5 Trips On 1 River – We Know That Can Get Confusing

Are you looking for boat swamping rapids, a sit back and relax kind of float, or maybe a bit of both?

We have what you need. The Kicking Horse River is divided into 3 sections – the upper, middle and lower canyons – so whether you want to be digging in hard, or barely paddling at all, we can tailor your raft trip to what suits you best.

Have a look at the charts below for a breakdown of how it works.

white water rafting kicking horse

The Upper Canyon

  • The 'you're easing into it' section of the river
  • A scenic float that gradually builds into a bit of white water.
  • Family friendly with a chance to swim and hike up to a cascading waterfall
  • A good initial taste of what the Kicking Horse is all about.

kicking horse river rafting

The Middle Canyon

  • The first 'paddles in and hold on tight' white water section
  • Mostly class 2 and 3 with an impressive 1 km stretch of class 4
  • 10 km of crashing rapids and boat swamps
  • Do you like the sound of Roller Coaster, Man Eater and Shotgun Rapids?

kicking horse white water rafting

The Lower Canyon

  • Continuing to paddle even harder and hanging on tighter
  • It starts with a 4 km stretch of continuous class 4 whitewater - amazing!
  • It's exclusive to Glacier and only accessible by helicopter - even more amazing!
  • Finishes with a float through Golden where everyone can see you heli rafted the lower

Kicking Horse River White Water Rafting Overview

Click on any of the trip names in the table to see more information

Trip Upper Middle Lower Bottom Line
Ultimate Adventure MOST COMPLETE
White Water Discovery GREAT BALANCE
White Water Express RAPIDS
*Double White Water HIGH WATER (June only)

Ready to Book? BOOK NOW

* Loving it and want to go further? If you want to upgrade your trip and raft additional sections from what you originally booked just let your guide know. Provided we still have seats available, they'll make it happen!

* New to rafting? That's okay - none of our trips require any prior rafting experience. Our guides will let you know exactly what you need to do!

* All of our guides capture HD video footage, and our professional photographer will be taking pictures throughout the day. You can check out your smiles (or screams and hilarious facial expressions) at the end of the day.

* A $5.00 Land Use Fee and 5% tax is added to all trips

ultimate adventure river rafting map

Water levels on the Kicking Horse River

Our river changes greatly depending on the water level. The Kicking Horse River is a glacial fed river that starts in the Canadian Rocky Mountains which means the water level is affected by snow melt, rain and the temperature.

Here is a guideline of what rafting in each month means (knowing we can never predict it exactly as it's in the hands of Mother Nature):

  • May - Water levels are starting to rise but typically we can still raft all 3 sections of the river.
  • June - High water! The middle canyon is fast and as big as it gets. The lower canyon is generally closed for safety reasons at this time. June is for the thrill seekers, try the Double White Water trip!
  • July - High water often sticks around for part of July. As the river drops, the lower canyon will re-open.
  • August - A steady water level that holds for most of the month. We're usually able to raft the entire river. You don't want to miss heli rafting in the lower canyon!
  • September - Low water. Technical rafting and some fun waves that only appear at this time of year.

Wondering What the Different Classes Mean?

The Kicking Horse River consists of class 1 – class 4 rapids, with class 4 being the highest any company can commercially raft in Canada.

Class 1 - moving water
Class 2 - straight forward rapids, wide channels, splashy waves
Class 3 - bigger rapids with bigger waves, more complex maneuvers
Class 4 - intense rapids, large waves, technical maneuvering

The finest mix of professionalism, organization, and fun that I’ve ever seen. Thrilling and laid back all at the same time!

Mattst7, Trip Advisor