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. Our guides will provide a thorough safety talk before getting into the water. No experience is required for any trip.
We start rafting May 15th until September 15th (water level and trip numbers permitting). We are the first company to start the rafting season!
Your safety is our biggest priority, which is why each of our guides is Government Certified and carries Wilderness First Aid and Swift water Rescue Certificates. We have on-going in-house training and safety meetings throughout the season to constantly maintain and improve our skills. The expert team consists of guides who possess experience from numerous years of rafting around the world. Our head guide has been rafting the Kicking Horse River for 20+ years!
We ask that you bring a bathing suit, towel and a bag for your personal belongings. Once you make a booking, you will receive an email confirmation detailing what time to arrive and directions to the river base. Hydra River Guides provides all of the gear necessary for your raft trip including wetsuits, neoprene booties, fleece sweaters, spray jackets, life jackets and helmets. Lunch is included on every trip except the Fast Blast.
Rafting is a great adventure at any time of the season. To ensure you are protected from the elements, we provide all of the necessary gear. We raft rain or shine, as you’ll get wet anyway!
Yes. The Kicking Horse River is glacier fed, so the water is always cold no matter the time of day or year. To keep our rafters warm we provide wetsuits, neoprene booties, fleece sweaters and spray jackets - as well as life jackets and helmets for safety. For the thermally challenged you can even rent a full neoprene jacket for $5.
As rafting is an adventurous activity, there is a chance you may fall in. Our guides do everything they can to look out for your safety and it’s important to listen to everything they say. There will be various points throughout the trip when they tell you to hold on or get down, and it’s necessary to follow their instructions. We prefer our guests to have basic swimming ability.
We have secure storage for your personal belongings on site at our private river base. You don’t need to take anything on the raft, unless it is medication such as inhalers that must be kept with you. Our guides have a dry bag onboard where these can be kept safe.
Yes, you can, however, please be aware that they may get damaged or fall off. Don’t bring your expensive sunglasses! We recommend you wear contacts but if you need your glasses, secure them with a sunglass strap. These are available for purchase at our river base if required.
As you will be too busy having fun, paddling and holding on, we take pictures of your raft trip from the river bank. Hydra has a dedicated photographer who captures group and action shots of your rafting day. Hydra is the only company that takes photos at the Grade 4 rapids of Portage and Shotgun. This means that our photos show the intense splashes and rapids like no other. The photos are available for viewing after your raft trip in our rafting lodge. For $30 you get a USB of all of your rafting photos which can be copied and shared with your friends. We also post photos of your day on our Facebook Fan Page.
We offer a delicious riverside BBQ lunch for our raft trips. On the menu is juicy Alberta Angus beef or vegetarian burgers, fresh, baked, local buns, assorted salads, dessert (chocolate brownies) and cold beverages.
We typically have 8 rafters plus a river guide in each raft. We do keep group bookings together, however if your group is larger than 8, you'll have to be split up into smaller groups.
Our weight restrictions depend on the type of trip chosen and are dictated by the life jacket manufacturers. For our trips, the minimum age is 6 years & minimum 50 lbs for the Mild Trip and 12 years and minimum 90 lbs for every other trip. Our maximum weight limit is approximately 350 lbs due to safety reasons and the size of our gear. There is no age limit for rafting!
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.
To view our liability waiver click here.
We have trips to suit all abilities and budgets. See below for some of our most common group types:
Groups of 8 or more receive a group discount. Please contact us for a personalized quote. If you would like to pay separately simply contact our office via phone or email. Let us know your group details and we will set up a group code for you to use. That way, everyone can enter their own credit card information, and pay for their trip.
Yes! We absolutely welcome solo travellers!
You can book online, over the phone on 1 -800-644-8888 or in person at our booking offices in Banff or Golden. Check out our contact us page for location details. We do get very busy, especially on weekends, so recommend a reservation well in advance. If plans change you can cancel up to 48 hours prior to the trip and get a full refund!
We realize people’s travel plans can change. That’s why we provide you with a 48 hour cancellation policy for individual bookings and 7 days for groups of 8 or more.
In the unlikely event that Hydra must cancel a trip, full refunds or alternate dates will be given.