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international edition

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Product Awards:  

Ages Play Time Players
10+ 45 minutes 3-6

Designer(s): Frederick A Herschler

Manufacturer(s): Rio Grande Games, Abacus

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Product Description

The happy hunting grounds are closed for repair, the buried hatchet is nowhere to be found, the buffalo herds have gone on holiday, and the palefaces have decided to drink their firewater themselves rather than sell it to the Indians. All this means that the young Indian braves have to find new forms of entertainment, and since Manitou has decided to let more water than usual flow through the canyon, they decide to organize a canoe race through the rapids.

It's a canoe race and a card game all in one. Movement in the race is determined by the card game. However, there are plenty of strategic decisions on the river. The first one across the finish line wins, but if you lose it in the rapids, you must climb back up and run them again.

Product Awards

Games Magazine Awards
Best Family Game Runner-Up, 1999
Spiel des Jahres
Nominee, 1998
Deutscher Spiele Preis
5th place, 1998

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Frederick A Herschler

  • Manufacturer(s): Rio Grande Games, Abacus

  • Artist(s): Franz Vohwinkel

  • Year: 1997

  • Players: 3 - 6

  • Time: 45 minutes

  • Ages: 10 and up

  • Weight: 815 grams

  • Language Requirements: This is an international edition or domestic edition of an imported item. Game components are language-independent. Manufacturer's rules are printed in multiple languages (including English).


  • 1 game board
  • 80 cards
  • 6 canoe counters
  • 1 marking stone

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 3.3 in 6 reviews

An enhanced card game
June 25, 2006

It is hard to get around the fact that Canyon is merely a board game version of the card game Up and Down the River except this version actually has . . . well . . . a river! I suppose game designer Frederick A Herschler must have played the old trick- taking Spades knock-off and decided to add in the river to make it more like a board game. And, truth to tell, that was a good decision.

The game does have a new element of competitiveness when each hand of play involves stretegic movements down a river toward a base camp above a waterfall. The final hands of play involve careful bidding since canoes only advance if the indian (player) achieves exactly the number of tricks they predicted they would. Failure to take the tricks needed can result in being swept away by the waterfall's current and deposited behind the other braves.

I expected to be underwhelmed when I realized I had played the card game version, but I must admit, the board elements do enhance the playability. I was won over.

by Wendy
Very fun game
July 16, 2002

I'm not sure why I really like this one, but every time I play it, I win!!

It's extremely easy to learn and will provide enough challenge to score the points needed to complete the race track.

The graphics are really good, the quality of the cards and components, superb!

The game is basically a card game, using a canoe race through a well constructed canyon, to keep score. The course gradually becomes more difficult as the game progresses and finally the game demands perfection in card playing to navigate 'the rapids' and win the game. An excellent twist to an already pleasurable endeavour.

Highly recommended as an evening opener, closer or filler. Especially good for non-gamers.

by Mike
My Wife Even Plays this with Me!
January 29, 1999

A unique combination of card game and board game, race your canoe from one end of the river to the other. Based on Oh Hell, the number of tricks you take determines how far you move with bonuses for getting your bid exactly right. Watch out for the rapids, where you have to make your bid exactly or risk going over the edge of the waterfall.

My wife isn't an avid gamer, but sometimes she wants to join us! This is a great 'not hurt your head' game. Light and enetertaining, my wife even plays this one with me.

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