KICKING HORSE RIVER - FAQ's

WHITE WATER RAFTING THE KICKING HORSE RIVER IN GOLDEN, BC

1. What makes Glacier Raft Company unique?

2. Do I need experience to come rafting?

3. What equipment do you provide?

4. What should I bring?

5. Do I need to know how to swim?

6. How experienced are your guides?

7. How often do you flip/do people fall out?

8. What if it rains?

9. Will it be cold?

10. How are rapids rated?

11. Is someone going to take my photo/video?

12. Can we bring cameras and other personal belongings in the raft?

13. What's for lunch?

14. How far in advance should I book?

15. What is your deposit policy?

16. Can everyone in my group pay individually?

17. Do you ever see wildlife while you're on the river?

18. When does our season start/end?

19. Where are you located?

20. Blaeberry Explorer Specifics

 

1. What makes Glacier Raft Company unique?

We are rated the #1 Attraction in Golden on Trip Advisor!  We are honoured to hold this title, as the distinction is based on reviews written by some of our past guests.

This is our 32nd year of running white water rafting trips on the Kicking Horse River. Glacier was one of the first companies to raft the Kicking Horse, and we were the first company to run commercially on the lower canyon.

Our trips are never rushed and we always take the time to ensure your safety.   We want you to have a memorable day out, appreciate our beautiful area and enjoy a bit of adventure.  Providing you with the best experience possible is one of our major priorities!

Our guides return year after year because they love what they do.  They have an average of 8 years experience on the Kicking Horse which means they have an outstanding level of experience, knowledge and passion. 

We limit each boat to 8 customers allowing for maximum comfort and personal attention from your guide.

We are the first and only company on the river to offer HD video footage of your trip.

Our base is located on the river in the town of Golden, BC. If you raft the lower canyon, you will take out right at our base – no bus shuttle required.

At the end of your adventure, we invite you to join us around a campfire Chat with the guides, share stories of your day and enjoy a complimentary cold beverage!

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2.Do I need experience to come rafting?

No, you don’t - many of our rafters are first timers. Our guides provide thorough instructions prior to every trip.  They go through procedures and safety demonstrations so everyone is clear on what is expected. 

Our trips start off gradually so you’ll have a chance to feel comfortable and confident in the raft before getting into the bigger whitewater.  

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3.What equipment do you provide?

We provide you with all of the white water river rafting equipment you will need. This includes wetsuits, splash tops, fleeces, neoprene boots, helmets, life jackets, self-bailing rafts and paddles.

There will be a highly experienced and certified guide in every raft, and we provide transportation to and from the Kicking Horse River.  All of our buses are driven by professional class 2 licensed drivers.

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4.What should I bring?

All you need to bring is a swimsuit and towel.  It’s a good idea to pack your sunglasses and sunscreen for the hot, sunny days too. 

We have change rooms at our base and there is lots of time to get changed both before and after your trip.

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5. Do I need to know how to swim?

Knowing how to swim is recommended.  Our guides provide great training on how to stay in the raft, paddle and hold on.  If you are not a strong swimmer please let your guide know and we will position you in the raft accordingly.   

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 6. How experienced are your guides?

We have one of the most experienced crews on the river, and they have an average of 8 years working on the Kicking Horse.  Our river manager has been with us for 12 years.  They are knowledgeable and passionate, and we feel fortunate to have such an amazing group of guides return year after year.  They all have up to date Swift Water Rescue Training, Advanced First Aid, and a British Columbia River Outfitters Association Guide Certificate. 

You can see what some of our other amazing guests have said about each guide by visiting our GUIDES page. 

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7. How often do you flip/people fall out?

While we can’t guarantee a flip or swimmer won’t happen, it is a rare occurrence.  Our guides do everything they can to look out for your safety and it’s important to listen to everything they say.  There will be various points throughout the trip when they tell you to hold on or get down, and it’s necessary to follow their instructions.  Swimmers are often people who aren’t listening.

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8. What if it rains?

We run rain or shine. Rafting is a great activity to do on a rainy day – you’re going to get wet anyways!

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9. Will it be cold?

The water is cold.  The Kicking Horse is glacial fed, so it’s about 3 – 4 degrees Celsius year round.  We have lots of layers for you to wear so you can bundle up as much as you want. 

