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“Relaxing & scenic hidden area of Whistler”

Backroads Whistler - River of Golden Dreams
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Discover Whistler's original summer activity the legendary River of Golden Dreams and scenic Alta Lake – The flat water river is more than just a float it’s a Exploring Adventure. Beaver, Eagles, Osprey, Heron’s and even Black Bears are regular sights will have you eagerly wondering what’s around the next bend in the river including spectacular views of mountain peaks in a natural environment. Our River trips have limited availability and often sell out, please pre book to assure your spot. Unlike an amusement park ride River of Golden Dreams trips allow you to be an active participant. One of the reasons people keep coming back to paddle the river is it is different every time they come. In the spring the water levels can be high and moving though always flat and no rapids. By mid-summer water levels are gentle. By late summer the beaver start rebuilding their dams creating pools to paddle in. Water levels are low and steering the boat properly avoids obstacles. Guides are recommended though experienced river paddlers go unguided. It’s most certainly not what you expected. Our staff present river orientations to make this a fun, eco-friendly, educational exploring outing. Located at Lakeside Park minutes from Whistler Village. Free Transportation is available for River of Golden Dreams Tours from all Whistler Village hotels and vacation/ holiday accommodations.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children, Wheelchair access, Food available for purchase, Bathroom facilities
Reviewed 8 September 2016 via mobile

We took the two person per boat canoe tour. The tour starts with a mini bus ride to Lake Alta. The guides were very friendly and do most of the heavy lifting of the canoes.

Once aboard you paddle out to the middle of the lake and get used to the paddling. Lake Alta was very pretty with many sail boats. We saw Bald Eagles flying over the lake.

Next you paddle across the Lake to the river entrance. The river grasses were very pretty. We were there on a low water day and had many opportunities to problem solve how to get unstuck in shallow areas. The river had many bends and I would consider this an intermediate canoe journey ...or a place to test the endurance of your relationship with your significant other :)

I was surprised for such a large group how most of the river ride we were alone on the river. It was really nice to feel alone in such a beautiful area. Lots of bird watching along journey. Very relaxing!

There were a few rapid areas with small drops over beaver dams to make the trip exciting for my teens. They also enjoyed small competitions for who can get in front of who during stretches of the river with attempt to get the other canoe stuck.

There was a portage point on the trek. Most of the portage had wheeled carts, but there is a pointest we had to carry the canoes. I would warn that this may be strenuous for some people.

At the end of the ride you paddle to a dock with a steep boat exit. The guides help you with the exit. You are next to a park where you can relax as you wait for the rest of the group to finish. You then board the bus and are driven back by the guides to the village.

This was a very nice day and I would recommend for those who want to get on the water and try a different activity to break up your Mt. Biking days while in the Whistler area.





Thank Lisa V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Eric W, Owner at Backroads Whistler - River of Golden Dreams, responded to this reviewResponded 9 July 2017

HI Lisa V
Thanks for your excellent review
We've made some changes to the take out. it's less steep now
have a great summer
Eric

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15 - 19 of 91 reviews

Reviewed 28 August 2016

We have been visiting Whistler twice a year for the past 15 years. In August we decided to do a little Kayaking. I called backroads in the morning and made a reservation for 2:30 that afternoon. When I spoke to the lady on the phone she told me the river was a little low so we should reserve 4 single Kayaks and not the two single and one double I originally asked for. At 2:15 when we showed up the Owner Eric told us they didn't have any singles available. He asked a lady working with him and she said i hadn't asked for any particular kayaks? ummm? I was told I needed 4 singles by her! Then he handed my reservation to my husband and it said 4 singles. They had a long conversation between themselves and talked about the family of three that had just come and paid for three singles. Also, she was holding back a single for another guy at 2:30?? WHAT?? To make matters worse he was so rude to us. Eric kept telling me to be quiet when I tried to say that we had made the reservation and why was he not honoring it? Eric then said he could find us some doubles, maybe if we just hung around for awhile. Hello? you said that the river was too low for doubles. I stepped back to talk to my 20 year old daughter and she said "I can't believe the way he is talking to you! I would be fired for that. We shouldn't give them our money" So we didn't. If you want to make a reservation, plan your day around an outing and then have the day ruined, this is for you! Otherwise, don't waste your time. This company is the worst I've ever experienced.

2  Thank MaryD14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Eric W, Owner at Backroads Whistler - River of Golden Dreams, responded to this reviewResponded 2 September 2016

HI Mary D
Thanks for your review.
When you checked in at 2:15 15 minutes prior to our river orientation we were awaiting boats to come back from our morning trips. This is normal operations for us, boats go out in the morning and are back in time for in this case 2:30. Our river orientation takes about 15 minutes meaning boats need to be ready for 2:45
Yes we had other guests wishing singles and the conversation with my staff member was insuring we had our boat counts correct, again this is a normal part of our day. I asked that you let us insure we were organised which we were.
You were not satisfied with this and left.
I called you at 2:32 and left a message to say your boats were on site and would you like us to hold them for you. We never heard back from you till this Trip
Advisor review.

