Canoeing

Take our progressive canoeing lessons in Calgary, then join our experienced guides on extended wilderness canoe trips. Great paddling in remote locations.

ABC Canoeing Complete Beginner Weekend

Save money with this popular course that takes you through the canoeing ABC lessons in one fun weekend. Start with Friday evening's basic flatwater skills and then spend a full day on Saturday learning river fundamentals. On Sunday, you'll spend a full day learning and perfecting whitewater skills, finishing with a river run to put it all into practice. Prerequisite: none. Includes: instructor, all canoe gear.

A. Canoeing With Kids

This fun, family-friendly course offers the same skills as our 3-hour Intro to Lake Canoeing with a focus on getting kids involved and having fun at the same time. Each parent and child over 10 years old needs to register separately, but parents can put 1-3 children under 10 into the middle of their boat for no extra cost. Location: Bowness Park lagoon. Prerequisite: none. Includes: instructor, all canoe gear.

A. Intro to Lake Canoeing

You'll learn the basics in this beginner flatwater canoeing lesson that takes place within Calgary city limits. Choose a 3-hour course or a full-day program and learn how to track straight lines, turn and brace. The full-day course includes an afternoon tour where we'll cover safe travel and basic rescue techniques. Prerequisite: none. Includes: instructor, all canoe gear.

B. Intro to River Canoeing

Build on your flatwater canoeing skills and take them to the Bow River. Join us at Bowness Park where you will learn the skills to safely navigate moving water. Choose from a 3-hour lesson, or a full day where you'll enjoy a downstream paddle and learn about safe river travel. Prerequisite: Canoeing A or equivalent experience. Includes: instructor, all canoe gear.

C. Intro to Whitewater Canoeing

Canoeing just got thrilling! Now that you've moved onto the river, we'll help you to improve river-running and maneuvering skills as you run the rapids of the Bow River west of Cochrane. This is a full-day course. Prerequisite: Canoeing B or equivalent. Includes: instructor, all canoe gear.

D. Whitewater Canoeing - Next Step

Learn how to read whitewater and practice the skills needed to maneuver your canoe through rapids on the Lower Kananaskis River. This full-day course is your chance to take your river canoe skills to the next level. Prerequisite: Canoeing ABC or equivalent. Includes: instructor, all canoe gear.

Canoeing Refresher Weekend

This is the very best way to start the canoeing season. Over the weekend, we'll practice river maneuvers—focusing on rescuing and safety. The first day is on the Bow River west of Cochrane and the second on the Kananaskis River. There is an option to join us Saturday only if you can't do the full weekend. Prerequisite: Canoeing ABC or equivalent. Includes: instructor, all canoe gear.

ABC Solo Canoeing Complete Beginner Weekend

Go from lake to whitewater in just one weekend. In this course, you'll progress from basic solo canoeing strokes to beginner whitewater skills on the Bow River between Ghost Dam and Cochrane. We'll finish it all off on Sunday afternoon with a river run to put it all into practice. We will be using solo whitewater boats with saddles. Prerequisite: none. Includes: instructor, all solo canoe gear.

A. Intro to Lake Solo Canoeing

Our solo canoes are designed for those wanting to progress to whitewater. They are smaller with thigh straps and a saddle—easier to maneuver in moving water. In this 3-hour introductory flatwater lesson, we'll focus on teaching the essential strokes you'll need to challenge yourself on the river. Prerequisite: none. Includes: instructor, all solo canoe gear.

Canoeing River Rescue Workshop

Develop and practice your canoe rescuing skills in this 1-day workshop. We'll cover prevention, throw-bagging, self-rescue, swimming and boat towing. You can choose to bring your own boat (tandem or solo) or we can supply one for you. Take care of yourself and your friends on the water. Prerequisite: Canoeing ABC or equivalent. Includes: instructor, all canoe gear, safety equipment.

