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Kicking Horse River Tours and Activities

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Kicking Horse River
With some of Canada’s wildest white water, the Kicking Horse River boasts numerous Class III and IV+ rapids that thrill even the most experienced paddlers. Originating high in the Wapta Icefields of the Canadian Rockies, the river winds through picturesque valleys, gorges, and steep canyons, offering fantastic views as well as adventure. 

The Basics
The Kicking Horse River is divided into upper, middle, and lower canyons. Each section has tours at different difficulty levels, from gentle, family-friendly floats (typically departing from Banff) to adrenaline-inducing white-water rides (leaving from Golden). Choose an express adventure, or savor the beauty of the region on a full-day trip.

The Kicking Horse isn’t only for rafting enthusiasts. Running through Yoho National Park and along the Trans-Canada Highway, the river offers plenty of sightseeing, hiking, camping, and fly-fishing opportunities. And if you’re in Golden, check out the Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge, Canada’s longest freestanding timber-frame bridge.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • Rafting trips include all necessary safety gear, including life jackets and helmets.
  • Don’t forget the sunscreen, sunglasses, and sunglass straps.
  • The white-water rafts aren’t accessible to wheelchairs.

How to Get There
The Kicking Horse River is located in the heart of the Canadian Rockies in southeastern British Columbia. Most rafting trips depart from Golden or Banff, and some include hotel pickup and drop-off. There are several spots to view the river along the Trans-Canada Highway, which traverses Yoho National Park from Lake Louise to Golden. 

When to Get There
White-water and float trips on the Kicking Horse River run from June through early September and are weather-dependent. The Canadian Rockies are a popular tourist destination—visit before mid-June or after Labor Day to avoid the largest crowds. White-water tours often fill up quickly, so book in advance, especially if you have a large group. 

How the Kicking Horse River Got Its Name
During the Palliser Expedition of 1858 (the first detailed survey of western Canada), James Hector (the expedition doctor) was kicked in the chest by his packhorse while ascending the Continental Divide on the border between present-day Alberta and British Columbia. Kicking Horse Pass and Kicking Horse River were both named in memory of the incident. 
Address: Trans-Canada Highway, Golden, British Columbia T0L 1E0, Canada
Admission: Free
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1 Tours and Activities to Experience Kicking Horse River

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Listen to a Tour Guide as You Drive from Lake Louise to Revelstoke

Listen to a Tour Guide as You Drive from Lake Louise to Revelstoke

Use your smartphone & vehicle's stereo to make your drive come alive! Using GPS, our professional and fun tour guides will transform this beautiful drive into a sight-seeing, fact-finding, trivia-answering, family-friendly adventure! Enhance your drive between destinations, or use as a one-way highway sightseeing tour. Over 44 points of interest include things to see & do, breathtaking mountains, local animals, glaciers, popular people, historical events & much more! Route. Trans-Canada Highway 1 between Lake Louise & Revelstoke, BC. Freedom. Stop at as many sights & attractions as you like. Start/stop anywhere. Travel in any direction along route. Hands Free. Fun audio clips play automatically as you drive. Live GPS map. No data used during tour. Easy to Use. Download the app. Select the tour. Go! Trivia Fun. Each point of interest has a fun multiple choice trivia question. Keep score or just listen! Inexpensive. Only 1 tour booking needed per vehicle.
  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
per group
per group

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What's the best way to experience Kicking Horse River?

Things to do near Banff