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Region Details

Looking for the best places to Whitewater Kayak in and around Pincher Creek? Below are some great routes, trips and resources to help you Whitewater Kayak in and around Pincher Creek.

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Diverse is how we would best describe the paddling in this mountain/prairie province. In the west of the province runs are characterized by beautiful backdrops, continuous rivers and cold water. Everything from mellow multi day floats in national parks to hairy class V creeking is available in the west. As you move further east the gradient drops but there are still plentiful paddling options for those looking to float mellow rivers in really unique surroundings. It is a huge province so don't neglect to look north and south too. A very worthwhile paddling destination in it's own right.

Area Sponsor

Aquabatics Calgary

Whitewater Kayak Trips or Routes

Pincher Creek

Full Run
Spionkop Creek - Spionkop Creek is a very low volume creek running off the east side of the rockies. It is characterized by small undercut canyon sections with moderate gradient drops. Eddies are small, and the river bed tiny so it is certainly a run for smaller groups of experienced boaters. When it is flowing (Spring) it is a 5km hike to the put in. The access gate is locked until June 15th which is typically after the season is done.
Boulder Run
Oldman River - Boulder Run was built by the Provincial government as compensation to the paddling community for the flooding of the Castle, Crowsnest and Oldman river valleys in 1990. In 2016, Boulder Run was rebuilt for the 4th time because of the regular floods. In this iteration the rapids were shortened into a steeper 250 m length with some good play features and surfing waves. There are 2 rapids above the slalom course, the first is directly below the outlet tunnels and the second is below the corner where the outlet channel meets the main channel.
Falls Run
Castle River - Starting above or below the slide at Castle Falls campground, this run provides a great run through a canyon down to the confluence with the Carbondale. Besides Castle Falls there are 2 other major drops. After the river joins the Carbondale, it breaks out into a broader valley with more gravel riffles and few larger rapids. There is one last major rapid in this reach before you reach the Hwy 507 bridge.
Rodeo Grounds Campground to Canyon Bridge
Castle River - This is a nice Grade II river run with some fun practice features just below the campground. After this it is pretty float through an broad incised valley with some riffles. The last corner above the bridge has a tight turn with a hidden ledge on the outside.
Castle Canyon
Castle River - Castle Canyon is a short trip with lots of excitement as the river cuts down over a variety of bedrock ledges through a tight canyon. The run isn't over once the river exits the canyon as there are a series of other drops with some great surfing .
Lower Castle
Castle River - This trip does not have the excitement of the Canyon run but it has a lot of smaller sandstone ledges that create wonderful small surfing waves. They can actually be quite big during high water.
South Drywood Creek - A tight, steep and technical creek with a pretty short early season flow window. Doesn't get run a great deal.
Hike In
North Drywood Creek - North Drywood is one of the 3 or 4 short season low volume creeks that are found on the front range mountains by the Pincher Creek shell plant. This valley is also a popular rock climbing area, or at least as popular as climbing areas get around here. Getting to the put in requires a 3km or so hike up a good gravel road. Flows are normally only good for a 2 week stretch in the spring. The run is very low volume.
Main Section
Carbondale River - Starts off with calmer water and rapids get more technical later down the run. Some river wide ledges with small holes that can make for good surfing spots. Keep an eye out for wood. About 3/4 way down the run, Five Alive is a series of ledges that can be scouted from Lynx Creek campground. In Five Alive is an amazing drop/boof on river right that can be run at all levels and lapped on river left. After a couple kilometers of class 2, the river then enters a scout-able canyon section with class 3+/4 features. The last rapid can be scouted from river left. The bridge at the end marks the take out.

Local Paddling Clubs

Paddle Junkies

whitewater kayaking club focused on bridging the gap for adult beginner, novice and intermediate kayaking in Calgary and surrounding area