B. Intro to River Solo Canoeing

Expand on your solo canoeing skills and learn how to paddle safely in moving water. This session takes place at the Bowness eddies on the Bow River, and you can choose from either a full-day or an evening lesson. We will be using whitewater solo canoes with saddles. Prerequisite: Solo Canoeing A or equivalent. Includes: instructor, all solo canoe gear.

Whitewater Canoeing Clinic

Challenge your whitewater skills on either the Kananaskis or Upper Red Deer Rivers in this 2-day clinic. These rivers have some of the best whitewater around! Your skills will be tested, so you must be comfortable on the water and have a good grasp of eddy turns and ferries. Prerequisite: Canoeing ABCD or equivalent. Includes: instructor, all canoe gear.

C. Intro to Whitewater Solo Canoeing

Now that you've moved onto the river, the real fun begins. In this 3-hour solo canoeing lesson, you'll have a chance to improve your river-running and maneuvering skills as you paddle the swiftwater rapids of the Bow River west of Cochrane. Prerequisite: Solo Canoeing AB. Includes: instructor, all solo canoe gear.

Solo Canoeing Intermediate Weekend

You've completed the solo canoeing ABCs and are ready for more. Spend Saturday and Sunday with our experienced instructors, working on skills while paddling and surfing the waves and drops on rivers close to Calgary. Depending on water levels, the course may be on the Kananaskis, Highwood, Elbow or Sheep Rivers. Prerequisite: Solo Canoeing ABC or equivalent. Includes: instructor, all solo canoe gear. $40 discount if you bring your own boat.

Waves and Rescues Canoeing Weekend

Build your whitewater and rescue skills over one weekend. On Saturday morning at Canoe Meadows, we'll practice eddy turns and ferries—focusing on river safety. In the afternoon we'll travel downstream to Seebe and work on river-reading skills. On Sunday you'll have a chance to develop your canoe rescuing skills in a full-day workshop. We'll cover prevention, throw-bagging, self rescue, swimming and boat towing. Prerequisite: Canoeing ABCD or equivalent. Includes: instructor, all canoe gear, safety equipment.

Custom Canoe/Kayak Program - Schools

Want to give your students the trip of the year? Let our experienced guides introduce the basics of canoe/kayak tripping on a variety of lakes and rivers across western Canada.

Programs are highly customizable, running from a single day trip to week long expeditions. Our instructors can cover all the paddling instruction needed along with the wilderness skills needed to spend time safely in the back country. All required gear can be provided by the Outdoor Centre.

To set up a program please contact Matthew Steele at (403)220-4205, swapple@ucalgary.ca

Rose Bud River, AB

The Rose Bud River is a quiet, scenic tributary of the Red Deer River that flows in a deep coulee. We'll start the day canoeing through Alberta’s prairie landscape, then as we move closer to the Red Deer River, we'll see stunning badlands scenery. In this day trip you can progress your canoeing skills from the basics to something a little more challenging, as we practice skills and move down the twists and bends of this beautiful reach. Prerequisites: Canoeing AB or equivalent. Includes: guide, all canoe gear.

Bow River, AB - Canoe

This 2-day canoe trip is the perfect introduction to overnight tripping for families, or anyone who wants to learn the basics of wilderness camping. At the pre-trip meeting the week before, we'll cover all the logistics. On Saturday morning we'll start paddling the scenic stretch of the Bow River from Fish Creek Park to Carseland, and spend the weekend enjoying picturesque prairie and woodland landscape. Prerequisite: pretrip meeting. Includes: guide, all canoe/group camping gear.

Canoeing Expedition - Teens

Spend 3 days in 101 learning all about canoeing while paddling the Red Deer River upstream of Drumheller or the Bow River south of Calgary. Our guide will cover water safety, paddling strokes, river reading, navigation and how to pack for a multi-day trip. In 201, you’ll spend 5 days on the North Saskatchewan River near Rocky Mountain House learning canoe tripping skills, backcountry cooking, self care and more. Required: check equipment list and additional information in the online event details. Prerequisite: ability to swim 25m while wearing a lifejacket. Must attend pretrip meeting with a parent to discuss required items and cover meal planning (food is not included). Includes: paddling guide, all canoe/group gear, transportation.

