River Rafting the Mighty Thompson River in Central BC

River Rafting the Thompson River in Central British Columbia

Our goal for the summer of 2010 was to experience and enjoy more of our beautiful backyard on the Canadian West Coast. We had always heard that British Columbia has some of the best river rafting in the world, so what better time than the present to give it a go!

From Canadian Rockies Road Trip

There are a few large operators in central BC that have great safety records and positive guest reviews. Further research pointed us to one company in particular – Kumsheen River Rafting.

Aside from its great reviews, Kumsheen’s central location in Lytton BC played a big factor in our decision, allowing us to tackle the legendary Thompson River that snakes through spectacular rocky canyons.

From Canadian Rockies Road Trip

The river rafting adventure was added to the tail end of our Canadian Rockies Road Trip. We were on our way back from Mount Revelstoke National Park near the Alberta/BC border, and decided to spend the night at the popular Accent Inns in Kamloops.

It worked out perfectly for us because Kumsheen Rafting Resort is located only two hours south of Kamloops, and four hours from Vancouver. It was a great way to cap off an awesome 11-day road trip through the Canadian Rockies!

From Canadian Rockies Road Trip

Have you ever heard of Power Rafting?

We hadn’t either. Having recently gone river rafting in Nepal, we were familiar with standard paddle rafting.  A rubber boat, 8-10 bodies each with a single paddle, and a guide in the back steering the raft.  We were intrigued when offered the option to try power rafting.

“Your role isn’t strenuous but you are required to hang on to a hand line as the raft bucks wildly in the big rapids whereas the paddle rafting is smoother.”

Less paddling and bigger hits – it seemed like a no-brainer?

We arrived at the Kumsheen Resort early. There were a lot of wild forest fires in the region so we wanted to leave extra travel time from Kamloops.  We figured it was going to a basic rafting lodge, but were surprised by all the amenities.  Aside from the restaurant, beach volleyball courts, disc golf, swimming pool and hot tub, the resort offers its guests the ability to sleep in traditional tee-pees.  How cool is that?

From Canadian Rockies Road Trip

Power Rafting was awesome!

The guide manoeuvres the raft so we hit the rapids at the perfect spot, maximizing the impact and drenching everyone.  See the photo below as evidence of one of our big hits.

It was weird not having to paddle, but we were okay taking the ‘lazy man’ way down river.  It allowed us to enjoy the unbelievable canyon surroundings. If it’s exercise your after, you’re abs will get a great work out trying to hang on to the raft!

From Canadian Rockies Road Trip

Another benefit to Power Rafting was our ability to turn around and hit the same rapid multiple times.  Throughout the trip we switched positions, with the front people moving to the back.  This allowed everyone the opportunity to sit up front and get the biggest hits.

At one point, everyone jumped out of the raft and hung on to the side ropes while we floated down the river… it was a blast!

From Canadian Rockies Road Trip

Our original perception of power rafting was that it wasn’t as hardcore or adventurous as paddle rafting.  After spending the day getting rocked by big rapids in the power raft, we now think it’s the best way to tackle the mighty Thompson River.

So what’s the verdit?
We will definitely be back to do it again!

From Canadian Rockies Road Trip


Where is your favourite place to go River Rafting?
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About Traveling Canucks

Cam and Nicole Wears are family travel bloggers who live in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia. A passion for travel and outdoor adventure has lead them to over 70+ countries on 6 continents in the past 10 years. Learn more about their story here. Follow them on Instagram and subscribe to their monthly newsletter.