Canoeing

Take our progressive canoeing lessons in Calgary, then join our experienced guides on an extended wilderness canoe trip.


View all canoeing programs

ABC- Complete Beginner Canoe Weekend

This popular course takes you through the ABC's of canoeing in one fun weekend. Progress from basic flatwater skills on Friday, river fundamentals on Saturday, to beginner whitewater on Sunday where you will finish with a river run to practice your new skills. The ultimate learn to canoe course!

A- Canoeing With Kids

This fun, family friendly course offers the same skills as our beginner flatwater course 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 seperately, but parents can put 1-3 children under 10 into the middle of their boat for no extra cost. Location at the beautiful calm Bowness Lagoon!

A- Intro to Solo Lake Canoeing

Get to know the sport of solo canoeing with an evening of flatwater. This course is designed for the paddler who would like to progress towards whitewater paddling. The focus will be on learning the essential strokes to be successful when you move to the river. We will use whitewater solo boats.

A- Introduction to Lake Canoeing

Learn the fundamentals of canoeing on flatwater.  Tracking straight lines, turning and bracing are just some of the skills you will learn on either a 3 hour course or a full day.  The full day course includes an afternoon tour where you learn safe travel and basic rescue techniques.  

B- Introduction to River Canoeing

Build on your flatwater skills and move from lakes to the flowing water of 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.

B- Intro to Solo River 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.  We will be using whitewater solo boats with saddles.

C- Intro to Whitewater Canoeing

After you have moved onto the river, take this great course and improve your river running and maneuvering skills as you experience the rapids and swiftwater of the Bow River west of Cochrane.

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. Take your river canoe skills to the next level!

ABC- Complete Beginner Solo Canoe WKD

Develop your paddling skills in this complete solo weekend. Progress from basic canoe strokes to beginner whitewater skills on the Bow River between Ghost Dam and Cochrane.  On Sunday we will do a river run to practice your skills.  We will be using solo whitewater boats with saddles. The ultimate learn how to solo canoe course!

Canoe Refresher Weekend

The very best way to start your paddling season! We will practice river maneuvers and focus on rescuing and safety.  The first day is on the Bow River west of Cochrane and the second on the Kananaskis River.  Solo paddlers are welcome!  Join us Saturday only if you can't do the full weekend.

Solo Intermediate Weekend

Take your solo canoe skills to the next level. Spend Saturday and Sunday working on your 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 River, Highwood, Elbow or Sheep rivers.

Canoeing River Rescue Workshop

Develop and practice your canoe rescuing skills in this one-day workshop. We'll learn about prevention, throw- bagging skills, self rescue, swimming and boat towing skills.  You can choose to bring your own boat for this course (tandem or solo) or we can supply one for you.  Learn how to take care of yourself and your friends on the water!

Whitewater Canoeing Clinic

Challange yourself on this 2-day clinic on either the Kananaskis River or Upper Red Deer River. This is some of the best whitewater around! This clinic wil push your skills, so you must be comfortable on the water and have a good grasp of eddy turns and ferries.

Bloodvein River, MB

Explore the spectacular Bloodvein River which cuts through the red granite of the Canadian Shield. Paddle boulder-strewn rapids and narrow gorges on your way to Lake Winnipeg. See the red ochre pictographs that tell of early river travelers. This is another Canadian Heritage River you don't want to miss. Access to the put-in is with a float plane.

Bow River, AB Canoe

This trip is the perdect introduction to overnight tripping for families or anyone who wants to learn the basics of wilderness camping. We paddle the scenic stretch of the Bow River from Fish Creek Park to Carseland through picturesque prairie and woodland landscape.

Brazeau River, AB Canoe

Enjoy paddling the varied terrain of the Brazeau river as it canges from canyons, side waterfalls and fun standing waves to interesting braided channels that lead into the Brazeau Reservoir. This trip is a smaller version of the North Saskatchewan River but it has more whitewater fun! This gem of a river is located north of Nordegg, AB.

Churchill River, SK

Paddle through a succession of shimmering lakes, connected by short portages, rapids and waterfalls, Follow the path of early explorers and discover great camping, fall colours and fishing in the Canadian Shield. Come alive in the land of wind, water, rock, and dancing northern lights.

Columbia River Wetlands, BC Canoe

A birding paradise! Paddle Through marshes and down the beautiful Columbia Valley, away from the towns and with great mountain views. This short weekend canoe trip in the warm valley of the Rocky Mountain trench is perfect for families.

Eco-Lodge Canoe Tour: McLennan Lakes, Sk

Join our deluxe lodge-based canoe tour to the Forest Hourse in Mclennan Lakes, Saskatchewan (www.foresthouse.ca). We'll paddle 4 hours to this beautiful eco-lodge nestled by its own private lake and surrounded by hundreds of small interconnected waterways. We will be focusing this trip on 'Birding in the Boreal' and will be joined by a biologist whose passion is both birding and canoeing. During our 5-day stay we'll enjoy shared group meals and take turns cooking in the full kitchen.

