Premier Listings: Canoeing & Kayaking: Kootenay Rockies

Between the Rocky Mountains and the mountain ranges to the west is the Rocky Mountain Trench, source of two major rivers that flow to the north from their respective sources, the Fraser River and the Columbia River. Paddling down the Rocky Mountain trench in water that is amongst the clearest in British Columbia, flanked by the Canadian Rockies, is an inspiring near-wilderness experience. The area abounds with waterfowl and wildlife, the fishing is superb, and the tranquility is difficult to match.

Relaxing guided canoe floats on the bird watching paradise of the upper Columbia River provide easy trips with no rapids or portages. The river braids and meanders for 235 km from the put-in on Columbia Lake to the take-out at Donald Station Bridge, north of Golden, requiring at least a week for the trip. Above Donald the river is dammed at Mica creek to create Kinbasket Lake. Campsites can be found on the many islands and gravel bars in the river, and fresh waters is readily available from the side creeks. Easy access to the Columbia River is facilitated by Highways 93, 95 and Trans Canada Highway 1 which flank the river for the entire stretch described.

The Kicking Horse River cuts a wild swath through the Yoho Valley before spilling through a narrow stretch of canyon east of Golden. Along the way it displays both a gentle and a ferocious side, offering the most popular and exciting river adventure in the Canadian Rockies on one of Canada’s premier white water rivers. As an introduction to rafting, calmer scenic floats in the area – some with just a taste of whitewater – allow meandering trips through the breathtaking scenery of the upper Kicking Horse River. This wilderness experience can be combined with horse riding or mountain biking trips for a full day of outdoor activity.

If you have the time, take a trip down the Elk River from Elkford to Elko, a weeklong journey of about 120 miles (193 km). There’s excellent paddling throughout the East Kootenays, including the North and South Fraser drainages, and paddlers can explore the hundreds of miles of lakeshore surrounding the larger lakes in the BC Rockies, amongst magnificent scenery, with access to stunning pristine wilderness. Weather conditions on these lakes can change very quickly and with little warning, so whenever possible, stay close to the shoreline.

For a detailed account of these and other routes, consult Canadian Rockies Whitewater and Canadian Rockies Whitewater/The Central Rockies by Stuart Smith.

Premier Listings

Photo of Glacier Raft Company
Glacier Raft Company
1509A Lafontaine Road Golden BC V0A 1H3 Phone: 250-344-6521Toll Free: 1-877-344-7238View Website

Business Information

#1 Attraction in Golden on TripAdvisor. Glacier Raft Company has been running rafting trips on the Kicking Horse River since 1982. Our Kicking Horse River trips include whitewater rafting, kayak tours scenic floats, and heli rafting. Half-day and full-day adventures are offered, along with multi-day trips that include the Kootenay River. Raft and Play packages combine rafting with golfing, skydiving, ATVing, horseback riding, and visits to the Kicking Horse Grizzly Bear Refuge, Kayak rentals are also available.

Given the experience, passion, professionalism and camaraderie we share, we’re extremely proud of our rafting crew. Whether it’s your first time, or you make an annual appearance, we will welcome you into our rafting family. We truly love what we do, and we hope to share it with you!

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Photo of Nipika Mountain Resort
Nipika Mountain Resort
9200 Settlers Road Kootenay National Park BC Office & Mailing Address RR#3, 4968 Timbervale Place Invermere BC V0A 1K3 Phone: 250-342-6516Fax: 250-342-0516Toll Free: 1-877-647-4525Visit Website

Business Information

Simply Spectacular, Spectacularly Simple! Enjoy Canada’s most beautiful wilderness in luxury timber-frame or log cabins in the heart of the B.C. Rocky Mountains, beside Kootenay National Park – the perfect spot to get away from it all. Come hiking, biking, rafting, canoeing, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, or just sit back on the porch and do nothing. Life is Short – Play Hard

All of our rustic rocky mountain log cabins are luxuriously appointed with full kitchens, plush beds, and cozy chairs for curling up by the fireplace with a book. The eco-cabins are hand built right on site from the surrounding forest.

Book your wedding, family reunion, corporate retreat, or special event at Nipika. The eco resort features a conference centre, dining hall, and catering service. Request our information packages about customized wedding and corporate programs.

We’re pet friendly too, so bring your whole family! All furry pals are invited to join in your Nipika adventures.

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