Lake Minnewanka, near town, is the only place in Banff National Park that allows private motorboats. Aluminum fishing boats with 8-horsepower motors can be rented at the dock (call Lake Minnewanka Boat Tours 403/762–3473).
Canoe rentals are available at Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, and in Banff, where you launch along the Bow River and explore the waterways of the Bow Valley.
Rafting options range from scenic float trips to family-friendly white-water excursions on the Kananaskis River to the intense white water of the Kicking Horse River, with its Class IV rapids.
Canadian Rockies Rafting. Scenic floats and thrilling white-water rafting tours on the Bow, Kananaskis, and Kicking Horse rivers are conducted by these local experts. The rates include pickup in Banff or Canmore. 701 Bow Valley Tr., Canmore, Alberta, T1W 2T8. 403/678–6535; 877/226–7625; www.rafting.ca. From C$55. Closed Oct.–Apr..
Chinook Rafting. At Chinook you can book half-day or full-day rafting adventures suitable for families, as well as some for truly adventurous adults. You can choose from three different rivers. Packages combining rafting with other activities represent a discount. 215 Banff Ave., Banff, Alberta, T1L 1E3. 403/763–2007; 866/330–7238; www.chinookrafting.com. From $86. Closed Oct.–Apr..
Fairmont Château Lake Louise Voyageur Canoe Experience. Paddle the tranquil waters of Lake Louise in a 26-foot cedar-strip and canvas canoe as part of this 90-minute experience. The accompanying guide shares stories about canoes in Canada from the perspectives of First Nations people, voyagers, explorers, and fur traders. Trips depart from the Fairmont's boathouse, which also rents regular canoes. Lake Louise, Alberta. 403/522–3511; 800/441–1414; www.fairmont.com/lake-louise/promotions/canoeing. C$55.
Hydra River Guides. The guides here lead rides through thrilling Class IV rapids on the Kicking Horse River. 211 Bear St., Banff, Alberta, T1L 1A8. 403/762–4554; 800/644–8888; www.raftbanff.com. From C$125.
Kootenay River Runners. Trips ranging from scenic raft floats on the Toby or Kootenay to Class IV white-water rafting on the Kicking Horse, are available through this company. For Kicking Horse rafting, guests meet at the boat launch about 90 minutes from Banff Townsite. 4983 Hwy. 93, British Columbia, V0A 1E0. 250/347–9210; 800/599–4399; www.raftingtherockies.com. From C$55.
Minnewanka Lake Cruise. From mid-May to mid-October, Minnewanka conducts 1½-hour lake tours. Minnewanka Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, T1L 1J3. 403/762–3473; 800/760–6934; www.explorerockies.com/minnewanka. From C$54.
Moraine Lake Lodge. Moraine Lake is one of the most photographed spots in the Canadian Rockies. From June through September, you can paddle on the beautiful lake in a canoe rented at the lodge's dock. If you want to combine canoeing and walking, trails for several scenic lake hikes begin near the lodge. End of Moraine Lake Rd., Lake Louise, Alberta. 403/522–3733; 877/522–2777; www.morainelake.com. From C$55.
Rocky Mountain Raft Tours. This Banff-based outfit specializes in one- and two-hour float trips on the Bow River. Golf Course Loop Rd., Banff, Alberta, T1L1B6. 403/762–3632; www.banffrafttours.com. From C$50.
Wet 'N' Wild Adventures. This outfitter specializes in rafting on the mighty Kicking Horse River near Golden, BC. One- and two-day adventures are available. Snowmobile tours offered in winter. 1509 Lafontaine Rd., Golden, Alberta, V0A 1H0. 250/344–6546; www.wetnwild.bc.ca. From C$64.
Wild Water Adventures. Based 40 km (25 miles) north of Lake Louise, this outfitter has trips ranging from gentle floats to intense white-water experiences. Single-day and multiday trips are available. Alberta. 403/522–2211; 888/647–6444; www.wildwater.com. From C$79.