Whitewater Rafting on the Kakwa and Smoky Rivers, Jasper, Alberta.

Float down the Smoky River and enjoy the scenery.

Kakwa and Smoky: Jasper Rafting for the Whitewater Novice, or the Expert Thrill Seeker

This Canadian Rockies lake-fed river is closer to the Northern Rockies, north of Jasper National Park, and is a popular run with Alberta rafters looking for big water. Kakwa is a native word for porcupine, so named for the porcupines that call the Kakwa River banks their home. But for those of us that have experienced the Class IV+ rapids on the Kakwa during peak water, we can say that the river itself can be a bit prickly. Peak water occurs during June and July, the only time rafting trips are available on the Kakwa. But if it’s fast and furious paddling you like in your rafting, then the Kakwa is for you. The middle section of the raftable part of the river features steep drops, bends, holes and other hazards that are not for the feint of heart; rapids range from Class III to Class IV+.

Looking for something a little less intense? The Kakwa River flows into the Smoky River, which offers Class II and III rapids – III+ depending on water levels – not quite as crazy as the Kakwa, but still plenty of whitewater for your Alberta rafting fun. Here on the Smoky the whitewater rafting season runs from May through September with peak high water volumes in June and July. The Smoky is a great rafting experience for beginner and intermediate rafters, so its fun for the entire family – bring the kids. And this region of Alberta offers a wealth of unspoiled wilderness; even if whitewater rafting isn’t your thing; there is plenty to enjoy in the beautiful outdoors in this part of Alberta’s Canadian Rockies. If you want to see wildlife, there are few better regions in the Canadian Rockies.

The Kakwa River is available as an overnight, multi-day camping adventure–lots of time for you to explore what the area has to offer! If three days in the wilderness with delicious meals and wildlife sightseeing sounds good to you, then don’t delay! Raft the Kakwa River with Alberta Rafting today.


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