The Explorer

2.5-Hour Scenic Float

The Explorer

2.5-Hour Scenic Float
White silhouette of coniferous trees
Let your worries float away.

THE 2.5 HOUR EXPLORER

Beneath the towering peaks of the Canadian Rockies front ranges, flows the glacial fed Bow River. Surrounded by forests of pine and spruce, and home to some of the most majestic and iconic animals in Canada, this scenic river float provides guests of all ages the opportunity of a lifetime. Departing within a few minute walk from downtown Canmore, this professionally guided interpretive tour is perfect for families, friends and folks of all ages. Simply show up at the river and slip into the raft for a relaxing float downstream, as guides share stories about the Bow Valley. The "Explorer" Tour is the perfect way to relax at the end of a long day, and enjoy the secrets of the Bow Valley.

The Details:

Canmore Raft Tour guides meet all guests at the river before each tour. The guides will hand out waivers, fit you in a PFD and give a brief river awareness talk before the rafts depart. We carry first aid kits and dry bags (to carry any extra cloths or items guests need to bring). Be sure to bring along your camera and our guides would be happy to take some family pictures for you. The best shots are from the river! During the trip our guides will share stories about the Bow Valley and its natural and cultural histories. They will also be happy to answer any questions about the area that you may have. At the end of the tour we will bring you back to the starting point and get you on your way for your next adventure.
Trip Type:
Scenic river float on flat moving water
Departures:
6 pm
Trip Includes:
PFDs, Guide, Dry Bags, Blankets
Trip Prices:
$60 Adult, $50 Children 10 and under (+ Taxes)
Availability:
June 1 – August 15 (approx.)
Sketch of buttercup flowers
"No better way to wrap up a day! Just sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery. Take me to the river!".
Guide with oar on an orange raft.
Our professional guides do all the work so you can sit back and enjoy the views.
Deer family along the shore of the Bow River
While we can't guarantee it, our wilder friends often make an appearance.
The Canmore Raft Tours van with rafts in the background
Your trip includes transportation from the river back to Canmore.
Guide with oar on an orange raft.
Our professional guides do all the work so you can sit back and enjoy the views.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • WHEN DO YOU OPEN AND CLOSE YOUR SEASON?

    We open May 15th and close September 15th. Our season is always subject to change due to water levels and the Rocky Mountain weather.

  • WHERE ARE YOU LOCATED?

    A 1-hour drive west of Calgary, Alberta - Canmore is located along the Trans-Canada on the East boundary of Banff National Park. We have a seasonal kiosk that runs June 15th(ish) to the September Labour Day weekend. Our tours depart at the Canmore Public Boat Launch, just a five-minute walk from downtown.

  • IS THERE TRANSPORTATION PROVIDED TO THE RIVER?

    No. Our river put-in is downtown Canmore. Guests can park downtown (or right at the river) and walk to the river. However, we do provide transportation back from our river take-out to the river put-in again.

  • ARE THERE RESTRICTION ON AGE AND PHYSICAL ABILITIES?

    Ages 3 to 95, but exceptions can be made. Please call us (1-888-RIVERS-0) if you would like to discuss the exceptions. All guests must wear a coast guard approved PFD (personal floatation device) that we provide. There are two sizes: adult and youth (each PFD is adjustable). Participants must be willing and able to wear a PFD while on the raft. Those who will/cannot, won't be allowed to board the raft.

  • CAN I WEAR MY OWN RIVER GEAR?

    Even though we do have very experienced water people on our tours, unfortunately all PFDs worn must be supplied by Canmore Raft Tours.

  • DO WE NEED TO FILL OUT A WAIVER?

    Yes, all guests must fill out a waiver. You can view our waiver here.

  • WHAT SHOULD WE WEAR?

    Dress appropriate for the weather on the day you are rafting. No special equipment/clothing is needed – you can be downtown shopping and then into our rafts in a matter of minutes. Footwear must be worn at all times during the tour. We do however recommend flat soled shoes – shoes with a heel are usually pretty awkward in the boat.

  • WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO GO RAFTING?

    Anytime during the summer – the Bow River has steady flows May to September. Weekdays can less crowded, as are the early/late season weekends.

  • WHAT IS THE WATER TEMPERATURE?

    During May & early June, the water is at its coldest around 3 – 5°C. Later in the summer, the river warms up (a bit) to roughly 8 -10°C.

  • WHAT IS THE WATER LEVEL?

    There are no rapids on our float trips. The river is moving, with little to no chance of getting splashed.

  • HOW LONG IS THE TRIP?

