• Comfortable footwear that can get wet
  • Sunscreen
  • Clothes appropriate for weather (rain gear, hat)
  • Lots of fluids and snack food
  • Camera and binoculars
  • Cell Phone
  • Dry bag (if you have one)

All our tours operate light RAIN OR SHINE. We do not refund for inclement weather, unless the weather makes for an unsafe environment. We do not expect our customers to paddle in pouring rain, or weather which will make for an unenjoyable experience.

In high winds or other adverse conditions, we reserve the right to cancel or reschedule tours, based on management’s assessment of conditions. We will reschedule your tour or refund 100% of the rental or tour price if this occurs.

Rentals

  • Cancellations made more than 24 hours before the rental time will receive a 100% refund
  • Cancellations made less than 24 hours before the rental time, will not receive a refund
  • No-shows will be charged 100% of the rentals

Guided tours

  • Cancellations made 72 hours or more in advance of a booking, will receive a 100% refund
  • Cancellations made less than 72 hours before the booking will not receive a refund
  • No-shows will not receive a refund

Lessons

  • Cancellations made 72 hours or more in advance of a booking, will receive a 100% refund
  • Cancellations made 48 – 72 hours in advance of a booking, will receive a 50% refund
  • Cancellations made less than 48 hours in advance of a booking, will be charged the full amount of the rental
  • No-shows will be charged 100% of the rental

Group Bookings

  • A group booking is a booking of a self-guided, guided trip or rentals that is for more than 10 people directly with Columbia River Paddle.
  • A $100 deposit is required at the time of booking to hold the reservation for your chosen date(s).  The deposit is fully refundable until twenty-eight (28) days prior to the booking date. 
  • Any cancellation made between twenty-eight (28) and seven (7) days before the reserved date will result in the $100 booking fee not being refunded.
  • Full payment is required ten (10) calendar days prior to the reserved date.  An invoice will be emailed to you.  Payment can be made by e-transfer or by credit card.
  • Payment will be non-refundable in the event of a ‘no-show’ or cancellation made less than seven (7) days prior to the date of your booking. 
  • If full payment is not received seven (7) calendar days prior to the rental date a $50 late payment fee will be added to the balance owed.
  • It is expected that paddling trips will go ahead rain or shine.  In the event of adverse weather that would make paddling unsafe a full refund will be provided at the management’s discretion.

Overnight trip and tour bookings

  • Overnight trip and tour bookings are subject to a 7 day cancellation policy
  • Cancellations made 7 days or more in advance of a booking, will receive a 100% refund
  • Cancellations made less than 7 days in advance of a trip or tour, will be charged the full amount of the booking
  • No-shows will be charged 100% of the trip/tour

Certification Courses

  • Certification courses are subject to a 7 day cancellation policy
  • Cancellations made 7 days or more in advance of a booking, will receive a 100% refund
  • Cancellations made less than 7 days in advance of a course, will be charged the full amount of the booking
  • No-shows will be charged 100% of the course fee

PLEASE BE AWARE, WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO REFUSE SERVICE IN THE FOLLOWING CIRCUMSTANCES:

  • Participants are found to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Inappropriate behavior/language to staff or other guests
  • In any of the above circumstances, a refund will not be issued
  • All our tours operate light RAIN OR SHINE. We do not refund for inclement weather, unless the weather makes for an unsafe environment. We do not expect our customers to paddle in pouring rain, or weather which will make for an unenjoyable experience.
  • In high winds or other adverse conditions, we reserve the right to cancel or reschedule tours, based on management’s assessment of conditions. We will reschedule your tour or refund 100% of the rental or tour price if this occurs.

Our main location is the ‘Canoe Docks’ next to the public boat launch. From here you can rent a canoe, kayak or SUP for 2 hours, 4 hours or a full day (9am-6pm) and explore the wetlands or Lake Windermere.  You can also begin a guided or self-guided trip down the river to Radium Hot Springs where we will pick you up at a predetermined time and shuttle you back.  From the canoe docks we also offer 2 hour guided wetlands trips and lessons.

Our second location is at Kinsmen Beach, where we run the concession ‘Columbia River Cafe’ and a rental kiosk open 10-6 during peak season, weather dependent.  Rentals here begin with one hour rentals, and it’s a great place to entertain the kids or try a new sport in the shallow bay.  We take reservations between 10am and 12pm (you can reserve here), after 12pm it is first come, first served.

The canoe docks does not have a street address, if you use google maps, typing ‘Columbia River Paddle’ will drop the red pin at an accurate location.  If you are driving from the highway turn into Invermere at the lights, follow the road as it goes down the hill and bends to the right.  You will then cross the river.  Turn left just after the Centex gas station, the road will become a dirt road, turn left again, follow the road then turn right into the public boat launch area and public parking lot.  You will see our colourful kayaks and canoes.

To find our Kinsmen Beach location follow 7th Ave, the main street, through downtown Invermere.  Keep going when it seems to become residential, cross the train tracks and you’ll arrive at Kinsmen Beach.

We offer private pickups along the Columbia River and Kootenay River. Please contact us for our rates; our pricing for our private pick ups is based on the vehicle size, not a per person rate.

We also provide shuttles for golf trips, weddings, parties etc. We have a 10, 19 and 24 passenger bus. If you’d like a quote please email paddle@columbiariverpaddle.com

Awesome! The Columbia River is a great river to paddle.  While we frequently check the Invermere to Radium section, we do not monitor the river north of Radium Hot Springs and therefore cannot give advice on conditions. High water is at the end of May/June so camping spots are hard to find around this time – for the easiest camping we would recommend paddling before mid-May or in August or later.   We recommend using google maps and Maptown to research your route.  We do offer multi-day rental discounts and private shuttles.

