Alberta is takes picks up the rockies from BC and takes them all the way to the flatland prairies. This means there are some perfect rivers and lakes to float all summer long.
Bow River Calgary
The Bow River flows through the town of Calgary, so there are numerous river access points. Safety: The river is wide and deep, but can move pretty quick. Currents are very strong due to the volume of water in the river, so life jackets are required. You'll be ticketed by bylaw officers if caught without one. You'll float under numerous bridges - be sure to avoid them! These are very dangerous and down-currents at these spots have proven deadly in the past.
Be safe and live to float another day!
Discovery Canyon - Red Deer
This is a short, man-made tube float. It's built to look like a natural setting, so it's pretty sweet. Generally it's for kids, but they let big kids like you on here, too. Definitely expect a family atmosphere and a bunch of hot laps.
ELBOW RIVER CALGARY
This is the most popular float around the Calgary area, offering a nice balance of winding turns and good scenery with convenience for Calgarians. The river can get shallow later in the Summer, so you may need to get out and walk around some sections. Life jackets are required within city limits and alcohol is not permitted - likely under drinking in public laws, but unconfirmed. Expect this route to take about 2-3 hours
Elbow River - Bragg Creek RoutE
This section of the Elbow offers a much more wilderness vibe than the floats in the city. Definitely a little less crowded here as well. Best to go in July/August when the water is warmest. This is a quick float that takes about 1-2 hours
McLeod River - WHITECOURT
This float takes between 2 and 4 hours and features some winding turns and small rapids sections. Recommended for families as the water is safe. The parking areas and access points are maintained by the County and their rules stipulate dogs must be leashed and no alcohol is allowed
OLD MAN RIVER
Various access points are available. Plan your trip based on the below estimated times: Botterill Bottom Park to Hwy 3 / Helen Schuler - 1-2 hours Botterill Bottom Park to Peenaquim Park - 3-4 hours Botterill Bottom Park to Pavan Park - 6 hours Shuttle services are offered by omrtubing.com
Pembina River Entwistle
The Pembina River is a popular and beautiful float. There is one rental company operating on the river that has a $12 shuttle service - the float takes between 2 and 3.5 hours, depending on water levels, of course.
SOUTH SASKATCHEWAN RIVER
This is the most popular route on the South Saskatchewan, flowing right through the town of Medicine Hat. It is quite a long stretch of river, so expect it to take 4-6 hours. Life jackets are required on the river and you risk getting ticketed for not having one. Heads up!