The Kicking Horse River is known as one of the best whitewater rafting rivers in Western Canada. It’s beauty, history and amazing rapids have gained it a big reputation.
People come from all around the world to experience it and we’re lucky we get to share this rafting gem with guests every single day.
Experiencing the Kicking Horse River is reward enough, but to make it even better you can now get FREE camping. Our riverside campground is only available to our rafting guests. All you have to do is mention FREE CAMPING when you book a rafting trip and we’ll send you the info you need.
You’ll camp along the iconic Kicking Horse River, surrounded by big mountain views and the sound of water flowing past. It’s a beautiful spot!
What Should I Expect?
Our campground is a 25 acre site located 25 km east of Golden, BC right on the Kicking Horse River. It’s rustic riverside camping which means there are no amenities. The views are stunning but there’s no running water, electricity, toilets (only basic outhouses) or WIFI.
All camping is offered on a first come-first serve basis. Given the size of the area, though, there is lots of space to spread out and enjoy the surroundings.
Who is the Campground Suitable For?
Our campground is suited to those who like rustic camping and are okay with being located roughly 30 minutes out of town. If you want to be close to town, within walking distance of bars/restaurants, have hot showers or WIFI access, we recommend the campgrounds listed on the Tourism Golden website.
If you’re into roughin’ it in the wilderness for a few days this is the perfect spot.
What are the Rafting Trip Options?
You can book any of our rafting trips and receive free camping. Options range from a gentle morning float to a full day whitewater adventure.
There are 5 trips to choose from and they’re each explained here.
1. Full Day Rafting – Our Most Popular Trip
The Full Day Rafting trip takes you down the Upper and Middle canyons of the Kicking Horse River. It’s a journey that will have you gazing at the mountain peaks and hollering through the rapids.
You’ll float through the Upper canyon and then splash through the class 2, 3 and 4 rapids in the Middle canyon. It includes a hearty BBQ lunch and is our most popular adventure. It’s a true Canadian experience.
2. Half Day Rafting – Whitewater Express
This quick Half Day Rafting trip will let you fit in an exciting afternoon of whitewater, even if your time in Golden is limited. Our half day trip rafts the Middle section of the Kicking Horse River. The Middle is packed with class 2, 3 and 4 rapids throughout the whole 12 km run.
The whole trip is only 3 hours, so you can take in some awesome rapids and still have time for other adventures.
3. Gentle Family Rafting
Our Gentle Family Rafting trip offers a scenic float through Yoho National Park. It’s a laid back and relaxing trip that’s suitable for children as young as 4 years old. It’s a fast paced float so you will experience a splash or two, but no one gets soaked on this trip.
The Gentle Family Rafting trip rafts the Upper section of the Kicking Horse River. It’s 14 km of true mountain beauty.
4. Full Day Heli Rafting
If you’re after the ultimate adrenaline inducing adventure, Full Day Heli Rafting is the trip you’re after. You’ll fly high above the forests in the Canadian Rockies and then take a thrilling journey down the big white water of the Lower Canyon.
This trip rafts all 3 canyons of the Kicking Horse River and it’s the only trip to do so. You’ll be hollering with excitement during this Rocky Mountain bucket list adventure.
5. Half Day Heli Rafting
The Half Day Heli Rafting trip offers 22 km of non-stop rafting excitement. It’s an afternoon trip that will get you right into the biggest whitewater and most rapids on the Kicking Horse River.
The Middle and Lower canyons offer continuous rapids and you’ll be flying in a helicopter to get there. For a full on half day adrenaline rush, this is what you’re after.
If you need more help narrowing down the options, please check out our Adventure Selector Tool.
CAN I BRING A FIFTH WHEEL/TRAILER TO THE CAMPGROUND?
Yes you can, but it’s at your own risk. There is room to get in and out with a trailer, but you must be proficient at backing up. We don’t recommend vehicles over 24 feet. There are no plug-ins or water hookups so be sure to bring everything with you.
WHERE DO WE MEET FOR RAFTING?
You must drive to our office in Golden, BC on the day of your trip. We’re located just off the Trans-Canada Highway as you come into town at 1509 Lafontaine Road. We do not provide any transportation to or from the campground.
HOW DO WE CHECK IN?
Camping is self check-in on a first come, first serve basis. You can call our office if you’re having difficulty locating the campground.
WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING?
Because this is rustic camping, there are no amenities. This means you will need to bring everything you need with you: drinking water, tents, sleeping mats, cooking supplies, food, flashlights or headlamps, toilet paper, warm clothes (evenings can get cold in the mountains), firewood and garbage bags.
CAN I STAY AT THE CAMPGROUND IF I DON’T BOOK A RAFTING TRIP?
No, unfortunately not. Free camping is available for rafters only. We do not have rates for non-rafters.
CAN WE HAVE FIRES AT THE CAMPGROUND?
Yes, you can have fires as long as there is no fire ban in effect. Golden is often under a fire ban for a lot of the summer. With an increased risk of forest fires, it’s VERY important you’re aware of all bans.
Cutting trees for firewood is STRICTLY prohibited. You will need to make sure you bring all the firewood you need with you.
*Please note that our campground is actively patrolled by the Ministry of Forests. Serious fines are given for having a fire during a fire ban, leaving camp fires unattended and littering.
WILL I BE CAMPING IN BEAR COUNTRY?
Yes you will. It’s important to be aware that you are camping in bear country. Bears are very common around Golden so it’s important you store away all food and garbage – don’t leave anything laying around!
Clean up after your group and pack out all garbage (or place in dumpster). Respect the natural environment and leave all areas as pristinely as you found them.
WHERE ARE THE CLOSEST AMENITIES?
The closest amenities are 25 km away in Golden, BC.
WHAT IF I WANT AMENITIES AT MY CAMPGROUND?
If you prefer camping with amenities, there are a few options in and around Golden. All of them are close to our rafting office and they’re listed on the Tourism Golden website.
So, it’s as easy as that. Make a note on your Kicking Horse River rafting booking that you’re interested in FREE CAMPING and we’ll hook you up.
If you have any questions about the camping, or what trip is best for your group, please get in touch. You can email email@example.com
We hope to raft and camp with you this summer!
-Alpine Rafting Team