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How long does it take to float the Bow river?

Float the Bow River

There’s much adventure to be had when you float the Bow River. The main river that flows through Calgary, the Bow offers adventure or relaxation for locals and visitors. Many make floating down the river an annual tradition. Join in the fun with city views, wildlife sightseeing, and new memories when you float down the Bow. Learn more about the Bow float times, rafting trips, and more below.

Bow River Average Float Times

Your Bow River floating or rafting times depend on a few key items. Where you choose to launch, and how many stops you take, all impact how long it takes to float the Bow River. Since there are many parks and islands on the way down to the city, a float session could take all day. However, a typical floating or rafting trip takes a few hours, with longer trips lasting around seven hours. 

There are many launch points along the north and south sections of the Bow River. For a full list of drop in and out areas, check out the official city river access map. Check out the most common drop-in and drop-out points and float times for beginner, intermediate, and advanced floaters.

Float launch areas and times for Bow River North

Beginner

  • Sunnyside to St. Patrick’s Island: 0.5 hours
  • Shouldice Park to Edworthy Park: 1 hour
  • West Baker Park to Shouldice Park: 2 hours
  • Edworthy Park to Sunnyside: 3 hours

Intermediate

  • West Baker Park to Edworthy Park: 3 hours
  • Edworthy Park to St. Patrick’s Island: 3.5 hours
  • Shouldice Park to Sunnyside: 4 hours
  • Shouldice Park to St. Patrick’s Island: 4.5 hours

Advanced

  • West Baker Park to Sunnyside: 6 hours
  • West Baker Park to St. Patrick’s Island: 6.5 hours

Float launch areas and times for Bow River South

Beginner

  • Ogden to Graves Bridge: 1 hour
  • Graves Bridge to Carburn Park: 1 hour
  • Carburn Park to Douglasdale North: 1.5 hours
  • Ogden to Carburn Park: 2 hours
  • Graves Bridge to Douglasdale North: 2.5 hours
  • Douglasdale North to Fish Creek Park: 2.5 hours

Intermediate

  • Fish Creek Park to Policeman’s Flats: 3 hours
  • Ogden to Douglasdale North: 3.5 hours
  • Carburn Park to Fish Creek Park: 4 hours

Advanced

  • Graves Bridge to Fish Creek Park: 5 hours
  • Douglasdale North to Policeman’s Flats: 5.5 hours
  • Ogden to Fish Creek Park: 6 hours
  • Carburn Park to Policeman’s Flats: 7 hours
  • Graves Bridge to Policeman’s Flats: 8 hours
  • Ogden to Policeman’s Flats: 9 hours

Of course, float times depend on many factors like weather, water level, and water flow. Be sure to research these factors and the best time to float the Bow before you depart.

Best Bow River Trips

The best way to experience floating the Bow River is through Lazy Day Raft Rentals. We’ll give you everything you need for a full day of river floating and exploration. Although a typical floating trip lasts from 2-4 hours, you can feel free to laze about the Bow for longer. Contact us to find out what you should bring on your rafting trip and more information on how to float the Bow River.

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