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5 ways to float the River of Golden Dreams

The River of Golden Dreams is in Whistler, BC, a two-hour drive north of Vancouver. The scenic views that rise from Alta Lake into the snow-capped mountains in the alpine surrounding the Whistler village are a magnificent backdrop. The float down the River of Golden Dreams can be as relaxing or as exciting as you make it depending on your method of transport, time of year, water levels, and the company you bring with you. Below are five ways to float the River of Golden Dreams.

1. Float the river in a canoe

You can access the river from Lakeside Park, where there is free parking, boat rentals, and all amenities you could need for a day on the river. A canoe is a relaxing way to float the river, with friends helping share the workload paddling down the river. You can relax, coast, pack extra layers, snacks and beverages. All are easily accessible in your boat. The likelihood of tipping is minimal, and the portage will be easier with teamwork. You can rent canoes at Backroads Whistler located at Lakeside Park. With the rental, Backroads provides you with all the river safety gear needed, with the addition of a waterproof jacket for those not-so-nice days and a shuttle back to Whistler Village or Lakeside Park. So, no car drops are necessary.

2. Take a kayak down the River

Kayaks are slightly more maneuverable and independent water vessels to their big brother, the canoe. Kayaking down the river of golden dreams gives a whole new experience. With a much closer seat to the water, you feel a part of the river ecosystem, between wildflower-lined river banks. You can peer under the brush lining the banks. Sights of beaver dens, local fish, and birds that call the marshlands and Alta Lake biospheres home are a regular occurrence. The potential for an occasional harmless black bear sighting to keep you on your toes is just around the corner too. With the self-guided trips, there is no need to worry about paddling back up the river because a shuttle will be waiting at Green lake to bring you back to the Whistler Village, where you can go to enjoy a beverage on one of the many patios in town. RMU is a great option. Their patio sits at the base of Blackcomb Mountain and bathes in the sun most of the day. 

3. Paddleboard down the River of Golden Dreams

Taking a paddleboard down the River of Golden Dreams can be a much more exciting endeavour. Paddleboarding will require more athletic prowess than the kayak or the canoe. The need to balance while propelling yourself down the river will be a welcome challenge for many allowing seasoned veterans to test their paddle boarding skills. Where to start is at Lakeside Park. This gives you a chance to warm up while paddling down beautiful Alta Lake towards the mouth of the River of Golden Dreams. Gaining a sense of the paddleboard is crucial to a successful and dry trip down the river on a paddleboard.


4. Don't take a plastic floaty down the river

The use of plastic floaties like the explorer 200 has been made popular by many blog posts and vloggers. The idea to use these cheaper options is reasonable. But in reality, it can be a nightmare. They do not cost much less than a canoe or kayak rental, they rarely make it down the river without getting a puncture or leak, and they are horrible for the environment. The wise and environmentally conscious decision would be to rent a water vessel from Backroads Whistler at Lakeside Park.

5. Take a River of Golden Dreams Guided tour

When taking a trip down the River of Golden Dreams, it can be a good idea to take a guided tour. The expert guides at Backroads Whistler know all the twists and turns of the river. They give good insight and guidance on any river trip. The river guides at Backroads Whistler will have the most up-to-date and accurate water levels and conditions at the kiosk. The guided tour includes the canoe or kayak rental in its price. So, there is no need to fear getting double charged on your trip. Don’t forget some snacks, water, and some sunscreen!

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