Top 5 Rivers for White Water Rafting in Canada

In the land of the “True North Strong & Free” it’s fairly simple to come across some of North America’s most beautiful rivers. But to truly feel and understand the power behind Canada’s rivers, you’re going to have to get a little wet. The most exciting way to do this is to go white water rafting. There are several tours that operate across Canada, providing backpackers and travelers alike with the opportunity to feel the adrenaline white water rafting can provide.

Kicking Horse River

kicking horse raftingFirst up is Kicking Horse River, located in the Canadian Rockies of South Eastern British Columbia. Hundreds of thousands of happy rafters have experienced the thrill of the Kicking Horse river. There are several river rafting tour operators in this area. Each will give you the low-down on how to stay safe while getting your raft on. They also provide you with all of the proper equipment you’ll need. Kicking Horse River offers some amazing rafting. Most tours will take you through over 14 sets of rapids along the way. The towering canyon walls and beautiful scenery is just the cherry on top for this trip.

White Water Rafting Tours for Kicking Horse River Include:

Kipawa River, Quebec

rafting kipawa riverThe Kipawa River has been rated as one of Eastern Canada’s best intermediate whitewater rivers. The Kipawa River is a 16 km run, from Lake Kipawa down to Lake Temiscaming. With 18 named rapids and a 90 foot waterfall, you’re guaranteed to feel the power behind this river. Unfortunately, this section of Whitewater is in danger as there are several proposals by Hydro-Quebec to driver & dam the river, thereby eliminating some of the best white water rafting in Canada. Rafting the Kipawa will only set you back about $100, so it should be in any backpackers budget.

Check out Esprit River Rafting for more info.

Shubenacadie River, Nova Scotia

tidal_bore_raftingThe Shubenacadie River is one of Canada’s white water rafting oddities. At first glance, the river will seem like a dull muddy river. Once you get past the mudflats and sandbars, you’ll come across the mouth of the river. This is where things start going backwards. Litterally. Shubenacadie River is one of the only places to tidal bore raft in Canada. For those unfamiliar with Tidal Bore Rafting, it’s where the tides, in this case from the Bay of Fundy, come rushing in. Instead of riding downstream rapids. However, in this case, you’re rafting on the worlds highest tides. The tides travel inland at roughly 50 km per hour, and with a little luck on you’re side, you could be hitting sixteen-foot waves. There’s plenty enough force in this weird river to keep the adrenaline going.

Fraser River, British Columbia

rafting fraser riverFraser River is the longest, and arguably the most famous river in British Columbia. There are a several Class 3 rapids along the ride, definitely enough to keep your heart pumping. The main reason why this is one of the best rivers for whitewater rafting is the scenery. This rafting trip will give you a superb view of Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. Top it all off with Rearguard Falls, and if you’re in the right season (Mid July to Late August) you’ll also be able to see some spawning Chinook Salmon. Also the cost for rafting this river is quite a bit lower than several of the more popular rivers.

Check out:

Ottawa River, Ontario/Quebec

white water rafting ottawa riverOne of Canada’s most famous whitewater rafting destinations. The Ottawa river gives you a hands on view of the Canadian Wilderness. With high volume rapids, you have the option of going down the Middle & Main channels of the Ottawa River. Or why not go all out and tackle them both? If you decide to take it all in, bring an extra pair of underwear, as this will be a solid two-day trip. The river itself is over 1400 km in length. However, for anyone looking for thrill, there are a set 12 kilometers that you’ll be truly looking forward to. There are a few different tour operators who will take you and a group along for the adventure.

Check them out:

Wilderness Tours
River Runners
Owl Rafting
Esprit River Rafting

Fraser River, British Columbia

This river is the longest, and arguably the most famous river in British Columbia. There are a several Class 3 rapids along the ride, definitely enough to keep your heart pumping. The main reason why this is one of the best rivers to whitewater raft is the scenery. This rafting trip will give you a superb view of Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. Top it all off with Rearguard Falls, and if you’re in the right season (Mid July to Late August) you’ll also be able to see some spawning Chinook Salmon.

Check out Mount Robson Whitewater Rafting – They give Free Camping with the purchase of a rafting trip (Score one for the budget!)

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8 Responses to “Top 5 Rivers for White Water Rafting in Canada”

  1. Candice
    November 8, 2009 at 11:28 pm #

    White river rafting, definitely something I need to do. Fraser River looks incredible.
    .-= Candice´s last blog ..Lollipops, the secret to girl success =-.

    • Corbin
      November 9, 2009 at 2:25 am #

      @Candice – 100% u have to. Can’t pass up any opportunity to rock one of them sexy wetsuits!

  2. AdventureRob
    November 10, 2009 at 1:37 am #

    Whitewater rafting for the win!

    Nice list you have compiled here, I will refer to it when I venture into Canada’s direction
    .-= AdventureRob´s last blog ..Russian Documents Mongolian Dust =-.

  3. Dave Pearson
    March 13, 2011 at 1:14 am #

    Hi Corbin,

    I see you haven’t heard about the new raft company in Canada, we’re small and offer 2 unique river trips. In may and june we raft on the Highwood River, full day class IV rafting, free riverside camping the best rafting in Alberta. In July and August we raft on the Bobbie Burns Creek, full day class IV rafting and a 45ft rappel by Bobbie Burns falls makes it a unique trip. Best of all we’re the only company rafting both rivers, check it out http://www.wakpa.com

  4. Elizabeth
    July 4, 2012 at 4:47 am #

    Just done rafting in Fraser river and it was so heart pumping, the long river trails and the awesome view are just unforgettable.

    • Corbin Fraser
      July 4, 2012 at 8:34 am #

      That’s great to hear! I’m hoping to get some more rafting in this summer! Thanks for reading!

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