SuperUser Account / Tuesday, May 9, 2017 / Categories: Rafting

Rafting 101

Rafting 101

Whitewater is considered fast moving river water which contains rapids, causing frothy waters, waves and holes. This builds incredibly challenging rafting conditions of varying scales, something which the Kicking Horse River has plenty of. Rapids involve the flow of water over obstacles, creating sections of intense speed and changes in elevation. Combining fast speeds with river obstacles gives you whitewater rapids, the popular rafting kind that require trained riders to conquer.

The Kicking Horse River is a very popular rafting destination because of the variety of whitewater rapids to choose from. With easy, slow moving sections for beginners and fast, extremely challenging points that reach near the top of the difficulty scale. We offer package trips for rafting that take people through at their level of comfort, including people with absolutely no prior experience.

Whitewater Ratings

The International Scale of River Difficulty that rates rapids from class 1 to class 6 is a standardized scale used to rate the safety of a stretch of river, or a single rapid. The grade reflects the technical difficulty and skill level required associated with the section of river. The Kicking Horse River offers Class 1 to Class 4 rapids depending on the trip you choose. 

Remember, none of our trips requires any previous experience as you will be accompanied by our qualified river guides. We pride ourselves in delivering a safe thrill, supported by professionals who will teach you how to ride different types of rapids. Rafting is one of the most popular extreme sports because of the levels of difficulty that people can choose between.

Check out the ratings & descriptions below:

  • CLASS 1 Gentle, moving water with small ripples and waves
  • CLASS 2 - Straightforward rapids with wide, clear channels
  • CLASS 3 - Large, continuous series or sets of waves
  • CLASS 4 - Intense and powerful but predictable rapids. Requiring technical maneuvering.
  • CLASS 5 - Extreme long, difficult, violent rapids. Unavoidable waves and obstructions.
  • CLASS 6 - Virtually non-navigable. Waterfall!
The Kicking Horse

There are 3 sections to the Kicking Horse River: The Upper, Middle & Lower Canyons. Each of these provides a different level of whitewater rafting thrill, and there are various packages that take you through at your level of comfort. If you want an easier ride with less waves or a more intense and challenging section, there is a qualified guide to help you get the most enjoyment.

  • UPPER - Class I and Class 2, with 1 class 3 rapid. This is a perfect trip for people wanting a more relaxing, easier ride to sit back and enjoy.
  • MIDDLE - Continuous Class 3 and 1 km Class 4 Section. The middle canyon of the Kicking Horse river is a more challenging and exciting path.
  • LOWER - 4 Kms of continuous Class 4, followed by float into Golden. Going through the lower canyon is the most adventurous and challenging section.

Check out our river map for a breakdown of Kicking Horse River rapids. This goes into detail about the specific river points and which packages take you through them. We offer mild, classic and more advanced rafting trips that follow the three different paths.