Athabasca River Canoe Trip in Alberta, CanadaPaddle a 2-person canoe during our fully outfitted and guided multi day wilderness canoe trip on the Athabasca River on a stretch between Hinton and Whitecourt in Alberta, Canada. One afternoon canoe training and three nights of primitive camping on islands in the untamed river, a truly Canadian outdoor adventure tour.
Guided canoe tour on the Athabasca River from Hinton to Whitecourt, 5 daysFun, thrills and action on this multi day canoe trip in Alberta in open Canadian canoes. You learn to "read" the water and practice minimum impact wilderness camping. A day of training on a quiet lake prepares you for the run down the mighty Athabasca River which flows past Jasper and east out of the Alberta Rocky Mountains. The selected stretch of the river can be mastered by novice paddlers, but the current, some rapids, overhanging trees, driftwood and gravel bars demand constant vigilance. Experienced canoeists find plenty of challenge in this wilderness setting. There are no towns, no houses along the route, just the wide river, islands and forests. A genuine Canadian outdoor adventure.
What's included:Transportation from and to Edmonton, Alberta, 4 nights accommodation in 2-pers. tents, welcome gift, all meals from lunch day 1 to lunch day 5, eating utensils, all camping equipment (except sleeping bag), hard-foam mattress, camping fees, 2-pers. canoes, paddles, life vest, canoe bags in various sizes, canoe instructions.
Not included:Alcoholic beverages, personal equipment, sleeping bag and Thermarest mattress.
Extras:Hotel near West Edmonton Mall before or after the trip $130.00
single or twin, including breakfast.
Demands:This guided canoe trip with wilderness camping is suitable for novice paddlers with at least some very basic paddling skills. International classification of difficulty (1 is lowest, 5 is highest) rates this stretch of the Athabasca River as Class I overall with several Class I and II rapids & one Class III rapid. The river is wide enough so that larger waves can be avoided.
Minimum age: 12 years, accompanied by an adult, who can paddle with the child.
Tours are guaranteed to go.
Meeting time: 8:00 am at our hotel in Edmonton, or 11:00 am in Hinton.
Day 1: Edmonton to Hinton, training and preparations for the canoe trip
You meet your guide early in the morning in EDMONTON. An alternate pick up point is in the town of HINTON (near Jasper). After a 3-hour drive towards the west you pitch your tent by a lake north of Hinton and east of Jasper, in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. During the canoe training you learn the basic paddle strokes, emergency procedures and signals. You receive advice regarding camping in the wilderness, personal equipment and work sharing of the crews. Tomorrow, on the river, training will continue. The selected river stretches can be mastered by less experienced paddlers, but the current, some rapids and gravel bars demand constant vigilance. The safety and comfort of the participants are the primary concerns of the guide. Tonight’s dinner is steak from the grill.
Days 2 to 4: Paddle down the Athabasca River from Hinton towards Whitecourt
Not needed luggage stays safely with the bus. For the next three nights of your canoe trip you make camp on islands or comfortable spots along the shore. Your paddling speed depends a lot on the water level. The Athabasca River, fed by glaciers high in the Alberta Rockies, is full of power in the early season, clear and quiet by fall when the glaciers in the mountains have stopped melting. The forested river valley is uninhabited. You have excellent chances to spot wild geese, beavers, eagles, elk, bear and moose. Five or six hours daily are spent on the river, at times leisurely drifting downstream, alert to the next rapid or obstacle. Sometimes you might have to drag the boat over shallow spots. There is time for swimming, exploring, fishing and big campfires under the northern lights.
It is actually easy and very satisfying to keep a clean camp. Minimum impact means that your group spends an afternoon and the night camping, cooking and playing on some island, not "improving" nature in any way, leaving no trace but footprints in the sand - which the next rain washes away.
Day 5: End of canoe trip, return to Edmonton
This afternoon you come to the end of your 160 km (100 mi) canoe trip. The bus with the luggage you left behind is already waiting near the town of Whitecourt, the first human settlement since the start of your tour. Time for a celebration. You are back in Edmonton by late afternoon. If possible please don't make more travel plans for this evening.
This is a wilderness canoe tour. The guide carries a satellite phone but once started it is difficult and expensive to interrupt the trip and is only attempted in cases of emergency. Minimum age is 12 years for children accompanied by an adult who is prepared to paddle with the child.
Building BlocksTour P7 — The Best of Banff and Jasper, our popular 7-day camping trip with great day hikes in the Rocky Mountain National Parks, fits all departures
Tour PK — Hiking and Canoe - Hotel and Camping Mix, the 14-day combination of hikes and hotels in the Rockies and a canoe trip with camping on islands in the river.
Tour L — Marooned on your Own Island in the River, (2 or more days).
We gladly arrange hotels and transfers between tours.