From rolling prairie fields to bustling city centres and cascading mountain tops there are endless opportunities for travel within the wild rose province of Alberta. Whether you are in search of a vacation filled with festivals, fashion, and food, looking to unwind at a hot springs spa, or jump into an adventure amidst nature’s beautiful landscapes, Alberta has a spot fit for every type of holiday. Today’s focus, however, will fall into the latter category, after all, who doesn’t want a little adventure in their holiday?
In the non-winter seasons, rafting has become a wildly popular activity for those who are looking to have fun and excitement in the great outdoors of Alberta. The great thing about rafting is that it caters to a variety of ages, experience levels, and levels of risk aversion! Since there are many factors to consider when planning your rafting experience in Alberta including location, class, and price we’ve compiled a guide to help you plan your rafting adventure.
The Kananaskis river is a popular place for rafting, and the 45-minute drive from Calgary makes it an easy destination to incorporate into Banff, Canmore and Calgary-centric holidays. Set in the front ranges of the Rocky Mountains, this picturesque spot is ideal for families and first timers to experience the rapids at a pace that isn’t too extreme. Chinook Rafting is one of the favorite tour companies, with rafts passing through class 2-3 rapids for 1.5-2 hours. Costs are $94 for adults, $59 for children and youth (5-15). You can expect to get a few splashes on this ride, but rest assured, wetsuits and lifejackets will be supplied.
For those searching for the ultimate thrill-seeking adventure, the Kicking Horse River is your ideal location. Based out of Lake Louise, Wild Water Adventures has a variety of packages available for groups to take to the white-water rapids on the Kicking Horse, but they boast the ‘Maximum Horsepower’ as the ideal selection for thrill seekers! This route’s rapids are classified as level 2 to 4+, and it is recommended to those who are experienced rafters, or truly ready to endure large rapids and plenty of paddling! Participants must be over 16 years of age and weigh at least 100 lbs. This trip lasts for over four hours, but we guarantee there will be no boredom on this voyage! Pricing is $159 per person, and pick-up takes place at the Wild Water Adventures River Base, which can be found on their website’s map here.
While Jasper is full of avid skiers and snowboarders in the winter season, the summer months are equally as beautiful and ideal for warmer-weather adventures including hiking and rafting. There are a lot of great tour options to choose from in the Jasper area, and Maligne Rafting Adventures has received great reviews for their Jasper area rafting tours. The Sunwapta River is the only class 3 river located within the Jasper National Park, and it is often compared to a wild rollercoaster ride! This tour takes 4 hours, including transport to and from the rafting location, and costs $98 per person. While first-time rafters are more than welcome to take this tour, you must weigh 90 lbs and be prepared for an exhilarating ride! This ride also includes great opportunities for wildlife sightings, so participants should try to keep an eye out in spots where the white rapids settle.
Alberta’s adventure opportunities are not exclusively for the winter season. The lengthy list of rafting tours available allows for participants to find the ideal skill level, location, and price to suit their needs. Take in the beauty of the Rockies and enjoy the exhilarating experience of bursting through white water rapids for a holiday that is sure to be unforgettable!
By Mackenzie Shand.