Gentle Family Rafting Frequently Asked Questions

What’s for lunch?

On your Gentle Family Rafting trip there is a riverside BBQ lunch included.

Everyone has the options of a hamburger, veggie burger, chicken burger or smokie (big hot dog). We’ll take your lunch order at the time of booking. If you want to change your order, that’s no problem at all, as long as we have at least 24 hours notice prior to your trip.

What should we wear?

Because the Kicking Horse is a glacial fed river, we are going to provide you a wetsuit, neoprene boots, fleece sweater, spray jacket, life jacket and helmet.

We will ask you to bring a bathing suit and a towel. Please come with your swimsuit on underneath your clothes so you have the option to get into your wetsuit beside your vehicle.  There will also be a reminder of this in your confirmation document.

Do you have any other options for families besides this trip?

For families with children who are 12 years old and weigh 90 pounds or more, we recommend tackling the Full Day Rafting or Kicking Horse River Half Day Rafting

As we have seen from experience, kids 12 and 90 lbs are generally looking for a little more thrill than the Gentle Family Rafting provides.

How long is your gentle family rafting trip?

Our Gentle Family Rafting adventure is 3.5 hours long.  A total of 1.5 hours of that is spent rafting.  You’ll cover a total of 14 kilometres on the river and there is a riverside BBQ lunch included. This tour starts at 9:15 a.m. (you must arrive by 9:00) and returns at approximately 1:00 p.m.

What does a “fast paced float” mean?

Our Gentle Family Rafting adventure is considered a fast paced float. It is geared towards families and folks who are interested in a day out in nature but don’t want to experience too much whitewater. What that means is – the water is moving at all times we are on the river. There are a few small rapids that may or may not lightly splash you and your family. You will get splashed but not soaked on this tour. If anyone in your group is 12 years old and 90 pounds, we would strongly recommend that you also consider rafting the middle canyon of the Kicking Horse River. The reason is children who meet the age and weight requirement but only raft the upper canyon often return disappointed, meaning they would have enjoyed more whitewater

Can you explain to me how this works ?

Sure! We’d love to! Every day from mid-May to mid-September we run several whitewater rafting tours and kayak rentals. All of the tours we offer are based on river experiences, and all of our tours are guided. This means that you don’t need any prior experience. It helps if you are adventurous – but even that isn’t a prerequisite!

You can book in just yourself, or a group of any size, you don’t have to fill the boats or worry about even numbers – let us take care of that! Once you book in, we will send you a confirmation that goes over what to bring, what time to arrive, as well as a map to our office.  The confirmation will let you know that we are going to provide all your on river gear.

When is the best time to book for summer?

We always recommend locking in the dates for your whitewater rafting trip down the Kicking Horse River as soon as possible. The reason is, the Kicking Horse River run is extremely popular and our seats do fill up fast.  Many days are booked weeks in advance – especially if you’re hoping to come on a weekend.


Do you fill up in advance?

Yes, we do fill up!  Our rafting season is from May – September.  Weekends are the busiest, but midweek is notorious for filling up in July and August. If you know when you would like to go, book, and you can make changes if necessary up to 1 week prior to your trip. We always say it is better to book and get your seats locked in with the possibility of changing, than it is to miss out because we are full.

I’m pregnant, can I go rafting?

This is a question we cannot answer. Please consult with your doctor and consider your decision carefully.

What is the best trip for a family?

For a family with small children (ages 4 to 11) we recommend our Gentle Family Rafting Trip. For a family with children who are 12 and 90 pounds, we recommend our Full Day Rafting.  16 years of age, we recommend all our rafting trips, including heli rafting. Remember, our trips are flexible in that some family members may opt to continue on after the calmer sections to tackle bigger rapids, while the rest return to our office.

Some of our family members don’t qualify for the middle canyon, can some of us raft the middle anyways?

Yes this is possible! Our trips are flexible. For example, a family of four could depart for the Family Whitewater at 9:15 a.m.. All four would enjoy the upper canyon, and all would have lunch together. After lunch, the two older, or more adventurous members of the family could continue on and raft the bigger rapids of the afternoon (provided there is still space available). The two who are not continuing on would be shuttled back to our office.

Will my child be safe on the raft?

There are risks involved with whitewater rafting so we cannot guarantee safety, but we always do our best.  Safety is our number one priority on the river.  Our Gentle Family Rafting trip is suitable for ages 4 & up and the rapids are gentle. If there are any concerns, please discuss them with us prior to booking, or with your guide prior to departure.

I will be bringing a child that is not my own. Is that ok?

We use digital waivers so you will get a link to complete the waivers when you confirm your reservation.  This link can be forwarded on to the parents of the children you’re bringing.

You can VIEW AND READ THE WAIVER here, and also print one off if preferred.

If you show up with someone else’s child, the adult in the group will need to act and sign the waiver as the guardian of anyone under age, if their waiver hasn’t already been completed.



There is currently no pet boarding service in Golden, but there are a number of pet friendly accommodations.

Pet friendly accommodations in Golden:  (pet charges may apply)

  • Best Western Mountainview Inn
  • Travelodge
  • Best Western Mountainview Inn
  • Days Inn
  • Prestige Inn
  • Super 8
  • Emerald Lake Lodge (in Field)
  • Heather Mountain Lodge (west of Golden)
  • Palliser Lodge (at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort)
  • Cedar House Chalets

Please check out Tourism Golden‘s website for more information on those accommodations.


You can bring a camera but it’s not recommended.  If you bring a camera make sure it’s waterproof, as it’s likely to get wet.  Hands free cameras such as GoPros are the best option (as you will be needing to paddle), but again it’s at your own risk.

People lose their cameras into the river every summer, so it’s safest to leave it behind.

The only thing you must bring is any medication you’ll need throughout the day.  We have a safe and dry spot on each raft to store all medication.


Whitewater rafting is fun in any type of weather, provided you are properly dressed. We gear you up extremely well for your day out on the water so we can all have a great day!

We run rain or shine and rafting is the prefect rainy day activity – you’re going to get wet anyways!  We don’t allow any guests to change their trip date because of the weather.


This is common question that we receive. Our wetsuits come in an assortment of sizes.  Our maximum weight limit is approximately 300 lbs (136kg) due to safety reasons and the size of our gear.


You should book as soon as you know when you would like to raft. Weekends in July and August  always book up quickly, but midweek days in peak season tend to be popular, as well.  We recommend making a reservation as soon as you have a date in mind.