Whitewater Rafting on the Red Deer River

Let the rapids take you by surprise on the Red Deer River

Rafting the Red Deer: a Banff Whitewater Rafting Favorite

The Red Deer River is one of the more popular Alberta rivers with local rafting companies and rafters who travel to the Canadian Rockies and Banff National Park. Why is that? The Red Deer River offers something for everyone – from first-timers looking to get their feet wet on a serene float trip, to adrenaline junkies looking to test their wet-suited mettle against raging Class IV rapids.

The Red Deer is a glacier-fed river, originating in the glaciers among the peaks east of Lake Louise in Banff National Park, north of Banff. It passes through the Rockies, carving through rock strata tens of thousands of years old, flowing along its path and eventually finding Canada’s prairies before eventually emptying into Hudson Bay far to the east.

Here in Alberta, the Red Deer provides an awesome series of Class II to Class IV rapids – Big Rock, Gooseberry, S Bends, Rock Garden, Jimbo’s Staircase and Shark’s Fin, to name a few – as well as expanses of flat water for float trips full of sightseeing. The Red Deer River’s rafting season runs from the long weekend at the end of May to the long weekend at the beginning of September, although if you’re looking for the biggest water, the peak occurs in June with the snowmelt; water levels tend to drop by August. Half- and full-day trips are available, as well as over-night trips.

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