When you’re thinking about kid-friendly summer activities in Jasper, rafting isn’t usually the first thing that comes to mind, right? Wrong. Jasper Raft Tours has a rafting trip that’s friendly for all ages, from toddlers to grandparents.
Kid-friendly in mind, you can take kids two and up on the Jasper Raft Trip through Jasper National Park on the Athabasca River. The two to three hour round trip passes through multiple sets of smaller rapids (class two) and calm stretches of water for you to enjoy the view (and dry off if you’re in the end of the boat).
The oar powered rafts are comfortable, easy to get in and out of, and give you the perfect place to ask questions of your guide. While the guide takes care of the rowing, you can enjoy the scenery, learn a few local facts and keep your eyes open for wildlife.
First up, you’ll meet at the train station in Jasper where you’ll load the bus and head up to the put-in point at Athabasca River. After everyone has their life jackets on, it’s time to load into the raft and start the tour!
Here’s what you should know before you go:
- Leave your wallet, keys, phone etc. on the bus. It’s going to be safe on the bus because the bottom of the raft can get quite wet and if you’re with small children, you’re going to need all the hands that you can get.
- Bring something dry (and warm) for after the raft and leave it on the bus. Our kids were pretty cold, and appreciated the sweaters and towel that we brought along and left in a bag on the bus.
- The trip is two to three hours including transportation time. If you have children that aren’t going to be happy spending about ninety minutes on the river, confined to a raaft, you may want to find an alternate activity.
- How wet will you get? That depends on your guide, and where you’re sitting on the boat. We sat at the end of the boat and through the tour, the operator switched back and forth between ends facing the front. We were pretty wet. Others sitting in the middle of the boat were barely wet, so if you want to stay dryer than the rest of the boat, try and grab a seat in the middle. We dressed our kids in long sleeve swimsuits, doubling for sun protection, wind protection and something that will dry quick on the raft!
- Wear water shoes, sandals or other footwear that you don’t mind getting wet. We had pretty soggy feet by the end of the trip!
- Tours operate rain or shine, keep this in mind when you’re booking your tour on Jasper Raft Tours
- The rapids that you go through are class two, maximum. It’s enough to keep it thrilling for a ten year old, but still gentle enough that a two year old is going to fall asleep on the second half of the trip (even when she was drenched with water!)
Our kids loved the raft tour, and it was the highlight of our weekend in Jasper. Before embarking on the tour with Jasper Tourism, we didn’t know that kid-friendly rafting tours existed and assumed we would have to wait until the kids are older to have that kind of adventure.
The kid-friendly Jasper Rafting Tour varies in price, from $10 for children under five, $25 for children over five, and $75 for adults. You can visit www.jasperrafttours.com to learn more.