Frequently Asked Questions

Still have questions?

Read the answers to our most frequently asked questions below.
Q. Do I need experience to go whitewater rafting?
A. No, you don’t. Most of our guests are first-timers and our trips, equipment, and briefings are designed to put beginners at ease. Our experienced guides will provide a safety orientation before you get on the water and coach you the whole way through the rapids. No previous whitewater experience is necessary.
Q. It’s supposed to be raining the day of our trip, will the trip be cancelled?
A. We raft rain or shine! You’re going to be getting wet anyways. The only events that we would cancel a trip are in adverse weather conditions or if the water levels are not suitable for rafting.
Q. How many people fit in a raft?
A. Our rafts take 8 to 10 participants in a raft, plus one river guide who sits and coaches you from the back.
Q. Can I go rafting if I don’t know how to swim?
A. If you do not know how to swim, our Kananaskis Whitewater tour is the perfect option for you. This tour is still challenging and lots of fun but not intimidating or overly powerful. We do not recommend the Horseshoe Canyon for those who cannot swim. Our Horseshoe Canyon Whitewater tour features higher water levels and more powerful rapids. There is a greater chance that a boat could flip or that you could fall out and you would need to swim to safety.
Q. Are any of the whitewater rafting trips suitable for seniors?
A. There is no maximum age limit for our whitewater tours – so long as you’re physically fit you’re welcome aboard! Our scenic float is also an amazing experience for anyone still wanting to get out on the river but, not interested in whitewater rapids.
Q. Is lunch included in either of the tours?
A. We offer a Surf & Saddle package with Boundary Rancch that includes a horseback ride, a lunch and a rafting tour on the Kananaskis River. You have the choice between a BBQ Burger or a BBQ Steak.
Q. What sets Canadian Rockies Rafting apart from other rafting companies?
A. Canadian Rockies Rafting has been running the rivers of Alberta and British Columbia for more than 25 seasons. Our dedication to safety and customer service is second to none and our staff members are friendly, experienced and willing to answer all of your questions and concerns. We pride ourselves in offering the most affordable whitewater rafting adventures in the Bow Valley, not to mention, we offer excursions that you won’t find anywhere else including river boarding and private/custom tours.
Q. Do we need to be physically fit to go rafting?
A. We recommend that all of our rafters be in good physical health as the cold water can be a shock if you fall in and the paddling is a lot more strenuous than it looks! If you have a medical issue but, you still want to go rafting, we always recommend you check with your doctor first.
Q. What is the best time of year to go rafting?
A. The rivers change from May to September. High water is usually from mid June to mid July. For the real whitewater enthusiast, this would be an exciting time to book on our Horseshoe Canyon Whitewater tour as the rapids are at their biggest. That being said, the amazing scenery along the Horseshoe Canyon makes it a fantastic experience all summer long. The Kananaskis River is dam controlled and stays consistent all season long, making it an excellent choice at any time during the season. If you’re interested in spotting wildlife, our Bow River Nature Float offers great birding opportunities in May through June.
Q. When does your season start and end?
A. We start rafting as soon as the ice is off the river, and up until the snow falls! This is usually between the start of May to the end of September. We have even done the odd trip in April and October depending on Mother Nature!
Q. What do I wear?
A. Most guests arrive with their swimsuit underneath their clothes. Once at our river base you change into your wetsuit, wearing your swimsuit underneath. We provide you river boots, so don’t worry about what shoes you need to wear.
Q. What do we need to bring?
A. You need to bring a swimsuit, towel, dry clothes (for afterwards), fleece sweater (optional), sunscreen, and lots of energy!
Q. What if I don’t own a swim suit?
A. That’s okay! You can wear tight shorts, a tight-fitting tank top or t-shirt, or leggings underneath your wetsuit. The closer the wetsuit is to your skin, the warmer you will be.
Q. What can I bring in the raft with me?
A. Just yourself! We do not allow cell phones, cameras, or backpacks the raft as there is a good chance that they will get wet, damaged, or lost. Sunglasses are allowed but not recommended. If you need anything for medical reasons, please let your guide know and they will make sure it comes on the raft with you.
Q. Can I bring my GoPro?
A. Yes, but at your own risk. We have a few helmets at the river base with the GoPro helmet mount (first-come-first-serve) – just make sure you bring any necessary accessories. We do not take responsibility for any GoPros or personal items that are lost on our river tours.
