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A mighty historic horse

In 1838, James Hector came to the wild river and decided they needed to cross, just north of where the Town of Golden rests today. That’s where James’s packhorse got uppity and kicked him. ┬áThe river and nearby mountain pass were subsequently named from this incident. These days, the river is just as wild as ever.

On the Upper Section, enjoy the scenery of 10,000 foot peaks in one of Canada’s most beloved National Parks. Hear Tales of Canada’s Famous First Explorers, the first cowboys of the Canadian West. We might even be able to convince the kids that old things are indeed cool.

The Lower Canyon offers unparalleled whitewater thrills to even the seasoned adventurer. Look up at the canyon walls and mountains while you catch your breath in the continuous Class 4+ thrills.

More than mountains and rivers

Spot wildlife if you’re lucky, deer, elk, or bears.Keep your camera handy cause a quality bigfoot sighting might just happen. And for you adrenaline junkies – the river has another prezzie for us.

Savour a Riverside, Rocky Mountain BBQ Lunch in the great outdoors. Hone your paddling skills under the direction of professional and knowlegeable guides. Feel the wild spray of glacial fed waters on your face – freshly unlocked from thousands of years in ice. Grinning ear to ear, tackle rapid after rapid with your fellow rafters.

Alpine Rafting has over three decades of experience sharing the Kicking Horse River’s untamed beauty with the willing. The Kicking Horse is calling. Are you ready?

KICKING HORSE RIVER 101

The Kicking Horse River is run in 3 Sections: The Upper, Middle & Lower Canyons.

  • UPPER – Class I and Class 2+ Rapids
  • MIDDLE – Continuous Class 3 and a 1 km Class 4 Section
  • LOWER – 4 Kilometres of continuous Class 4+ followed by float into Golden

RAPIDS: FEATURE RUNS

PORTAGE/SHOTGUN (CLASS 4) – MIDDLE CANYON

This 800 metre section is a classic example of a Glacier fed Class 4 Run! The beginning of the rapid is a glassy chute with a rapid called “Terminator” to the left. This smooth lead-up is no match for what’s to come: A Class 4 Boulder field with overhead waves. Just when you think the fun is going to stop, the river bends and brings us to Shotgun: the crux maneuver of the Portage & Shotgun rapids. Shotgun is an underwater rock ledge which forms a fantastic pour over, giving you the sensation of dropping and getting soaked all in one!

ROLLER COASTER (CLASS 3+) – MIDDLE CANYON

This 0.5 Kilometre rapid is a friendly section of river that everyone will love. There are 9 waves in a row ranging from 7 to 10 feet high awaiting unsuspecting rafters! This section really gets the crew laughing as it literally feels as though you’re riding a whitewater roller coaster!

WAVE TRAIN (CLASS 4) – LOWER CANYON

Thought we left the fun in the Middle Canyon? Think again! Wave Train is the first rapid in the Lower Canyon designed to give unsuspecting rafters a taste of what’s to come. The Waves are similar to the Rapids of Roller Coaster in the Middle Canyon however steeper, bigger and faster! At it’s biggest the waves are 15 feet high..that’s two stories.

DOUBLE TROUBLE (CLASS 4+) – LOWER CANYON

After hitting the Wave Train above, seasoned rafters are now ready to take on the challenge of Double Trouble. The rapid consists of 2 monstrous waves at midpoint on the Lower Canyon section. When the raft is at the base of the waves it is impossible to see what’s ahead beyond the frothing wave in front of you…A must do!