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Banff

Water Sports

Our most recommended Banff Water Sports

Kicking Horse River: Whitewater Rafting Half-Day Trip

1. Kicking Horse River: Whitewater Rafting Half-Day Trip

Enjoy an exhilarating whitewater rafting tour on the Kicking Horse River as you brave Class 2 to Class 4/4+ waters with a guide. Take on rapids such as Hopi's Hole, Cable Car, Table Saw, and the famous Portage and Shotgun. Your experience begins at the local partner's day lodge, conveniently located on the TransCanada Highway. After a warm welcome, your crew distributes top-of-the-line rafting gear (wetsuit, wetsuit booties and gloves, spray jackets, life jackets, and helmets). In the comfort of heated change rooms, change into the provided gear before taking a quick shuttle to the "put-in" (starting point), where you receive your extensive safety briefing before jumping in the river. This is the biggest whitewater river in the Rockies. Prepare to hold on and get wet. Enjoy the canyon environment and possibly get a glimpse of a mountain goat, wolf, or bear. Following your trip, another quick shuttle returns you back to the warmth of the base. Once changed back into dry and comfortable land clothes, enjoy snacks and a selection of hot and cold beverages. Stop by the gift shop for a souvenir or photo of the trip to take back home.

Banff National Park: Big Canoe River Explorer Tour

2. Banff National Park: Big Canoe River Explorer Tour

Enjoy the serenity of the Bow River on a family-friendly canoe tour. Get ready to be amazed by extraordinary views of Banff National Park and the Canadian Rockies around you. This sightseeing tour is perfect for the whole family and doesn't require any previous experience. Meet at the Banff Canoe Club, just a 5-minute walk from downtown Banff. As you journey upstream, your expert guide will entertain you with stories of the past, history of canoeing, and interesting local facts. Admire the scenery around you, while learning how to paddle as a team. After 1 and a half hours of fun, enjoy a complimentary, refreshing lemonade on the shore.

Banff: Morning Whitewater Rafting Tour in Horseshoe Canyon

3. Banff: Morning Whitewater Rafting Tour in Horseshoe Canyon

Embark on an exciting rafting trip through class 3-4 rapids and with big waves meaning you will get soaked and have lots of fun. Along the way, keep your eyes peeled for local wildlife sightings and enjoy the stunning outdoor beauty of the Horseshoe Canyon section of the Bow River. Start your rafting adventure with an optional pick-up in Banff or Canmore and enjoy the short scenic ride as it winds its way through the Canadian countryside. Once you're fitted with your wetsuits and other safety equipment, be transported in a comfortable bus a short distance to the starting point on the Bow River. Here, your guides will go through safety instructions and paddle techniques ready for your time on the river. Then it's time to jump aboard to start your journey. Admire the views during calm parts of the river and learn from your guide as they lead the group through different paddling techniques. Make sure to watch for the area’s local wildlife, including eagles soaring above and deer strolling along the river banks. Then, the river comes to life, kicking up a series of frothy rapids that will get your heart pumping. Hang tight and listen for your guide's instructions as he helps you navigate the whitewater through the shale cliffs. At the midway point, stop for an optional cliff jump into the glacier-fed waters of the Bow River. Depending on your adventure level you can choose from a medium or a big cliff jump, or simply enjoy watching the others take the plunge. After the thrill of cliff jumping, continue rafting until you reach the endpoint. Return to the river base for high fives, snacks, and optional return transport. This tour operates from mid May to early September, with transport available from late May onwards on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Banff: 4-Hour E-Bike and Walking Tour in Johnston Canyon

4. Banff: 4-Hour E-Bike and Walking Tour in Johnston Canyon

See the best of Johnston Canyon and Bow Valley Parkway by combining cycling and hiking on this 4-hour guided tour. Ride with your guide through Vermilion Lakes, then make your way up the Legacy Trail. Ride along Bow Valley Parkway and ditch your e-bikes for your hiking boots as you hike up Johnston Canyon. Enjoy spectacular views of the Lower Falls Bridge and see wildlife along the way, including deer, elk, and bears. Enjoy your return shuttle back to Banff. Relax and admire the views on your way after a total of 26 kilometers of cycling and 3 kilometers of walking.

Kicking Horse River: Half-Day Intro to Whitewater Rafting

5. Kicking Horse River: Half-Day Intro to Whitewater Rafting

Get a perfect introduction to whitewater rafting on Class 1-3 rapids starting in Yoho National Park of Canada. Experience moderately-challenging rapids and the stunning scenery of the Canadian Rockies.  Check-in at the lodge conveniently located on TransCanada Highway #1. Be fitted with top-of-the-line gear and transported to the starting point of the rafting experience. Receive a thorough safety briefing before setting off on the river. Embark on a 90-minute downstream journey starting with the "Alarm Clock" rapid, which is sure to wake everyone up. In between the exciting rapids, take in the beautiful scenery surrounding you on all sides. Learn about the wildlife in the area, how the Kicking Horse River got its name, and how the river gets its beautiful blue color. Finish the rafting trip at "Hopi's Hole", which serves as an exciting grande finale. After the rafting, be taken back to the lodge to relax and warm up in the heated changing-rooms. Once back in warm, dry clothes, enjoy freshly baked goodies and seasonal fruit along with a selection of hot and cold beverages. Browse through the gift shop to pick up a souvenir t-shirt or photos from your experience.

