Ultimate White Water Rafting Experiences in Whistler, Vancouver and Squamish

Canadian Outback Rafting

book

Connecting rivers, mountains and adventurers since 1992

book

Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs

Q: What should I wear on the trip?

A: Wear clothing appropriate for the weather that day. For rafting wear a bathing suit or swim shorts under the wetsuit we’ll provide you with. Some people wear a layer of polypropylene long underwear, polar fleece, or a thin wool sweater under their wetsuit. This is entirely optional, though a good idea for anyone who may get chilled easily or during cooler temperatures. Do not wear cotton while rafting as it retains cold against your body. You will get wet, so bring a towel and dry set of clothes to change into after the trip. Also bring a plastic bag in which to put your wet clothes into.

Q: What is provided?
A: We provide you with a full farmer john wetsuit, a wetsuit jacket, booties for your feet, a helmet and life jacket. Spray jackets are also available upon request. Midway down the river we will offer a light snack consisting of a CLIF bar and iced tea or hot chocolate (on colder days).

Q: Where does the rafting trip depart from?
A: Our rafting base is located at the Executive Suites Hotel & Resort at 40900 Tantalus Road in Squamish. There is plenty of free parking and a full-service restaurant on site.

Q: What if I need a ride to your rafting base?
A: We are able to provide round trip transportation from your choice of downtown Vancouver or Whistler. Simply let us know if you need transportation to our rafting base when you make your reservation.  You may also want to consider renting a car to allow you more flexibility to explore the many attractions in the area after your rafting adventure.

Q: Can I bring a camera with me?
A: This is NOT recommended as there is high potential for your camera to get wet or damaged. There is also nowhere to store your camera on the raft or on your body. If you must bring a camera we recommend a disposable water proof version so if you lose it or break it you won’t be devastated!

Our photographer will follow you down the river as you raft, taking high resolution action shots of your trip. You can purchase the photos at the end of the trip for $55 + tax. The USB stick we’ll give you is completely transferable among your entire group and they are the best photos you could possibly get of your rafting adventure.

We also have the option to rent a GoPro camera for the day for $55 + tax so that you can take home hi-def video memories of your adventure. You even have the opportunity to double the action, and buy GoPro video footage and a Photo USB for only $90 + tax.

Q: When is the best time of year to go rafting?
A: We run our rafting trips from May through September. Our rivers are unique because they are fed by snow pack melting high above on the glaciers.  This helps ensure steady flows all season long.  No matter when you choose to raft with us you’ll have an amazing time!  Check the website for current dates and availability.

Q: How many people fit in one raft?
A: We have up to 8 people per raft, plus 1 guide.

Q: Will my group be together in one raft?
A: We can’t guarantee your group will all be placed in the same raft. For safety reasons we may on occasion need to split groups up.

Q: If it’s raining will the trip still run?
A: Trips run rain or shine. If the forces of Mother Nature are too great, making the river conditions unsafe to raft or there are any other circumstances beyond our control, we retain the right to cancel the trip. We will rebook your rafting adventure for another day or issue a full refund.

Q: What time is check in?
A: We require you to check in 15-30 minutes prior to your tour. If you are late, we may ask you to postpone your trip to a later departure or even to another day, based on availability. Refunds will not be given.

Q: What is your refund policy?
A: Refunds will not be given for cancellations made within 7 days of your departure date. For bookings made outside of 7 days prior to departure, a river rafting cancellation refund guarantee can be purchased at time of booking for $10 + tax per person. This guarantee allows you to cancel your rafting trip up to 24 hours in advance of your departure and still receive a full refund. Without the rafting cancellation refund guarantee this adventure is non-refundable within 7 days of departure, 2 weeks non-refundable for group bookings of 10 or more people.

Q: How safe is white water rafting?
A: Canadian Outback Rafting has an outstanding safety record. All of our guides are fully certified to the highest standards of the British Columbia Rafting Outfitters Association (BCROA). Our rafting guides are also very experienced and have extensive training in safety, first aid, risk and incident management and prevention.

