We use air conditioned, RV-style buses with large windows. These buses hold maximum 24 passengers however we only sell to a maximum of 21 passengers to allow the extra room for guests to move around during stops.
Our wildlife guides are in constant communication about wildlife movements and patterns within Jasper National Park and will choose their route each day accordingly. Typically they will choose a mixture of main highways and smaller local roads. The tour travels on registered paved roads and does not travel off-road. As the guide will be doing their best to maximize your chance to find a variety of wildlife, they may aim to cover a wider area and reach a number of specific spots where different animals have been frequenting. Other times, the area they cover may be smaller. This is always dependant on the observed animal movement patterns at that time.
In the summer season, elk, deer, big horn sheep, bears and bald eagles are the most common animals to be sighted, while occasionally, you may also spot moose, mountain goats or coyotes. In the winter season, we often spot elk, big horn sheep, coyotes and occasionally moose or wolves. With the animals being wild, we can never make guarantees as to what you’ll find on each tour however having this flexibility of route, along with the local knowledge of the guide, increases your chances of encounters. You’ll also have the chance to learn interesting facts about the animals, their behaviours and habitats as your guide provides commentary and answers your questions along the way.
This is primarily a vehicle-based tour. Occasionally there may be an opportunity to get off the bus for closer viewing or a short walk. This decision is made by the guide and will be based on the location of animals & in keeping within guidelines as set by Parks Canada.
Typically the animals tend to be most active in both the early morning and evening so there isn't any real difference between the two times. Generally we would suggest choosing the time that matches best with your schedule. While with wild animals the sightings do vary from day to day, going with a local guide at their most active time of day increases your chances for encounters.
These tours are typically geared more towards adults providing educational commentary along the way, however you are welcome to bring babies with you if you wish. Children 0-4 years are free but must be mentioned when making the booking as each child is required to be allocated a seat on the bus. If bringing an infant, we also suggest bringing baby carrier for them to sit in on the bus. All our buses are fitted with seat belts which you could strap over the carrier. Otherwise if you’d prefer, babysitting services are offered by http://myjaspernanny.ca
We take absolute beginners on ALL our rafting trips. No previous rafting experience is necessary for any of our trips! All instructions will be provided.
For the rafting all participants will be fitted with all the necessary gear which includes life jackets (PFD) and wetsuits, therefore no swimming ability is required. Although it is very unlikely you would end up in the water, you will be given a pre-trip safety briefing which covers instructions on what to do if this situation was to occur.
Prior to getting in the raft, your guide will provide a full safety demonstration and instruction briefing. With any water-based activity like rafting, there is always a small chance of falling into the water, however on our trips, as long as you are following all the instructions from the guide, this very rarely happens. During the briefing, your guide will explain what to do, in the unlikely event that you do end up in the water.
The rivers are both Class 3 and both provide an exciting trip catered to absolute beginners (over 12yrs & min. 90 pounds). They are just a slightly different style of rapids. The Sunwapta River has slightly smaller rapids but very fast and more continuous whereas on the Fraser River, the rapids are larger but broken up into sections with smaller sections in between. So on the Fraser you get a nice breather between each larger set. Also about half way down the Fraser River run, we bring the rafts to the shore for a short portage around Rearguard Falls. You get a nice view of the Falls! The only other difference to note is that the Fraser River trip is a 5 hour round-trip including the transportation from Jasper (2 hours on-water time) which is a little longer than the Sunwapta which is 4-hour round trip (1.5 hours on-water time).
All our rivers are within the level where you don’t need any previous experience and typically adults have more fun on one of our Class 3 options. The class 2+ is suited to families with young kids (from 5 yrs old) and has small splashy rapids with calm floats between. If you are active adults looking for a fun whitewater experience, you might find it a bit mild. The Fraser River is the largest whitewater in the area. It has large rolling rapids but they are broken up into sections with smaller whitewater in between. So you get a nice break between each larger set. It is an exciting and fun trip but still within the Class 3 range which is suitable for beginners – nothing too crazy. Your river guide does all the steering of the raft and all instructions are provided. The rapids on the Sunwapta are slightly smaller than the Fraser but fast and more consistent. It starts with a calm float but once you start hitting the rapids, it is continuous till the end (no calmer breaks in between). Either the Sunwapta River or the Fraser River would be a good choice for you.
For the Class 2+ Canyon Run, the total round-trip time is 3.5 hours which includes approximately 1.5 hours on water, transport to/from river, safety briefing & time to change into/out of equipment. For the Class 3 Sunwapta, the total round-trip time is 4 hours which includes approximately 1.5 hours on water, transport to/from river, safety briefing & time to change into/out of equipment. For the Class 3+ Fraser River, the total round-trip time is 5 hours which includes approximately 2 hours on water, transport to/from river, safety briefing & time to change into/out of equipment.
