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Whistler Kayaking

The Ultimate Guide to Whistler Kayaking

Kayaking can range from a quiet, relaxing way to spend an afternoon on the lake and an adrenaline-filled extreme sport. The difference between the two is stark, creating difficulty when guiding people to what is Whistler kayaking. For many, a gentle paddle down the river or around the lake is all they want. Others are after stomach-dropping waterfalls, fast-moving water, and class 4 rapids. We are here to help guide you to your ideal Whistler Kayaking adventure.

Kayaking on the Lake

First, we will help the easy-going vacationers after some sun and a relaxing time on the lake. There are many spots to go for a relaxing paddle. There are five lakes in Whistler, and they all have canoes and kayak access. The best lake to paddle on is Alta lake. It is the most accessible by car and has the most rental options. Backroads Whistler’s location is conveniently at Lakeside park for all kayaking needs.

Kayak Rentals

If you’re looking to rent kayaks in Whistler, Backroads Whistler has a great selection of kayaks and canoes. You can rent canoes and kayaks from Lakeside Park on Alta Lake. They have a range of boats, single kayaks, double kayaks, canoes, and paddle boards, pedal boats, ranging in price from $35-$50 per hour. The rentals are first-come, first-serve, but they rarely run out of boats. Exploring Alta Lake is a great way to spend an afternoon and get some exercise. It is best to paddle south from Lakeside park as the wind and current will bring paddlers north. Paddling back to Lakeside Park from the north end of the lake can be difficult work if the wind picks up. 

Gentle Rivers

The River of Golden Dreams is an easy kayak that is more exciting than paddling around a lake. The River of Golden Dreams takes you from the north end of Alta Lake to Green Lake. The river takes you from the open water into a narrower river with wildflowers lining the river banks and goes through a wetland habitat. Depending on the water level, the river includes one portage around a train bridge but is rarely anything faster than a gentle current. Perfect for your first off-lake kayaking experience. You can take a guided tour or try the river with friends on a self-guided river trip. If you rent from backroads Whistler, the river trips come with a shuttle included, so you do not have to paddle back up the river.

White Water Kayaking

The whitewater kayaking in Whistler is world-renowned. The class 4 and 5 rapids in the Cheakamus River and the Callaghan bring avid kayakers from all over the world. The technical rivers put kayakers to the test with small waterfalls, rocks, and tricky sections. For both rivers, you must organize the shuttle and retrieval of your vehicle and have your own white water equipment and safety devices. The Cheakamus river float starts up the Cheakamus River forest service road and ends at the Function Junction intersection. The Callaghan River starts at Callaghan Lake and floats back down through the old-growth forests to the Sea to Sky Highway. The takeout is just after you cross under the highway.  Both are fun and exciting rivers for experienced kayakers.