable trip for us!!! I was afraid and he made sure I felt safe and still had a great time! Once back at the base the food was unbelievable!!! Such an unexpected surprise! Would definitely use Hydra again for white water rafting

Awesome!!!!!!

Paul_C,

Jun 2018

We are visiting Canada from the US. I have a 21 year old son and an 18 year old son. They were so e cited for this adventure and it did not disappoint! Eric was our guide and he made it so easy and fun!!! Afterwards lunch was way more than expected! We had grilled cheeseburgers with sautéed onions and homemade pickles! We also were served potato salad and pasta salad that was unbelievable!! To top off the meal we had the most delicious brownies! I highly recommend This adventure through Hydra!

Hell of a tour

Ali S,

Jun 2018

Brilliant tour with absoultly brilliant guides.. Worth the long drive. Lovely views and fantastic rapids. Adam the kiwi made our tour.

(Video) Alpine Rafting | Full Day Rafting on the Kicking Horse River

I thoroughly enjoyed this adventure...

Keith W,

Sept 2017

I thoroughly enjoyed this adventure. Water was lower this time of year so the rapids were a bit less intimidating. Kyle was an awesome guide. We always felt comfortable with him. He always talked and kept the boat lively. This was my first time and I will definitely start this as a new obsession. Beautiful, spectacular scenery and great, efficient company to work with. I would suggest driving to Hydra if you have a rental car. The transportation option can be a bit slower with more stops. You are so tired at the end of the day you just want to get back to your hotel. Organized, awesome, friendly company.

Kyle was amazing and made me feel...

Neil S,

Aug 2017

Kyle was amazing and made me feel safe throughout the day. Travel with husband and 19 and 21 year olds. All loved the tour

The rafting itself was excellent and...

Allison V,

Aug 2017

The rafting itself was excellent and a lot of attention paid to safety. We thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. However after the rafting had finished we over 2 hours of travelling back still cold with wet hair in a bus without any sort of heating. We were freezing!!I would request that the organisers fix the heating in their bus and to advise everyone to take lots of warm clothes to wear afterwards.

Fantastic trip. A must do! Great...

Steve B,

Aug 2017

Fantastic trip. A must do! Great staff from being picked up to the raft tour and even bbq. Highly recommended

An absolutely fantastic trip. Our...

Susan C,

Aug 2017

An absolutely fantastic trip. Our guide Anthea was so funny, she had us in stitches. I was a bit concerned because Anthea is tiny but WOW, she could make that raft do everything she wanted it to! The lunch was great cheese burger and potato salad. The safety induction was very professional and the whole trip was one of the highlights of our Trans Canada holiday. There are a lot of rafting companies in the area but you really should give Hydra a go - they are terrific!

Very worthwhile trip. Wish the...

Brian A,

Aug 2017

Very worthwhile trip. Wish the water levels were a little higher. Great guide and staff. Lunch was good too.

FAQs

What time of day is best for white water rafting? ›

Morning rafting trips can be cooler but tend to have clearer weather and the river is less crowded than in the afternoon, when it can be warm but windy.

What is the hardest white water rafting? ›

1) Terminator – Futaleufú River, Chile

With five Class V rapids, the Futaleufú is known for its big water, but it's Terminator that's considered the biggest and baddest of them all. In fact, many pros say it's the most challenging commercially run rapid in the world.

What is the best thing to wear for whitewater rafting? ›

Helmet: A paddling helmet is essential for all whitewater adventures. Warm weather layers: For outings in water that's 70° F or warmer, follow the commercial paddling advice: Wear a bathing suit or quick dry bottoms and a top layer that protects you from the sun.

What do you wear to a raft? ›

Sport sandals that strap on, tennis shoes, and water shoes all work very well. Flip flops are NOT recommended. SWIMSUIT to wear under wetsuit -or- to wear with personal nylon SHORTS OR PANTS. Quick-dry fabrics work best; avoid cotton, as it retains water and will make you cold on the river.

How long is a half day rafting trip? ›

This approximately three-hour half-day rafting trip will give you about two solid hours of river time during which time you will be, getting wet, hooting and hollering, paddling and laughing your way down rapids like Meatgrinder, Triple Threat, Maya culminating with Troublemaker Rapid – the biggest Class 3 rapid on the ...