Q. I wear prescription glasses. Can I wear them on the raft?
A. Yes, of course! We wouldn’t want you to miss the adventure! We recommend you bring an eyewear retainer or safety strap. If you do not have one, our guides have string at the river base for you to use. Just ask!
Q. Can we bring our cameras/ phone on the raft with us?
A. No, we do not recommend it. Any technology on the raft is at risk of getting wet, damaged, or lost. We do allow GoPros, but guests must be aware that Canadian Rockies Rafting is not liable for any personal belongings lost or damaged on the river. There will be a photographer along the river banks taking photos of your adventure which will be available for purchase on rafting.ca 24-48 hours after the date on your trip.
Q. Can we bring our own wetsuits, life jackets, or river shoes?
A. All guests must wear Canadian Rockies Rafting life jackets and helmets for safety reasons and insurance purposes. Our gear is checked regularly to make sure it is in good condition and up to current Canadian safety standards. You can bring your own wetsuit as long as it is 3mm or thicker, has long pants, and is checked by your guide first!
Q. Will I get wet?
A. Yes. You can expect to get splashed on all our whitewater trips! Not to mention, you have the option of jumping out of the raft and going for a swim on both of our whitewater tours. On our Bow River Nature Float, however, you will not get splashed or wet. This tour is a relaxing float on calm water.
Q. How cold is the water?
A. The waters of the Bow River and the Kananaskis River range from 6 to 12C in the summer.
Q. Are we going to be freezing the whole time?
A. Definitely not. Your wetsuit is designed to keep you warm by warming the water that it collects, creating a layer of insulation. If you know you are a “cold person” you can bring a fleece sweater to wear between your wetsuit and your splash jacket. (Do not bring cotton – when it gets wet it will keep you cold!)
Q. Where do I park?
A. For the Bow River Nature Float, the tour departs from our Canmore Office. There is a free, gravel parking area across the street behind Home Hardware. (Turn into the Home Hardware parking lot at the lights at Railway Ave. and Main St.)
For our whitewater tours, when you arrive at our river base, the Stoney Nakoda Resort & Casino, you can park on the grass area beside the changing rooms. You will see our shed, with our branding and picnic tables out front on the left-hand side as you drive in.
Q. Do you offer a shuttle service?
A. We are offering a shuttle bus from Canmore Inn & Suites for our Bow River Horseshoe Canyon tour and Kananaskis Whitewater tours.
Q. How do we get back to our cars after?
A. Our river base at the Stoney Nakoda Resort & Casino, is our meeting point and staging area. From there, everyone hops on a bus to the actual “put in” location on the river (the piece of the river bank where we put the rafts in the water). Then, once everyone arrives at the “take out” of the river (where the river tour ends) our bus driver will be waiting to drive everyone back to our river base at the Stoney Nakoda Resort & Casino where you left your car.
Q. Will we start and finish at the same spot?
A. No. On your river tour, you will flow downstream, catching the rolling rapids and working as a team to conquer the whitewater along the way. Where you put the boats in the river will not be the same place you take the boats out of the river.
Q. What’s the difference between whitewater rafting and nature floats?
A. The difference between a whitewater and float tour is the river difficulty.
For instance, our Kananaskis Whitewater tour is rated as a class 2-3 river tour which means that there will be rapids and a lot of splashes. This is a hands-on adventure that requires everyone to paddle when required. On the other side, our Bow River Nature Float is rated as a class 1 river tour. The water is slow moving, and the activity level is basically zero. Your guide will do all the paddling while you sit back and enjoy the float down the river.
Q. What’s the difference between the Kananaskis River Whitewater and the Bow River Horseshoe Canyon Whitewater tours?
A. We get this question a lot! To put it simply, the Kananaskis Whitewater tour is great for beginners, families, groups, and people of all ages, while our Horseshoe Canyon Whitewater tour is designed for guests looking for higher class rapids and more adrenaline. On the Kananaskis Whitewater tour the rapids are class 2-3 versus the class 2-4 rapids found on the Horseshoe Canyon. At the end of the Kananaskis Whitewater tour there is a float section with an optional swim (which kids love!) while on the Horseshoe Canyon rafters can experience a thrilling cliff jump! With a minimum age of 5 years old, our Kananaskis Whitewater tour is our most popular excursion with lots of rapids and fun to be had by the whole family! Our Horseshoe Canyon Whitewater tour (minimum age 12 years old) is popular with couples, adults, and thrill seekers! Both excursions are excellent for bachelor/ bachelorette parties, birthday parties, or team building events.
