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.

CLASS I RAPIDS

“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

CLASS II RAPIDS

“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

CLASS III RAPIDS

“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

CLASS IV RAPIDS

“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.

CLASS V RAPIDS

“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.

CLASS VI RAPIDS

“Chinook definition: Niagara Falls in a barrel!”

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

#CHINOOKRAFTING

Thank you to the staff and adventurers that joined us this summer for an amazing season. Here's to the memories we've created and the adventures still to come. Until next time!

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 #ThankYouSeason #GratefulHeart #AdventureTogether #ChinookRafting #UnforgettableMoments #OutdoorJourney #CreateMemories #UntilNextTime #NatureBonding
Final call for adventure! Tomorrow marks the last day of the season, your last chance to ride the rapids, feel the adrenaline, and create memories that'll stay with you forever.

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#LastDayOfTheSeason #AdventureFinale #WhitewaterThrills #ChinookRafting #LastChance #UnforgettableMoments #CreateMemories #OutdoorExcitement #NatureAdventure
End of a sweet season on the Kananaskis 👌 Thankful for how much time I got on the water this season and for a new community of dirt bag friends on the river. 

#chinookrafting #kananaskis #whitewaterrafting #gloves #raftguide
Only 4 days left to dive into summer adventure! 🌞 Time is ticking, but the thrill of whitewater rafting and the joy of making unforgettable memories are still here.

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#LastChance #SummerAdventure #WhitewaterFun #ChinookRafting #TimeIsRunningOut #OutdoorExcitement #CreateMemories #AdventureAwaits #NatureBeauty
Only one week left of the summer season – seize the adventure before it's gone!
Last day of the season is Sept 10

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#SummerAdventure #LimitedTimeOffer #WhitewaterThrills #ChinookRafting #OutdoorMemories #LastChance #UnforgettableExperiences #NatureBeauty #CreateMemories
Make this weekend all about quality family time! Join us for an unforgettable adventure that brings your family closer, surrounded by the beauty of nature and the excitement of whitewater rafting. Book your family's adventure with us now on the Kananaskis River!

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#FamilyTime #QualityMoments #AdventureTogether #ChinookRafting #WhitewaterFun #NatureExploration #UnforgettableMemories #CreateBonds #WeekendAdventure
Splish, splash, let's make a splash! Get ready for an adventure that's all about the thrill of the rapids, the laughter in the air, and the refreshing splash of water. Join our Horseshoe Canyon Rafting trip for this excitement. 

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#SplishSplash #WhitewaterThrills #AdventureAwaits #ChinookRafting