6 of the most amazing rafting locations in Canada

6 of the most amazing
rafting locations in Canada

The last great glaciation that ended 10 000 years ago made Canada full of large rivers with high volume of water, which is perfect for rafting! ? Across Canada, you can view amazing glaciers, pristine boreal forests, huge mountains and much more. To facilitate your choice, we made a list of the best rafting locations in Canada, some of which more easily accessible than others.

Location #1

Magpie River, QC

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Where is the river located? Magpie river is located in the Cote-Nord (North Shore, in French) region of Quebec, along the shores of the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Why should I do a trip on this river? Over the length of your trip, you will meet with the untouched boreal forest, an amazing gorge, breathtaking cliffs as well as class 3-4 rapids. You will only experience a small amount of flat waters between the rapids. In addition, you will also have some time to fish trout and/or to relax…

How long is the trip? Most companies offer 7-8 days whitewater rafting trips on the Magpie River. You will have to book well in advance as these trips are usually offered only once or twice a year.

How much? Budget at least 3000$+ for the trip, which should include the flight upstream of the river. These prices usually do not include getting to the meeting area, in northern Quebec.

How do I access the river? The downstream area of the river is accessible by car. However, you will need to charter a float plane or a helicopter to reach the upstream section of the river, which is included in your trip. To reach the downstream area from Montreal, plan for a 12 hours drive.

Did you know that around 2004, a private company started making plans for a potential dam on the Magpie River, which, if realised, would have permanently destroyed one of the best rafting location in Canada?

Location #2

Tatshenshini River, YK

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Where is the river located? The Tatshenshini river is located in Yukon and flows through the Alaska border. Trips on this river usually begin close to Whitehorse, YK.

Why should I do a trip on this river? With only class II and class III rapids, this river is perfect for a family looking for a wilderness trip where active glaciers will be encountered. In addition, the wildlife also includes grizzlies and bald eagles in their natural environment.

How long is the trip? Rafting trips on the Tatshenshini can be as short as a day trip, however, you will only be able to see the glaciers and most of the wild life on the 10-11 days trips.

How much? Day trips for around $150 per person are available on this river but you may not be able to experience all the sceneries mentioned above. For the longer trips, budget at least 4000$ per person. This doesn’t include the flight to Whitehorse.

How do I access the river?

Did you know that it is possible to see the rare blue glacier bear on your trip to this particular river? We still don’t know why their fur is bluish.

Location #3

Ottawa River, ON

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Where is the river located? The Ottawa river follows the Quebec-Ontario border westward of Ottawa, which is 3 hours from Montreal and approximately 5 hours from Toronto.

Why should I do a trip on this river? The Ottawa river is home to astounding world-class rapids. You will have a choice of two channels, one of which contains class II and III rapids that are ideal for the entire family while the other contains rapids from class III to class V, for the thrill-seekers.

How long is the trip? Most of the time, you will have a choice between 1 and 2-days packages with the rafting companies that run the river. Being close to Canada’s capital, this will also give you the time to spend some time in the city.

How much? Budget around 110$ per person for one day packages, and double that for 2-days packages. Food and equipment is usually included, except for wetsuits.

How do I access the river? Most rafting companies are located approximately 60 minutes North-West from Ottawa. Compared to the other river on this list, this river is probably one of the most accessible river in Canada that is offering class IV+ rapids. As a result, many people come from Toronto for an experience to remember.

Did you know that the Ottawa river is called the “Outaouais” river on the Quebec side of the river, which stems from different spellings of the same First Nations tribe? The different spelling of “Ottawa” and “Outaouais” is due to phonetical differences between both languages.

Location 4

Fraser River, BC

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Where is the river located? This river is located British Columbia, in the vicinity of Hope, BC.

Why should I do a trip on this river? The historical Fraser river runs through amazing canyons within which Class III and IV rapids will give everybody the adrenaline rushes they were looking for. On the Fraser River, many companies will also give you the choice between power rafting and paddle rafting. The former uses a motor to propel the raft while the latter is traditional rafting using paddle.

How long is the trip? One day trips on the lower section of the Fraser river are usually offered. Two-day trips are also available; however, you will likely run two different rivers on these two days.

How much? In the area, one day trips start at around 135$.

How do I access the river? From downtown Vancouver, you will have to drive West for approximately 2 hours. Unlike the Ottawa River, the Fraser River is slightly more difficult to access from the city.

Did you know that the Fraser river was home to a late 19th century gold rush? On some rafting trips, you will be able to see the remnants of the Cariboo Wagon Road, which was used to travel to and from goldfields in the interior of BC.

Location 5

Shubenacadie River, NS

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Where is the river located? This river is located on the far side of the Bay of Fundy, close to Truro, NS.

Why should I do a trip on this river? Unlike most rafting locations, you will not encounter rapids on the Shubenacadie river. Caused by the specific geography of the Bay of Fundy, you will meet large waves caused by the gravitational pool of the Moon on Earth, tides. The tides are so strong that they even cause a temporary reversal of the river.

How long is the trip? Approximately 1.5 hours to 3 hours. In addition, the schedule and the intensity of the waves changes daily and follows a specific schedule.

How much? For approximately 85$, you will be able to raft on waves created by the Moon. How cool is that!

How do I access the river? The Shubenacadie river is located approximately 1 hour north of Halifax, in Nova Scotia. It is also easily accessible from Moncton, NB as you will only need a short two hours drive in order to reach South Maithland, the starting point of this experience.

Did you know that the bay of Fundy has the tides with the largest height in the world? The tides can reach 16 meters in some areas.

Location 6

Kicking Horse River, BC

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Where is the river located? Located in BC, just west of Banff and close to the Alberta-BC border.

Why should I do a trip on this river? The Kicking Horse River has wildest waters in the rockies and covers class III and IV rapids. This wonderful trip in the Canadian rockies will fill you with amazement as you raft in a pristine natural mountain environment.

How long is the trip? Only 1 day trips are available on the Kicking Horse river. The trip usually covers approximately 20km.

How much? One day rafting trips on the Kicking Horse river are approximately 115$, depending on the options chosen.

How do I access the river? This river is easily accessible from Calgary as it is located just west of Banff. Plan for a 2 hours and 15 minutes drive from downtown Calgary (assuming no traffic).

Did you know that the name of the river comes from an explorer, Sir James Hector, whose horse kicked him while he was exploring the river?

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