We’re approaching the last weeks of summer, and when we checked in with Kumsheen Rafting Resort, they had this to say: Their COVID-19 protocols are working great and guests are loving the great outdoors more than ever!
Staycation adventure vacations have been extremely popular this year, especially at destinations like Kumsheen Rafting Resort, which, located in Lytton, BC, is a short drive from the Lower Mainland and most Cariboo and Thompson-Okanagan communities. Located near Lytton, B.C., where the legendary Thompson and Fraser rivers meet, Kumsheen is a full-service destination resort with power and paddle rafting, a pool, restaurant, RV sites, campground and amazing canvas cabin tents and teepees, complete with beds and furniture.
In this time of COVID, it’s an ideal place to get into the great outdoors and have an excellent rafting adventure, all while staying physically distant.
“Our guests spend a day on the river, and then they get their food from the restaurant and hang out on our 15-acre property or near their cabin tent or campsite or RV,” says operations and rafting director Braden Fandrich. “We’re operating at about 50 per cent capacity, so there’s lots of room between people.”
Kumsheen has been operating since 1973 and safety has always been a priority. This year the resort has completely revamped its operations to be COVID-19 compliant, and to make the experience as safe as possible for guests, who appreciate the new protocols.
The resort is doing its best to accommodate small groups and family pods. In fact, if paddle rafters come in a group of five or more, they often get their own boat and guide, with no masks needed. If groups of eight or more show up for power rafting, they often also get their own boat with guide, and no masks needed. Smaller groups – those of two or three – mask up if they share a raft.
The rafting is excellent on one of Canada’s greatest rivers. Kumsheen has a fleet of pontoon rafts that handle the Thompson River’s rapids with ease, floating over the white water while surrounded by stunning scenery, birds, the occasional deer and bighorn sheep, and the aroma of sage brush sitting in the sun.
“People are super thankful just to be out doing something beautiful in nature,” Braden says. “It’s so exciting. They really want to enjoy all that BC has and do something really nice.”
So how about 2020’s new normal? Guests at the resort are onside and willing to do their part, especially after the resort’s extensive refit for COVID-19.
“I had someone on my boat who said he hasn’t worn a mask yet. But he wore it on the bus that day, and while getting his gear in the morning, and rafting all day, and he was fine with it,” Braden says. “It’s actually going pretty well.”
This year means fewer faces and more spaces on Kumsheen’s rafts, although the resort, on its biggest rafts, can accommodate a group of up to 16 people appropriately distanced. “People are coming up here for a peaceful time with their families, or in some cases, a few buddies, and relaxing around the resort after a day on the river,” Braden says.
GETTING THERE: Kumsheen Rafting Resort is located near Lytton, BC on the TransCanada Highway. Visitors from the Lower Mainland will experience a stunning drive through the Fraser Canyon, while visitors from other parts of the province will see grand grassland vistas surrounded by ranches, hay fields and desert mountains.
Interested in rafting at Kumsheen? You’d better hurry. Their season ends Sept. 14. The resort is open from Thursday to Mondays.
- From Vancouver: A three-hour drive (265 km)
- From Abbotsford: A two-hour drive (197 km)
- From Kamloops: A 1.75-hour drive (162 km)
- From Kelowna: A 2.5-hour drive (222 km)
- From Williams Lake: A three-hour drive (283 km)