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Thrilling Whitewater Rafting Experiences Across Canada

From Kicking Horse River to the Bay of Fundy, here are some of the most thrilling whitewater rafting experiences across the country!

An Intro to Whitewater Rafting

There are certainly more serene ways to explore waterways across Canada but the thrill of whitewater rafting as you go careering down ravines, with water spraying in your face is sure hard to beat. Canada boasts more opportunities to try this high octane sport than many other countries with at least nine major rivers across the country that offer the chance to get wet and wild.

If you’re a beginner at this, we recommend you start low on the scale. Whitewater rafting is categorized by a scale ranging from 1, an easy beginners run, suitable for family trips, right up to class 5 which are considered to be extremely challenging featuring multiple hazards, rocks, and large waves. Class 6 rapids are generally considered to be totally unsafe to attempt and unpassable, so these rapids are pretty much off-limits.

Ready to join the adventure? These are the best rapids to experience whitewater rafting across Canada.

Whitewater Rafting in Nova Scotia

People whitewater rafting along the river.
Guide to Whitewater Rafting | Skyscanner Canada

In Nova Scotia, you can experience a truly unique whitewater rafting experience on the Shubenacadie River. The tidal bores here from the Bay of Fundy can produce incredibly high waves appealing to adventure seekers of all ages and offer the only tidal bore rafting in the world. There is also a chance to go mud sliding which is fun for everyone but especially appeals to dirt-loving kids! Check out Bara Whitewater Rafting for details.

In Ontario

The whitewater rapids near Ottawa River Provincial Park are challenging and classed as III to IV rapids. OWL River Rafting runs sport rafting trips offering high intensity all day experiences as well as guided gentler runs on other sections of this very popular river. They also offer accommodation options if you want to extend the experience to a weekend of fun on the water. 

In British Columbia

Are you on the west coast? You can go whitewater rafting at the Fraser River just two hours from Vancouver with Fraser River Raft Expeditions. You can choose between riding rapids like Hells Gate at Fraser, canyons, and gorges along the Thompson tributary or check out smaller sections such as Nahatlatch and Coquihalla. Unlike many rafting companies, here, you’ll be presented with a free professional-quality photograph of your rafting experience at the end of the day.

In Northwest Territories

People whitewater rafting along the river.
Guide to Whitewater Rafting | Skyscanner Canada

Head north for a more secluded rafting experience on Slave Lake. Experienced paddlers can try out the terrifyingly named class IV Rapids of the Drowned but even inexperienced novices can enjoy the water on some of the more sedate sections. You can attend the summer event Paddlefest for all levels of whitewater rafting fun, kids games, and canoe races.

Whitewater Rafting in Alberta

Kicking Horse River is right in the Canadian Rockies just an hour or so drive from the beautiful mountain town of Banff. It’s hard to keep your eyes in the boat on trips here as the scenery is simply phenomenal. Wild Water Adventures offer exhilarating categorized challenging runs to gentle family trips where you’ll learn all about the river and the history of the area. The Maximum Horsepower package includes over 24km of rapids ranging from class II up to class IV+ whitewater rafting for the ultimate adrenaline shot. Buses leave from Lake Louise or you can drive there yourself.

More Canadian Travel Inspiration

Check out these adventure travel guides and more travel advice from our experts at Skyscanner Canada. Plan your next trip with us!