Planning a rafting trip with family and friends can be a big deal. There are lots of factors to consider including what to bring, what time to arrive, and what the day will be like - do you have questions about our raft trips? Most people do!
Check out the answers to some of our most common frequently asked questions and make sure you are ready for an awesome day of rafting on the Kicking Horse River in Golden BC!
Do I need experience to come rafting?
No, a lot of our guests are first time rafters. Because the Kicking Horse River has everything ranging from calm water to big class 4 whitewater, there’s a trip for everyone, whether you are young or old, in shape or not!
At the beginning of the day, prior to the trip, our guides will take you through procedures and a thorough safety demonstration so everyone has a solid understanding of what to expect.
Our trips start off on the calmest section of the river so you can gradually get used to paddling and being on the river before hitting the bigger rapids with confidence.
What equipment do you provide?
We provide all the equipment and clothing you will need for your trip. This includes wetsuits, neoprene jackets, splash tops, fleece sweaters, neoprene boots, socks, mitts/gloves, helmets, life jackets, and paddles.
What should I bring?
All you need to bring is a swimsuit and towel. We also recommend bringing sunglasses and sunscreen for hot sunny days. We sell sunglasses if you forget yours or prefer not to use them, as well as straps to attach your sunglasses to limit the chance of losing them in the river.
We have large separate men’s and women’s change rooms on site which include bathrooms and hot showers. There’s lots of time to change before your trip starts and upon your return so there's no need to rush.
I’m really nervous. Should I still try whitewater rafting?
Yes, definitely! There are many guests who join us each day who are very nervous about their trip. It’s a completely natural feeling to have. Our guides are very experienced and understand that many people are nervous about rafting. They make a special effort to make you feel comfortable so you can enjoy the day.
Our day starts with the calmest section of the river first. This allows you time to get used to being on the water and paddling with no rapids. If you’re feeling comfortable and having fun, you can continue on to the middle section of the river and the bigger whitewater.
The Glacier team can attest to the fact that nervous guests at the beginning of the day end up having the most fun, and return to our base entirely happy they went on the trip.
What if it rains?
Rafting is a great activity to do on a rainy day - you are going to get wet anyways! Because we run our trips rain or shine, we do not allow guests to change their trip date due to weather.
Will it be cold?
The Kicking Horse river is glacial fed so it is 3-4 C° year round. If it’s a cooler day or you get cold easily, we have lots of layers to keep you warm.
On hot summer days you will likely need less layers and many of our guests will go for a refreshing dip at the designated swimming spots along the river.
What’s for lunch?
We serve a delicious BBQ lunch at the riverside midday. You have the choice of steak, chicken breast, fish, a hamburger, veggie burger, or smokie. In addition to this there are a variety of salads (caesar, green, potato, bean), chips, veggies and dip, fruit, and cookies. Hot and cold beverages are also served. There’s a reason that lunch is a highlight of the day for many of our guests!
We are also happy to prepare a gluten free or vegan lunch - just let us know when you book!
Do you have a photographer to take photos/video?
We have a professional photographer who will take photos at different locations along the river. They will also be at our lunch spot to take photos of you and your group.
Our guides are also outfitted with GoPro cameras and take video from the front and back of the raft throughout your trip. We are the only company on the Kicking Horse to offer HD video of our rafting trips every day!
You can view the photos and video from your day at the end of your trip back at our base. USB sticks of all the photos and videos from your raft will be available for purchase.
Can we bring cameras and other personal belongings in the raft?
We don’t recommend people bring anything with them on the river. There is always a chance that cameras could get lost or damaged and there’s very little time to take pictures as you will be paddling the majority of the time.
We often get asked by guests if they can bring their own GoPro on the trip. We do have helmets with GoPro mounts available, however, it is at your own risk to do so. There is always a change the camera could get broken or knocked off and many cameras have been lost in the river. We think it’s safer to leave the filming and photos to us.
The only personal belongings that should be brought on the raft is any medication which may be required such as an asthma inhaler or epi pen. Please let your guide know as they have small dry bags to keep such items safe for you.
How are the rapids rated?
Rapids are rated on a scale of 1-6.
Class 1: Moving water
Class 2: Splashy waves.
Class 3: Easy maneuvering through the rapids, bigger waves.
Class 4: Intense rapids, technical maneuvering, big waves.
Class 5: Long, powerful rapids with serious consequences (not commercially raftable in B.C.).
Class 6: No go.
The Kicking Horse River has 3 Sections: The Upper, Middle & Lower Canyons.
Upper Canyon - Class 1 to class 3 rapids
Middle Canyon - Continuous class 2-3 and a 1 km section of class 4 (more class 4 at high water)
Lower Canyon - 3 km of continuous class 4, followed by a class 1-2 float into Golden
When does your season start and end?
We start rafting May long weekend and run trips every day until mid-September. This is provided we have met minimum numbers for the trip to safely go ahead, and that the water level of the river is sufficient for rafting.
How far in advance should I book?
If you are planning to come midweek, it’s usually fine to book a few days prior to your selected trip date. However it is best to book as soon as you know the date you can come to guarantee we have spots available.
Weekends are the busiest time and tend to book up quickly. If you are planning to book a trip on the weekend, or have a large group, we recommend booking as soon as you have your plans confirmed.
If you don't see what you're looking for here, we do have more answers on the FAQ page on our website. Click HERE to read more FAQs and answers.
If you have questions or need help planning your trip, the Glacier team is here to help. Feel free to call the office or send us an email, we are always happy to answer your questions and help plan your rafting trip with us.
Check out our Contact page to get in touch. We look forward to greeting new and old friends this upcoming season!
Cheers from all of us here at Glacier