The sky is blue but you aren’t, and that’s because you’ve got plans to float the Bow River in Calgary this summer!

Before packing your bags, however, there are a few things you should be aware of. From where to get a raft to entry points, here’s what you need to know before setting off!

Raft Rentals

Got a canoe, kayak, or raft made from polyester, nylon, or coated with synthetic rubber? Congrats! You’re ahead of the game.

The rest of you are going to need something sturdy to get you from point A to point B safely – because an air mattress or a giant inflatable swan will not do.

Here are just a few places where you can borrow everything from life jackets and boats to paddles.

Lazy Day Raft Rentals

When: book now
Where: 720 – 3rd Street NW, Calgary
Cost: $39+

Sports Rent

When: book now
Where: 4424 16 Ave NW Calgary
Cost: $60+

The Paddle Station

When: book now
Where: 5227 – 13 Ave NW, Calgary
Cost: $59+

What should you bring?

Once you’ve secured your rental, you’ll need to toss a few things in your bag.

Our advice? Bring water, some snacks, sunscreen, phone, wallet, keys, and spare clothes in a waterproof bag, as well as a few emergency items.

Sports Rent actually has a fantastic checklist that includes items but among those most important? A whistle, a throw bag with a rope, and an umbrella or tarp in case it rains.

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Entry Points

All packed? Now it’s time to head out! We’d recommend having two cars and parking one vehicle at one end and the other at a starting point.

The City of Calgary actually has a wonderful map that details the best places to launch, but here are a few popular spots to kick things off:

Carburn Park

Where: 67 Riverview Drive SE, Calgary

Edworthy Park

Where: 5050 Spruce Drive SW, Calgary

Stanley Park

Where: 4011 1a St SW, Calgary

Sue Higgins Park

Where: Southland Drive SE &, Deerfoot Trail, Calgary


Be smart, be safe!

As explained on the city’s website, all passengers MUST wear a lifejacket while on the Bow River – so don’t forget to grab one when you’re renting your raft.

Other things you should be aware of?

No alcohol is permitted, so leave your craft beers and ciders at home. Also, in the event that it starts to rain, the city recommends that you pull over to the side, even if you’re prepared.

If you have any other questions about the do’s and don’ts of floating down the Bow River, check out the City of Calgary website here!

As always, the heat can come and go within the blink of an eye, so keep one on the forecast!

There’s nothing better than floating the Bow River in Calgary when temperatures rise, so soak up that sun.

It’s going to be a long hot spicy season.