Green River, Utah

Explore the Labyrinth Canyon on the Green River in Utah with us. On this 10-day canoe trip we'll have 6 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: module 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 travel through beautiful canyons, hoodoos and mountain valleys. Scenic waterfalls, turqouise water, fantastic camping and exhilarating rapids are just some of the many attractions.

North Saskatchewan River, AB Canoe

This is one of Alberta's best canoe routes-make this the year to paddle it! The North Saskatchewan River offers fun waves with lots of easy options. Starting in the scenic mountains and flowing into lush forest, the North Saskatchewan is a must for all paddlers looking to build their river tripping skills.

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

The gentle section of the Red Deer River from Big Valley to Morrin Bridge features desert-like badlands scenery. This is a great trip to develop canoeing and camping skills - perfect for the whole family. From camp, hike up into the hoodoos and search for dinasaur bones.

Slocan Lake, BC Paddle and Hike! Canoe

Located in the beautiful Kootenays, this 39km long lake is surrounded by scenic mountains. We'll take our time paddling along the west bank (most of it in Valhalla Provincial Park) and enjoy beach camping only accessible by water. Stunning waterfalls and hiking opporunities will add more variety to this paddling trip.

South Saskatchewan River, AB Canoe

This is an easy multi-day canoe trip on the South Saskatchewan River near Medicine Hat. This beautiful prairie river has deep valley walls and rolling hills-perfect for a post paddle hike to stretch you legs. View wildlife and birds as we paddle through the Prairie Coulees Natural Area and random camp along the way.

Sturgeon-Weir River, SK

Celebrate Canada's 150th birthday by paddling this historic route that connected the fur trade from the Saskatchewan River to te Churchill. Enjoy lots of fun, easy rocky rapids with good fishing and camping along the way. This is a great inroductory trip to Northern Saskatchewan and to get a taste of the early fur trade history.

Upper Milk River, AB

Spend Canada's 150th birthday with us quietly paddling a peaceful historic river in southern Alberta that boasts rolling grasslands and wide open vistas. Paddle from Delbonita to the town of Milk River and camp along the way. We'll keep a sharp eye out for red-tailed hawks, ospreys, and red-winged blackbirds. This easy trip is perfect for the whole family.

Wind River, YT

The Wind River is a northern gem, situated in the Peel River watershed and Mackenzie mountain range, this river offers a true wilderness adventure. There is great hiking, crystal-clear water, and a rich habitat for northern wildlife. This section is a class 2 section of moving water-a perfect canoe destination. The area is filled with history from the Telit Gwich'in and Na-Cho Nyak Dun First Nations, to stories of ill-fated Lost Patrol (a North West Mounted Police patrol who lost their way and perished in the early 1900's). It is one of the largest unspoiled natural environments in the world, but is currently under the threat of potential industrial development. Don't wait to register if you're dreaming of paddling in this pristine environment.

Milk River, AB Weekend

Enjoy paddling through vast, rolling grasslands and unique semi-desert landscapes as we make our way from Gold Springs Park to Writing-on-stone Provincial Park. This Southern Alberta river has intimate sandstone canyons, hoodoos, many small rapids and rocks to maneuver around, and aboriginal petroglyphs and pictographs.

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: modules AB or equivalent. Includes: guide, canoe/group camping gear, park fees. 

WhiteWater Paddling Club

This non - instructional club was created to provide kayakers and solo canoers a way to progress their skills, meet new people and become apart of the paddling community. We'll meet once a week at the Outdoor Center, and from May to early winter, we'll head out to different sections of rivers. Over winter we'll use open pool sessions, at the U of C pool. Annual membership includes 30% discount on paddling gear rentals on club nights and 10% discounts on paddling courses.

Paddle Club Day Trips

These instructional, guided day trips to Southern Alberta rivers are an awesome way for WW Paddle Club members to gain experience and develop new skills on whitewater run that are not typically paddled on club nights. Possible locations include: Waiparous Creek, the Sheep, Highwood, and Upper Red Deer rivers. Must be a current member of WW Paddling Club.

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 or paddling skills in this flat water 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: modules 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: modules ABCD or equivalent. Includes: guide, canoe/group camping gear, 2 float planes, 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: modules 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: module 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: modules ABC or equivalent. Includes: guide, canoe/group camping gear, transportation.

KAN Adventure Race

In teams of two mountain bike, lake canoe, and trail run on designated trails in the Kananaskis Barrier Lake area. This is a great introduction to adventure racing because you go as hard as you want to: we have 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. Your only limitations are time and mode of transportation. Come out just for race day, or stay for the entire weekend (campsite booked for Friday and Saturday night). Includes: BBQ dinner, paddling equipment, camping fees, prizes.

Race cost is per person. Please make sure both partners register for the race.

Distance: this is not an A to B style of race. Due to the nature of this race, participants do not use all of the trails or get to every checkpoint.The distances of the designated trails to choose from are 5-30 km of biking, 5-30 km of running, and 5-10 km of canoeing. You have 8 hours to collect as many points as you can.  

Check out our Instagram account for photos and past sponsors: @kanadventurerace

$15 off for students with a valid student ID from any university.
If you want to volunteer for this event please contact us: bmahaffe@ucalgary.ca