Whitewater River Rafting in the Okanagan

The Nahatlatch River, Fraser River, and Thompson River are all justifiably well known for their exhilarating river rafting experiences. Of the three, the Fraser River and Thompson River are more prominent, though not necessarily more challenging than the Nahatlatch. In fact, the Nahatlatch River provides more excitement in its varied run than either of the other two big-name rivers. Both the Thompson and the Nahatlatch Rivers flow into the Fraser River within a short distance of each other. The Thompson and Fraser come together at the town of Lytton.

The whitewater season begins in May, once water levels become manageable following the spring runoff. The later in summer you try the Nahatlatch, the better your chances are of being able to run the narrow Nahatlatch Canyon, a Class IV-V mind-altering experience. Although its entirely possible to run these rivers unaccompanied, the majority of paddlers opt for the services of a certified guide, at least for their first run on these untamed rivers.

The Kicking Horse River in the Kootenay Rockies region of British Columbia 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. Because river rafting can be quite physically demanding, it’s good to have calm stretches of water where you can relax while admiring the breathtaking Rocky Mountain scenery before plunging back into Class IV+ rapids.

One of the most popular sections of the river runs for about 12 miles (20 km) west of the Crozier Bridge. Popular put-in locations are at the intersection of Beaverfoot Road and Hwy 1, and at Hunter Creek’s confluence with the Kicking Horse River beside Hwy 1. To experience the power of this whitewater, contact one of the local outfitters based in Golden.

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