All guests must sign a legal release of liability waiver prior to participating in our activities.

Guests 19 years of age and older sign their own waiver.

Youths 18 years or younger require a parent or guardian’s signature. If 18 years or younger and a guardian cannot be present to sign, please download our waiver PDF file to be printed and pre-signed by the parent or guardian and a witness. The waiver must be dated for the DAY of the tour.

The waiver is a legal document and can therefore not be interpreted by anyone in the company. Signing it does mean you have read and fully understand the waiver.

Before your trip, we provide a full safety briefing, and ensure that you are aware that with any adventure activity like this, there are inherent risks.

We strongly encourage you to NOT participate in the on-river portion of the trip if you do not feel comfortable doing so at any time prior to departure, or even during the trip itself. A refund is available if you choose at any time to not participate or continue on the trip.

Although injuries and fatalities in rafting are rare, they do occur. River conditions can change unexpectedly and very dangerous situations can arise quickly, putting you at personal risk.

You must take responsibility to be aware of the all the risks involved in an activity of this nature, and feel comfortable signing a waiver before agreeing to go rafting.

Q: Do I have to pre-sign the waiver?
A: Upon arrival, everyone will be required to sign a release of liability waiver. Youths 18 years or younger require a parent or guardian’s signature. If under the age of 19 and a guardian cannot be present to sign, please download our waiver PDF file to be printed and pre-signed by the parent or guardian and a witness. The waiver must be dated for the DAY of the tour.

Q: Do I have to pre book/pay?
A: We take full payment via credit card at the time of booking. We do require that you pre book as we need to know ahead of time how many people are coming on the tour to ensure we have enough guides, rafts and snacks for everyone.

Q: Can I still take this tour even if I’ve never rafted before?
A: Absolutely! First timers are more than welcome. We provide you with all the safety equipment and instructions. There is no experience necessary.

Q: I can’t swim/was recently injured, can I still take the tour?
A: This is completely at your own discretion. You will be required to sign a waiver at check in, which leaves Canadian Outback Rafting not responsible for any injuries that may occur during the tour. We often take people out rafting who cannot swim, we just recommend you tell your guide and they will seat you close to themselves at the back of the raft. If you have an injury or health concern we recommend you consult with your doctor before participating in this activity.

Q: How far in advance do I have to book?
A: We take bookings months in advance or even the day before. It is up to you how last minute you want to leave your booking. By leaving it to the last minute, you take the risk that there will not be any space left during the tour time which you desire.

Q: Do you have parking at the rafting base?
A: Yes there is plenty of parking at the Rafting base free of charge.

Q: Do you have lockers at the rafting base?
A: No, we do not have lockers at the rafting base. We suggest you leave all valuables including jewelry at home or in your hotel room. If this is not possible you can also leave valuables locked in your car. For your convenience, our entire change area is locked when you are on the river and keys and clothes are secure in the change area. Please note however that Canadian Outback Rafting is not responsible for any items that are left behind by accident.

Q: Is there a place to buy food?
A: Yes, there are a variety of restaurants near our rafting base which offer a variety of items to order. For suggestions, be sure to ask our staff!

Q: What facilities are available at the rafting check in location?
A: The rafting check in location is within the Executive Suites Hotel & Resort which has washrooms, as well as separate male and female changing areas. There is plenty of free parking available and also a restaurant on site where you can enjoy a delicious meal and a refreshing drink after your trip.

Q: Can I bring alcohol to the rafting base?
A: No we do not allow you to BYO alcohol to the rafting base. Anyone who has consumed alcohol or any form of narcotics prior to departure will not be allowed on the rafting trip and will forfeit any refunds.  We also recommend avoiding heavy drinking the night before the trip. We suggest stag groups plan their night of partying for after the rafting trip rather than the evening before. We do have a full service bar at our rafting base for you to purchase alcoholic drinks after the rafting trip.

Q: Can I smoke at the rafting base?
A: The rafting base is a shared facility where adults and children come to have fun and relax. We ask that you respect others on the trip and if you must smoke then move away into the car park area and dispose of your cigarette butts respectfully. Any other illegal drugs will not be tolerated.