Q. How long are we on the river for?
A. On both our whitewater tours, you are on the river for approximately 2 hours. If you choose to go riverboarding, you will be in the river for 1-1.5 hours.
Q. What time will we be finished?
A. Our Horseshoe Canyon Whitewater tour runs 8:15am-11:15am, for a total of 3 hours. Our Kananaskis Whitewater tour runs 1:30pm-4:30pm, for a total of 3 hours.
Q. If my child is 12 years old but less than 90 pounds can they still go on the Horseshoe Canyon Whitewater tour?
A. Unfortunately, they cannot. All guests must be at least 90lbs for the Horseshoe Canyon Whitewater tour for safety reasons. Some sections of this river have strong currents, and should a guest fall in, they need to have the weight and strength to overcome the rapids and swim to safety. In addition, anyone under the age of 12 but more then 90lbs is also not allowed on the Horseshoe Canyon for safety and liability reasons.
Q. How high is the cliff jump on the Bow River Horseshoe Canyon Whitewater tour?
A. There are two cliff jumps: 8ft (2.4m) and 30ft (9.1m).
Q. Is there a weight and age minimum for my kids on the Kananaskis Whitewater tour?
A. Yes, your child must be 5 years or older and at least 40lbs. If you are nervous about your child falling out of the raft we can sit them in the middle of the raft where there is a smaller chance that can happen.
Q. Is there a maximum weight restriction for either trip?
A. The maximum weight for one person is 350lbs. We have wetsuits and life jackets that will fit up to this weight.
Q. What time will we be finished?
A. Our Morning Bow River Nature Floats run 8:15am-9:30am or 10:15am-11:30am.
Our Evening Bow River Nature Float runs 6:30pm-8:30pm.
Q. How long are we on the river for?
A. On our Bow River Nature Float tours, you are on the river for approximately 1 hour in the morning and 1.5 hours in the evening.
Q. Are we guaranteed to see animals on the nature float?
A. We can’t control Mother Nature but, we can say that lots of local species live in the area and they are commonly seen by our river guides throughout the summer. On the Bow River Nature Float tour you have a good chance of seeing osprey, bald eagles, cliff swallows, river trout, elk, and even beavers!
Q. Is food provided on the float trip?
A. No, but we do supply a hot or cold beverage (usually lemonade or hot chocolate). If you would like to bring your own snacks or non-alcoholic beverages you are more than welcome!
Q. Do we get wet on the float tour?
A. No, you will not get wet on the float tour. This is a relaxed float tour on calm water. The only chance of getting wet is if you want to jump in!
Q. What should we bring/ wear on the float tour?
A. You can wear anything you like! On cooler days, we recommend you wear long pants and bring a warm sweater. You can wear open or close-toe shoes.
Q. Where does your float tour start and finish?
A. Our Bow River Nature Float tour starts at the Trans-Canada Highway bridge and ends in Three Sisters Campground. We float through an area known as Dead Man’s Flats. If water levels are too low to float this section (in late summer) we will float from the Canmore public boat launch to the Trans-Canada Highway.
Q. Do you offer a group discount?
A. Yes! We offer a discount of 10% off for groups of 7-13, and 15% off for groups of 14 or more.
Q. Can my group/family guarantee our own raft?
A. We cannot guarantee that your group will have its own raft. Indeed, our rafts can take up to 8 people, which is why we will be mixing groups to fill our boats.
Q. Do you offer a local discount?
A. Yes! Please check out our “Deals” page on our website for more details or contact us directly.
Q. Is river rafting safe?
A. At Canadian Rockies Rafting, your safety is our priority. Whitewater Rafting is an extreme activity that involves hazards and risks. Our guides are highly trained to operate safely on the water and how to recognise and avoid potential hazards and risks but, this does not eliminate the hazards and risks associated the Whitewater Rafting/River Rafting.
Q. Do I need to sign a waiver
A. Yes, every guest must read and sign our Release of Liability Waiver before going on a River Rafting tour with us. All our guests under 18 years old need their parent or legal guardian to sign the waiver form on their behalf. The waiver has to be signed before the day of the tour, and can be found via your confirmation email under "Complete Guest Details". Take a look at the waiver here.
