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    Whitewater Rafting the BC Rockies- Plan An Accessible Banff/Lake Louise Getaway

    Looking for something ‘different’ to do on your BC or Alberta vacation? Living in Calgary and pining for adventure without having to get on a plane or drive for half a day to get there?

    Kootenay River Runners celebrates 35 years of British Columbia whitewater rafting, with runs on four rivers in the BC Rockies and a storied history of firsts, all within 75 minutes of Banff, Alberta and 45 minutes from Lake Louise.

    With runs on the Kootenay, Toby Creek, Kicking Horse and Columbia River, Kootenay River Runners offers a great range of whitewater rafting and canoe trips.

    Over 250,000 guests have rafted with the company since its debut in 1976 as the first commercial whitewater rafting company on the Kootenay River. Co-owner Daryl Besphlug claims another pinnacle: he was the first person to whitewater raft the class III-IV Kicking Horse River, in May of 1980. Safety, adventure quality, and exceptional customer service are just some of the reasons guests rave about the ‘Rafting the Rockies’ experience with KRR.


    For families and groups with older members and/or toddlers, the Kootenay River is the best family whitewater raft trip in the Canadian Rockies. Kids as young as five share the raft with grandparents and everyone in between. This 30 mile frolic offers boisterous yet gentle whitewater, and ample wildlife viewing opportunities. A stop at the stunning Purcell Falls and a traditional riverside rafting lunch make this a favorite for family reunion activities or for a group of friends.

    Toby Creek is born in the Purcell Range and carves a turquoise ribbon through the mountain wilderness and steep canyons as it rushes downstream to join the Columbia River. The river offers class I-III rafting sections, and entertains both the first time whitewater rafter or the seasoned professional, taking an average of two hours. This trip is based out of Panorama Mountain Resort 30 minutes west of Invermere.

    The Kicking Horse River whitewater raft trip is our most popular and challenging whitewater rafting adventure. It starts at the Kicking Horse River Basecamp just west of Yoho National Park, famous for its iconic wildlife. The Kicking Horse whitewater trip is easily accessible from Calgary, Banff, Lake Louise, Golden, Radium Hot Springs, Fairmont Hot Springs and Invermere.

    There are two versions of the Kicking Horse Whitewater Rafting trip: the Classic, covering a distance of 20 km, starts out slowly until a crescendo of class III-IV rapids are conquered. Spots like Portage, Shotgun, and the Last Waltz is a top screamer route. For whitewater rafters wanting to extend the adventure, the Ultimate adds the Lower Canyon for an additional class IV section of river. Both of these trips have the option of the famous Kootenay River Runners barbecue meal.

    For the Columbia River run, the journey is by Voyageur Canoe through the Columbia River Wetlands. For ecologists, birders, and the environmentally-interested this canoe trip will take you through the longest intact wetlands in North America, and a critical part of the Pacific Flyway for migrating birds. This is also the best trip for wildlife viewing and photography; species often seen include bald eagles, osprey, painted turtles, beaver, river otter, elk and bighorn sheep. The 34-ft Voyageur Canoes are ultra stable, suiting travelers of all ages and abilities.

    Package pricing ranges from the ‘1996 Toby Creek 15 year anniversary rate’, an Early Bird Special, the ‘Old Enough To Know Better’ discount, Locals discount, Kicking Horse Morning Run Special for the early risers, and Bride/Groom Rafts 4 Free stag/stagette package.

    Accommodation partners for Kootenay River Runners range from full service resorts, inns and motels to bed & breakfast accommodation providers in the BC Rockies, starting at only $107/pp (camping option; other accommodation/rafting packages range up to $210/pp).

    In under two hours Albertans and visitors to Banff and Lake Louise can add a trip-of-a-lifetime whitewater rafting adventure in some of British Columbia’s most spectacular mountain scenery, with the longest-established commercial whitewater rafting company in the 4-river area.

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