Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQ

About our Company

Kootenay River Runners operates on 4 different rivers! We have dedicated teams of river professionals on each river. Founding owners Daryl and Linda, of Kootenay River Runners were the first people ever to raft down the Kicking Horse river section called Portage and Shotgun. Kootenay River Runners also was the first to commercially raft on the beautiful Kootenay River as well as Toby Creek. We consider it our privilege to take you and yours out on any of the rivers we raft or canoe upon!

Rafting the Rockies is an easily accessible activity for visitors staying in areas throughout southeast BC and southwest Alberta: Golden, Invermere, Radium Hot Springs, Fairmont Hot Springs, Banff, Lake Louise, Calgary... and a great destination for US visitors from Washington State, Idaho and Montana..

Directions to our white water and voyageur canoe trips

  • Kicking Horse Classic Trip
  • Kicking Horse Ultimate Trip
  • Kootenay River Trip
  • Toby Creek Trip

Release of liability forms (Waiver forms)

In order to take part in one of Kootenay River Runners white water rafting or canoe trips, a release of liability must me signed and then witnessed by one of the KRR staff. For children under the age 19, a parent or guardian must be present on the trip. The minor must also appear on the parent or guardian's waiver form. You can download and view the waiver forms from the links below. Waivers must be witnessed by a Kootenay River Runners staff member prior to trip departure. Please call us if you have any questions, 1-800-599-4399.

Rafting the Rockies Waiver form

PDF

Kicking Horse River

Do I need to know how to swim?

You should be comfortable around water but don’t need to be a swimmer to go whitewater rafting .Our life jackets are very buoyant and will keep you afloat.

Will I fall out?

There is a slim possibility of falling out while river rafting but it’s not nearly as scary as it sounds. We have ropes down the center and around the raft to hold on to, and the guides will even tell you when you need to hold on. There is also a detailed safety talk before you get into the boat and then once again in the boat on the upper river section.

What class are the rapids?

Whitewater Rapids are rated from Class One (moving water) to Class Six (waterfalls). On the Kicking Horse River the rapids are 10% Class One, 40% Class 2, 30% Class Three, and 20% Class Four. The BC Government does not permit rafting on Class Five and Six white water rapids.

What qualifications do the guides have?

All of our guides are professional River Guides. They have a extensive rafting experience on the Kicking Horse and other rivers around the world. They go through rigorous testing before they are allowed to guide. Many of our guides travel to southern countries like Mexico and Australia and raft there in the winter. They are all Licensed Trip Leaders, and certified in Wilderness first aid, and swift water rescue.

Is Whitewater Rafting dangerous?

Rafting is an Adventure Activity which means that there is always a degree of risk.

Do you run “Half Day” trips?

Kootenay River Runners runs the entire Upper and Middle Kicking Horse River as one rafting trip. (The Classic trip). The Half Day or Middle River trip that you may read about in other brochures starts five minutes above the largest rapid in the river. We feel that rafters need more time to build their rafting confidence and practice important skills, and first half of the upper river gives you that opportunity. Any Half Day rafting trip is only 45 minutes long and as most people travel from Banff or Radium to raft we want our guests to get the longest whitewater rafting experience possible.

What parts of the river do you do?

Rafters can do the Upper Canyon( Classic Trip), or the Upper and Lower Canyon ( Ultimate trip).

What is the difference between the Upper Canyon and the Lower Canyon?

The Upper Canyon rafting section is Class One to Class Four. The rapids are spread out and it is a longer section of river. The Lower Canyon is Class Two to Four + and the rapids are much closer together. In fact there is a fifteen minute stretch of continuous Class Four rapids on the Lower Canyon rafting trip.

Why can’t I just go rafting on the Lower Canyon?

Because of the level of rafting difficulty on the Lower Canyon, Kootenay River Runners feels that you must have at least some rafting experience before running this section of river. Rafting the Upper River before doing the Lower Canyon gives you a chance to build rafting skills and confidence for the more challenging sections of whitewater you will experience in the Lower Canyon.

Is the water cold?

The short answer….yes! The Kicking Horse is a Glacial Fed river. This means it is always cold, no matter what time of year it is. But we will give all the gear you need to enjoy your time on the river including a 4ml wetsuit, polar fleece jacket, splash jacket, neoprene shoes, and of course your helmet and Life Jacket. All of these things will help to keep you warm while you're rafting this amazing river.

How many people are in the rafts?

Our boats are rated for 10 rafters plus the guide. We try to keep our boats light so on most days there are 8 rafters and the guide.

Will my group be rafting together?

Although we cannot guarantee that you will all be in the same raft we will do our best to make sure you're in the same boat. Remember to tell the guides that you are a group and they will do their very best to keep you together.

Do you have group discounts?

