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Kananaskis Outfitters: Your Ticket To Mountain Adventure!

Kananaskis Outfitters: Your Ticket To Mountain Adventure!

“Hold steady, dear!,” I yelled, half in a panic, from a slightly-contorted position in my kayak, camera hanging dangerously over the side of my boat. “Turn to your left! No, I mean right. Stop! Yes, right there! Hold that. No, now back up three feet!” Unfortunately, trying to get that perfect shot from a moving kayak when there’s wind and waves at play is, well, not so easy. Aften five minutes of suspect “shooting,” I came to this (somewhat obvious) conclusion: best to put the phone away and just enjoy the amazing paddling experience! 

Without a doubt, kayaking in Kananaskis on Barrier Lake is an awesome, photo-worthy adventure. (Tip #1: For many water activities I typically pack a drybag, waterproof phone case, as well as a lanyard so even if I drop my phone, I won’t lose it!) And, while getting great photos may not be easy, especially if you attempt the act from your kayak, you’re still going to go home with plenty of memories stored in your brain’s built-in “image bank.” (Tip #2: It’s a lot easier to get good photos while standing on solid ground on shore!)

The “secret” to making it all happen – especially if you’re a newbie kayaker and you need a boat, PFD, paddle, and so on – comes by way of the brand new boathouse that’s located near the middle of Barrier Lake on the south shore. (Look for the small blue sign, “Kananaskis Outfitters,” on Highway 40 – it’s easy to miss!) 

Owned and operated by Kananaskis Outfitters (their main outlet/rental center is located right in Kananaskis Village just 10 kilometers, or so, down the road), the shiny new boathouse has all the equipment you’ll need to have a fun-filled day on the water. Canoes, tandem kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, wetsuits, drybags, and life jackets (PFDs), are all available for rent by the hour. The tidy little boathouse also has drinks, snacks, sunscreen, hats, and additional outdoor gear available for purchase.   

Although my wife and I have more experience flailing and falling off SUPs, we opted for single kayaks to try something a little bit different. “I’d recommend paddling into the wind on your way out so you can have an easy time coming back in,” said Michele Faerden, the owner of Kananaskis Outfitters. She helped us with our rentals, including assisting us with getting the boats down to the water’s edge. “And make sure you check out the incredible views around the corner.” 

Unquestionably, Kananaskis Outfitters is all about helping people enjoy those incredible views while recreating (in a variety of activities) in the stunning, snow-dipped mountains of K Country. While their new boathouse obviously caters to people seeking recreation on the water, their main rental center also has a variety of bike rentals available, including premium full-suspension mountain bikes, e-bikes, kids’ bikes, bike trailers, helmets, and much more. (The paved bike trails in and around Kananaskis Village are awesome for all levels!)

Kananaskis Outfitters also specializes in custom corporate tours, private guided hikes, outdoor survival training, big canoe tours, and much more. (Check out their website,, to see what they have, including pricing, and reserve your gear.) 

As for me and my wife, we definitely had a blast paddling around Barrier Lake and soaking in the spectacular mountain views. The soaring, wind-worn peaks reflected in the water, the brilliant contrasts of red boats on blue water, the stunning cirrus clouds curling over the pine-coated ridges; indeed, there was lots to photograph! Wish I had a little more talent to do it from a moving object!