Whitewater Rafting on the Kananaskis River
Horseshoe Canyon: Whitewater Rafting Just Outside of Banff and Canmore
The Kananaskis River is a tributary to the Bow River, joining it east of Canmore above Horseshoe Canyon. It begins in western Alberta in the Canadian Rocky Mountains and winds its way 46 miles through the mountains until it joins the Bow River. Like the Bow, too, it is popular with outdoor enthusiasts, including whitewater rafters and kayakers who live in or visit Banff and Canmore. Lower Kananaskis River is home to several hydroelectric dams which control the rate of flow on this portion of the river which also features a series of Class II and III rapids – some can even be classified as IV depending on the flow.
If you’re looking for something more adventurous than a float trip but not ready to tackle the big water found in Class IV rapids, then the lower Kananaskis River is tailor-made for your Alberta rafting trip. Trips on this river are typically two hours and involve lots of surfing on various rapids as well as paddling; there is the option for those who want to go for a nice cool swim as well. Then of course there is the gorgeous scenery of the Kananaskis Valley. Like its sister river the Bow, the Kananaskis Valley provides a rich riparian habitat for many species of birds, and carpets of mountain wildflowers cover its banks in the peak of summer in late June and early July. You might also spy bears, elk and white-tailed deer – that is when you have a chance to look up in between the rapids!