Clearwater River, SK

Adventure travel by canoe at its finest. Spend a couple of weeks paddling this Canadian heritage river while we trace the route of early explorers and fur traders. From Buffalo Narrows we'll take a floatplane to our starting point. The river journey will include spectacular canyons, scenic waterfalls, rapids, numerous portages, boulder-strew rapids and scenic wilderness campsites. You will also be given the chance to walk down the historic Methye Portage. Great fishing and photographic opportunities abound. At the end of the trip we will take a floatplane shuttle back to Buffalo Narrows. Prerequisite: Canoeing ABCD or equivalent. Includes: guide, transportation from Calgary, all canoe/group camping gear.

Columbia River Wetlands, BC - Canoe

A birding paradise! Join us for a canoe trip in the warm valley of the Rocky Mountain trench away from the towns. We'll paddle through bird-filled marshes and down the Columbia Valley that boasts spectacular mountain views. There are so many photo opportunities in this short weekend, easy paddling trip—perfect for families. Prerequisite: Canoeing A or equivalent experience, pretrip meeting. Includes: guide, all canoe/group camping gear.

Green River, Utah

Explore the Labyrinth Canyon on the Green River in Utah with us. On this 10-day canoe trip we'll have 7 days of floating through red canyons and stunning desert landscapes. You'll be awe-inspired by the magnificent canyon walls that tower over your small canoe. There is great camping in the side canyons, and we will have plenty of time to explore. We’ll also get the chance to hike the trail that ascends the canyon wall to view Bowknot bend. Prerequisite: Canoeing A recommended. Includes: guide, canoe/group gear, transportation from Calgary, camping fees, permits. *Participants will need a valid passport.

Kootenay River, BC - Canoe

Paddle one of the best canoe-tripping rivers around. You'll see hoodoos-lined canyons, and paddle through mountain valleys that have scenic waterfalls, turquoise water and exhilarating rapids. This paddling weekend also offers fantastic camping. What more could you ask for? Prerequisite: Canoeing ABC or equivalent. Includes: guide, all canoe/group camping gear.

NEW Horton River, NWT

Join us for an epic, Arctic paddling adventure on the most northerly flowing river on mainland Canada. We'll paddle and hike through rolling tundra and if we are fortunate we'll see caribou, muskoxen, grizzly bears and wolves. The fishing for char, lake trout and grayling is outstanding in this crystal-clear water. In the first 2 weeks we'll paddle from close to Horton Lake to the confluence on the Whaleman River (floatplane from Inuvik, fewer rapids and no portages), and the last 2 weeks we'll paddle from the Whaleman River to the Arctic Ocean. (floatplane from Inuvik, canyons, whitewater and potentially 1 portage). Choose one or both trips. We'll get the chance to see the Smoking Hills near the end of the trip and take a dip in the Arctic Ocean. Prerequisite: Upper: Canoeing AB, Lower: Canoeing ABC or equivalent. Includes: guide, floatplanes from Inuvik, all canoe/group camping gear.

NEW Quetico, ON

Quetico Park is an Iconic and world-famous backcountry canoeing destination in Ontario. Spend a week with us exploring the vast network of lakes. At the end of each day, relax in a hammock by the lake or catch the last fish of summer. We'll sleep under the spectacular northern lights. This is the perfect trip to finish up the paddling season—all while enjoying the beautiful fall colours of the classic Canadian Sheild landscape. A highlight of this trip is that we'll have a thanskgiving turkey feast in the woods. Prerequsites: Canoeing A or equivalent. Includes: guide, transportation from Calgary, all canoeing/group camping gear.

North Saskatchewan River, AB - Canoe

Spend a weekend with us paddling one of Alberta's best canoe routes. The North Saskatchewan River offers fun waves with lots of easy options. Starting in the scenic mountains and flowing into lush forest, this river is a must for all paddlers looking to build their river-tripping skills. Prerequisite: Canoeing ABC or equivalent. Includes: guide, canoe/group camping gear.