Banff: Wildlife on the Bow River Big Canoe Tour

6. Banff: Wildlife on the Bow River Big Canoe Tour

Discover life on the Bow River in a 12-seat Canoe. Start the tour in the evening and learn fun facts about animal habitats, behaviors, and conservation in the region. Escape the bustling Banff streets and get back to nature. Enjoy paddling up the scenic Bow while keeping your eyes peeled for some of the locals like bald eagles, elk, muskrats, and maybe even “Barry” the resident beaver. Let our informative guides share the best practices for wildlife encounters and discover the challenges they face with increasing human interaction.

Banff: Morning or Afternoon Johnston Canyon Icewalk

7. Banff: Morning or Afternoon Johnston Canyon Icewalk

Start with pickup from Banff and travel in a modern minibus along the Bow Valley Parkway to the Canyon. On arrival at the Johnston Canyon trailhead, your guide will show you how to put on ice cleats over your winter boots, as well as give you some tips on winter hiking. From here, start the moderate 2.7 kilometer hike with 135 meter elevation to the Upper Falls. Walk along the steel catwalks built into the canyon walls which allows a spectacular view down the canyon walls to the ice and river below. Along the way you'll learn the clues to how Johnston Canyon was formed and stop at the Lower Falls, where you'll have the option to walk through a natural cave feature for a unique view. At the Upper Falls, enjoy a brief stop on the upper deck with a small refreshment break to enjoy the views. These gigantic pillars of ice are the tour highlight and ice climbers can often be seen scaling the frozen columns. Once you've finished your hot chocolate, hike back down and your guide will transport you back to Banff and drop you at your hotel.

Kicking Horse River: Whitewater Rafting Trip with BBQ

8. Kicking Horse River: Whitewater Rafting Trip with BBQ

Set off on the famous Kicking Horse River for a genuine Rocky Mountain whitewater rafting experience. The 5-hour trip (2.5-hours on the river) combines all the best the river has to offer: bouncy and splashy waves, calm and scenic float sections, and big whitewater rapids.  Check in at the local partner's base, conveniently located on TransCanada Highway #1, and change into your top-of-the-line gear, which is provided. Transfer then to the rafting start point and, following a thorough safety briefing, it will be time to get on the river. Begin on the upper, more gentle, scenic section of the Yoho National Park. For approximately 1-hour, enjoy splashing through the waves as you warm up for the more intense sections downstream. The second half of the trip, taking approximately 1.5 hours, is made up of 14 sets of rapids ranging from Class 2 to Class 4+. Expect to get soaked during this section! After rafting, transfer back to the base to enjoy the warmth of the DayLodge and heated change rooms. Once back in warm, dry clothes, enjoy a delicious gourmet BBQ lunch.

Banff: Johnston Canyon Evening Icewalk

9. Banff: Johnston Canyon Evening Icewalk

Get picked up by your friendly guide from the meeting point in Banff, then enjoy the drive in a modern minibus. Take the Bow Valley Parkway to Johnston Canyon, a scenic drive through a wildlife-rich habitat. On arrival at the Johnston Canyon trailhead, your guide will show you how to put on ice cleats over your winter boots, as well as give you some tips on winter hiking. From here, start the easy 1.1km hike with 65m elevation gain to the lower falls, walking along the steel catwalks built into the canyon walls which allows a spectacular view down the canyon walls to the ice and river below. Along the way, your guide will highlight unique features by powerful flashlight and pause for moments of darkness and quiet to foster an appreciation for spending time in the canyon at night. At the turn around point, your guide will illuminate the expanding ice that encases the rushing water. Have the option to walk through a natural cave feature for a unique view of the lower falls while also enjoying a refreshment break with hot chocolate and a maple cookies snack. The return journey is your opportunity to travel without your headlamp (should you wish). Be amazed as to how quickly your eyes adjust to the darkness, enough for you to travel through the pine forest guided only by the ambient light of the moon and the stars above your head. At the end of the tour, your guide will then transport you back to Banff and drop you at your hotel.

Banff: Johnston Canyon Hike to the Ink Pots

10. Banff: Johnston Canyon Hike to the Ink Pots

Hike up through Johnston's Canyon on walkways extended into the canyon. Enjoy beautiful views while passing waterfalls or icefalls, depending on the time of year. Walk through the home of the migratory and endangered Black Swift. Learn about the flora, fauna, and geology of the Canadian Rockies. After hiking through the canyon enjoy the quiet hum of the forest before arriving at a cool spring, the Ink Pots, with great views of Mt. Ishbel. Enjoy some time to relax at the Ink Pots before returning back to the carpark.

Other Sightseeing Options in Banff

Want to discover all there is to do in Banff? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Banff

It was a great experience. The crew at wild water adventures made everything run smoothly. Simon was an awesome captain that was very knowledgeable and explained everything in detail. He made the adventure very enjoyable!

We had a blast on the river! Becca was an awesome guide. We also had a good time getting to know Alec as well. You won’t be disappointed!

It was great fun paddling with all the members of our group, usually we have to split up for most activities

absolutely amazing! Adam was a great guide for our trip and was really fun!

This was great fun and not too strenuous m. Definitely great for families