    Our day trips run about 1 hour: 10 minutes of raft safety/introductions/pfd sizing, 40 – 45 minutes of rafting, followed by a 10 minute return trip back to the put-in. Evening raft trips are 2 - 2.5 hours: 10 minutes of raft safety/introductions/pfd sizing; 1.5 – 2 hours of rafting followed by a 15 minute return trip back to the put-in.

  • WHAT HAPPENS WHEN IT RAINS?

    We raft rain or shine. If it looks like it may rain please make sure to bring rain gear.

  • HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE ON THE RAFT?

    A raft’s maximum capacity is 11 people, plus guide.

  • CAN WE BRING A CAMERA/GOPRO; CAN I WEAR IT ON THE RIVER?

    Yes, but Canmore Raft Tours does not take any responsibility for items lost or broken on the river trip including cameras/GoPros.

  • DOES EVERYONE PADDLE?

    On our raft trips, guides do all the work!

  • ARE WE STRAPPED IN?

    Absolutely not.

  • IS RAFTING DANGEROUS?

    With Canmore Raft Tours' activities, an element of risk is inherent & beyond human control; this is often what attracts people to rafting. Canmore Raft Tours spares no effort to ensure that you are aware of risks and hazards, but cannot assume responsibility for your safety or loss of personal equipment.

  • HOW CAN WE BOOK?

    We take bookings online. Just click on the book now button under the trip you wish to join, and follow the instructions. You can also book by phone or make a reservation in person at our raft shack located downtown once it opens.

  • DO WE NEED TO RESERVE THE WHOLE RAFT?

    No, you just book for the amount of people who wish to raft; we will fill the rest of the raft with other guests.

  • IF OUR GROUP RESERVES SEPARATELY, CAN WE BE GUARANTEED TO BE IN THE SAME RAFT?

    We can never guarantee a group will be together if you book separately. The best way is to elect one group leader that takes care of the whole payment, which then gives you the best odds of being in the same raft. We will do our best to put everyone together if possible.

  • CAN WE PAY CASH UPON ARRIVAL?

    Not really. We require your reservation to be paid in full prior to your trip. Without full payment, we cannot hold the spots for you. Guides must be reserved for the day. We will be accepting cash at our raft shack once it opens.

  • DO YOU GIVE REFUNDS?

    Full refunds are given if a cancellation is received 48 hours prior to the trip date. The deposit is non-refundable within 48 hours of trip. If a booking is made the day of the trip, no refunds will be given. If the weather approaches extreme and safety is a concern, the trip will be reassessed, delayed, cancelled or re-scheduled. We live in the mountains where the weather can change in a moment, so decisions may be last minute.

Cancellation Policy

Full refunds are given if a cancellation is received 48 hours prior to the trip date. The deposit is non-refundable within 48 hours of trip. If a booking is made the day of the trip, no refunds will be given. If the weather approaches extreme and safety is a concern, the trip will be reassessed, delayed, cancelled or re-scheduled. We live in the mountains where the weather can change in a moment, so decisions may be last minute.

  • Making a reservation is quick and easy! Use the booking tool below to select a date, enter your contact details and securely make payment. You'll receive a confirmation immediately and so will we. If you have any troubles or questions, don't hesitate to contact us. See you at the river!

  • Making a reservation is quick and easy! Use the booking tool below to select a date, enter your contact details and securely make payment. You'll receive a confirmation immediately and so will we. If you have any troubles or questions, don't hesitate to contact us. See you at the river!

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A map of the Bow River
A raft with guests leaving the put in

The Adventure Begins!

A beaver along the riverbank

A Beaver Hard at Work

Black bear eating berries along the river's edge

Black Bear Eating Berries

A group of people in rafts on a sunny day

The Bend

A raft guide taking picture of guests with mountains in the back

Photos at Skippingstone Beach

Trees leaning over river channel.

The Flying Beaver

A group on a raft in the evening light.

The East Channel

A raft on the river below the Three Sisters Mountains

Hard Knox Corner

A raft on the river seen from above.

The Oxbows

A pair of grizzly bears along the shore of the river.

Grizzly Gap

  • A raft with guests leaving the put in

    The Adventure Begins!

  • A beaver along the riverbank

    A Beaver Hard at Work

  • Black bear eating berries along the river's edge

    Black Bear Eating Berries

  • A group of people in rafts on a sunny day

    The Bend

  • A raft guide taking picture of guests with mountains in the back

    Photos at Skippingstone Beach

  • Trees leaning over river channel.

    The Flying Beaver

  • A group on a raft in the evening light.

    The East Channel

  • A raft on the river below the Three Sisters Mountains

    Hard Knox Corner

  • A raft on the river seen from above.

    The Oxbows

  • A pair of grizzly bears along the shore of the river.

    Grizzly Gap