The River of Golden Dreams
Get your float on down the River of Golden Dreams
The River of Golden Dreams is the calm 5-kilometre meandering river that runs from Alta Lake to Green Lake. It is a popular river to float down and is a terrific way to relax and enjoy time with family and friends.
If you have your own canoe, kayak, paddle board or boat there are many spots to start your journey from. Our recommendations include to either start from Alta Lake or from the Valley Trail Bridge at the end of Lorimer Road in Whistler Cay.
If you don’t have your own boat, no need to worry, there are 2 local companies on Alta Lake that you can rent boats from and they even provide return transportation. Whistler Eco-Tours is located at Wayside Park and Backroads Whistler is located at Lakeside Park, both less that a 5-minute drive from Whistler Creekside. Each company offers guided or self-guided canoe, kayak and double kayak tours. From these parks, you get to paddle across Alta Lake to the start of the river. Their knowledgeable and qualified guides will show you paddling techniques and teach you about Whistler’s history, geography, flora and fauna.
When starting from Alta Lake, the first section of the journey is a meandering stream through bull rushes and lily pads, there are one portage and a narrow channel. After this channel, the River of Golden Dreams joins 21 Mile Creek and the river doubles in size and starts to flow better and you can cruise the rest of the way, but still paddling to steer the boat. All while getting with magnificent views of the surrounding mountains and glaciers. If you choose to start from the Valley Trail Bridge this is where you enter the river.
The time it takes to float down the river will depend on your boat and how much you want to paddle. The Lodging Ovations team recently went down the river is kayaks, from the start of the River to Green Lake it took approximately 2 hours. Noon is a great time to start, the sun is high in the sky and there’s the entire afternoon to relax and float, no need to feel rushed!
This year there are very active beavers living along the river, we’re not sure how many beavers there are exactly, but they have been busy! There are many trees and other plants that have been gnawed down by their powerful front teeth and used to make dams and lodges along the way. There are also many canals used as transportation routes by the beavers. There is no need to be frightened, beavers are primarily nocturnal, meaning they are active during the night and sleep during the day. Make sure not to move any of their sticks or branches, this is what creates the pools and allows us to float.
As the summer and dry weather continue the water level in the river goes down, for optimal conditions it is best to float the river sooner than later. Remember to stay safe and keep the river clean. Whistler's waters and beaches are not monitored by lifeguards, obey all rules, posted signs and have an amazing float.
Float the River of Golden Dreams and experience summer in Whistler! Book your accommodation today.
Choose from our three condominium-style hotels, located in Whistler's Creekside Village.
Contact us for more information and to make a reservation.