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“Kicking Horse Rafting Experience a MUST DO”
Review of Hydra River Guides

Hydra River Guides
Ranked #2 of 44 Outdoor Activities in Banff
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Rafting on the Kicking Horse is a MUST DO activity during your vacation to the Canadian Rockies. Let Hydra River Guides introduce you to the water we call home. We offer rafting trips to suit all budgets and abilities, starting at only $55. 180,000 rafters can’t be wrong. Are you ready to join us?
Reviewed August 12, 2017

Today my family and I went rafting on the Kicking Horse river with Hydra and it was one of the best experiences of my life! Before (or after) you go out on the water, they serve you a nice BBQ burger lunch - complete with brownies, yum! - and then they give you an informative but highly amusing low-down on safety issues. Then you suit up in wetsuits (mine was purple and I was most pleased) and split you up into groups and take some photos before you head down to the water.
Our tour guide and Captain of the Waters, Kyle, was funny, informative, and impressed us right off the bat by learning everyone's names and finding out about us. He easily taught us all the lingo we needed to know, let us go for a dip in the river to cool off (it gets HOT in those wet suits when the sun is beating down) and then took us for the most wild ride ever!
At no point did I feel scared or unsafe, and I'm not exactly a thrill-seeker. Kyle kept us all right on track and took us to bits of the rapids that he knew we'd enjoy, once he gauged our skill level and knew what we could handle.
Once you reach the end, they bring you back up via schoolbus and you can see your photos (someone hikes down to the river to snap shots of you as you go past!) and you peel off your gear and say goodbye.
I cannot express enough how friendly, funny, and knowledgeable every single person who works there is. They made this the BEST day and I would (and will) do it again in a heartbeat. You can't get tired of rafting down that river with those amazing people.

Thank emilybozik55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"bbq lunch"
in 44 reviews
"white water rafting"
in 77 reviews
"safety talk"
in 37 reviews
"classic trip"
in 17 reviews
"safety briefing"
in 27 reviews
"class rapids"
in 28 reviews
"splash jackets"
in 7 reviews
"potato salad"
in 9 reviews
"rafting trip"
in 35 reviews
"wet suits"
in 22 reviews
"these guys"
in 24 reviews
"great fun"
in 31 reviews
"adrenaline rush"
in 9 reviews
"awesome experience"
in 20 reviews
"rafting companies"
in 9 reviews
"great guide"
in 25 reviews
"a lot of fun"
in 22 reviews
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Reviewed August 11, 2017

Trans continental Hwy 1 is a scenic drive but due to an accident further down we got held up on the road for about an hour and half. Hydra heard about the delay and called to re-assure us that most folks booked for the 1 PM slot were delayed so they were postponing the trip to 2.30 PM.

Eventually we arrived at the spot called Beaverfoot. A bit of off-roading to get to this place, but their driving directions were phenomenal so no trouble getting there.
We were given full length wetsuits, neoprene boots, life jacket and a helmet. We were told not to go commando! For an extra fee one could get an extra neoprene jacket to keep warm. I tend to overheat so I chose not to. There were good roomy changing rooms to get outfitted. Out in the sun it was suffocatingly hot in all that gear, but Hydra hosed you down with water to get you acclimatized. Once they hit you with cold water you immediately realized how cold the river was going to be. All the attendants were young, cheery and funny as hell.
All our rafting guides were from down-under and had that cool Aussie accent. We got assigned 'Sam the man' who was hilarious. Sam had us pose for a group picture and joked unless we showed off our guns he'd have us thrown overboard. He kept everyone wildly entertained albeit tiny bit risque jokes!. He also turned out to be the best guide.

Thank Amudha Muthiah C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 11, 2017 via mobile

My daughter and I had a blast on our trip through the rapids! Our guide Jan was fantastic! He was funny and knowledgeable not only about the river but also Canada and the area we were passing through. Would definitely take this trip again!

Thank helendb123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 11, 2017 via mobile

One of the items on our Canada bucketlist was white water rafting. HYDRA did a fantastic job of getting that checked off the list. From the moment we stepped into the building to check in-to the moment we left, the staff was friendly, fun, professional, and helpful. The BBQ was good (although in Texas, we would call it "grilling'). The food was good and plentiful. Our guide Kyle was perfect. He mixed in fun with great stories of the area, all the while making sure we were safe and having a blast. He also provided great recommendations of other places to visit. His recommendations were spot on.

We are already planning a return trip for next year!

Thank Coastal111809
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed August 10, 2017

Yes its very exciting a few times on the water, our guide was super, but I felt the overall experience was a bit disorganized and the mood of the staff was one of boredom of routine, starting with the unfriendly reception at the checkin by a fancy moustache who had an air of 'I'm too good for this' - and maybe he is.

We were given no information such as "go have lunch, then we will have a safety meeting at ## oclock...etc" - We mostly asked other guests where we were in our itinerary for the afternoon. In general, I'm sorry we got there on time as we stood around for quite a while in the heat with warm water and diluted lemonade to drink. This is a large organization...a bit cruise ship in style of herding us here and there.

On the water, well of course you are going to have fun! I appreciated the easy-going nature of the guide - allowing us to dunk in the water a bit in the calm areas.

But, what really left a bad taste in my mouth at the end of the adventure, was the 'opportunity' to pay $30 for a photo. I was speechless. Is this the norm now? I would guess from the number of people who came to pay this amount, the photographer made very little compared to what he/she (?) could make by setting up a website and offering different pricing scenarios.

Thank Family_o_fun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HydraBanff, General Manager at Hydra River Guides, responded to this reviewResponded August 11, 2017

Hello

Thank you for your review. I am surprised to hear this feedback regarding your trip. Our guests normally have a great time at our river base, with our staff and on the water (as you can see by the other reviews). We did receive a personal email from you claiming "you had a wonderful time with great memories" and even complimented your guide. However, you voiced concern about the $30 price tag for the photos in your email, but we did explain that the $30 USB cost is for 10 - 15 photos (not just one). There are many attractions that charge close to $30 for just a single printed photo. As explained we are the only company to have a photographer who hikes down to take photos of rafts in the class 4 rapids, providing excellent actions shots. I am sorry you feel $30 is too expensive for the USB of photos but there are overhead costs that we need to account for and you were provided with the opportunity to pre-purchase the photos prior to your trip for a discounted rate. I am sorry to see this review, but not shocked as you told us in your email, you were intending to write this if we didn't rectify the USB price. Have a great day.
Team Hydra

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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