Explore Whistler | White Water Edition
If you’re visiting Whistler this summer, don’t leave without experiencing the thrill of whitewater rafting! Whitewater rafting in Whistler combines adrenaline and adventure with the exquisite beauty of BC’s famous Coast Mountains.
Rip through the water, ranging from gentle Class 1 to epic Class 4 rapids and try your best to stay in the boat! Wedge Rafting, Whistler’s original rafting company, offers three distinct tours for you to choose from. So read on, and get excited about your next, wet and wild adventure!
Top 5 Reasons to Whitewater Raft in Whistler
- Fun For The Whole Gang
If you’re looking for an activity for the whole family to enjoy, whitewater rafting in Whistler should be at the top of your list. This summer adventure can be enjoyed by children as young as six on the Cheakamus River tour. If you’ve got older kids, take them on the Green River tour (age minimum = 10), and if they’re true daredevils why not enjoy an ultimate adventure day on the Elaho-Squamish River tour (must be 12 years old to join).
- A Great Way To Cool Off
In the height of summer, Whistler can experience high temperatures (averaging between the 17°C and 27°C mark, although days at 30°C are not uncommon!). What better way to cool off from the scorching sun than getting splashed by a mighty, ice-cold rapid? The glacial-fed rivers around Whistler are numbingly cold, adding to the exhilaration as you paddle as fast as you can through the water.
- Witness BC’s Beauty
Whitewater rafting in BC is one of the best ways to take in the incredible beauty of the province’s Coast Mountains. You’ll feel connected to nature as you float along the water, with the magnificent mountains towering above you. Appreciate the pristine environment around you while you’re being thrown around in the wild waters!
- Get The Perfect Action Shot
If you’re searching for that perfect action shot from your vacation, whitewater rafting in Whistler can provide you with it! For this activity, you’ll need to keep two hands on your paddle at all times, so leave your camera at home and let the professional photographers do the snapping! Once your tour has finished, all of the photos will be uploaded online, so you can scroll through and purchase your favourites.
- A Summer Activity For Everyone
Whether you’re on a romantic getaway with your other half, a family vacation, or a girls weekend away, whitewater rafting in Whistler is a must-do activity while you’re in town. There are tour options for the thrill-seekers as well as the more cautious among us, so whatever level of adventure you’re looking for, Wedge Rafting have got it!
Choose the Right Package for You and Your Family
Wedge Rafting offers three distinct whitewater rafting tours in Whistler. There’s the scenic Cheakamus River tour, the exhilarating Green River tour, and the full-day Elaho-Squamish River extravaganza. Each differs in the class of rapids that you’ll encounter on the water, so read on to decide which suits you and your family.
If you’ve got kids in tow, make sure to note the minimum ages and weights that children are required to be. For safety, these are strictly enforced, and the requirements change throughout the summer season depending on whether the water is classified as low or high.
- Cheakamus River: A Scenic Float
If you’ve got young kids in your family, the Cheakamus River tour is the one for you. As long as your children are at least six years old and weigh 50 pounds, you’re good to go! This family-friendly trip leaves the village twice daily and can be described as more of a float (you’ll be on Class 1 – 2 rapids) as opposed to an adrenaline-pumping whitewater adventure
Don’t let the lack of huge rapids lure you into thinking that this won’t be an exciting experience though! This stretch of river is known for its incredibly picturesque scenery and spectacular wildlife. Keep your eyes peels for bald eagles, deer and even black bears. Steelhead and salmon fishing is very popular in these waters, and if you’re lucky you might witness the extraordinary spectacle of thousands of salmon making their way upriver to spawn.
- Duration: 4.5 hours (round trip)
- Departure: 2:30pm
- $79.99/Child – 6-16 years old & 50 lbs. minimum
The Green River: Wedge Rafting’s Most Popular Whitewater Adventure
The Green River tour is a great option for everyone, whether you’re a novice rafter or a pro on the rapids. The tour runs a number of times throughout the day and starts just north of the village. At the start of your adventure, you’ll paddle across a tranquil, still lake, but don’t be fooled by the calm, you’re about the meet the treacherous rapids! The Class 2 – 3 rapids will jostle you down the river and occasionally you’ll hear your guide shout ‘GET DOWN!’ when you’re coming up a big wall of water. Hold on tight!
Why not take advantage of the off-peak pricing at 9am and 5:30pm? These tours are exactly the same as the midday and 3pm ones – they’re just at the start and end of the day! There’s nothing quite like a splash of ice-cold river water to wake you up in the morning!