Paull River, SK

Variety is the theme on this week-long canoe trip. We'll paddle through scenic island-filled lakes, play in the fun whitewater, and take in the scenic beauty of Tuck falls. This stretch of the Paull offers great camping on the precambrian sheild, incredible fishing and plenty of wildlife spotting opportunities. Access to the put in is via a short floatplane ride. You will finish the trip on the mighty Churchill where there are plenty of rapids and channels to play in and explore before the trip ends. Prerequisite: Canoeing ABCs. Includes: guide, transportation from Calgary, hostel accommodation before and after the trip, all canoeing/group camping gear.

Red Deer River, AB: Big Valley to Morrin Bridge - Canoe

This is an easy canoe trip for the whole family—perfect to develop canoeing and camping skills. The gentle section of the Red Deer River from Big Valley to Morrin Bridge features desert-like badlands scenery and beautiful places to explore. From camp you can hike up into the hoodoos and search for dinosaur bones. Prerequisite: Canoeing A or equivalent experience, pretrip meeting. Includes: guide, all canoe/group camping gear.

Slocan Lake, BC Paddle and Hike - Canoe

Located in the beautiful Kootenays, this 39km long lake is surrounded by scenic mountains. Over 5 days (including driving), we'll paddle along the west bank in Valhalla Provincial Park and enjoy beach camping only accessible by water. Stunning waterfalls and hiking opportunities will add more variety to this paddling trip. Prerequisite: Canoeing A or equivalent. Includes: guide, all canoe/group camping gear.

Upper Milk River, AB

Canoeing a peaceful, historic river in southern Alberta that boasts rolling grasslands and wide open vistas is perfect for an early-season paddle. Over 3 days, we'll go from Delbonita to the town of Milk River and camp along the way. Make sure to keep a sharp eye out for red-tailed hawks, ospreys, and red-winged blackbirds. This easy trip is perfect for the whole family. Prerequisite: Canoeing A or equivalent experience, pretrip meeting. Includes: guide, all canoe/group camping gear.

Milk River, AB Weekend

Spend a weekend canoeing a river that winds through vast, rolling grasslands and unique semi-desert landscapes. We'll paddle from the town of Milk River to Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park and camp along the way. This southern Alberta river has many small rapids and rocks to maneuver around, intimate sandstone canyons, hoodoos, and aboriginal petroglyphs and pictographs. Prerequisite: Canoeing ABC or equivalent. Includes: guide, all canoe/group camping gear.

Frenchman River, SK

Paddle with us through the heart of southern Saskatchewan's Grasslands National Park on this week-long canoe trip. You'll experience the prairies as the early settlers would have—native grasslands, buffalo and antelope roaming the hillsides, and some of the best dark skies for star gazing. You'll learn interesting tidbits on the many hiking routes that we'll explore. The river through the park is narrow and shallow with plenty of small rapids and beaver dams. Prerequisite: Canoeing AB or equivalent. Includes: guide, canoe/group camping gear, park fees. 

Jackson Kinnaird Loop, AB

Over 5 days, we'll travel to Lac La Biche and paddle the beautiful lake circuit north of town. Choose a kayak or canoe and learn/develop trip-planning and paddling skills in this flatwater area. The Jackson Kinnaird loop is a fantastic trip to view wildlife, or just relax on the water and around camp. You'll meet other paddlers and have plenty of time to practice. Prerequisite: module A recommended. Includes: guide, canoe or kayak/group camping gear. 

Athabasca Sand Dunes, SK

In this 2-week canoe-trip-of-a-lifetime, we'll paddle, hike and explore the unique landscape of the Athabasca Sand Dunes—the most northerly active dunes in the world. You'll see a forest that seems to get swallowed up by sand, and stunning plant life that's only found in this area. We'll enjoy the technical rapids of the Carswell and Williams rivers which may have to be waded and lined in spots. This remote trip is for true adventurers and requires 2 long floatplane trips to the start, and a return flight from a small lake close to Lake Athabasca. Prerequisite: Canoeing ABCD or equivalent. Includes: guides, 2 floatplane shuttles, group canoe/camping gear, transportation from Calgary.

