Your white water rafting adventure with Hydra River Guides
What to expect when you come raft the Kicking Horse River with us.
We take many people down the river who have never been rafting before, and we want to answer any questions about your rafting adventure you may have.
Check out the film below for an overview of your time with us.
THE HYDRA RIVER BASE
The Hydra River Base is where your adventure begins and ends and is located a short drive from Banff, Lake Louise and Golden. Our river base includes flush toilets, change rooms, and hot beach style showers to make sure you suit up in comfort before hitting the water. We are located right on the banks of the Kicking Horse River, so this means once you are dressed in your wetsuit we have a short walk to the river- no being in a hot bus, in a hot wetsuit, on a hot day! You can cool off and splash in the refreshing river almost immediately.
WHAT SHOULD WE BRING WITH US?
All you need to bring is a swimsuit and towel, and we also recommend bringing sunglasses and sunscreen for hot sunny days. We also sell sunglasses if you have forgotten yours and have Chums you can purchase to ensure they stay on.
If you have any medications you'll need throughout the day please bring them along as well. This include EpiPens, asthma inhaler, insulin etc. We have dry bags to keep them dry and safe on the raft, and allow you easy access to them if required.
DO WE NEED EXPERIENCE OR SWIMMING ABILITY TO RAFT THE KICKING HORSE?
No you don't- most of our guests are first time rafters and our trips, equipment and briefings are designed to put the novice rafter at ease. You can also choose your rafting adventure from more mild and scenic to the full adrenaline and excitment of our big class 4 rapids. Before every trip we give you a "safety talk". During this talk we go over all the important stuff like how to paddle and how to hold on. Your guide will also go over this again once you are in the raft and you will have plenty of time to practice and get comfortable with being on the river.
DO WE NEED TO SIGN A WAIVER?
Yes. Every guest must read and sign a Release of Liability, Waiver of Claims and Assumption of Risks and Indemnity Agreement prior to their rafting trip. Parents will co-sign for children under 18 years of age. Our friendly office staff will be able to help you with this and answer any other questions you may have when you arrive.
WHAT DO WE WEAR ON THE RIVER?
We provide all of the gear necessary for your raft trip including wetsuits, neoprene jackes and booties, fleece sweaters, spray jackets, life jackets and helmets. Our experienced guides can advise you on what to wear- for example on hotter days you will be warm enough in just a splash jacket. On colder days our guides will advise you on what to layers to select to stay nice and warm. Our guides will also help you to get the right fitting gear and will check and then double check it is comfortable and working well before you get on the river.
IS IT STRAIGHT INTO THE BIG RAPIDS?
No that is what is so great about the Kicking Horse River- it goes from mild to wild! We start out in the very scenic upper section- this is where we learn and pratice paddling, go over how to hold on and get to know your guides. There are even spots you can jump in for a swim! The river gradually gets more exciting till you reach the Shotgun and Portage Rapids, the exciting and fun class 4's that have made this river once of the best to raft in Canada!
WHY RAFT WITH HYDRA?
- OUR EXPERIENCE – We have been rafting the Kicking Horse for over 30 years. With time comes experience and Hydra prides itself on its qualified staff and impressive safety record. Each year we refine our trips, organization and guest experience.
- GREAT TEAM – Hydra River Guides is a family owned company. Our team is passionate, experienced and return year upon year. Our head guide has been with us for over 25 years! Our people, from our guides,land manager, reservation staff and owner, are there to make sure you have an amazing rafting experience; from start to finish..
- CLOSEST TO BANFF / RIVER ACCESS – Our River Base is located 25kms east of Golden, so we are the closest rafting operator to Banff, AB and right at the top of the river! For those driving west from Calgary or Banff, we save you the hassle of driving right into Golden, BC to just be shuttled back 25kms to start your rafting trip.
- OUR REPUTATION - We take care in ensuring guest safety and in offering the very best guest experience. But don’t just take our word for it. Check out our Trip Advisor reviews, to get the low down from past guests. We are proud of our rankings and comments! Rafting is what we love to do and how we earned the trust and loyalty of our many return guests, sales agents, tour guides, hoteliers and locals who faithfully recommend our rafting trips year after year.