Highwood River (AB) - Aldersyde I

A nice class I+ run with some catch on the fly waves. This run starts off slow and easy and the rapids get better as you go. There is flat water in between each rapid, and lots of eddies to work on skills. The largest rapid is about 3/4 of the way down and is a couple of turns after a large landslide on river left. The 'island rapid' has two channels, the right channel being the easier line. It can be portaged on river left. The left channel has some surfable waves with eddy service at low water and a hole on the left at higher water. At high water there is also a nice section of waves after the island rapid.

The takeout is near the confluence of the sheep river. Either paddle up the sheep and hike up the cliff then follow the path upriver until you get to the parking spot. Or ferry over to the other side of the sheep, walk up a bit and then ferry back. Follow a path leading up the sheep until you see a fence on the left, after the fence walk up the small hill to the parking spot.

Takeout can be a bit of a pain, not recommended once mosquito season gets going. Put in is near the Petro/A&W off HWY 2 Aldersyde exit.

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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!

Run Information


From the put in, head west and go back over the bridge and take your first right, then another right onto township road 202B, first left onto RR285, stay on that road until te end and then keep left onto a dirt road. Follow that road until you hit a parking loop near the sheep river

Put In

Head south on hwy 2 and take the Aldersyde exit (south of cochrane), head east (left), after you go over the bridge over the Highwood take your first left for river access just off the gravel road


Nice class 1+ with some class II rapids

Length & Time

10km, Couple_Hours



Flow Information

Spring. Use the highwood mouth gauge and subtract the sheep okotoks gauge. Can be run at as low as 20, but much more fun if over 100



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