Porcupine River, SK

Join us for a 2-week canoe trip on one of Saskatchewan's most outstanding, remote rivers. We'll start close to the NWT border on Selwyn Lake and paddle to Black Lake. Big canyons and lots of whitewater make this an exciting run—perfect for intermediate paddlers. Experience the best of the Canadian Shield with awesome campsites, exceptional fishing and beautiful waterfalls along the way. This is a bucket list item for any serious canoe tripper. Prerequisite: Canoeing ABCD or equivalent. Includes: guide, canoe/group camping gear, 2 floatplanes, transportation.

Leaf River, QC

On this 2-week canoe trip, you'll join the very few who have explored this beautiful, remote northern Quebec river. We'll paddle across the Ungava Peninsula, and see ancient Inuit and Innu encampments along the way. The Leaf is a major water crossing and mixing area for the Leaf River caribou herd—the largest and healthiest caribou herd remaining in Canada. We are timing our trip to have the best chance to see this 200,000 strong herd as they migrate to their summer grazing grounds. This is a once-in-a-lifetime, archaeologically-rich trip full of wildlife, great fishing and mountainous tundra scenery. Prerequisite: Canoeing ABCD or equivalent. Includes: guides, canoe/group camping gear, 2 floatplanes, hotel/airfare discounts between Montreal and Kuujjuaq.

McLennan Lakes, SK

Relax on this week-long canoe trip on some of the hundreds of lakes that are interconnected with short portages. McLennan Lakes is a gem of a spot in northern Saskatchewan where you can fish for lake trout, swim in crystal-clear waters and take in the stunning northern lights. Our September trip will ensure that fall colours will be at their finest. This is the perfect canoe trip to finish off summer. Prerequisite: Canoeing A or equivalent. Includes: guide, canoe/group camping gear, transportation from Calgary.

Besnard Lake to Churchill River Loop, SK

Spend 9 days paddling a canoe in northern Saskatchewan through a succession of shimmering lakes that are connected by short portages, rapids and waterfalls. Follow the path of early explorers and take advantage of the great camping and fishing that's available on the Canadian Shield. We'll paddle a loop through Besnard Lake and onto the Churchill River at Black Bear Island Lakes—you'll feel alive in the land of wind, water, rock, and dancing northern lights. Prerequisite: Canoeing ABC or equivalent. Includes: guide, canoe/group camping gear, transportation.

NEW Montreal River, SK

Spend a week with us paddling down the Montreal River in this perfect early-season adventure ideal for those new to tripping. This river has lots of fun, small technical rapids great for learning introductory whitewater skills. You can even take this trip as an early season refresher to get ready for the summer. We will focus on learning skills and having fun! Prerequisite: Canoeing ABC or equivalent. Includes: guide, transportation from Calgary, shuttle, all canoe/group camping gear.

Water Wars

Water Wars Tug -O- War will have teams of 4 paddlers in one Dragon Boat.
Teams will paddle to see who will be the ultimate champion in the Olympic size pool.
Check out this video to get an idea of the fun to be had.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbNaRE0gbXg

KAN Adventure Race

On September 29 2018, mountain bike, lake canoe, and trail run in teams of two on designated trails in the Kananaskis Barrier Lake area. This adventure race is designed for varying abilities because you go as hard as you want to. This is not an A to B style of race—there are checkpoints scattered on a map and you strategize with your teammate on how to get as many points as possible. Trails are activity specific so you can play to your strengths and challenge is by choice. Your only limitations are time and mode of transportation. Come out just for race day, or stay for the entire weekend (campsite booked for Fri and Sat night). Prerequisites: able to safely maneuver a canoe on flatwater, bike on intermediate trails. 14 yrs and up. Under 18 must race with adult. Includes: BBQ dinner, paddling equipment, camping fees, prizes. Race cost is per person. Ensure both partners register for the race.