Boreal Primer - Churchill River Trip
The Churchill River is a series of island filled lakes joined by rapids or falls. This canoe trip will take you from Sandfly Lake to Otter Rapids, a distance of 150 kilometres with a maximum of 12 portages. When you paddle the Churchill you spend a lot of time watching eagles and pelicans soaring overhead searching for fish. We will take some time to study these birds. We'll watch pelicans fish and we'll search for eagle's nests.
The Churchill River is unique in its form. It is a series of lakes joined by rapids or falls. Flowing over the Precambrian Shield, it passes through a forested landscape of rock outcroppings and muskeg. The many lakes making up the Churchill are sprinkled with tree-covered islands. The rapids are generally short and shelf-like in nature. Both novice and seasoned canoeists enjoy travel on the river because the more difficult rapids can be easily portaged by those without the skills to run them. The total trip length of the route is 105 km, which we will cover in eight days, travelling approximately 14 km per day, which is about 4 to 5 hours of paddling. Along the route are rapids, which we’ll either elect to run or portage after evaluation of conditions by the guide. There is a maximum of nine portages on the route, which average 300 metres in length.
The route of the Voyageurs passes through some of the Churchill's most beautiful country. Photographic opportunities abound along the entire length of the trip.
Churchill RiverYou may see bald eagles and white pelicans fishing below rapids, moose wading in the shallows, black bears wandering along the shore, and enjoy evening concerts by common loons at sunset. As we trace the path of the Voyageurs east, your guide will tell the stories and sing the songs of these adventurous times. You will also see ancient rock paintings of the first inhabitants of the Churchill area, and learn about the flora and fauna that live in this unique boreal wilderness.
The Saskatchewan portion of the Churchill River still flows free and clean and we drink it right out of the lake. Surprisingly, by July the Churchill River's water temperature reaches 18 degrees Celsius, so swimming and bathing are a pleasure! On our route we will see some outfitting camps and native homes, but the Churchill River is still very much as it was 150 years ago when the voyageurs paddled it. For more information on this period of history before you paddle the Churchill, there are two great books available: Sigard Olson's The Lonely Land and Canoeing the Churchill by Greg Marchildon and Sid Robinson.
We Supply: Guides. tents, water proof canoe packs, canoes, paddles and lifejackets are supplied. All food is supplied. Our certified guides are well experienced in the region.
You supply: Sleeping bags and sleeping pads, personal gear, and rain wear.
Arrive in La Ronge or Missinipe, Saskatchewan, either by commercial plane, bus or car. If you are arriving in La Ronge by public transportation we will meet you and transport you to Missinipe. Preferably arrive by late afternoon. The group will meet with their guide in the evening to discuss the trip. We will supply accommodations for the night for you at our base in Missinipe.
After breakfast (on us) we will load into a float plane and fly to Sandfly Lake. From here we will start our canoe trip down the Churchill River.
Day 3 to 8
During these days your guides and you will paddle and portage our way down the Churchill River.
By mid afternoon you will arrive at Otter Rapids where your shuttle vehicle will meet you to take you 6 km to Missinipe. We can arrange rides to La Ronge this evening if you must catch a flight. If you wish to spend the night in Missinipe we can again arrange a place for you to stay. For those who wish to stay Churchill River Canoe Outfitters, we will be supplying a barbeque.
$2895.00 These prices are in Canadian dollars and are subject to GST.
This price is based on either joining the planned date trips or on a private group of a minimum of 5 people.
July 8-16 | Aug 16-22, 2020
Please include a $500 deposit with your application. We accept a cheque, Master Card orVisa. This fee is non-refundable less than one month prior to the start of the expedition. The balance is due before the start of the expedition. This may be paid in our office in Missinipe or by mail or telephone.
Custom Trip Availability
We can run this trip privately for you on the dates you choose. Best dates for this trip range from May 25 to September 28, 2019. Contact us for details.