- Duration: 2.5 hours (round trip)
- Departure: 9am / 12pm / 3pm / 5:30pm
- $79.99/Child – 10-16 years old & min. 80lbs in low water / 90lbs in high water
- Off-Peak Pricing (9:00am & 5:30pm only): $99 /Adult
Elaho-Squamish River: The Whitewater Beast
If you’re looking for the ultimate adrenaline rush and some of the best whitewater rafting in BC, head out on the Elaho-Squamish River tour. This full-day rafting expedition is not for the faint-hearted! The drive from Whistler Village to the start of your rafting experience in Paradise Valley is spectacular in itself – you’ll truly feel like you’re in the Canadian wilderness, far away from the hustle and bustle of the town!
Over the course of the day, you will spend over three hours on the water, bouncing along Class 3 – 4 rapids and paddling with all of your might. Your guides will provide you with a yummy snack halfway along the tour at a beautiful, remote riverbank and once you’ve replenished your energy you and your crew will set off again
At the end of a tiring and exhilarating day on the water, you’ll be rewarded with a tasty BBQ lunch, before heading back to Whistler Village. In between hectic paddling, make sure that you look up and fully appreciate your surroundings. The views on this trip are truly out of this world!
- Duration: 8 hours (round trip)
- Departure: 8:30am
- $179.99/Child – 12-16 years old & 90 lbs. minimum
Never Gone on Whitewater Before? What You Need to Know
- What To Bring: ‘But I didn’t pack my wetsuit?!’ we hear you exclaim. Fear not! A wetsuit, lifejacket, helmet, and pair of waterproof booties are all provided to you at the start of the tour. All you need is underwear and a towel! If you happen to have packed your own wetsuit in your suitcase, then by all means you can wear it! But if not, we’ve got you covered. There are wetsuits to fit all shapes and sizes.
- Rain or Shine: Wedge Rafting’s Whistler whitewater tours run in all weather types except lightning storms. Let’s face it, you’re going to get wet, so don’t let a little rain get in the way of your fun! If you are adamant that you don’t want the heavens to open on you whilst on the water, make sure that you check the forecast in advance. Wedge Rafting has a strict 24-hour cancellation policy, so if you want to cancel or rearrange for a different day, be sure to do so at least a day prior to your booked adventure!
- Listen To Your Guide: Your boat will be steered by a local and highly qualified guide, who is there to provide you with instruction and to keep you safe. As with most of the tours in Whistler, there’s always an element of risk when you set out on your adventure, so make sure that you listen to your guide at all times. They are experienced rafting professionals who know the ins and outs of keeping you safe on the water so if they shout ‘PADDLE RIGHT!’ make sure you do exactly that! Just as a heads up, everyone is required to sign a legal release of liability waiver. You can’t board your raft without doing so!
- Ability To Swim Recommended: Now we’re not saying that you should be able to do 10 lengths of perfect backstroke in order to participate in this activity, but being a proficient swimmer is recommended, especially if you are partaking in the Elaho-Squamish River trip.
(If you’re a novice swimmer you might want to opt for the Cheakamus River tour – this scenic float takes you down smaller rapids (Class 1 and 2). Although the guides aim to keep you in the boat at all times, there’s always the chance that you might end up ‘man overboard’! If you do fall in the water, follow your guide’s instructions carefully, and be prepared for a cold plunge. These glacial-fed rivers are nippy, to say the least!)
- Where To Meet? All of Wedge Rafting’s tours depart from the office located inside the Carleton Lodge, in the centre of the village at the bottom of Whistler Mountain. Check-in at the desk, sign your release of liability waiver and get kitted up with your rafting gear. Once you’ve got a paddle in hand you’ll board one of Wedge’s complimentary shuttle buses to take you to whichever river your tour departs from. It’s as easy as that!
Wedge Rafting – A Whistler Tradition
Wedge Rafting is Whistler’s original rafting company. Operating for over 20 years, Wedge Rafting have more experience on the river than anyone else in the Sea to Sky corridor. Their world-class guides have a number one priority to keep you safe while you’re having fun, so you’re in good hands!
Every June, Wedge Rafting teams up with a local charity, Zero Ceiling, for a crazy day of rafting races, après, and one of the biggest parties of the year. So if you spot crowds of locals in outrageous fancy dress with paddles in hand, it’s Rodeo day – a whole lot of silliness for one amazing cause!
Grab Your Paddle!
You’d be a fool to visit Whistler in the summertime and not take part in some of the most exciting whitewater rafting that BC has to offer! Grab a paddle, don your wetsuit and rip through the raging waters of Whistler. The Elaho-Squamish River tour gets particularly booked up as it only runs once per day, so get your rafting adventure booked now! Hold on tight and try not to fall in!