Q. I can't swim, can I still go rafting?
A. Yes, you do not need to know how to swim. However, we ask our guests to let their guide know that they are non-swimmers. We recommend guests with limited or no swimming abilities to join our Kananaskis Whitewater Tour, as the rapids are not as strong, and the chance of something happening is reduced but, no guarantees can be given.
Q. Are there risks involved with river rafting?
A. Whitewater Rafting is an adventure that comes with risks. Our guides give a detailed safety brief about the risks and hazards and how to handle different situations that could arise during the tour. Even with safety briefs and well trained guides, there is no guarantee that injury or incidents won't occur while Whitewater Rafting/River Rafting.
Q. How do I book?
A. You can book online, book over the phone by calling us at (403) 678 6535, book via email at info@rafting.ca, or book in-person at our office in Canmore, located at 909A Railway Ave.
Q. When should I book?
A. To ensure space on the date of your choice, book as early as you can. We recommend you book 7-3 days prior to your desired trip date.
Q. Can I show up to the river base to go rafting?
A. All our rafting tours need to be booked in advance since we organise boats and staff depending on bookings.
We accept booking up to 8:00 pm the night before for a Bow River Horseshoe Canyon tour or a Morning Bow River Nature Float, and up to 11:00am the day of a tour for the Kananaskis Whitewater tour and Evening Bow River Nature Float.
Q. How do I book with Groupon?
A. You can book a tour with a Groupon code online, over the phone by calling us at (403) 678 6535, via email at info@rafting.ca, or in-person at our office in Canmore, located at 909A Railway Ave. If you are having issue booking online with groupon, please take a look at our "How to book with Groupon" video.
Q. Can I pay the day of the tour?
A. We require full payment at the time of booking.
Q. What methods of payment do you have?
A. We accept Mastercard, Visa, debit, cash, and cheque at our office.
We only accept Mastercard and Visa online. We do not accept visa debit online.
Q. What is you cancellation policy for individual booking?
A. We require 48 hours notice (prior to your tours departure time) to cancel or change your tour without penalty.
- Cancellations within 48 hours of your departure time and no-shows are not eligible for a refund.
- If you reduce the number of guests 48 hours or more before your departure time – a reduction in price will be given to reflect the updated number of participants.
- If you reduce the number of guests within 48 hours of your departure time you will still be charged for all guests that were booked prior to the 48 hours notice required for cancellations or changes.
Q. What is your cancellation policy for groups of 9 and more?
A. We require 7 days notice (prior to a tours departure time) to cancel or change a tour without penalty.
- Cancellations within 7 days of your departure time and no-shows are not eligible for a refund.
- If you reduce the number of guests 7 days or more before your departure time– a reduction in price will be given to reflect the updated number of guests.
- If you reduce the number of guests within 7 days of your departure time you will still be charged for all guests that were booked prior to the 7 days notice required for cancellations or changes.
Q. What is your cancellation policy for private and executive tours?
A. We require 14 days notice (prior to a tour’s departure time) to cancel or change a tour without penalty.
- Cancellations within 14 days of your departure time and no-shows are not eligible for a refund.
- If you reduce the number of guests 14 days or more before your departure time– a reduction in price will be given to reflect the updated number of guests.
- If you reduce the number of guests within 14 days of your departure time you will still be charged for all guests that were booked prior to the 14 days notice required for cancellations or changes.
- For additional information, please refer to the Policies & Booking Requirements page on our website to review.
Policies & Booking Requirements
Q. Is there any restricitons for the Kananaskis Whitewater tour?
A. Yes, there are a few restrictions on our Kananaskis Whitewater tour. The minimum age to join this tour is 5 years old, the minimum weight is 45lbs (20kg) and the maximum weight is 350lbs (160kg).
Q. Is there any restrictions on the Bow River Horseshoe Canyon Whitewater tour?
A. Yes, there are a few restrictions for this tour. The minimum age is 12 years old, the minimum weight is 90lbs (45kg) and the maximum weight is 350lbs (160kg).
Q. Is there any restrictions on the Bow River Nature Float?
A. Yes, the minimum age requirement for our Bow River Nature Float is 4 years old. No minimum weight requirement.

Still can’t find what you’re looking for?

Feel free to contact us by calling us at 403-678-6535 or email at info@rafting.ca. You can also come in person to our office in Canmore, located at 909A Railway Ave.