We do as follows:

  • 2 days 10% off
  • 3 days 15% off
  • 4 days 20% off
  • 5 days pay for 4 days, get 5th free
  • 6 & 7 days   pay for 5 days, get 6th and 7th day free

Please note that our full day rate is not a 24 hour rate, it is the cost of a rental from 9am – 6pm.

We have a limited number of 10 litre dry bags available for a refundable $30 deposit (cash or credit card).  We also have dry bags available to purchase.

10-15 minutes before your rental time should be sufficient to complete the paperwork and have a safety/navigational briefing.

If you’re paddling from Invermere to Radium you will have booked by pick up time in Radium Hot Springs at the end of your trip.  The paddle itself takes approximately 3 hours of steady paddling plus breaks, so you might want to leave 4-5 hours earlier than your scheduled pick up time.

We recommend reserving or booking in advance as this is a very popular trip.  You book by pick up time in Radium Hot Springs at the end of your paddle. The paddle itself takes approximately 3 hours of steady paddling plus breaks, so you might want to leave 4-5 hours earlier than your scheduled pick up time.

Pick up times vary depending – see website for details.

We recommend arriving at 9am for the 1pm pick up time, 10:30am for the 3pm pick up time and 12:30pm for the 5pm pick up time.  Larger groups or people that want to fish along the way or take a lot of breaks may want to leave earlier.

On arrival at Columbia River Paddle we will complete the paperwork and give your group a safety/navigational overview so you know where you are going and how to time your trip for the pick up. There is a floating pump station on the water with a sign saying ‘1 hour to Radium’ so you know if you pass this an hour before your pick up time you’re on time, if you pass it with less than an hour you need to paddle faster, or if you have more than an hour you can take a break of float for a bit!

Well behaved dogs on leashes are welcome to join you on your paddle in a kayak or canoe.  No dogs on our inflatable paddle boards please.  We rely on the guests to decide if they will be ok on the shuttle bus with other guests.

All of our rentals include use of a PFD (personal flotation devices), our smallest PFD is rated for 20-30lb toddlers. If you have your own you’re welcome to bring and use it.

Our canoes are all very stable recreational canoes. They are designed for two adults, but can hold two adults and two children or three adults. We can place a camp chair or bench in the canoe for the additional person(s) for an additional $10/person. Note that the more weight you put in a canoe, the less stable it becomes!

All of our rentals include basic instruction on the beach before you set off. If you have never paddled, perhaps starting in the shallow bay of Kinsmen Beach is a good idea, or consider taking a  lesson .  On a calm day the wetlands and Lake Windermere is a safe area to paddle and explore, even with little or no paddling experience.  At low water (approximately before mid-May or after the end of July) the Invermere to Radium trip is very accessible to novice paddlers – or consider a guided trip or lesson.

We have five voyageur canoes – two that seat 8 people, one for 10 people, one for 12 people and one for 22! These can be rented if you have paddling experience, otherwise join a guided trip and let the guide co-ordinate the paddling and pass on their knowledge of the local area and wildlife!

We also have two inflatable rafts that can be rented. Each raft holds 6 people and is rented with or without the stern mounted oar frame (with 4 straps to hold), 2 oars, 4 paddles and 1 SUP pump for top ups.  A deposit is required for raft rental. Please contact us for prices and availability.

Great places always have interesting histories and the valley’s lore is as colourful as its cosmopolitan, worldly residents. The rivers and the former great Pacific salmon spawning runs, which ended when the dams were built, provided local First Nations people with great quantities of food, so  people have called the valley home  for thousands of years. The rivers also brought Europeans to the region, beginning with legendary fur trader, cartographer and explorer David Thompson in 1807.

Thompson established a small settlement near Invermere and explored the Columbia and Kootenay valleys, searching for a route to the Pacific Ocean. He traded goods with the local First Nations people for large amounts of beaver and other pelts, which he transported back to Thunder Bay, Ont. before returning all the way back to this secluded Eden, nestled between the sawtoothed back range of the Rocky Mountains and imposing, ancient Purcell Mountains.

Thompson was the first white man to realize the wealth contained within the large, lush Columbia River Wetlands. Today the wetlands are a fertile wintering ground for elk, deer, moose and many other creatures, the wetlands span over 180 km and are the longest continuous series of wetlands remaining on the continent.

2007 marks the 150th anniversary of Thompson’s death and the 200th anniversary of his first crossing of the Rockies to the mouth of the Columbia River to anchor a lucrative trans-mountain fur trade. For more information visit http://www.davidthompson200.org/

The Region has also been significantly influenced by the discovery and development of mineral resources. In the early 1860’s, placer gold was discovered on the Wild Horse River approximately 16 km northwest of the present location of Cranbrook. Several thousand prospectors and entrepreneurs joined in this gold rush and the famous Dewdney Trail was constructed across southern B.C. linking Vancouver to the gold fields.

With increased settlement occurring as a result of the gold rush, conflicts between settlers and the indigenous Indian population grew. To ease these tensions, a detachment of North West Mounted Police was dispatched to Galbraith’s Ferry on the Kootenay River where a fort was established along with a permanent settlement in 1887.

The Fort was later renamed Fort Steele after its first commander, Sam Steele. Fort Steele remained the dominant community in the Region until the development of other mineral resources and railway expansion bypassed it and created the growth centers of Fernie, Kimberley and Cranbrook.