What's the deal?
Most river-rafting destinations have a few big rapids to quicken the pulse of the average tourist. But, on balance, they tend to offer a more sedate drift. Instead, ride a raft in the Rockies and live to tell the tale.
Where's it at?
For those wanting maximum bang for their rafting buck, few places rival Golden's Kicking Horse River in B.C. Book on the full-day Challenge trip with Glacier Raft Company, an operator that has been running the Kicking Horse since 1982.
After a safety orientation and basic paddling lesson, you'll be bouncing through whitewater while trying to keep up with the commands of your guide. The highlight of the trip is the lower canyon, which is seldom navigable until late July and contains a three-kilometre section of sustained class-4 rapids.
It's a wild ride that just won't stop – you'll be struggling to keep down the barbecue lunch you just ate. If conditions are good, your guide will find a wave to surf. Hold on as your boat is sucked in and held at a steep angle and your group flails and falls on one another. You'll feel like you're being flushed down a toilet until your guide finally tells you how to paddle off it.
After the white-knuckle journey, you'll reach calm waters to relax and take in the stunning mountain scenery as you drift into the town of Golden.
Who's it for?
Those who like a rough and wild ride. A full-day Challenge rafting trip costs $149, including barbecue lunch, guide and gear (glacierraft.com). For Golden accommodation, check out Tschurtschenthaler Lodge bed and breakfast at tschlodge.com.
Special to The Globe and Mail