This heatwave is making us crave a day on the water like nobody’s business, and sometimes, even a swim or a paddle session is too much work in the heat. So if you’re looking to unwind over a weekend this summer and stay cool, consider checking out one of the many scenic lazy rivers in British Columbia.

Before we dive in, let’s go over the basics. You’ll want to bring the following on your floating journey:

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

Now, let’s get into it. Here are 7 scenic lazy rivers to check out in BC this summer.

Penticton River Channel

 

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We’re starting 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 $19.05 per person, you can float down the Penticton Channel via Coyote Cruises in luxury tubes and floating islands.

Where: 215 Riverside Drive

Cowichan River

Lake Cowichan River Tubing is another massive tubing destination, which offers guests the chance to float down the beautiful river for $20 for 2.5 hours, or $60 for a family pass for two adults and two children. Visitors can start their day with a relaxing float, ending with some exciting rapids.

There’s also a complimentary shuttle service from Little Beach to the lazy river’s starting point.

Where: 109 South Shore Road, Lake Cowichan

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Shuswap River (Enderby)

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

Kettle River

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 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

Similkameen River

Located in the town of Princeton, the picturesque Similkameen River meanders through the scenic Okanagan highlands, offering a faster pace than many lazy rivers.

Starting at the ‘Bridge of Dreams,’ the current picks up floaters and takes them on a relaxing journey that can take up to 4 hours. So if you’re looking to settle in for a relaxing day on the water, this is a great option!

Note that visitors here will need to make their own arrangements for transportation back to the starting point.

Where: Okanagan-Similkameen, Bromley Rock Provincial Park

Slocan River

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

Alouette River

Conveniently located in Maple Ridge, Alouette River is a perfect swimming hole, paddling destination, and floating experience all rolled into one. Flowing from Alouette Lake to its junction with the Fraser River in Pitt Meadows, the scenic river prohibits motorized vehicles, making it a peaceful play to kick back with a floatie.

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

Where: Unnamed Road, Maple Ridge

So there you have it, water enthusiasts! Time to float your woes away and enjoy a beautiful summer day on the water.