On the hot, sunny days it is quite refreshing, and many of our guests do decide to go for a little dip in our designated swimming spots. 

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10. How are rapids rated?

Rapids are rated on a scale of 1-6.

Class 1: Moving water

Class 2: Splashy waves.

Class 3: Easy maneuvering rapids, bigger waves.

Class 4: Intense rapids, technical maneuvering, big waves.

Class 5: Long, powerful rapids with serious consequences (not commercially raftable).

Class 6: NO GO!

The Kicking Horse River has 3 Sections: The Upper, Middle & Lower Canyons.

  • Upper Canyon - Class 1 to Class 3 Rapids
  • Middle Canyon - Continuous Class 3 and a 1 km section of Class 4
  • Lower Canyon - 3 kms of continuous Class 4, followed by float into Golden

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11. Is someone going to take my photo/video?

We have professional onsite photographers who will take digital photos of you at some of the best whitewater sections on the Kicking Horse River. They will also be at our lunch spot to grab some photos of you and your group. 

We are the only company on the Kicking Horse River to film HD video of each rafting trip every day!  Our guides are equipped with GoPro cameras and they shoot video from the front and back of the rafts so they capture both vantage points.

You can view your photos and video back at our base at the end of the trip.  Combo dvd discs are available to purchase.

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12. Can we bring cameras and other personal belongings in the raft?

We don’t advise that people bring anything with them on the river.  There is always a chance cameras will get lost or wet, and you will be paddling so there isn’t a lot of time to be taking pictures anyways.  

The only thing that should be carried on is medication such as asthma inhalers and epi pens etc.  Our guides do have small dry bags to keep these safe.

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13. What's for lunch?

We provide a delicious riverside BBQ lunch, with your choice of steak, chicken breast, fish, a hamburger or veggie burger.  Each option is complimented by a variety of salads (caesar, pasta, potato, bean), appetizers (potato chips, tortillas and salsa, veggies and dip), and dessert (fresh fruit and cookies).  Hot and cold beverages are also served. 

We are happy to prepare a gluten free or vegan lunch – just let us know!

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14. How far in advance should I book?

It is usually fine to book a few days prior to your chosen date if you’re planning to come midweek, but it’s always best to book as soon as you can to guarantee we’ll have spots available.  This is especially true for large groups and weekends -  Saturdays and Sundays can book up quickly! 

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15. What is your deposit policy?

To confirm your seats, we will ask for your name, contact information, trip date, party size  and payment information.  We require a minimum $50.00 deposit per person at the time of booking, and then any remaining balance will automatically be charged to the credit card we have on file 24 hours prior to the trip.   

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16. Can everyone in my group pay individually?

Yes, this is no problem at all.  Everyone can pay separately, but we do require full payment up front in this case.   

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17. Do you ever see wildlife while you're on the river?

Yes! Mountain goats, black bears, deer, big horn sheep and bald eagles are among many of the animals often spotted along the banks of the Kicking Horse River.

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18. When does our season Start/End?

We start rafting May long weekend and run trips everyday until Labour Day weekend in September.  This year we run from May 17th, 2014 – September 7th, 2014

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19. Where are you located?

The Kicking Horse River is located in beautiful Golden, BC, and our rafting base is at 612 7th Street North which is the same road that leads up to Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. Please refer to our locations page for detailed maps of how to find us, or speak to one of our friendly staff by calling (250) 344-6521.

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20. Blaeberry Explorer Specifics

Many of the answers above apply to our Blaeberry trip, as well, but there are a few exceptions.  You are not required to wear a wetsuit on this trip, so come dressed for the weather.  Bring an extra layer or two as the weather can change very quickly in the mountains, and it’s a good idea to wear quick dry pants or shorts, as you may get a bit splashed. 

We don’t have a photographer taking your picture on the Blaeberry, so pack your camera.  Our guides have dry bags to keep them safe, and you can store any extra layers there, as well. 

Our Blaeberry trips depart in the afternoon, so no lunch is provided.  We do provide snacks and refreshments which include cookies, fresh fruit and water.

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RAFT TRIPS

 

Kicking Horse River

  Challenge wild
  Ultimate wild
  Classic moderate
  Express moderate
  Scenic Float mild
 

Blaeberry River

  Explorer mild
 

White River

  Multi Day Trip moderate