A handy guide to floating the Bow River this summer

Jul 22 2020, 9:46 am

What could be better on a hot Calgary day than floating lazily down a river, surrounded by pillowy inflatable goodness?

Not much. If you want to beat the heat this summer, you might want to try rafting down the Bow River — it’s a relaxing way to spend a Sunday (or weekday) afternoon with a couple of buddies, and best of all, it’s 100% free if you already own your own raft and life jacket.

If not, there are rental companies that have your back. Check out Lazy Day rentals, who charge $55 for a four-person raft and up to $125 for a 12-person one. You can also rent rafts from Sports Rent.


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Make sure you’re safe, though. Always wear a life jacket, and always check conditions before you go out on the water. The City of Calgary has some more safety tips on their site.

“Accidents can happen even when you do everything right,” said Carol Henke, CFD Public Information Officer, in a release from the city.

“The importance of lifejackets, even in shallow, slow-moving water, cannot be exaggerated.”

Not only can wearing a life jacket save your life, but it will also save you from up to $500 in fines and a mandatory court appearance.

Heads up: Transporting booze or being intoxicated in the river is illegal, so… you’ve been warned.


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Rafting down the Bow River

Where: Can start from Baker Park or Bowness Park
When: Whenever you want (though preferably on a sunny day!)
Cost: Free with your own raft and life jacket, or you can rent from a number of Calgary businesses