How to Go Whitewater Rafting Near Vancouver

A raft on the Chilliwack River with Chilliwack River Rafting

Whitewater rafting with Chilliwack River Rafting. Photo: Destination BC/Hubert Kang

Snow melting in the mountains means there are lots of wild whitewater in rivers near Vancouver. Experience the thrill of riding the rapids on a whitewater raft or book a family-friendly rafting trip to enjoy incredible scenery and some light splashing.

 

Whitewater Rafting Tips

  • With lots of mountain rivers near Vancouver, you can have a heart-pumping experience or a more sedate river float. Read tour descriptions to find out which one is best for you.
  • Some tours have minimum age and weight restrictions (generally 12 or 13 years old and at least 90 lbs). Family-friendly trips accommodate kids as young as 5 years old or who weigh at least 50 lbs.
  • Wear a bathing suit or swim shorts to layer under the wetsuit that the rafting company will provide. If the weather is chilly and you know you get cold easily, you may also want to pack polyester or polypropylene long underwear or thin fleece. Don’t wear cotton as it absorbs water and will lower your temperature.
  • Pack a towel and dry clothing to change into afterward. Don’t forget a plastic bag to take your wet bathing suit home.
  • Rafting season runs from April or May to September or October. River flows vary throughout the season – check with the rafting company to find out what to expect.
  • Photos are a big part of the experience. Many companies have a pro photographer on each trip to capture your memories. If you bring your own camera, make sure it is waterproof (like a GoPro) and strapped securely to you.
  • Many rafting companies offer transportation from Vancouver, Squamish, or Whistler. Check their websites for details.
  • Some tours include lunch or a snack while on others you should bring your own to eat afterward. Check tour details when booking.

 

Canadian Outback Rafting

Based in Squamish, Canadian Outback Rafting has been offering whitewater rafting trips in the Sea to Sky region since 1992. Their signature trip is the Elaho Exhilerator, a wild ride through class 3 and 4 rapids on the Elaho and Squamish Rivers. Nervous rafters will love their Cheakamus Splash experience. It mixes splashy class 1 and 2 rapids with lots of gorgeous scenery. It’s also family-friendly. If you just want to get out on the water but don’t want to get wet, book their tranquil Scenic Twilight Float on a quiet section of the Squamish River.

 

Squamish Rafting Company

Hit the Elaho or Cheakamus Rivers with Squamish Rafting Company. They offer a fun Cheakamus Family Adventure raft trip that includes a few sections of rapids as well as lots of calmer river floating with incredible views. Adventure seekers should book the Elaho Whitewater Experience. The full-day tour includes class 3 and 4 rapids as well as the option to go cliff jumping. You’ll also get a riverside lunch served on a private island.

 

Wedge Rafting

Based in Whistler, Wedge Rafting offers trips through class 2 and 3 rapids on the Green River. The trip starts with a tranquil float through Green Lake where you can admire the mountain scenery. Then it bounces down the turbulent Green River for 6 kilometres.

 

Chilliwack River Rafting

Located east of Vancouver, Chilliwack River Rafting offers several different trips on the Chilliwack River in class 2, 3, and 4 rapids. They also offer white water kayaking with an expert guide.

 

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