River Rafting Adventures near Whistler Blackcomb


Whitewater rafting near Whistler Blackcomb is spectacular and fun! Choose a guided tour on the Elaho, Cheakamus, or Squamish rivers.

Posted on July 15, 2023

Whistler Summer 2021

Whistler Blackcomb has such a tremendous wealth of natural wonders to explore that adventure seekers can feel spoiled for choices in their outdoor adventures. In summer, wildflower meadows, old-growth rainforests, pristine lakes, and rugged trails to alpine peaks all vie for your attention. Do not overlook the remarkable rivers near Whistler! Not far from the resort, the Elaho and Cheakamus rivers flow into the Squamish, creating ideal conditions for beginner-friendly and thrilling whitewater rafting. Whether you're excited for your first-ever paddle or you're seasoned at white water rafting, Whistler Blackcomb is the perfect setting.  

A handful of local outfitters offer whitewater rafting near Whistler Blackcomb, with options for most ages and all experience levels. You’ll never forget the fun of paddling, swift flowing rivers through rapids and bouncy drops, nor the shifting wilderness scenery. Remember to keep an eye out for wildlife such as bald eagles, deer, and black bears.  

Wedge Rafting’s Green River Tour 

Summer after summer, Whistler Blackcomb guests rush to book Wedge Rafting’s Green River tour. This is one of the most popular options for river rafting near Vancouver. It departs up to eight times a day from the depot just 15 minutes north of Whistler Village. No experience is necessary. The tour is available to anyone aged ten or older, with a minimum weight requirement of 80 or 90 pounds depending on the water level.  

A wetsuit, booties, life jacket, and helmet are provided to keep you comfortable and safe while rafting along the glacier-fed Green River. Changing rooms and lockers are available at the depot. Bring a towel and swimsuit.  

The whitewater rafting tour starts with a 10-minute shuttle ride to the launch spot on Green Lake. After a safety briefing and paddle training, you’ll take to the calm waters of the lake to practice your new skills, then venture into the mouth of the river. Expect mostly Class II and III rapids, which are thrilling and bouncy yet safe enough for beginners to navigate with ease.  

Book your tour at the Adventure Group office in the village. Note that the Green River tour is available as an add-on to the Adventure Group’s TAG Day Pass. Choose the pass to enjoy unlimited access to ziplines, an aerial obstacle course, RZR tours, and more.  

Canadian Outback Rafting Rafting Tours 

From May through September, Canadian Outback Rafting Company offers three tour options for whitewater rafting near Whistler. Tours depart from the outfitter’s HQ in the Squamish Valley, approximately 66 km and under an hour’s drive from Whistler Blackcomb. Transportation from Whistler or downtown Vancouver can be arranged upon request.  

Tours are available from late April to late September, with multiple departures per day during the peak season of July and August. 

Full wetsuits, booties, helmets, and life jackets are provided, and spray jackets are available upon request. You will get wet! A snack and hot or cold drink is also included during a mid-tour break from the action. All tours begin with a full instruction season and safety briefing. 

Guests choose from the following tour experiences, which are all beginner-friendly but vary in excitement level. 

The Alaho Exhilarator 

This is the most advanced of Canadian Outback Rafting’s whitewater rafting tours near Whistler. Adventurous beginners and anyone aged at least 13, weighing 90 pounds and up, are welcome on this tour. You will raft along the Elaho and Squamish rivers, covering rapids ranked at Class III to IV, plus some mellow stretches for easy floating. You might be invited to get out of the raft and swim if water levels allow it. Allow around five hours for the full tour, with approximately 2.5 hours on the water.  

The Cheakamus Splash 

For a gentler version of whitewater rafting near Whistler, choose the Cheakamus Splash. This family-friendly tour on the Cheakamus River is for anyone aged five and up weighing at least 50 pounds. Expect small, bouncy rapids with frequent splashes and a ride that’s mellow enough to take in the scenery and spot wildlife. Look for waterfalls and admire panoramas of Coast Mountain peaks. This tour includes around 90 minutes of rafting, but you'll want to allow a total of about three hours.  

Scenic Twilight Float 

The Scenic Twilight Float along the Lower Squamish River emphasizes the scenery of the Coast Mountains under the setting sun. Highlights of this beginner- and family-friendly tour (for ages 5-plus, 50 pounds and up) include views of Shannon Falls, Mount Garibaldi, and the Stawamus Chief, among other local landmarks. Your guide will talk about the landscape and wildlife and end the tour with a sunset toast. 

This river rafting tour starts and ends in Squamish, about 60 km south of Whistler Blackcomb. A shuttle to and from the river is provided, making the tour around two hours in total with 45 minutes on the water.  

Backroads Whistler’s Guided and Unguided Tours 

Since 1985, Backroads Whistler has specialized in boat rentals on Alta Lake, the largest lake in Whistler. The company, based in Lakeside Park, also offers guided canoe and kayak tours down the River of Golden Dreams. You may also rent kayaks and canoes for self-guided river tours. Both self-guided and guided river tours include a return shuttle from the end of the river at Green Lake as well as an instruction session.  

From May to June, when water levels are high and the current is swift, Backroads Whistler recommends river trips only to those with moderate to high levels of paddling experience. From early July to September, the conditions are suitable for all experience levels.  

Guided river trips include the services of a guide/instructor, who will talk about the local wildlife, landscape, and history as you paddle. The special Wildlife at Twilight tour is scheduled during the evening when animals are at their most active. You might spot bears, beavers, otters, raccoons, and plenty of birds, including eagles and osprey. For anyone who loves seeing animals in their natural habitat, this is one of the best choices for river rafting in Whistler.  

Group tours include no more than five boats. Private tours for a minimum of two participants are also available. Book group tours at least seven days in advance. Allow approximately three hours for the roundtrip, which includes 20 to 30 minutes of paddling across the lake and into the river mouth.  

Ready for River Rafting in Whistler?  

There are endless options for fun adventures in the great outdoors when you book a vacation at Whistler Blackcomb. Be sure to add whitewater rafting near Whistler to that list!