## White Water Rafting on the Kicking Horse River: A Class IV+ Adventure

The Kicking Horse River, located in the Canadian Rockies, is renowned for its exhilarating white water rafting experiences. Its powerful currents, steep drops, and stunning scenery make it a must-visit destination for thrill-seekers and adventure enthusiasts alike.

### Class Rating

The Kicking Horse River is classified as follows:

– Class IV: Intermediate: Fast-moving water with numerous rapids of moderate height and irregular waves. Requires significant experience and skill.
– Class IV+: Advanced: Extremely fast-moving water with large waves and rapids that require expert-level control and maneuvering skills.

The Kicking Horse River’s Class IV+ rating indicates that it is not for beginners. It demands a high level of physical fitness, confidence, and previous rafting experience.

### River Sections

The Kicking Horse River is divided into three distinct sections, each offering unique challenges and rewards:

Upper Canyon:

– Length: 12 km
– Gradient: 12 m/km
– Class: IV+
– Description: The most technical and challenging section, with numerous Class IV+ rapids such as “Head Banger” and “Sunshine”. Requires skilled navigation and precise maneuvering.

Lower Canyon:

– Length: 10 km
– Gradient: 7 m/km
– Class: IV
– Description: A slightly less intense section, with smaller but still exhilarating rapids such as “Silver King” and “Continental”. Offers a balance of excitement and maneuverability.

Golden Mile:

– Length: 5 km
– Gradient: 4 m/km
– Class: III-IV
– Description: The most accessible section, ideal for first-timers or those looking for a less extreme experience. Features smaller rapids and calmer stretches, but still provides ample excitement.

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### Rafting Season and Conditions

The Kicking Horse River is typically open for rafting from May to September. The best time to go is during the spring (May-June) when the water levels are high and the rapids are at their most powerful.

However, it is important to note that the river’s conditions can vary depending on factors such as precipitation and temperature. Always check with local outfitters or rafting companies for the latest information on river conditions and safety advisories.

### Recommended Outfitters

Several reputable outfitters offer guided rafting trips on the Kicking Horse River. These outfitters provide all necessary equipment, including rafts, paddles, life jackets, and safety gear. They also have experienced guides who will lead you through the river safely and ensure an unforgettable experience.

– Kicking Horse River Adventures: www.kickinghorserafting.com
– Rocky Mountain River Rafting: www.rockymountainrafting.com
– Canyon Raft Company: www.canyonrafting.ca

### Tips for Rafting the Kicking Horse River

– Prepare physically: White water rafting is a physically demanding activity. Be sure to be in good shape and able to swim confidently.
– Listen to your guides: Your guides are there for your safety and to help you have a great time. Always follow their instructions and advice.
– Dress appropriately: Wear warm, moisture-wicking clothing, sturdy footwear, and a life jacket.
– Protect yourself from the sun: Apply sunscreen and wear a hat to avoid sunburn.
– Bring plenty of water and snacks: Staying hydrated and energized is crucial, especially during a long rafting trip.
– Respect the river: The Kicking Horse River is a powerful and unforgiving environment. Always be aware of your surroundings and the hazards present.

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### Conclusion

The Kicking Horse River is one of the most challenging and exhilarating white water rafting destinations in the world. Its Class IV+ rating demands a high level of skill and experience, but it also promises an unforgettable adventure amidst stunning mountain scenery. With proper preparation and a reputable outfitter, you can conquer the rapids of the Kicking Horse River and create memories that will last a lifetime.

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