Q: What is the itinerary for the trip?
A: Upon arrival you will check into the rafting base and sign your waiver. The Trip Leader will then give an orientation talk regarding the equipment we will provide you with and everything else you need to know before we depart. You will have time to change into the gear we’ll provide and take care of your belongings before you board the bus for your rafting adventure. The drive up the river will take just under an hour for the Elaho and 20 minutes for the Cheakamus.

At the “put in” point, the trip leader will present a safety talk, explaining everything you need to know about rafting and how to stay safe during your trip. You will have the opportunity to “back out” of the trip at this point if you are not comfortable with the risks involved in rafting.  At the end of the rafting tour, we board the bus again for the ride back to our rafting base.

Be sure to check out the photos and videos from your trip on the bus ride back and back at the rafting base!

Wet & Wild Elaho Exhilarator FAQs

Q: How long is the trip?
A: The Elaho Exhilarator experience features approximately 2.5 hours of rafting, plus some time getting ready at our base and busing to and from the river. We’ll be back at our base approx. 5 hours after you first arrive.

Q: What are the restrictions?
A: To raft the Elaho you must be a minimum of 13 years old and at least 90 lbs (40 kg). You do not need any previous experience to raft and enjoy the Elaho.

Q: How much is the Elaho Rafting trip?
A: Prices vary depending on the day and time of year which you raft. View our prices here.

Q: What class are the rapids on the Elaho?
A: The Elaho River has Class 3/4 white water rapids. There are also calm sections of Class 2 where you can float and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Q: Do you have a class 5 rafting trip?
A: No we don’t. The Elaho/Squamish rafting trip offers rapids of class 3 and 4 and is the highest class offered in the area. There are very few class 5 rivers used for commercial rafting in the world due to the extreme risk inherent with them.

Q: How many people do I need to book?
A: We take bookings for 1 person up to groups of 70+ people! If you are a booking of 1 or 2 we will combine you with other groups on the day of the tour to bring us up to our 6 person minimum to run the trip.

Q: I am under the minimum weight requirement, can I wear a weighted vest to qualify for this tour?
A: No. The weight restrictions are put in place for your own safety and for our life jacket regulations. If you do not meet the minimum weight requirement you will not be able to take this tour.  If there is any doubt you will be weighed at check in to ensure regulations are met.

Family-Friendly Cheakamus Splash FAQs

Q: How long is the trip?
A: The Cheakamus Splash Rafting trip features approximately 90 minutes of rafting, plus some time getting ready at our base and busing to and from the river. We’ll be back at our base approx. 3 hours after you first arrive.

Q: What are the restrictions?
A: Children must be 5 years of age or older and weigh a minimum of 50 lbs (22kg).

Q: How much is the Cheakamus Rafting trip?
A: Prices vary depending on the ages of the participants. View our prices here.

Q: What class are the rapids on the Cheakamus?
A: The Cheakamus River is class 1/2 gentle splashes and bumps, perfect for kids, families, elderly or others who are hesitant about the big Elaho rapids.

Squamish Scenic Twilight Float FAQs

Q: How long is the trip?
A: The Twilight Float trip features approximately 60-90 minutes of floating on the river, plus some time getting ready at our base and busing to and from the river. We’ll be back at our base approx. 2 hours after you first arrive.

Q: What are the restrictions?
A: Children must be 5 years of age or older and weigh a minimum of 50 lbs (22kg).

Q: How much is the Twilight Float trip?
A: Prices vary depending on the ages of the participants. View our prices here.

Q: What class are the rapids on the Scenic Float?
A: The Scenic Float is a flat water trip, perfect for kids, families, elderly or others who are hesitant about splashing rapids.

Q: Does the trip operate in the rain? 
A: All of our trips operate rain or shine, however the situation is assessed on a case by case basis for the Scenic Float.

Q: What should we wear on the trip? 
A: You should wear weather appropriate clothing and closed-toe footwear. It can get chilly on the river as the sun goes down, and it is recommended to bring layers or a wind-breaker jacket. Government-approved life-jackets are provided, and splash-jackets are available upon request.

