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Canoeing on the Athabasca River in Alberta, Canada

| CA-TT501

5-Day Guided Athabasca River Canoe Trip - Transportation from Edmonton Included


Hop in a canoe on the undeniably beautiful Athabasca River and discover serenity in the remote Canadian wilderness!


  • Canoeing on the Athabasca River
  • Canoe training on a quiet lake
  • Exploring a true Canadian wilderness
  • Camping around a cozy fireplace
  • Paddling through historic trading routes
  • Fishing or swimming under open skies

Canada is home to some of the best canoeing on the planet and the Athabasca River is no exception. Winding its way across wide emerald forests, the river offers plenty of fun rapids and is a perfect wilderness getaway for beginners and experts alike. Along the way, explore the historic routes of the First Nations and early European explorers. You’ll also have lots of opportunities to enjoy fishing in unspoiled trout streams or take a refreshing swim in the heart of the Canadian wilderness.

Once you’ve discovered this paddler’s paradise, it’s certain to stay with you forever!

Meeting point: Choose whether to be picked up at Edmonton or Hinton, Alberta.

  • Trusted Tour Operator
  • Small group
  • Expert guides
Availability June - Sept
Duration 5 days
Departs From Edmonton
Difficulty Moderate
Group maximum 12
Minimum age 12
Meet on Location No
Pick Up Yes


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  • Best Price Guarantee
  • International number: +1 778 348 1676

Availability (2024): June - September
Price: $1385 CAD per person
Based on double occupancy.

  • June 10-14
  • June 17-21
  • June 24-28
  • July 1-5
  • July 8-12
  • July 15-19
  • July 22-26
  • July 29-Aug 2
  • August 5-9
  • August 12-16
  • August 19-23
  • August 26-30
  • Sept 2-6

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What's Included


  • Transportation to and from Edmonton
  • Accommodations in tent campsites along the river
  • Camping and cooking gear
  • Camping fees
  • Tent
  • 2-person canoes and equipment
  • Hard foam mattress
  • Canoe bags
  • Canoe instruction with an experienced guide (English, German, French)
  • All taxes

What to bring

  • Warm jacket
  • Hiking boots
  • Rain gear
  • Hat
  • Bathing Suit
  • Towel

Not Included

  • Meals while camping. A cash food kitty will be collected from each participant at the beginning of the tour. The group decides the meal plan. The guide of course has suggestions and recipes and will gladly look after the grocery shopping. The guides are perfectly able to do the kitchen chores alone, but will certainly accept your help. You need about $20 per day for the three camping meals. Dietary requests such as vegan and gluten free are available.
  • Sleeping bag, sleeping pad, day pack
  • Personal equipment
  • Fishing license
  • Gratuities

Contact us for more Information about this tour


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Find out more details about the tour and its highlights


Canoeing Tour in Blue River at Alberta

Our wilderness canoe trip begins in the town of Hinton, located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, and ends in the town of Whitecourt. This engaging 160-km (100-mi) route takes us along some of the most scenic parts of the Athabasca River. We’ll be paddling along the forested river valley and following historic fur trade routes. As there are no towns and houses along the route, you’ll find yourself lost in the pristine nature.

The Athabasca River is the longest river in Alberta and the section located in Jasper National Park is designated as a Canadian Heritage River. The river flows through verdant forests and drains into the Arctic Ocean. Its lush landscapes draw numerous types of plants and wildlife. So keep an eye out for some remarkable wild animals in their natural habitats!

In spring, the river feeds on glacial meltwater, generating a powerful flow. That said, expect more thrills if you go early in the season. However, if you aim for clear and tranquil waters, the fall is perfect. The trip includes a couple of days of intense training on quiet waters that will prepare you for the days on the pulsating untamed river.  

Meeting point: Choose whether to be picked up at Edmonton or Hinton, Alberta.

aerial view of edmonton city in canada

Meet your guide and the rest of the group in Edmonton. Pickup from Edmonton is at 8 a.m. We can also pick up guests in the town of Hinton, located close to Jasper National Park (about 1-hour drive east of Jasper). Pickup from Hinton is at 11 a.m.

Once everyone is on our van, we’ll head west to the starting point of our canoe adventure. During this 3-hour drive, kick back and enjoy the picturesque scenery whizz by the window.

Once we arrive, take a deep breath of fresh, outdoor air and get acclimatized to your new surroundings. Pitch your tent by the lake and get ready for an afternoon of canoe training on quiet waters. Expert guides will provide you with canoe-specific skills and emergency procedures including hand signals. You’ll learn some basic paddle strokes that will help you to maneuver your canoe more effectively.

You’ll also be advised on minimal impact or “leave no trace” camping in the wilderness. Our group will camp in the untouched wilderness without causing harm to its precious ecosystem.

In the evening, a welcome dinner awaits.

athabasca glacial river in jasper national park

Today we start our wilderness canoe trip. You may leave any non-essential luggage in the hold of the bus. Then, gear up and start paddling along the amazing Athabasca River.

At first, we move slowly to get used to the ever-moving water. Keep in mind that your paddling speed is highly dependent on the water level.

The following days, you’ll spend 5-6 hours on the river in the company of your fellow travelers. Be enchanted by the serene beauty of nature, punctuated by close encounters with fascinating wildlife. En route, keep your eyes peeled for wild geese, beavers, eagles, elk, bear, and moose.

Our route will change from relaxing, drifting downstream, to more challenging rapids or turns. Beginners will get to try out their newfound canoe skills and more experienced paddlers will still find plenty of challenges and have loads of fun in this wild setting. Sometimes you might have to drag the boat over a shallow point but there are no portages on this trip.

We’ll pitch our tents on sandy islands or pleasant spots along the shore. During the trip, you’ll have ample time to enjoy swimming or fishing. Spend the nights around warming campfires to the crackle of a fire. If it’s a colder season and we’re lucky, one of the world’s most fascinating natural wonders - the Northern Lights - will illuminate the dark night sky.

Today is the last day of our canoeing adventure. Arrive at the town of Whitecourt where the bus is waiting for you. We congratulate ourselves on finishing the 160-km (100-mi) route. In the evening, we come back to Edmonton.

We thank you for joining this tour and hope you had the adventure of a lifetime! Until next time!

  • No previous experience is required for this canoe trip. International classification of difficulty (1 is lowest, 5 is highest) rates this stretch of the Athabasca River as Class I overall with a few Class I and II rapids & one Class III rapid.
  • At this time of year, expect pleasant weather. Average summer temperatures run around 15-25°C (59-77°F) on average. However, don’t forget to bring a warm jacket for chilly mornings. A recommended packing list will be provided upon booking.
  • The minimum age of participants is 12 years old. Family tours can be arranged for families with kids as young as 8 years old.
  • Several tour departures offer German and/or French-speaking guides.

This is a wilderness trip. Interrupting the tour is difficult once started and is only attempted in case of emergency. The guide has a satellite telephone.

Payment Details

Deposit and Taxes

Taxes included.

No deposit is required to hold your reservation.

Balance of payment is due 30 days before trip commencement.


In case of cancellation of the travel agreement, we are entitled to a cancellation fee. The cancellation should be in writing and forwarded to us. From the date of receipt the cancellation fee is calculated as follows:

  • 31 or more days before the start of the tour: full refund less credit card fees
  • 21st -30th day before the start of tour: full refund less 20%
  • 14th -20th day before the start of tour: full refund less 40%
  • 8th -13th day before the start of tour: full refund less 60%
  • 1st -7th day before the start of the tour: no refund unless you find a replacement.