Rapid Classes: Whitewater Rafting Classification Guide

An international scale that rates individual rapids from class 1 (easy) to class 6 (nearly impossible) is used in all our river descriptions.

A rapid may vary in terms of time from just a few seconds to 20 seconds or more.

REMEMBER! This scale is subjective. Rapid classes will vary seasonally, due to changes in waterflow. They can also change as quickly as overnight! This scale is meant only as a guideline for how easy or difficult a rapid, river, or river trip may be. It is best to speak with one of our knowledgeable reservations team to find out what the river level may be like at the time when you would like to raft with us, and assist you in choosing the best trip.


“Chinook definition: Very relaxing.”

Gentle, moving water. Very small waves requiring little or no maneuvering.

All of our raft trips include some amount of gentle Class 1 waters.

Kananaskis River Raft Trip

Horseshoe Canyon Raft Trip

Kicking Horse River Raft Trip


“Chinook definition: You may get splashed.”

Regular waves, easy to see, may reach 3 to 4 feet in height. Avoiding rocks, river bends, or other obstacles may require simple maneuvering.

All our rafting trips have some Class 2 rapids at various stages of the rivers.

Kananaskis River Raft Trip

Horseshoe Canyon Raft Trip

Kicking Horse River Raft Trip


“Chinook definition: You will get wet!”

Large, continuous series or sets of waves, some can be in excess of 6 feet. “Holes” or “hydraulics” may be present and can be run or maneuvered around them. Small drops, ledges or waterfalls may be present. Don’t worry, your Chinook Rafting mountain river rafting guide will be there to guide you through them!

All our rafting trips will experience some Class 3 rapids.

Kananaskis River Raft Trip

Horseshoe Canyon Raft Trip

Kicking Horse River Raft Trip


“Chinook definition: You’ll get soaked… like a 9 or 10 on the ‘fun scale’!”

Powerful and intense waves or holes. Large obstructions need to be avoided or require technical navigating.  Very difficult and scouting by your experienced rafting guide is required. Your guide will tell you everything you need to do for a fun and safe experience!

The Horseshoe Canyon Raft Trip includes some Class 4 rapids.

The Kicking Horse River Raft Trip is predominantly a Class 4 rapid trip.


“Chinook definition: Adrenaline junkies only!”

For most people, class V goes off the “fun” scale and enters the “kinda scary” scale! Very challenging for even the most experienced river persons. High risk of capsize or injury. Limit of navigation and scouting is essential.


“Chinook definition: Niagara Falls in a barrel!”

Virtually non-navigable, or navigable only at particularly favorable river levels.


Arms up, spirits high, and embracing the wild white water ride!
Book you adventure with us using link in bio!
The Community Experience Giveaway for June is now underway! Every month you will have to re-enter for your chance 
To enter, visit https://www.cirrealty.ca/contest... and enter my name and yours. Draw is at the end of each month. 
This month, you will have the chance to win a trip for 2 on the Kananaskis River, sponsored by Chinook Rafting.
Good luck!
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Join us as we chase rapids, conquer the currents, and create memories that will last a lifetime. 

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Unbelievable day of whitewater rafting!  Thanks to our amazing guide Gabriel!! 
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Embracing the joy of whitewater adventures with good friends is the ultimate recipe for an unforgettable time! Here's to endless laughter, hilarious moments, and paddling through life together 🥰

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Our new monthly giveaway is here.  If you’ve never tried whitewater rafting - it’s a blast!  Also, remember there is only two weeks left to enter for our Ultimate Stampede Experience.  Go to www.cirrealty.ca/contest to enter.  Tell them Janet or Michele sent you.  Good Luck!
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Embracing the exhilarating chill of the white water rafting! 🌊 Who's up for an icy adventure with us? 

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Thumbs up for ducky shorts and embracing the spirit of paddling with style.  Keep calm and ducky on! 😄👍 

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Rocking into the weekend like... 🤘🌊