Chilliwack River Rafting: Conquer The Rapids, Enjoy Quality Family Time And Build Confidence

Chilliwack River Rafting
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The Basics

chilliwack river rafting

If you want to challenge yourself, enjoy an adrenaline rush and conquer the Chilliwack River,  you can find all of this and more with the Chilliwack River Rafting Company. Thousands of newbie river rafters and those with years of rafting experience travel from all over the Lower Mainland, Vancouver and across the globe, just to experience the wet n’ wild of the Chilliwack River.

Perfect for couples, milestone celebrations, team building and families, the Chilliwack River Rafting Company is a fantastic choice for when you are seeking a wild ride along the river. Offering paddle rafting, overnight camping adventures at the Riverside Resort and beginner and professional runs along the river, Chilliwack River Rafting caters to anyone with a whitewater rafting desire.

Established in 1983 and known as British Columbia’s first whitewater rafting resort, the Chilliwack River Rafting Company is situated in the Cascade Mountains right alongside the action-packed Chilliwack River. The Chilliwack Canyon is open to everyone year round at medium water levels and flows. The river always guarantees rafters non-stop whitewater action and whether you are a beginner or a seasoned pro, it is physically demanding.  You definitely need to know your swimming basics.

Are you a rafting pro? Then make sure you don’t miss out on the monster waves along the 14 km-long Chilliwack Canyon or test your abilities on the Chilliwack Extreme!  If it is your first time battling the waves, try the Chilliwack Classic where you can enjoy just as much of the adrenaline action. (Don’t worry, you are given the choice to walk around rougher rapids.)

Chilliwack River Rafting

The fun doesn’t stop with rafting as you can enjoy paddling an inflatable kayak through the rampant rapids, camp overnight and even become a rafting guide by taking their guide school course!

When it is time to relax after a long run on the water, head over to the Riverside Resort where you can relax and unwind in a warm sauna, enjoy a hot shower, camp overnight, roast marshmallows over a campfire and mingle with other guests.

Trip Options Include:

The Classic Trip

This trip is recommended for beginners and is the most popular run. Rafters are placed in the rafts at Slesse Creek and ride the rapids for 14km. Then there is a short hike to Butterfly Falls, snacks and then it’s back to the waves you go! You’ll get some more rafting experience in once you hit Allison Pool, Fisherman’s Drop and Trailer Park Rapids. Then it is 15 minutes of non-stop adrenaline-pumping whitewater action on the Tamahi rapids. There is always an option for more timid rafters to walk around the Tamahi rapids. Check out this trip here.

The Canyon Trip

Ride rapids like Carousel, Godzilla, Pinball, Gun Barrel and the Double Whammy and you will never be the same. As the Chilliwack River Rafting Company’s most popular run, it offers excitement and thrills throughout the whitewater adventure! It is available year-round at medium water flows. Perfect for hard-core rafters, the Canyon trip is the company’s signature raft trip and features continuous 3 and 4+ rapids for all you adrenaline junkies out there. Check out this trip here.

The Classic Extreme Trip

When the rapids turn wild during high waters in the Spring, Chilliwack River Rafting offers rafters an “extreme” version of the Classic trip which includes loads of thrills and mind-blowing monster wave fun! After one exciting run down the Tamahi rapids, you will head right back up for a double slam of wet n’ wild fun! Check out this trip here.

All the rafting equipment such as helmets, wet suits and life jackets are included during your visit. A buffet lunch and snacks are part of your trip and you can enjoy a hot shower after you have battled the waves! You will have a short but thorough safety talk before you get into your raft or kayak and you will also have a safety kayaker professional out there with you at all times. All you need to bring are running shoes that can get wet(or aqua shoes), a wool fleece if you tend to get cold easily, a bathing suit and the urge to conquer the Chilliwack waves!

Three Highlights that Make This Family-Friendly Attraction Unique

Chilliwack River Rafting

Activities and Amenities Provided Include:

  • Inflatable kayaking excursions
  • The Classic Rafting trip
  • The Classic Extreme trip
  • The Canyon Rafting trip
  • Overnight camping at Riverside Resort
  • Fire pits and unlimited firewood
  • Hot showers
  • Warm Sauna
  • Tasty buffet lunch and snacks for day trippers
  • Meals and snacks for overnight campers
  • Guide School/employment opportunities

Tips for Visitors: Some Things To Know Before You Go

  • Bring a fleece wool sweater if you get cold easily.
  • Bring aqua shoes or running shoes that have grips and that can get wet.
  • There are parts of the rafting trips where you hike and it can be a bit difficult for some individuals if you have any issues with your feet. (Wear supportive running shoes)
  • If you have younger kids, they may get colder faster in certain months. Bring wool hats to go under helmets or gloves as hands will be bare.
  • If you are taking children with you, I recommend the Classic Trip to start. It offers them the opportunity to build confidence in the sport and understand the basic rowing rules before battling higher waves.
  • Make sure everyone you are bringing knows how to swim.
  • Be prepared that you will be smacked about by the waves in the Chilliwack River and know that whitewater rafting does have risks and that it is considered an extreme sport.
  • Listen to your guide’s commands at all times and repeat the command to the people at the front of the raft who may not be able to hear as well.
  • If you have younger ones, (small in weight or under 12), put them behind you in the raft so they can grab onto your life jacket when they need to for support and safety.