Q: What should we bring on the trip? 
A: We recommend you bring your camera as this is a great trip with many opportunities to take photographs. A non-alcoholic beverage and snack will be provided on the trip, but you are welcome to bring along a small backpack with any additional drink and food items you may like to enjoy.

2-Day Rafting Wilderness Expedition FAQs

Q: How long is the trip?
A: The 2-Day is just that, 2 days.  On Day 1 we’ll gather at our rafting base at 1:00 PM.  You’ll camp with us riverside that evening.  On Day 2 we’ll have you back to our base by 1:00 PM.

Q: How hard is the trip? What skills do I need to participate?
A: We accommodate all skill levels on our Elaho-Squamish Expedition, from first-time beginners to frequent rafters. From of thirteen to mid-eighties, people of all ages participate on the Elaho-Squamish Expedition. If you have a keen sense of adventure, can paddle through rapids sections, walk over rocky uneven ground, if your sore back is manageable, and if your doctor gives the go-ahead, then you likely have all the skills necessary to enjoy yourself. If you have any doubts, please contact us to discuss any concerns.

Q: What are the restrictions?
A: To raft the 2-Day you must be a minimum of 13 years old and at least 90 lbs (40 kg). You do not need any previous experience to raft and enjoy the Elaho.

Q: What will we be eating? What if I have dietary restrictions?
A: On our Elaho-Squamish expedition, we set a high standard when it comes to meal planning and preparation to deliver a multi-course gourmet dinner after an exhilarating rafting journey and a scrumptious breakfast the next morning. If you have special dietary requirements or allergies, just let us know and we will make sure to plan accordingly.

Q: Where do we stay or sleep?
A: All our expeditions are camping adventures. On the Elaho-Squamish Expedition, camping gear is not provided. We suggest you bring a tent, sleeping mattress and sleeping bag. If you don’t have your own, we have camping gear available for rental based on availability.

Q: What about a toilet?
A: We setup a toilet and sanitation station in a very discreet and private location, well away from the camp and with a stunning view.

Q: Is there time for hiking, photography and relaxing?
A: On the Elaho-Squamish Expedition we spend the majority of our time on the river both on the first and second day. However, there is some time for short walks, photography and relaxing from camp.

Q: Will we see any wildlife? What about bears?
A: On the Elaho-Squamish Expedition wildlife sightings vary along with the time of year. Indigenous species in the area include black bear, eagle, deer, beaver, seal and more. Each expedition abides with wildlife and “bear aware” practices, and is equipped with bear bangers, however bears of the area are not habituated and don’t associate us with food.

Q: What are the bugs like?
A: The mosquito population on the Elaho-Squamish River varies according to temperature, rainfall, and wind. We generally see few pesky creatures; however, we may be unable to avoid them, and bug repellent is recommended at times.

Q: What are the weather conditions like?
A: Our Elaho-Squamish Expedition takes place in June, July and August, which are generally the warmest times of the year, so be prepared for the best weather the region has to offer. However, there’s no guarantee against overcast weather or rain. The mountain weather environment is best described as highly variable.

Q: What do I need to bring?
A: When you reserve your seat on the tour, we send you a confirmation message which contains a detailed packing list. But in short, all you need to provide is your camping and personal gear, alcoholic beverages depending on your personal preferences, and we provide the rest: river gear, safety gear, food and non-alcoholic beverages, kitchen and sanitation equipment.

Q: Can I bring alcohol?
A: Yes, alcohol is allowed, in moderation, for the evening portion of this trip. If bringing beer, please buy cans. If bringing hard alcohol or wine, please present any glass bottles to your guide to store safely for the rafting portion of the trip.

Q: What about insurance?
A: We recommend that you consider purchasing trip cancellation, medical and evacuation insurance, especially if travelling from outside of Canada.

