Winding through the front ranges of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, the glacial blue waters of the Kananaskis River offer exhilarating white water rafting adventures. Considered one of the most scenic rivers in Alberta, the Kananaskis also affords mountain views and the chance to spy wolves, elk, eagle, and black and grizzly bears.
The Kananaskis River is a popular spot for kayaking, canoeing, and rafting. The river has plenty of calm stretches in addition to its white-water runs, making it ideal for families and beginning paddlers as well as more adventurous visitors. Choose a guided rafting trip down the Kananaskis. You’ll experience the river at its most exhilarating, and learn how to navigate the rapids safely.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Kananaskis River is great for beginners and kids.
- Guided tours are available, from gentle float trips to exhilarating Class I-III rapids.
- Bring wet suits and dry layers because the Kananaskis River is glacially fed and can be very cold.
- Several hiking trails run alongside the river.
How to Get There
The Kananaskis River is located in the Bow Valley Provincial Park in western Alberta, just outside the city of Banff. Most Kananaskis River rafting trips include round-trip transportation from Banff or Canmore, and some may include hotel pickup and drop-off. There are many spots to view the river off Highway 40, which is also known as the Kananaskis Trail.
When to Get There
Rafting trips on the Kananaskis River are mainly available from mid-May through mid-September. The annual Kananaskis Whitewater Festival occurs in mid-August and offers a fun-filled weekend of paddling activities. Hiking trails alongside the Kananaskis River can be enjoyed year-round.
Canoe Meadows Whitewater Park
The section of river between Widowmaker and Canoe Meadows contains a man-made white-water obstacle course. Spectators can watch boaters run the slalom course and play in the waves from a view area above the river, which can be accessed via a trail from the Canoe Meadows parking lot.