Can you white water raft in March in Colorado? ›

No problem! The Colorado Adventure Center offers the Clear Creek High Tower Zip Line and Colorado Sky Trek March through November. Need more information to help plan your whitewater rafting adventure?

Do Class 6 rapids exist? ›

Whirlpool Rapids Gorge—Niagara River, New York

Currently off-limits to paddlers, the Niagara Gorge is a deadly section of exploratory Class VI rapids. The deep rapids reach speeds of more than 20 mph and are some of the most extreme in the entire world.

What does a class 3 rapids look like? ›

Class 3: Whitewater, in that the water does appear white due to all the bubbles, small waves, maybe a small drop, but no considerable danger. This class may require significant maneuvering in the raft. Experienced and strong paddling skills are needed at this level.

Are Class 4 rapids hard? ›

Class IV – Very Difficult: Long rapids, waves powerful and irregular; dangerous rocks, boiling eddies; powerful and precise maneuvering required.

Can you wear sneakers white water rafting? ›

A: Closed-toe athletic training shoes, running shoes, or water shoes are the best choice for most river rafting trips. Whitewater-specific shoes are nice—but not necessary for Timberline trips. In cold temperatures or on high-intensity sections of whitewater, neoprene booties with rugged soles are often worn.

What I wish I brought on my rafting trip? ›

What I wish I brought on my Grand Canyon rafting trip
  • Lotion - You are in a very dry desert! ...
  • Many socks - Socks are very critical to healthy feet and are a good relief from the constant sand.
  • Slip on shoes - Make sure they are okay to get wet. ...
  • Extra hair ties - I keep at least one in my pfd.
Apr 29, 2020

Do you need a bathing suit for white water rafting? ›

Bathing Suit

This should be the first thing you pack. You're going to want to wear something that dries quickly when it gets wet, and bathing suits are designed to do just that. Most people who raft with us are comfortable in just a swimsuit and shorts! Make sure if you visit during the summer to wear sunscreen too.

What is the best time for river rafting in Rishikesh? ›

A: The best time for river rafting in Rishikesh starts from post monsoons (mid-September) till early summers (May). For crystal clear white water rafting November to March is a suitable time. During monsoons, it is not allowed to raft in the Ganges as the level of the river rises and is unsafe for rafting.

Why is whitewater rafting fun? ›

It's not always about what you see, but what you feel that makes the adventure, well, an “adventure.” Adrenaline pumping through your veins as you crash through the rapids. The spray of the river getting in your face. The sudden feeling you get when your stomach drops as you go over a waterfall(even a small one.)

How cold is the Ocoee River? ›

The Ocoee River water temperature is in the 50s and the air temperature is usually cool 50s to 70s.

Can you float the Deschutes River in September? ›

Floating the river is an extremely popular activity during the summer months. Fall floats, however, can be even more enjoyable. With less people, less heat, and more colors, floating the Deschutes River in September and October is one of our favorite activities in Sunriver.

Don’t worry—here are some similar optionsKootenay Rockies, British ColumbiaRafting Adventure on the Kicking Horse River301from US$89.39Kootenay Rockies, British ColumbiaRafting Adventure on the Kicking Horse River84from US$110.03Kootenay Rockies, British ColumbiaExtreme Whitewater Rafting on Kicking...

We had a great time!!. We had great people on our raft as well!Thanks Team Hydra!. Great rapids, great group on the boat, weather was amazing and Dave O. was an amazing and super fun guide!. We had a great time and a great guide.. The trip was well organized and our guide Christie was great.. Great lunch, safety education, warm gear provided and all-around awesome time on the river...we HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!. We actually drove ourselves to the Hydra site from Banff, which was great because we had time to stop by and do the lower falls trail at Johnston Canyon on our way to Kicking Horse River (we booked the afternoon river trip).. Our river guide was Dave O. I can't say enough about how great of a guide he was.. He's definitely been doing this for a long time so it made for a fun trip down the river!. (Video) Alpine Rafting | Full Day Rafting on the Kicking Horse River. Great staff from being picked up to the raft tour and even bbq.. Great guide and staff.

