FAQs

  • Chevron down Which is better, the Clearwater or North Thompson River?
  • The Clearwater and the North Thompson differ in many ways by nature and therefore complement each other very well for different river adventure purposes. The Clearwater River in Wells Gray Park has better rapids for whitewater rafting purposes, offers a full canyon sensation, and a more remote Park setting. The Clearwater River drains out of a very large lake system in the Park, which offers pristine waters and gives it a chance to warm up to swimming temperatures. The North Thompson River is directly feed by glacial melt from the Caribou and the Monashee mountains. It is more adequate for scenic raft float trips and guided river adventures. It offers more of a cultural history background, broader mountain scenery, and excellent wildlife viewing.

  • Chevron down When should I book?
  • To ensure space on the date of your choice, book as early as you can. Some dates fill months in advance, others slowly filter in. Procrastinate and you may be disappointed. Generally, as Clearwater is an international tourism destination, we are equally busy seven days a week. Remember: reserving sooner is better. We operate from mid-April to mid-October. Our busiest season is from end of June to early September. Fall paddling in Wells Gray Country is a must-do river experience with often very warm weather and colourful scenery.

  • Chevron down What should I wear?
  • Riverside Adventures provides the following: farmer john neoprene wetsuits in all sizes (covers your legs up to your shoulders), fleece tops, and spray jackets for cooler weather, extra footwear available if needed, towels for afterwards, approved personal flotation devices, and helmets. So technically, you could walk off the street and come rafting, no special clothing required from you. A change room and locker is provided to get into your river gear and safely lock up your personal belongings. What is nice to have is a bathing suit or a pair of shorts for under your wetsuit, a pair of personal running shoes or proper sandals that you don’t mind getting wet (bare feet or thongs are not safe in the river, croakies that will hold your sunglasses (available on site), on cool days or for kids, add a personal wool, fleece or polypropylene top (no cotton) and a rain/wind breaker jacket. To enjoy your river adventures, basic swimming ability and good health are recommended.

  • Chevron down What's the difference between Riverside and other whitewater rafting companies?
  • Even our equipment is the finest on the river. We use very high quality self bailing rafts and inflatable kayaks that have been built to our specifications for the North Thompson and Clearwater River. Riverside is a small family operated rafting company offering authentic river experiences with smaller diversified groups, personalized guiding and safety.

  • Chevron down How do I get to Clearwater, BC?
  • To find us follow the Yellowhead (Highway 5) to Clearwater – about 1½ hours drive north of Kamloops, 3½ hours south of Jasper, Alberta, 5 hours from Vancouver and 6 from Edmonton.

    Upon arriving in Clearwater, take the town site junction opposite the Wells Gray Inn – to the left if arriving from Kamloops, or the right if driving from Jasper. (We are approximately 2 kms off Hwy #5.) After driving off Hwy #5, go pass Dutch Lake on your right, over the Clearwater River bridge and watch for a Super Save gas-station. Turn left immediately onto Young Road (the commercial frontage road) for another 200 meters. We are located Uptown Clearwater at the Clearwater Plaza (58 Young Road) next door to the BC Liquor Store, Credit Union/Bank, etc. (Follow the “Rafting & Fitness Centre” signs).

    We can also pick you up at the Greyhound bus depot in Clearwater or other sites upon request.

  • Chevron down How do I choose the right rafting company?
  • Riverside Adventures and Fitness Centre takes pride in its reputation as one of the world’s leading outfitters. From the most unique river adventures to the best safety record, you go first class with Riverside. But don’t take our word for it; ask around. Most people choose Riverside on the North Thompson & the Clearwater River because of our attention to detail and custom river trips suited to your goals and abilities. Your holiday time is our opportunity to show you a safe and enjoyable river adventure in our rafts, canoes, or kayaks.

  • Chevron down When is the best time of year to go on a river adventure in Wells Gray Country?
  • The Clearwater & North Thompson Rivers feature very good river conditions all season long. Our schedules and river crafts reflect water flows. A shortage of water is never a problem on these two large rivers systems. If you are traveling with younger kids, mid-July to early September are best. If you are looking for a high water adrenaline rush, come in mid-May to mid-July.

  • Chevron down What is the minimum age for rafters?
  • On our Clearwater & North Thompson whitewater river trips, the recommended age is seven years old. Most importantly, children must weigh at least 50 pounds (20 kg.). On the more gentile river sections or the Clearwater river in lower water (August & September), we can take children as young as four years old. Each river adventure package, dependent on river levels and section chosen, has a different minimum age, which can be easily determined by contacting us via email at [email protected] or calling us at our reservation office.

  • Chevron down Do I have to be able to swim?
  • All rafters must wear specially designed whitewater personal flotation devices which we provide. Swimming abilities are recommended but not essential.

  • Chevron down How many people are in each river craft?
  • It depends on the river trip. Capacity varies with the size and style of river craft. Rafts: minimum two per raft; maximum 13 per raft (we now have four different raft sizes: 22′, 18′, 16′ and 14′ boats). Inflatable kayaks: maximum of two per boat (we have numerous kayak types).

  • Chevron down Is traveling on a river safe?
  • We have an outstanding safety record; over 25 years of river guiding experience in Canada (see bio of owner/operator). The owner has lived in Wells Gray Country for 15 years now and knows all river levels intimately. Our river guides are fully qualified and are trained in First Aid and River Rescue.

  • Chevron down What happens if it rains?
  • River adventures are fun in any type of weather provided you dress properly. WE GO RAIN OR SHINE – you get wet either way. Keep in mind the Clearwater & North Thompson River (Wells Gray Country) is within the Caribou and Monashee Mountain region and therefore we are influence by mountain weather. We are also influenced by the dry arid interior of BC landscape for which we experience several very warm, dry weather patterns.

  • Chevron down Can we bring large recreational vehicles to the meeting area?
  • Yes. We have a large two-acre parking area with full turn around road access with numerous shaded areas, however none of our sites are serviced with electric/water hookups.

  • Chevron down What about alcohol?
  • Drinking is not permitted before or while you are engaged in any river adventures. Anyone who is drinking or appears to be intoxicated before the trip will be denied participation. Refunds or alternates dates will not be given. Guests are permitted to bring along alcoholic beverages for personal enjoyment after the trip. Responsible behaviour is expected from all our guests at all times, and remember, river trips are a lot more fun without a hangover.

  • Chevron down Is my pet welcome?
  • Sorry, pets are not permitted on river trips but they can be left behind at our meeting location at the Clearwater Plaza. Numerous shaded areas are adequate on our large two-acre site.

  • Chevron down Is a babysitting service available?
  • With advance notice we can usually arrange babysitting service for young children. Our teenage children (15 & 18) offer the service out of our Fitness Centre Child Minding area, please contact us ahead of time.

  • Chevron down Can we bring our own camera?
  • For the Clearwater River, by all means if it’s a smaller waterproof camera, we encourage you to bring it along. If the camera is not fully waterproof, we strongly suggest not to bring it because it is nearly impossible to keep it dry during the raft trip. As an excellent alternative, our guests in the past have been very happy with our smaller disposable waterproof cameras available to purchase at our Trip Meeting Location. If you are booked for the North Thompson River trips, we can offer you one of our waterproof camera bags to keep your valuable dry or simply purchase our disposable cameras which are headache free and the kids love to use them.