Our double kayaks are our most stable boat and are used during our high water season, we stopped using them on the river Mid July this year.
I hope you come back and we can get a better start
Cheers
Eric

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Reviewed 27 August 2016 via mobile

We hired some Stand Up Paddleboards to go on Alta Lake. The boards were ok but they are very generic and the staff do not take account of the weight of the paddler when giving you your board. My paddle was held together with duct tape!
The staff were friendly and helpful.
Cost wise, $30 for an hour is quite pricey!
Alta Lake is a beautiful location for Paddleboarding.

1  Thank snowflake71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Eric W, Owner at Backroads Whistler - River of Golden Dreams, responded to this reviewResponded 29 August 2016

Eric W, Owner at Backroads Whistler - River of Golden Dreams, responded to this review
Hi Snowflake71
Thanks for your review.

We have 4 different models of Stand Up Paddle boards and 7 different sizes. (we are a demo center allowing guests to get on good quality equipment right here on the lakefront)
Inflatables are our most stable boards and often used by guests who are considering buying as they pack up small...i.e. they get to demo an inflatable and decide if they want the storage convenience in leu of performance or go with epoxy.
Our epoxy boards are more performance orientated. We have the classic round nosed ones most people are used to seeing as well as displacement hulls which cut though the water seamlessly. You may have seen the displacement hulls when watching performance paddlers or in your local store, they are often called touring boards.
re size of board for a specific paddler. On busy summer days guests are invited to wait till different sized boards come back or take what is available.
Morning are always slower around here and size selection is most always available.

oh and, the tuck tape on the blades of our carbon paddles is to give a little padding so they don't crack when our well meaning inexperienced guests bang them on hard objects.
Thanks for the kudos on our staff.
cheers
Eric

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Reviewed 25 August 2016

My family and I (2 adults & 3 kids 10-14 yrs) hired 2 canoes from this organisation. Whilst my husband is an experienced canoer; I am not. We were given clear instructions, appropriate equipment. On our return we were given a list back to our car. It was absolutely trouble free and brilliant, amazing views from a peaceful river. Even when faced by rudeness from another customer, the staff were impeccable and appropriate throughout - shame the same can't be said for the other customer.

Thank henryabi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Eric W, Owner at Backroads Whistler - River of Golden Dreams, responded to this reviewResponded 27 August 2016

Good morning Henryabi

Thanks for your review. I think you are the first customer we've ever had be so fired up to communicate to our staff what a good job they do by using our guides radios.

i.e. for you others reading Henryabi used our walkie talkies to tell the staff what a good job they do.
Pretty entertaining watching the look on other park guests faces seeing you chatting up the staff :)

interestingly it turns out the other person was not a customer. not sure what had his goat.
Thanks
Eric

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Reviewed 25 August 2016

Family of 4 (kids 9 & 7) took a canoe down the river of golden dreams on a hot and sunny day. Had great fun especially trying to navigate the beaver dams without having to get out the canoe (according to the kids we beat the Beavers 5-4).. River was quite low in places not a problem added to the fun trying not to get stuck but we had to spend 20 mins+ on foot with canoe on trailer because of this, 10 mins to transport canoe to deeper part of river then 10 mins to take cart back. This was a real pain because we didn't get to canoe the extra part to Green Lake because of this and we all wanted to see it but we'd run out of time (you are given a certain time to get to the pick up point). ALL IN ALL GREAT FUN BUT EXPENSIVE - 1. paying per person when we only had 1 canoe (others without kids paid half the price for same canoe) was a rip off and 2. missing out on Green Lake as we had to walk the canoe on a stretch was unfair, and we should have been given more time.

Thank MrPlant7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Eric W, Owner at Backroads Whistler - River of Golden Dreams, responded to this reviewResponded 3 September 2016

Thanks for your review.
Glad you enjoyed the river and the kids got to see first hand some true Canadiana
We've been working with the resort for some years to by pass having to use the portage trailers in late summer and re establish a dedicated take out in Green Lake.
We meet with them again in early Sept.
We need you the paddling public to voice your wishes for the river
Trip Advisor will not let us publish a link to the Mayors office but the following will give you a pretty good idea how to get ahold of her
Would you send your note to
whistler dot ca/municipal-gov/council/writing-to-council
Email: mayorsoffice at whistler.ca

cheers

Eric

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