Kootenay River Runners will give a 10% group discount for 8 rafters or more.

What size do your wetsuits go up to?

We have wetsuits up to XXXL. There is a maximum weight restriction of 300lbs for all of our trips.

Kootenay River

Do I need to know how to swim?

You should be comfortable around water but don’t need to be a swimmer to come rafting with Kootenay River Runners.Our life jackets are very buoyant and will keep you afloat.

Will I fall out?

There is a very rare possibility of falling while rafting out but it’s highly unlikely on the Kootenay. We have ropes down the center and around the raft to hold onto and the rafting guides will even tell you when you need to hold on. You will also have a detailed safety talk before you get into the boat and while on the first part of the river.

What class are the rapids?

Rapids are rated from Class One (moving water) to Class Six (waterfalls). On the Kootenay the rapids are 40% Class One, 35% Class 2, 25% Class Three

Is this a good trip for kids?

YES! The Kootenay is a fantastic whitewater rafting trip for kids five years and older. There’s lots of fun bumps and splashes and our guides go out of their way to make sure that the kids have a super day of rafting

What qualifications do the guides have?

All of our guides are professional River Guides. Many of our rafting guides travel to Southern Countries like Mexico and Australia and raft there in the Winter. They go through rigorous testing before they are allowed to guide. They are all certified in Wilderness first aid, and swift water rescue.

Is the water cold?

The short answer….yes! The Kootenay River is a Glacial Fed river. This means it is always cold, no matter what time of year it is. But we will give all the gear you need to enjoy your rafting experience including rain pants, rain jackets, polar fleece jacket, neoprene shoes, and of course your Life Jacket. We give kids wetsuits, but these aren’t necessary for adults. All of these things will help to keep you warm on the river.

Do you run “Half Day” trips?

Yes. On the Kootenay you have the option of a half day or full day whitewater rafting trip. On the Half Day you will raft about 22km of river and will enjoy a riverside brunch. On the Full Day Trip you will raft about 60km of river and enjoy both brunch and our world famous rafting buffet lunch.

How may people are in the rafts?

Our boats are rated for 12 rafters plus the guide.

Will my group be rafting together?

We will do our best to make sure your group is in the same raft.

Do you have group discounts?

Kootenay River Runners will give a 10% group discount for 10 rafters or more.

Is rafting dangerous?

Rafting is an Adventure Activity which means that there is always a degree of risk while whitewater rafting.

Toby Creek

Do I need to know how to swim?

You should be comfortable around water but don’t need to be a swimmer to go rafting with Kootenay River Runners. Our life jackets are very buoyant and will keep you afloat.

Will I fall out?

There is a possibility of falling out while rafting,but it’s very unlikely on the Toby. We have ropes down the center and around the raft to hold on to, and the rafting guides will tell you when you need to hold on. You will also have a detailed safety talk before you get into the boat.

What class are the rapids?

Rapids are rated from Class One (moving water) to Class Six (waterfalls). The Toby Creek white water rapids are 25% Class One, 50% Class Two, 25% Class Three.

What qualifications do the guides have?

All of our guides are professional River Guides. They go through rigorous training and testing before they are allowed to Guide. Many of our rafting guides travel to Southern Countries like Mexico and Australia and raft there in the winter. The are all certified in Wilderness first aid and Swift Water Rescue.

Is rafting dangerous?

Rafting is an Adventure Activity which means that there is always a degree of risk.

How Long is the Trip?

On the Toby the total trip time is about two hours, and an hour of that is rafting time.

Can my kids come along?

Children seem to have more fun rafting on our trips than anybody but as water levels change so does our minimum age for rafting. The Toby Creek is a great first time rafting experience for kids 8 years and older. Children also need to be a minimum of 50lbs to participate. (If your child does not meet these requirements then we highly recommend rafting the Kootenay River, which is great for kids five years and older.)

Is the water cold?

The short answer….yes! Toby Creek is a Glacial Fed river. This means it is always cold, no matter what time of year it is. But we will give all the gear you need to enjoy your time on the river including a 4ml wetsuit, neoprene shoes, and of course your helmet and Life Jacket. All of these things will help to keep you warm on the river and get the most out of your whitewater rafting trip.

How may people are in the rafts?

Our boats are rated for 10 rafters plus the guide. We try to keep our boats light so on most days there are 8 rafters and the guide.

Will my group be rafting in the same boat?

Although we cannot guarantee that you will all be in the same raft we will do our best to make sure you are.

Do you have group discounts?

Kootenay River Runners will give a 10% group discount for 8 rafters or more. The group must be pre-paid on one credit card to get the discount.

What size do your wetsuits go up to?

We have wetsuits up to XXXL. There is a maximum weight restriction of 300lbs for all of our trips.