6-Day Babine River Expedition FAQs

Q: How hard is the trip? What skills do I need to participate?
A: We accommodate all skill levels on our Babine Expedition, from first-time beginners to frequent rafters. From of thirteen to mid-eighties, people of all ages participate on the Babine Expedition. If you have a keen sense of adventure, can paddle through some rapids sections, consider yourself physically fit, and if your doctor agrees that you should embark on the journey of a lifetime, then you likely have all the skills necessary to enjoy yourself. If you have any doubts, please contact us to discuss any concerns.

Q: What will we be eating? What if I have dietary restrictions?
A: On our expeditions, we set a high standard when it comes to meal planning and preparation to deliver multi-course gourmet meals three times a day, every day. We don’t just accommodate special dietary requirements or allergies, we go above and beyond to customize meals, snacks and beverages to everyone’s preferences and personal favourites.

Q: Where do we stay or sleep?
A: All our expeditions are camping adventures. On the Babine Expedition, we provide you with a top quality free standing expedition tent, sleeping mattress, sleeping bag and pillow. Our tents are based on double occupancy, but if you would like a tent to yourself, let us know!

Q: What about a toilet?
A: We setup a toilet and sanitation station at every campsite in a very discreet and private location, well away from the camp and always with a stunning view.

Q: Is there time for hiking, photography, fishing and relaxing?
A: Yes, on the Babine Expedition we spend around 3-4 hours on the river per day, leaving time for short group hikes, photography, fishing, relaxing, etc.

Q: Will we see any wildlife? What about bears?
A: The Babine River is famous for its abundance of Steelhead trout and all fives species of Pacific salmon. The trout and salmon attract both black and grizzly bears, along with a diverse range of migratory wildlife. We often see bald and golden eagle, hawk, flacon, merganser, goose, etc. Indigenous species also include wolf, wolverine, lynx, marten, mink and moose. Each expedition abides with wildlife and “bear aware” practices, has a bear safety kit with bear spray and bangers, and camp is setup with guides camping between the kitchen and expeditioner tents. Bears of the area are not habituated and don’t associate us with food.

Q: What are the bugs like?
A: The mosquito population on the Babine Expedition varies according to temperature, rainfall, and wind. We generally see few pesky creatures on our late summer departures; however, we may be unable to avoid them, and bug repellent is recommended at times.

Q: What are the weather conditions like?
A: Our Babine Expedition takes place in August and early September, which offer some of the best weather of the year. Later summer and early autumn are normally the driest times of the year, however there’s no guarantee against a few days of overcast weather or rain. The mountain weather environment is best described as highly variable.

Q: What do I need to bring?
A: When you reserve your seat on the tour, we send you a comprehensive trip planner which contains a detailed packing list. But in short, all you need to provide is your personal gear, and we provide the rest: camping gear, river gear, safety gear, food and beverages, kitchen and sanitation equipment.

Q: What about insurance?
A: We strongly recommend that you purchase trip cancellation, medical and evacuation insurance. We recommend you ensure the insurance covers evacuation due to the remote nature of the expedition location.

10-Day Tatshenshini River Expedition FAQs

Q: How hard is the trip? What skills do I need to participate?
A: We accommodate all skill levels on our Tatshenshini Expedition, from first-time beginners to frequent rafters. From of six to mid-eighties, with an average in the mid-fifties, people of all ages participate on the Tatshenshini Expedition. If you can walk over rocky uneven ground, if your sore back is manageable, and if your doctor agrees that you should embark on the journey of a lifetime, then you likely have all the skills necessary to enjoy yourself. If you have any doubts, please contact us to discuss any concerns.

Q: What will we be eating? What if I have dietary restrictions?
A: On our expeditions, we set a high standard when it comes to meal planning and preparation to deliver multi-course gourmet meals three times a day, every day. We don’t just accommodate special dietary requirements or allergies, we go above and beyond to customize meals, snacks and beverages to everyone’s preferences and personal favourites.

Q: Where do we stay or sleep?
A: All our expeditions are camping adventures. On the Tatshenshini Expedition, we provide you with a top quality free standing expedition tent, sleeping mattress, sleeping bag and pillow. Our tents are based on double occupancy, but if you would like a tent to yourself, let us know!

