Near Vancouver, Canada, a couple of hours drive up into the mountains, lies the resort town of Whistler. Most famous for it’s snowboarding in the winter and downhill biking in the summer, adventure activities are in abundance here. Whistler really is a paradise for any adrenaline chasers, with activities such as; snowmobiling, zip-lining, bungee jumping, snowboarding, biking, hiking and so much more. One of the experiences I needed to tick off my bucket list, was white water rafting.
A friend of mine had a hook-up at local company ‘The Adventure Group’, so I took full advantage tagging along one morning to book a rafting trip. As part of our local/mates rate deal, we had to go on the beginner tour – the ‘Cheakamus River’ trip. Apparently this experience was to be a ‘mild rafting adventure for those craving a scenic tour’. Now if I had a choice the adrenaline junkie in me would have quite liked to book the scary looking; ‘Elaho-Squamish River’, however seeing as I was getting a sweet deal, I was happy with whatever I could get!
The scenery in and around Whistler is something else; beautiful towering mountains, dense forests and glistening lakes, so I was excited to explore more of the area by river. What better way to get our adventure fix and take in some of the stunning scenery, than to get on a raft? Cheakamus river flows from Cheakamus lake, through the Cheakamus Valley, to Daisy Lake. Apparently the river is a popular kayaking route and it’s easy to see why, with the beautiful setting.
We rocked up to Whistler town centre to meet our group, jumping on a shuttle bus for the short journey to Paradise Valley. Our tour guides (and new best friends) did an amazing job at getting us pumped up for our rafting experience, they literally didn’t stop. It was joke after joke, fun facts and hilarious anecdotes; they really got you excited.
At the starting point we were met with refreshments, which I was not expecting – some drinks and a selection of delicious fruit! We were also handed our snazzy wetsuits, (which made me feel like a power ranger) we got into the gear and I was ready for my adventure!
We carried our raft down to the waters edge and piled into the boat. Now I should mention, that my friend and I were being joined by a family on our trip. This didn’t bode well for the adventure junkies; that two kids around 10 or 12, were allowed on this rafting trip. I realised that maybe we had booked an incredibly low-key version of white-water rafting! But I still had high hopes that it would be an exhilarating experience.
We headed off, with one of our very enthusiastic tour guides, Deano, and I quickly realised that this really was going to be a more ‘floating’ experience. This trip is class 1-2 rapids, I didn’t really know what that meant when we booked it, but basically it means they are super easy! Deano shouted at us to ‘paddle, paddle, paddle’ but honestly I think we could have just let the river do the work. Don’t get me wrong it was still thrilling, bouncing around in the raft, and in some parts we went quite fast, but it wasn’t overly scary. It was still an awesome day, despite being more relaxing, rather than thrilling. The highlight for me was when the kids got to run around the outside ledge of the raft, much to their slightly protective dad’s terror – quite amusing for us to watch go down.
Prices for the Cheakamus River rafting tour start at $99. However if you decide to go up a level or two, prices range from $109 – $169. I would definitely recommend a slightly more difficult rapid than the Cheakamus River if you are looking for an adrenaline fuelled afternoon. Keep an eye out on The Adventure Group’s Facebook page for any deals, or discounts.
WHAT TO BRING
All you need for a day of rafting is a swimsuit, a towel and a waterproof camera. They provide you with a wetsuit. However it does states on the website that you are allowed to bring your own, if you don’t want to look like a Power Ranger, but who wouldn’t?
The team at ‘The Adventure Group’ were awesome. Our tour guides definitely made the day more enjoyable, with jokes and interesting facts throughout the trip. The Cheakamus River trip takes around 4.5 hours all in, but you do get your refreshments to keep you going! The rapids weren’t the most difficult; they were fun and bouncy and it was worth it for the breathtaking scenery alone. If you are with a young family, or want a more relaxing trip down the river; definitely check out the ‘Cheakamus River’ trip. However if you want more adrenaline, try the ‘Elaho-Squamish River’ trip.