Boating, Canoeing and Kayaking Tours in the Canadian Rockies


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Boating, Canoeing & Kayaking Tours in the Canadian Rockies

There is something special about spending a day on a glacial lake in the Canadian Rockies with nothing to disturb you save the odd beaver or grizzly bear going about their own business on shore. Whether you are in a canoe, kayak, rowboat or powerboat, spending a day on the sparking blue and green waters of the Rockies will revitalize the soul.

Before heading out to the Rockies with your boat of choice in tow, be sure to plan accordingly. Non-motorized boats are allowed on most lakes and rivers in the Rocky Mountain Parks and adjoining provincial parks. Within the National Parks, gasoline-powered boats may be launched only on Lake Minnewanka, Pyramid Lake, Yellowhead Lake, Moose Lake, Upper Waterton Lake and Middle Waterton Lake. Boats with electric motors and no onboard generator may be launched on any lake where non-motorized boats are permitted.

Canoe and boat rentals are available at many of the popular lakes including Louise, Moraine, Emerald, O'Hara, Pyramid, Maligne, Waterton and Cameron. Commercial boat tours operate on Lake Minnewanka, Maligne Lake and Upper Waterton Lake and are available through Extreme Rockies. Commercial rafting companies operate on the Athabasca, Maligne, Bow, Kootenay, Columbia, Fraser, Kananaskis, St. Mary's and Kicking Horse rivers and are described in more detail in our whitewater rafting section.

Canoeists and kayakers will find a variety of calm water and whitewater on the major rivers in the Rockies. Reaches of the Bow, Kicking Horse, Columbia and Athabasca rivers can be navigated in open boats most of the summer.

Lake Windermere in the heart of the Columbia Valley is arguably the most popular lake in the Canadian Rockies for motorized water sports and for windsurfing due to its relatively large size and warm water. The Waterton Lakes are also an exceptional location for boardsailing. Winds are sporadic at many other locations and some lakes are permanently closed to this activity. Consulting a park information centre is advised in all cases.


Boat, Canoe and Kayak Tours

With all tours in the Rockies, it is advisable to book well in advance to avoid disappointment. Extreme Rockies Vacations will take care of the details so you can sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery. Be sure to contact us about the different boating, canoeing and kayaking adventures available in the Canadian Rockies. Below are some of the more popular boating adventures in the Rockies:

For even more excitement, check out our whitewater rafting tours!


Lake Minnewanka Scenic Tour

Lake Minnewanka lies in the heart of the Canadian Rockies in Banff National Park, just a short 15 minute drive from the town site. Lake Minnewanka Boat Tours operates three 48 passenger tour boats on the lake, several times daily from mid May to mid October. This magnificent cruise consists of a 1.5 hour interpretive tour of Lake Minnewanka and surrounding area. Our experienced crew will guide you through this rugged paradise richly steeped in history, native folklore and geology. The narration is entertaining and informative. You will learn about the wildlife and vegetation that inhabit these mountains, the early explorers who named them and the tremendous forces that created them. The highlight of the tour is the Devil's Gap; a glacial path carved through Lake Minnewanka from the foothills of the Rockies. The Lake Minnewanka valley offers some of the most interesting and spectacular scenery found anywhere in the Canadian Rockies. Lake Minnewanka approx every 2nd hour between 10:30am and 7pm daily during high season.


Spirit Island Scenic Tour

For over 70 years no trip to the Canadian Rockies has been complete without a cruise to Spirit Island on Maligne Lake in Jasper National Park. This diminutive Canadian icon, floating amid turquoise, glacial waters is accessed via glass enclosed and heated boats. The 90 minute interpretive tours depart every hour on the hour throughout the summer season and are staffed by recognized Heritage Tourism Guides and Ministry of Transport licensed Pilots. Learn of the local history, geology, wildlife and glaciology of Maligne Lake and of Jasper National Park as some of the most spectacular scenery in the Rockies drift past your window. At Spirit Island the boat lands to allow for a short walk to the viewpoint overlooking the mountain ringed southern shores of Maligne Lake; the equally famous backdrop of Spirit Island. Tour Maligne Lake on the hour between 10am and 5pm daily during high season.


Waterton Shoreline Tour

The Historic M.V. International has been cruising Waterton Lake since 1927. The Cruise duration is two and a quarter hours, which includes a half hour stop-over at the Goat Haunt Visitor Center. Experienced Guides provide an entertaining, informative commentary. Tour boats depart from the village of Waterton, Canada to Goat Haunt, Montana, from the end of April to the beginning of October. Cross the International Border and view wildlife and scenery in safety and comfort aboard one of Shoreline Cruise Co. vessels. Tour Waterton Village at 9am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm and 7pm daily during high season.


Columbia River Kayak Tour

Sea kayaks, the traditional Inuit or Eskimo means of water transport, are very stable in the water and are used exclusively on our tours. You will be given basic instruction on how to paddle and handle your kayak safely before traveling through the most enchanting parts of the Columbia River (flat water areas), and viewing many species of birds and wildlife. Suitable for children accompanied with adults. Tour from Golden daily.



Canadian Rockies Destinations

Banff | Canmore | Fairmont | Fernie | Golden | Invermere | Jasper
Kananaskis | Kimberley | Lake Louise | Panorama | Radium | Waterton
Canadian Rockies Tour Destination Index



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