With summer just around the corner, it’s time to start making day trip plans. Specifically, to some beautiful lazy rivers – both natural and man-made. Whether you want to slowly drift down a river with a drink in hand, or pursue a more adventurous tubing experience, we’ve got a ton of great options to toss your way. Grab your floaties and some snacks, and head to the river!

Before we dive in (not literally, because the water can be shallow), let’s go over the basics. You’ll want to bring the following on your floating journey:

  • A personal floatation device (PFD) and paddle
  • Life jackets
  • Drinking water
  • Snacks
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Towels
  • Warm layers of clothing in a dry bag
  • Sandals and toe-closed shoes

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s get into it. Here are 10 breathtaking lazy rivers to check out in BC this summer.

Penticton River Channel

 

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We’re starting off this list with one of the longest-stretching floating experiences you can get in BC. Spanning four miles long, the Penticton River Channel offers breathtaking views of the Okanagan Valley and three to four hours (depending on water flow) of relaxing fun. For $18+/per person, you can float down the Penticton Channel via Coyote Cruises in luxury tubes and floating islands.

Take your pick from single & double tubes (with drink and cup holders) and party islands suitable for groups of 4, 8, and 12 people. All rentals include shuttle transport back to the starting point, which is at Okanagan Lake at 215 Riverside Drive.

Where: 215 Riverside Drive

Similkameen River

 

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Located in the town of Princeton, this picturesque waterway winds through the Okanagan highlands and offers a faster pace than most lazy rivers. Starting from the Bridge of Dreams, the float current picks up – and while it’s certainly no raging river, it plays the part well. Depending on how far you drift, the ride may take you up to 4 hours. So, if you are looking to settle in for a relaxing day on the water, this is a great option.

Something to keep in mind: you’ll need to make your own arrangements for transportation back to the start point. We suggest starting at Bromley Rock Provincial Park! Make sure to keep your eye out for fallen trees that may obstruct your path.

Where: Okanagan-Similkameen, Bromley Rock Provincial Park

Shuswap River

 

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Rent a kayak, stand-up paddleboard, or canoe at Shuswap Paddle Adventures, or pay $69 per person for an exciting whitewater rafting experience! Nestled amongst fertile riverbanks, active wildlife and local fishing holes is a thrilling adventure in the making. The Skookumchuck rapids of the Lower Shuswap River have a range of rapid speeds depending on the time of year, why not check ’em out this season?

Where: 3130 Mabel Lake Road, Enderby

Alouette River

 

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Alouette River in Maple Ridge is a perfect swimming hole, paddle-board destination, and floating experience all wrapped into one. The River flows from Alouette Lake to its junction with the Fraser River at Pitt Meadows. No motorized vehicles are allowed in the water, making it the ideal place to kick back in a floatie and take in the sounds of nature.

You can rent single boats or boats fitting up to eight people hourly or for the whole day/overnight.

Where: Unnamed Road, Maple Ridge

Kettle River

 

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Float down any of the Boundary Rivers located in the Kettle Valley for some quality ‘fun in the sun’ time this summer. From a one-hour joyride to an all-day tubing experience, the sky is really the limit. Go tubing, drop a fishing line, or just explore the bank area. The north fork of the Kettle River (The Granby River) offers cooler water temps than the Kettle.

The east and west Kettle meet at Westbridge, where you can flow down Rock Creek to Midway and cross over into the U.S! Just be sure to exit at Atwood Bridge or earlier once the river takes you back into Canada at the Danville border crossing.

Where: 5 km north of Rock Creek on Highway 33, Rock Creek, BC

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Cowichan River

 

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Lake Cowichan River Tubing is another massive tubing destination. For $20, you can rent a single tube for 2.5 hours, or opt for a family pass for two adults and two children for $60. Relax during the extra lazy start, stop and explore the beaches, and gear up for the rapids at the end. This is definitely a must-do on your next visit to Vancouver Island!

Where: 109 South Shore Road, Lake Cowichan

Slocan River

 

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The Slocan River float is one of the most enjoyable in the Kootenay region, and for good reason. Every summer, thousands of people flock to the Slocan Valley with their inflatable tubes and enjoy sweeping views of the surrounding mountains. Tubing down Slocan River is the perfect half-day excursion, but it can also be extended into a full day if you appreciate intermittent beach lounging.

Go on a Gentle Cruise or more adventurous float with $20 tubes for the full day via Endless Adventure – aptly named if you ask us!

Where: 1286 BC-6, Crescent Valley, BC

Capilano River

 

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Capilano River is a great floating destination for adventure-seekers, but tubers should definitely proceed with caution. The current can get rough so it may not be the best spot for beginners, but you’ll definitely get some adrenaline pumping! Drop your tube into the river near the fish hatchery and end your approx two-hour journey at Park Royal Mall in West Van.

Where: 4500 Capilano Park Road

Coquitlam River

 

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We’re rounding off this list with one of the most popular tubing destinations amongst Vancouver locals – because the reputation is certainly earned. For folks who want to stay close to the city, Coquitlam River is a great choice, as long as you’re okay with staying alert and dodging multiple boulders. There are many parks to choose from as your start and end points, so you’re guaranteed a beautiful, scenic ride no matter what.

Where: 1190 Shaughnessy Street, Coquitlam River Park

Well, that’s all for now folks! Make sure to keep your keys and phone strapped on you at all times, and enjoy your ride downstream!