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.

Description

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 12 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.

You 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.

7-day Itinerary

Day 0 
The group will meet with their guide in the evening to discuss the trip. You can either find your own meals and accommodation tonight (e.g. nearby campgrounds) or we can arrange this for you for an additional fee. 

Day 1 
In the morning we load up the shuttle vans and head to the put-in at Nemeiben Lake. The 9-day trip heads west towards a series of portages into Besnard Lake, the 7-day trip heads due north towards the 6 Portages. 

Days 2-3 
During these days your guides and you will paddle and portage our way into the Churchill River.

Days 4-6 
We work our way east, down the Churchill River starting below Little Birch Rapids and up through Trout Lake. There are great cliff jumping and swimming opportunities on this picturesque lake. At the north end we start working out way through some amazing shield country rapids such as Trout Falls Moose/Rooster, Rock Troute, and Chief Rapids towards Nipew Lake. The trip winds up with a bang through the final rapids of the trip, either through Great Devil / Little Devil or Barker Lake.

Day 7
All good things must come to an end. A short paddle from our campsite near Devil Lake brings us to the take-out and the completion of an amazing Churchill River canoe trip!

Costs
$1195.00 These prices are in Canadian dollars and are subject to GST.

Dates
Any 7-day period June to September 

Please include a $500 deposit with your application. We accept a cheque, Master Card or Visa. 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.

9-day Itinerary

Day 0 
The group will meet with their guide in the evening to discuss the trip. You can either find your own meals and accommodation tonight (e.g. nearby campgrounds) or we can arrange this for you for an additional fee. 

Day 1 
In the morning we load up the shuttle vans and head to the put-in at Nemeiben Lake. The 9-day trip heads west towards a series of portages into Besnard Lake, the 7-day trip heads due north towards the 6 Portages. 

Days 2 - 4 
During these days your guides and you will paddle and portage our way into the Churchill River.

Days 5-8 
We work our way east, down the Churchill River starting below Little Birch Rapids and up through Trout Lake. There are great cliff jumping and swimming opportunities on this picturesque lake. At the north end we start working out way through some amazing shield country rapids such as Trout Falls Moose/Rooster, Rock Troute, and Chief Rapids towards Nipew Lake. The trip winds up with a bang through the final rapids of the trip, either through Great Devil / Little Devil or Barker Lake.

Day 9
All good things must come to an end. A short paddle from our campsite near Devil Lake brings us to the take-out and the completion of an amazing Churchill River canoe trip.

Costs
$1545.00 These prices are in Canadian dollars and are subject to GST.

Add-ons
If your group would like additional meals and accommodation, or arrange for a float plane flight in to Sandfly Lake please contact us for a quote. Approximate cost for the "deluxe" version of this trip (including pre-trip cabin, dinner/breakfast, shuttles to and from La Ronge, and a float plane flight) is $2900.00 per person. But in case you're wondering, this "no-frills" covid-era version is just as good as (if not better than) our classic big-ticket Boreal Primer at a fraction of the price -- and only, honestly, a fraction of additional effort :)

Dates
Any 7-day period June to September

Covid-era Cancellation Policy
The trip fee is refundable up until one week prior to the start of the expedition. Cancellations received within 7 days of the trip start date will be 80% refunded
.