Province/Territory: British Columbia

A Wild & Scenic Rocky Mountain Paddle

  • 09 kilometres on a stand-up paddleboard
  • 10 millennia of First Nations history
  • 30-metre cascading waterfall

You’re equipped with a stand-up paddleboard and a sense of adventure, eager to experience a guided paddle on a Rocky Mountain river system rife with natural wonders and rich with a history of human endeavor. Dip into the pebble-bottomed Beaver River and float toward Yoho National Park as your guide connects this journey with the ancient routes Nakoda First Nation forged along the same waterway. Ahead, the river plummets 30 metres over Wapta Falls—the most photographed waterfall in the Canadian Rockies.

Portage to the base of Wapta Falls and marvel at both the thundering cascade above and the grand alluvial plains beyond. The faster-flowing, blue-green water of the Kicking Horse River has melted from the nearby Amiskwi and Wapta glaciers just hours earlier. And in a similar few hours, you’ll have travelled along a verdant ecosystem 80 million years in the making, through 10 millennia of human history and experienced an unforgettable adventure in a park whose very name—Yoho—is an Aboriginal expression of awe.

Why you should visit
  • Hone your stand-up paddleboard skills on two mountain rivers during a five-hour guided tour into Canada's second-oldest national park.
  • Engage with knowledgeable guides and uncover the secrets and science behind this mountainous, glacial-forged and wildlife-rich landscape.
  • Learn how the region’s Aboriginal peoples used these rivers for travel and subsistence over millennia.
  • Hear stories from the 19th century—tales of explorers such as James Hector and the Palliser Expedition, of the hardscrabble development of the Canadian Pacific Railway and of the inception of Canada’s famed Rocky Mountain National Parks.
  • Immerse in the differing ecosystems and microclimates of the Beaver and Kicking Horse rivers; feel the chill of glacier water newly unlocked from thousands of years in ice.
  • Stand in awe of 30-metre tall, 50-metre-wide Wapta Falls and capture a picture-perfect moment.
  • Spot 3,266-metre Chancellor Peak as you float into Yoho National Park—one of eight 3,000-metre-plus mountains in the park.
  • Watch for bald eagles, deer, wolf, elk and even moose; see mammal tracks speckled on the riverbank; savour a picnic lunch.
  • Learn about the nearby Burgess Shale, considered the world’s most significant fossil discovery.

Weather

Expect a cool to mild climate throughout the operating season, with May, June and September cooler and wetter than July and August. Prepare for changing weather patterns at any time of year. Average daily temperatures are approximately 11°C (May), 15°C (June), 17°C (July and August) and 12°C (September).
Discover local weather information. Research local weather patterns at Environment Canada’s Canadian Climate Normals Website .

Visitor information
When to go
  • Expect the highest water levels and coolest weather in May.
  • June sees high water levels and milder temperatures.
  • July and August offer the warmest daily temperatures, with lower water levels.
  • Late August though end-of-season see the lowest and clearest waters.
  • During September, view aspen, poplar and larch trees in vibrant fall foliage.
Need to know
  • Wapta Falls Wild & Scenic Tour is suited for adventurous, moderately physically fit participants. [http://www.alpinerafting.com/about-us/faqs]
  • Paddles on the Beaver and Kicking Horse rivers may involve up to Class II rapids.
  • Equipment is 10 or 11.5-foot inflatable stand-up paddleboards designed for use on moving water.
  • Guests wear shorts or bathing suits; operator provides wetsuits, neoprene boots, spray jackets, lifejackets and helmets. http://www.alpinerafting.com/about-us/why-book-with-us/the-alpine-advantage
     
Getting Here