6 Of Alberta's Best Lazy Rivers To Float Away On This Summer Without Lifting A Paddle

It's the best summer activity.

Someone floating on the Elbow River in Calgary. Right: Floating on McLeod River.

Someone floating on the Elbow River in Calgary. Right: Floating on McLeod River.

Sometimes you want to go hiking to find stunning scenery, other times you just want nature to take care of it for you. That's why visiting one of Alberta's lazy rivers is one of the most relaxing summer activities.

One of the worst things about Alberta is that it's so far away from the coast. However, the province has some incredible lazy rivers and lakes to make up for it.

Whether you're looking for something local, or you're up for a road trip, there are scenic waterways up and down Alberta to check out.

Be sure to check water conditions and safe access points to the river first then, by all means, float until your heart's content.

Elbow River

Where: Calgary, AB.

Why You Should Go: You don't even need to leave the city to be able to get your float on. The Elbow River is pretty calm and floats usually take around three hours and you can access the river from Sandy Beach or Stanley Park.


Pembina River

Price: $5 reservation fee is required.

Address: Entwistle, AB.

Why You Should Go: You can enjoy the stunning views of the Pembina River Valley as you lounge in the sun. You can also rent tubes, lifejackets and coolers and book a spot on a shuttle bus to take you back to your car so you can just sit back and enjoy.


McLeod River

Where: Woodlands County, AB.

Why You Should Go: This relaxing 2.5-hour route takes you through the heart of the stunning Woodland County and is lined by a beautiful forest. You can set sail from West Mountain Road by Whitecourt.


Oldman River

Where: Lethbridge, AB.

Why You Should Go: You can plan for floating adventures from one to six hours, so why not pack a picnic and let the river do the rest of the work for you.


Discovery Canyon

Where: Red Deer, AB.

Why You Should Go: Open from June until the September long weekend, Discovery Canyon not only has its own lazy river, but it also has natural bubbling pools and its own beach.


South Saskatchewan River

Where: Medicine Hat, AB.

Why You Should Go: This popular route takes you right past downtown Medicine Hat. It is a long stretch of river so make sure to plan for at least half a day of floating.


Charlie Hart
Charlie Hart was a Travel Creator for Narcity Media focused on Canadian and global travel and is based in Calgary, Alberta.