Rafting trips depart rain or shine. Because of the mountains, storms moving through Jasper National Park are patchy and tend to pass quickly. It is very rare for a trip to be cancelled due to weather. In the instance of lightening in close proximity to our rafting area, the trip would be postponed slightly and would continue once the storm passes.
We supply licensed raft guides, self-bailing rafts, all necessary technical equipment including paddles, wetsuits, neoprene booties, paddle jackets and life jackets. On Sunwapta & Fraser river’s helmets are also supplied. Helmets are NOT necessary for Athabasca Expressway & Canyon Run and therefore not supplied nor permitted for insurance reasons.
We supply wetsuits, paddle jackets, life jackets, neoprene booties and helmets (if applicable). You will need to wear a swim suit (or swim shorts) under the wetsuit so please be ready with your swim suit on under your normal street clothes to make the change process easier once down by the river. Bring a towel and warm clothing for afterwards. Trips do depart rain or shine therefore, if the weather is cold or stormy or if you tend to get cold easily, you should bring extra clothing to wear under your paddle jacket. Polypropylene, fleece or wool garments provide the best insulation when wet (no cotton). We also suggest you bring some water and a snack to enjoy after the trip. You will leave all belongings in the bus while on the river and the bus will meet you at the river take-out.
We do not have change rooms at the river. The guides will lay out a tarp and some people choose to change on the bus. We suggest already having your swimsuit on under your street clothes. This way you can just slip on the wetsuit on over your swimsuit. For anyone that is uncomfortable there is an outhouse available at the river put-in location.
The Fraser River & Sunwapta River both have outhouses at the river Entry & Exit points however the Athabasca Canyon Run only has an outhouse at the river Entry point. It is worth noting though that from the exit point of the Athabasca Canyon Run, it is only a short 15 minute drive back to Jasper town and there is a public washroom building located directly opposite our downtown office (in the carpark where the bus will drop you off).
We have wetsuits in all sizes including larger sizes up to 4 x XL (4XL).
Anything you bring with you, you can leave on the bus. Our driver will lock the bus while unattended. We’ve never had any issues, but for your own peace of mind, we suggest leaving valuables securely stored at your hotel.
Typically the helmets do help keep them on, however being in a water environment, we cannot guarantee. It would therefore be at your own risk. Depending on the style of your glasses, you may be able to buy straps that fit onto your glasses. These are available for purchase from Pure Outdoors Retail Shop which is at the same location as our office where you will check-in for your rafting trip.
Our photographer will take photos of each raft at specific points along the river. Usually within about 3 hours following your trip, photos your rafting adventure will be available to preview & purchase on our website. Please visit raftjasper.com, click “Buy Photos” and select your trip date. Photo prices are as follows: 1 Photo: $15 3 Photos: $25 All Photos: $35.
Due to the water environment, we don’t recommend clients bring personal cameras or phones on river however clients are welcome to bring a GoPro if they wish. On the Sunwapta & Fraser most of our helmets have Go Pro Mounts. You will need to bring your own Go Pro housing case. On the Athabasca Canyon Run, helmets are not required and therefore won’t be supplied. We suggest clients wishing to use their GoPro on the Canyon Run to bring a chest strap.
The Canyon Run starts at the base of Athabasca Falls, however the waterfall drops through a deep and narrow canyon, therefore it is not possible to see the actual full waterfall from our launch point at the base of the falls. The bus however does drive across a bridge that overlooks the falls on our approach to the base. If you sit on the left side of the bus, you may get a brief glimpse of the falls. To explore the area fully, we suggest returning later with your own vehicle. The falls are just 30km from Jasper downtown.
All participants wishing to go on our rafting trip are required to sign our standard liability waiver prior to departing on any of our rafting trips. Those under 18 require a parent or guardian to sign for them. There are no exceptions on this.
You would need to accompany them. All minors (under 18) must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Due to our safety protocol and licensing requirements, children must be at least 5 years old to go on our rafting trips.
For safety reasons, participants must be both 12 years old and over 90 pounds/41kg. We are bound by our licensing body to adhere to these requirements. The weight is required to help them stay in the boat and the age restriction is in place to ensure participants are deemed old enough to have the mental capacity for self-rescue.
For insurance purposes, the Fraser River Rapids are classified as a Class 3 so your current insurance policy should be sufficient.
All rafting bookings are subject to our 48 hour cancellation policy. Any changes or cancellation of the booking must be made 48 hours prior to departure for a full refund. Within 48 hours refunds & changes are not permitted.
To arrange a babysitter, please contact My Jasper Nanny online at http://myjaspernanny.ca or by phone 1-780-852-9766.
Unfortunately our tours cannot accommodate dogs (exceptions made for Registered Service Dogs with Dog ID & certificate).