Our Family Experience At Chilliwack River Rafting

Chilliwack River Rafting

We decided to go and try this wet, thrilling experience on Father’s Day this year and really knocked all of the other Fathers Day’s out of the park! We arrived with a warm welcome from Russ Brown, the President of the company and then we quickly checked in at the front office to secure our trip for the day. Little did we know the kind of adventure we were in for!

After checking in we were provided with a hearty lunch featuring homemade chili (a vegetarian option was available),  rolls,  pasta salad,  green salad and some sort of chocolate marble cake which was loved by the kids. We enjoyed the buffet lunch and it provided us with the energy we needed to battle the waves of the Chilliwack River.

After a tasty lunch we picked up our gear including helmets, wet suits, fleece sweaters, life jackets, paddles and more and waited to climb aboard the bus.  We had a pretty large group made up of people from Europe, Asia and other provinces across Canada. I could tell the kids were both excited and nervous as we travelled on the bus to Slesse Creek where we were to board our rafts. It being my first time whitewater rafting, I must admit that I was a bit nervous too.

Russ, the president of the company and leader of the group, gave us a quick but thorough safety talk and provided us with helpful tips on what to do in any type of emergency while on the water. I felt comfort in the fact that there would be a safety and rescue person kayaking through the water with us.

After Russ was finished, we all double checked our gear and climbed down the rocks to the water. I would advise anyone who has issues with their feet or who doesn’t have strong balance should definitely hold onto someone strong and who has balance when climbing down to the water and rafts.

We then travelled down the river and conquered our first waves. As none of us had done this type of extreme activity before, we didn’t know what to expect. Not knowing was a large part of the adrenaline rush! We got thrown around by the waves, splashed and soaked and it was great fun for all of us.

We then stopped for a bit and hiked to Butterfly Falls where we could cross under the falls and get our photos taken. They also had a professional photographer clicking away throughout the entire trip which was helpful as we forgot our water camera in the car. The kids loved climbing across the falls as they are great when it comes to climbing and they were absolutely soaked by the time they crossed back.

We then made it back to our rafts for some more whitewater action. We continued to warm up on various runs like Fisherman’s Drop, Alison Pool and the Trailer Park rapids, all which prepared us for the raging 15 minute run on the Tamahi rapids. We were thrown up and down and we worked hard as a team to keep our raft in line and on course.

We did have a couple blips in the run as one of the kids was hit in the mouth with her own paddle, but she was a tough cookie and prevailed!  We managed to get ourselves over some rather large river rocks by shifting our weight and using our paddles and we kept strong all the way until the end.

At the end we were given the option to do the last part of the Tamahi rapids that we all walked around but it was a bit too much for our younger kids.  Our teen girl,  as well as her dad and I wanted to do it, but it was a family/team decision to finish there.  It was definitely a day of adrenaline-pumping action!

My Final Thoughts

I highly recommend this type of activity for developing stronger bonds, practicing teamwork and for building confidence in kids, young and old.  If you are doing this activity as a family, hold on tight and make sure everyone is listening to the commands that the raft guide is giving you. I could see how this activity opened up our 11 year old who is sometimes shy. He came out of his shell, sounded confident and was very brave.

Remember that there is always risk, so make sure everyone knows this in your family and be aware that there might be a few bruises along the way. The more everyone knows about the activity, the more they will handle situations much better and with confidence. Some kids (and those who are kids at heart) might be more timid than others so respect how they are feeling.

Our hosts for the day, Russ, Susan and the guides were lovely and very kind. We felt safe and well taken care of. We would return to Chilliwack River Rafting in a heartbeat and probably challenge ourselves to the more difficult part of the Tamahi rapids at the end.

When it comes to building confidence, this is a great activity for the whole family to enjoy and it is definitely one of the most exciting things we have done as a family so far. If you get a chance, try it out with your family and friends this summer!


Chilliwack River Rafting

49704 Chilliwack Lake Road

Chilliwack, BC

Tel: 1-800-410-7238

* A special thank you to Susan Anstett and Russ Brown for arranging this visit and making it a fun-filled day for our family *

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Natasha Lees

Natasha Lees

Natasha Lees is a dedicated and professional travel copywriter with over 16 years of experience in the travel and tourism industry. Some of her past and current roles include the New York Times travel channel on, Trivago, Sunwing Vacation Group,, Mastercard Caribbean, Princess Cruises,, and a variety of other worldwide travel media resources.