Castle River (AB) - Castle Falls to Rodeo Ground II
Grade (of river) is II to III, depending on water levels. Class of rapids (excluding the falls) is III - III+ depending on levels.
One can start the run off with a quick ride on the falls, a short class III+ - IV (depending on levels) rip over a broken ledge. At higher water levels (65+ cms) it really pushes into the wall on river right. Alternatively, it is easy to put in on river left below this.
Following this, there are several (about 5) rapids separated by some bouncy water with lots of catch-on-the-fly surf waves (at medium-high water levels).
All of the rapids on the run are formed by broken ledges in the bedrock, and most of them are at corners. They are all easy to spot with some river running skills, easy to eddy out above (mostly on river right), easy to scout, and easy to walk around.
This is a really good run for “advanced novice” paddlers (ie. an okay roll and good eddy turn skills) WITH GUIDANCE looking to improve their river running skills. All of the rapids have a line that is relatively easy to spot, fairly easy to hit, and fairly forgiving if missed. There is also slack water after each drop to pick up pieces if necessary.
There is a 3-4 km class I+ paddle-out to the rodeo grounds, where camping is available.
If this space is blank there have been no alerts posted for this specific river.
The symbols can be clicked on and provide some simple explanations of why they are there. You can also use the symbols to get directions from Google Maps to the put in/takeout. A handy thing!
Takeout is at the Castle River Rodeo Ground.
From Calgary, drive south on highway 22 to highway 3.
Go west on highway 3 for about 5 km to highway 507.
Turn left to go south on highway 507 (follow the signs to Castle Mountain Ski resort).
About 5 km down the road, it will cross the Castle River. Drive about 1 km further, and turn left to go to the rodeo ground.
Drive back up to highway 507, and turn left to go south. Travel through Beaver Mines, and about 10 km further down the road. Turn right onto the road that goes to the Castle Falls Recreation area. Travel this road for about 5 km, taking all right turns to get to the put-in at the falls.
* note: if on the way to the put-in you cross the Castle River on hwy 507, you've missed the Falls rec. area by about 500 m.
River run with a few easy rapids and lots of play at the right levels.
Length & Time
Being in far southern Alberta, this one comes up fast early in the season, and falls just as fast.
A good level is anywhere between 40-90 cms. Anything above 60 cms would be considered high, anything less than 35 cms would be low.
All it takes is a couple of good sunny warm days to bring this river from unpaddleably low to bouncy fun!
- Oldman River Canoe and Kayak Association - Run the annual 3 rivers rendezvous and are paddling connoisseurs in this area.