Mistaya River (AB) - Upper III

This is a stunning run with amazing scenery and great non-stop boulder garden paddling. The run begins with a mellow float for a kilometer or so. It then begins to increase gradient with some class II rapids which build into fairly continuous class II-III+ boulder gardens. It is possible at very high water this could become class IV water. For the most part people will just read and run, it is however easy to get out in most places to scout or portage. There are no rapids that stick out as bigger than all the rest.

IMPORTANT: The most important thing with this run is to scout the Take Out. Under no circumstances do you want to end up in the canyon(class VI) under the bridge as this would most likely result in your death. Takeout about 200m upstream of the bridge in one of the many eddies present on both sides of the river. It is strongly suggested that you mark the take out to ensure that it isn't missed, and besides, this will provide a good opportunity to assess river level so you had might as well go for a little walk.

River Alerts

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!

Run Information


From Saskatchewan crossing (junction of Hwy 93 and Hwy 11) drive South for a few minutes. You will cross the North Saskatchewan River and ~3km up the hill on the West side of the road is a pull-out well signed as the tourist stopping point called “Mistaya Canyon”.

*Please note: from the river you must exit before dropping into the un-runnable gorge that all the tourists are looking at, this is ~1km from the parking lot. Scout the take out before the run, it will only take 15 minutes*

Put In

From the parking lot at Mistaya Canyon drive South for approximately 7.6km and look for an unmarked parking area on the West side of the road. From the parking lot you can see the river through the trees(barely) and it is a short walk along a trail to the put in.


Boulder garden river run

Length & Time

9km, Couple_Hours


Avg. 1.7%(17m/km), Max. 2.0% (30m/1.5km)

Flow Information

The Mistaya is fed by primarily glacier and snow melt. It should be dependably be running as the summer heats up. It is usually a bit later to get started because of its location further north.


No Gauge


Other Resources

  • Websites

River Alerts

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