Best Whitewater rafting rivers in Canada
Kicking Horse River
It’s not biased to call the best the best. Named after an unruly steed, the river plays to a subtly untamed 20km of non-stop rapids, set against the stunning backdrop of Yoho National Park. The class 3 and 4 rapids will test beginners and old hands alike, and you can do it all in a single day. We’re proud to call the kicking horse river our home! (Find out more about Kicking Horse Rafting Trips)
Marking the Quebec-Ontario border west of Ottawa, the Ottawa River is a 1-or-2 day excursion depending on the course that you take on. For beginners and families, the shorter course offers class 2 and 3 rapids which will still leave you with a great feeling of accomplishment come journeys end. For the more experienced or thrill seeking, the secondary option offers class 3-5 runs which are among the most challenging Canada has to offer. Add in it’s convenient location close to Montreal and Toronto and it’s no wonder this is one of the most popular stretches of whitewater in the east.
This Yukon based option is one we would class a more family friendly offering, with rapids classed no higher than categories 2 and 3, what the Tatshenshini lacks in white knuckle challenges it makes up for with fantastic scenery and wildlife spotting opportunities. Think ‘river-based, whitewater safari’ (if nothing else than the sheer novelty of it) and you will probably get a good idea of this course. With tours ranging from a day to almost 2 weeks, this is a great option as a full vacation or an activity to add to your existing plans.
Located near Vancouver, British Columbia, the Fraser River plays host to a 40km stretch featuring class 3-4+ rapids, including the famous Hell’s Gate passage, which will challenge even the most experienced rafters. The length of the passage means you can complete it in one day and leave plenty of time to explore the surrounding area of Hope, BC.
Running between Lake Kipawa and Lake Temiscaming in Quebec, the Kipawa river is a 16km run featuring a bevvy of class 4 rapids to enjoy. As befits a river that boasts ‘La Grand Chute’, the 19km river flows at a fair rate of knots and includes the Hollywood run which … is known as one of the toughest passages in North America.
22km of intense class 4 rapids, need we say more? Ok fine, it begins with an ‘S-bend’ class 4 rapid which leads into the famous ‘white mile’ and is basically the best stretch of water west of Kicking Horse no big deal.