Canoeing & Kayaking

About Canoeing and Kayaking

These two water sports have both similarities and differences, and you can try both to find what you love most. Head out onto the water body of your choice – these slender vessels can take on rivers, lakes, and even oceans. Once you paddle out, you can absorb the beauty of nature from a new perspective, with views you simply cannot have from land. You’ll love the feel of the serene glide of your boat through calm waters, or the challenge of navigating the currents of a river or lapping waves on windy days.

Canoe 15 Maligne Lake Jasper Credit Travel Alberta and Ryan Bray


Originally an ancient mode of transportation, canoeing became a recreational activity in the late 19th century. Though this activity can be done solo, most prefer to work with a partner. You and a friend can coordinate your paddle strokes as you glide over vibrant blue waters and enjoy the peace around you. The open style of the boat allows you to bring extra gear, so you might plan a campfire or BBQ lunch on shore.

Kayak BC 05 Victoria Credit Destination BC and Hubert Kang


Kayaks can be made for single or double riders, and their low-to-the-water design and double paddles, originally created by the Inuit for hunting, makes them agile and nimble watercraft. Because of their range and adaptability, kayaks can enable you to traverse more challenging waters and engage in more ambitious activities, such as diving and whitewater kayaking. Glass-bottom kayaks allow paddlers a glimpse into the watery world below, creating a truly immersive experience.

Canoe 08 Lake Louise Credit Travel Alberta

Far Downstream

It’s not uncommon for canoers and kayakers to go out as a group. Whatever boat you’re taking, you and your fellow paddlers can take your adventure to the next level with a multi-day tour in the backcountry, using the canoes and kayaks to transport your gear and take you to remote locations for a camping experience unlike any other.

Tours with Canoeing and Kayaking

Visit Alberta’s capital city and explore a vibrant urban centre, a plethora of exciting activities that’ll takes you to new places and allow you to discover other cultures. Available May to September.
Leave the crowds behind and go on an adventure! This tour offers a taste of some of the outdoor experiences that the Yukon has to offer. This active 6 day 5 night package departs from Whitehorse.
Enjoy an incredible beachfront experience, search for wildlife in their natural habitat, and go at a relaxing pace to discover hidden gems in the heart of the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Region.
Take a relaxing trip to a coastal village in B.C. with quiet inlets, old growth rainforests, ocean views, rich culture and an abundance of wildlife. The ideal spot to unwind and connect with nature.
Enjoy truly Canadian experiences with bucket list views. Discover what makes Alberta so unique and explore the Rockies like you’ve only dreamt. This 9 day, 8 night package is accessible daily.

Build Your Own Canoeing and Kayaking Tour

Let’s make a trip that’s uniquely yours! You decide how long, which bodies of water, number of inclusions, everything. Start planning now and make your dream trip a reality.

Staff Picks

Johnstone Strait, BC

Paddle alongside orcas, dolphins, and whales in this narrow, glacier-carved passage, surrounded by rainforests and mountains.

Yukon River, YK

Considered the mecca for paddlers, this mighty river can serve up a half-day adventure or more for the truly ambitious. See if you can spot a bald eagle as you float along!

Moraine Lake, AB

This Banff lake is surrounded by rugged mountain peaks, rock formations, and waterfalls, and filled with turquoise or vivid blue-green water, depending on the season in which you visit.



Canoe 02 Peace River Credit Travel Alberta and Mike Seehagel

Upper Body Workout

Paddling builds and tones muscles in your arms, shoulders, back, and core, using the natural resistance of the water for low-impact exercise.

Canoe 12 Jasper Credit Travel Alberta and George Simhoni


Canoeing or kayaking in a pair or group requires and promotes collaboration and communication, and the shared experience helps to build rapport and morale amongst participants.

Kayak BC 02 Kitimat Credit Northern BC Tourism and Andrew Strain

New Terrain

Using these sleek vessels can help you get to destinations inaccessible by foot, car, or larger boat. You can paddle to hidden spots with unbelievable views, places you would be unlikely to ever experience without the aid of a kayak or canoe.

Essential Gear and Equipment

Canoeing and kayaking each require different boats and paddles, but whichever you choose, don’t forget your life jacket! Sun protection is also a must as the water will be reflecting the sun, doubling your exposure to UV rays.


Anytime you decide to go explore any body of water, you should…

  • Check the weather, wind forecast, tide and current tables. 
  • Research the route and take a map with you. 
  • Carry the proper gear for the experience.
  • Bring extra food.
  • Tell someone where you are going.
  • Check with the Parks or tourism office for closures and wildlife updates. 
  • Follow the Leave No Trace principles.
  • Do not feed, touch or approach wildlife.
Canoe 04 Peace River Credit Travel Alberta and Mike Seehagel

Be sure to pay attention to your guide’s instructions, especially when it comes to safety on the water.

You’ll want a waterproof bag or container to store your valuables, especially if you’re bringing along a phone or camera to capture your incredible views and special memories.


Did You Know?

You can head out to the Arctic Circle to do some ocean paddling off of Baffin Island, Nunavut and meet some narwhals, one of nature’s most mysterious creatures. Local experts will lead and guide you through these remote seascapes, and you’ll have a chance to spy polar bears, arctic foxes, and caribou as well. The slice of your paddle through the water may be joined by the telltale blow of a narwhal, and you may get lucky and see their unique spiral tusks suddenly appear above the surface!

Iceberg 01 Nunavut Credit Jason van Bruggen

Have Questions?

Sometimes it’s just easier to talk to someone. Give us a call and let’s discuss how we can create your unique experience.