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Grand Rapids

The Grand Rapids are on the Athabasca River between Athabasca and Fort McMurray. The rapids are formed by huge boulders that stretch across the river from bank to bank creating a major transportation hazard. They are also awesome to look at! During the fur trade, the Athabasca River became the Hudson's Bay Company's main river route to the north and the notorious Grand Rapids were the greatest obstacle on it. Imagine trying to go through those rapids in an old canoe! The rapids are still remote today and can be approached only by boat or aircraft. Because these rapids are extremely dangerous and located miles away from the nearest hospital, a canoe tour should be attempted only by the most experienced canoeists. The Grand Rapids are impassable at any water level and have killed a number of unsuspecting and ill-prepared canoeists over the years.

For information on other rapid systems in Alberta click here.