General FAQ

About our Company

Kootenay River Runners operates on 3 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..

What time zone are you in?

Mountain Standard Time (Alberta Time)

Cancellation policy

All tours are subject to a 48 hour cancellation policy unless otherwise indicated on your booking confirmation.  Guests are able to cancel bookings outside of 48 hours and receive a full refund.  Subject to availability, guests are also able to change / reschedule bookings outside of 48 hours.

No changes / reschedules will be permitted within 48 hours of tour time.  No refunds will be provided within 48 hours of tour time.  Trips cannot be delayed for late arrivals.  Refunds or rescheduling will not be provided for missed trips.

Group bookings of 10 or more are subject to a 7 day cancellation policy. No changes, reschedules or refunds will be provided within 7 days of tour time.

In the unlikely event that Kootenay River Runners must cancel a trip an alternate trip or full refund will be given, as preferred by the guest.  Kootenay River Runners reserves the right to cancel trips due to safety and other concerns at our discretion.

Directions to our Whitewater Rafting Trips:

Release of liability forms (Waiver forms)

In order to take part in one of Kootenay River Runners whitewater rafting trips a release of liability must be signed and then witnessed by one of the KRR staff. Children under the age of 15 will need to have a parent or guardian present and sign the waiver for their consent.  For all adults and children ages 15 and older they will need to complete and sign their own individual waives.  Typically for children ages 15-17 they will also need to be accompanied by an adult or guardian; please contact our office for further details.

You can download and view the waiver forms from the link below.  It is not necessary to print and fill them out in advance as we require an original version and a witness of the signature from a KRR 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

Why choose Kootenay River Runners?

Experience, safety, free riverside camping – all great reasons!  But there are more: less time on a bus, small group sizes, amazing (& affordable memories) and don’t forget the delicious BBQ lunch.  We don’t want to go on bragging, but read all the details here.

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.

What parts of the river do you do?

Kootenay River Runners departs directly onto the Kicking Horse from our riverside basecamp.  We raft 20km of the river.  This allows a short section of mild water to get comfortable in the raft and review paddle techniques and safety skills.  We then hit ALL of the big whitewater including Cable Car, Hopi, Hopi Hole, Portage, Shotgun, Goat Rapid, Roller Coaster, Twin Towers and Last Waltz among others.

This may be referred to as the Upper and Middle sections in some tour descriptions. 

We strictly enforce our age restrictions as we aim for the Kicking Horse River to be what it is meant to be – the ultimate rafting experience with the biggest rapids in Western Canada.  We encourage families or those who are looking for a calmer rafting trip to join us on either the Kootenay River or Toby Creek. We want to hit every rapid and you will never find yourself mixed in with younger patrons for any portion of your trip or our guides looking for sneak lines.  

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 10 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 10 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.