Kicking Horse River Full Day Rafting Trip in the Canadian Rockies - Golden British Columbia Experience the Upper & Middle Canyons of the Kicking Horse River

Great Experience Our family did the family float and loved it, the guide was amazing, everyone felt secure and had so much fun. Great guide on the Kicking Horse Great guide.. Great first time rafting This was my first time, my partners second time, and we had an absolute blast.. Es war unsere erste Rafting Tour und wir würden jederzeit dort wieder buchen!. The guides were great.. Great experience, Great Time with Rupert Wir waren das erste Mal „Raften“, und es war absolut großartig!. Das Wasser ist kalt und wild, aber wenn man tut, was der Guide sagt: alles easy!. Weil uns der Ride mit Rupert so sehr gefallen hat, haben wir uns gegen den Heimtransport entschieden und für einen kleinen Aufschlag einen zweiten Ride gemacht!. Und der war sogar noch besser, weil wir nun schon wussten, was zu tun ist!. Made Class II and III REALLY fun!` Our Kicking Horse River adventure was great!

Get ready for the Kicking Horse River— THE Canadian Rockies Rafting Thrill! Experience 20kms of class 2-4 rapids near Banff in Golden, BC.

Located 1.5 hours from Banff near Golden, BC, this rafting tour is a popular whitewater journey that combines a mix of exciting rapids that the Kicking Horse River is famous for.. This rafting trip is predominantly class 4 with several larger class 4 rapids, as well as 2, 3, rapids along the way.. This river runs on snowmelt and water levels can change at different times of the season, and environmental changes can lower the rapid class. Included River time 2 hours Professional river guide on each raft Safety instruction and practice paddle River fee Wetsuits, lifejacket, helmet, rainjacket, wetsuit booties and gloves. Included River time 2 hours Professional river guide on each raft Safety instruction and practice paddle River fee Wetsuits, lifejacket, helmet, rainjacket, wetsuit booties and gloves. The tour includes two hours on the water and guests will finish the morning tour at around 12:15pm and the afternoon tour at around 4:15pm.. The tour includes 2 hours on the river, a professional river guide with each boat, and all safety equipment including a wetsuit, fleece, spray jacket, life jacket, neoprene booties and helmet is provided.. Please bring a piece of ID (all rafters are required to show ID), wear your swimsuit under your clothes and bring warm clothes and a towel in a bag for after the tour.. This popular whitewater journey combines a mix of class 1 – 4 rapids and is the most exciting whitewater rafting trip.. The tour is run by Hydra River Guides, who have been rafting the Kicking Horse River for over 30 years.. If you need to cancel within 48 hours (due only to covid related issues – and you must provide proof), get in touch with our team prior to your tour, to arrange a rafting credit for use later in the season.. Included River time 2 hours Professional river guide on each raft Safety instruction and practice paddle River fee Wetsuits, lifejacket, helmet, rainjacket, wetsuit booties and gloves. Please note that this tour requires a minimum of 12 participants and transport requires a minimum of 4 participants, please call the day prior to confirm the tour.. Included River time 2 hours Professional river guide on each raft Safety instruction and practice paddle River fee Wetsuits, lifejacket, helmet, rainjacket, wetsuit booties and gloves

If this is your first time white water rafting in BC, or your first time to the Kicking Horse River, we know you're bound to have some questions. We've tried to answer the most common questions we get about our rafting tours in Golden, BC, and river rafting in general, but if you have any questions...

We've been running white water rafting trips on the Kicking Horse River in BC since 1982.. If you've never rafted before and want to try white water rafting in BC, we recommend booking our White Water Discovery trip.. (Video) White Water Rafting FAQs - Rafting the Kicking Horse River in Golden BC. We hold the right to cancel all rafting trips if water levels fluctuate to a level that makes it unsafe for us to raft.. (Video) The Kicking Horse Challenge Trip - White Water Rafting with Glacier Raft Company in Golden, BC. We are the only company on the Kicking Horse River to also film HD video of each rafting trip every day.. This trip rafts the middle canyon of the Kicking Horse River which is a fun 12 km white water rafting trip in Golden BC.

Videos

1. Rafts depart our BBQ lunch spot for middle canyon rapids Golden, BC
(Alpine Rafting)
2. Scenic Family Rafting in Golden, BC
(Alpine Rafting)
3. GoPro Screen Caps Kicking Horse River Golden BC
(losttourist)
4. Kicking Horse River in Golden, BC - White Water Rafting Drone Video
(Glacierraft)
5. The White Water Discovery Trip on the Kicking Horse River in Golden, BC
(Glacierraft)
6. Rafting the Kicking Horse River Lower Canyon in 2011
(Glacierraft)

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