Kicking Horse River
Feature Type:River - Watercourse of variable size, which has tributaries and flows into a body of water or a larger watercourse.
Status: Official
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: Flows SW, NW and W into Columbia River at Golden, Kootenay Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 51°18'24"N, 116°59'15"W at the approximate mouth of this feature.
Datum: WGS84
NTS Map: 82N/7
Related Maps:
Origin Notes and History:

Decision in 18th Report. Headwaters at 51 26 - 116 21.

Source: Canadian Geographical Names Database, Ottawa

Name refers to an incident involving Dr. James Hector, geologist with the Palliser expedition, 1857-60: "In crossing a stream on the west side of the pass, near Lake Wapta, one of the pack animals, with instuments and records on its back, was getting into deep water... [Dr. Hector] went in to turn it back. Coming out of the stream, with his clothes dripping with water, and going among the horses, one of them - probably frightened at his appearance - kicked him over the heart; Hector was insensible for so long that his party, supposing him to be dead, had dug his grave and were about to bury him when he showed some sign of life." (Canadian Alpine Journal, vol XIV, 1924)

Source: included with note

"August 29, 1858: A little way above the falls, one of our pack horses, to escape the fallen timber, plunged into the stream, luckily where it formed an eddy, but the banks were so steep that we had great difficulty in getting him out. In attempting to recatch my own horse, which had strayed off while we were engaged with the one in the water, he kicked me in the chest, but I had luckily got close to him before he struck out, so that I did not get the full force of the blow. However, it knocked me down and rendered me senseless for some time. This was unfortunate, as we had seen no tracks of game in the neighbourhood, and were now without food; but I was so hurt that we could not proceed further that day. My men covered me up under a tree, and I sent them off to try and raise something to eat. August 30, 1858: I was so much better by noon, that I took a meridian altitude.... August 31, 1858: After travelling a mile along the left bank of the river, which, because of the accident the men had named "Kicking Horse River", we crossed to the opposite side - the motion on horseback gave me great pain.... September 3, 1858: As I was nearly recovered from the accident...." (excerpt from the official Palliser Report, published in 1859, p. 98, reprinted in Canadian Alipine Journal, vol XIV, 1924)

Source: included with note