Q: What about a toilet?
A: We setup a toilet and sanitation station at every campsite in a very discreet and private location, well away from the camp and always with a stunning view.

Q: Is there time for hiking, photography, fishing and relaxing?
A: Yes, on the Tatshenshini Expedition we spend around 3-4 hours on the river per day and have two layover days, leaving time for group hikes, photography, relaxing, etc. However, note that fishing isn’t optimal on the trip due to the amount of sediment in the waters.

Q: Will we see any wildlife? What about bears?
A: Each river region is different. On the Tatshenshini Expedition we often see grizzly bear, black bear, bald eagle, golden eagle, hawk, flacon, goose, salmon, moose, Dall’s sheep, mountain goat and wolf. Indigenous species also include coyote, lynx, marten and red fox. Each expedition abides with wildlife and “bear aware” practices, has a bear safety kit with bear spray and bangers, and camp is setup with guides camping between the kitchen and expeditioner tents. Bears of the area are not habituated and don’t associate us with food.

Q: What are the bugs like?
A: The unique glacial environment on the Tatshenshini Expedition provides poor breeding grounds for bugs. We generally see few or no pesky creatures, trip leaders have gone without seeing them for the past three years, however there may be odd visitors at times.

Q: What are the weather conditions like?
A: Our Tatshenshini Expedition takes place in July and August, which are the driest times of the year, so be prepared for the best weather the region has to offer. However, there’s no guarantee against a few days of overcast weather or rain. The mountain weather environment is best described as highly variable. In July, we also experience the north’s incredible, long hours of daylight.

Q: What do I need to bring?
A: When you reserve your seat on the tour, we send you a comprehensive trip planner which contains a detailed packing list. But in short, all you need to provide is your personal gear, and we provide the rest: camping gear, river gear, safety gear, food and beverages, kitchen and sanitation equipment.

Q: What about insurance?
A: We strongly recommend that you purchase trip cancellation, medical and evacuation insurance. We recommend you ensure the insurance covers you both in Canada and the USA for the Tatshenshini Expedition as the journey takes you through both countries.

Winter Eagle Viewing Float FAQs

Q: How long is the trip?
A: The Eagle Float trip features approximately 60-90 minutes of floating on the river, plus lunch time and some time getting ready at our base and busing to and from the river. We’ll be back at our base approx. 3 hours after you first arrive.

Q: What are the restrictions?
A: Children must be 5 years of age or older and weigh a minimum of 50 lbs (22kg).

Q: How much is the Eagle Float trip?
A: Prices vary depending on the ages of the participants. View our prices here.

Q: What class are the rapids on the Eagle Float?
A: The Eagle Float is a flat water trip, perfect for kids, families, elderly or others who are hesitant about splashing rapids.

Q: Does the trip operate in the rain? 
A: All of our trips operate rain or shine. This trip operates in winter which means we can experience all types of weather; rain, snow, wind and sunshine – sometimes all in one trip! Please prepare for all options.

Q: What should we wear on the trip? 
A: You should wear weather appropriate clothing and closed-toe waterproof footwear, and consider bringing a set of dry clothes for afterwards. It can get chilly on the river, and it is recommended to wear layers or thermals. Government-approved life-jackets are provided, and rubber rain jackets, pants and boots are available upon request.

Q: What should we bring on the trip? 
A: We recommend you bring your camera as this is a great trip with many opportunities to take photographs of the local eagle population and other wildlife. A small bag can be brought onto the raft, but be aware it may get wet.

Q: Are we guaranteed to see eagles? 
A: Almost! We have the opportunity to see a few to a few hundreds of eagles on the trip. In 2017, we saw eagles on all of our trips, and with an average of 30-80 eagles per trip. Please be aware that the eagles are wild which means we cannot control where they will be on any given day and note that peak season for viewing is usually December and January.

Take action! Give yourself a well-deserved gift of adventure.

Book Now

Check availability and make your booking online now

Info

Give us a call or request more information using our online form