The first half of this trip follows the Foster River, the last half is on the Churchill River. The Foster River flows out of the north into the Churchill River at the start of Black Bear Island Lake. The Foster has numerous runnable rapids, some picturesque waterfalls and some pretty lakes. The Churchill is a series of island filled lakes joined by short thrilling rapids or waterfalls. On this trip we are paddling all of the Foster and a short portion of the Churchill. Our total trip is about 300 kilometers. We will paddle through typical Precambrian Shield country. Beautiful rock outcroppings form great camping spots all along the river.

The Cree call the Churchill River, Missinipe or Big Water. They have been it’s inhabitants for thousands of years and continue to live along it’s shores. We’ll visit many of their sacred rock painting sites along the river. The Churchill was part of the main voyageur route across the continent during the fur trade era. We’ll visit a site of an old fur trade post.

The trip is a great mix of thrilling whitewater and peaceful lake paddling. You’ll get to see eagles, pelicans, osprey, moose and bear. You will likely not meet other groups on the Foster River. You will meet groups on the Churchill River portion. But, the river is not busy until you get within a day of the end. The trip begins with a charter flight from Missinipe.

Trip at a Glance

Lakewater and Whitewater wilderness canoe trip
Length: 13 days
Skill Level: Intermediate
Dates: July 26 to August 7, 2022
Trip Fees: $4595 CAD
Trip Rendezvous: Missinipe, Saskatchewan with shuttle service available from La Ronge

Trip Description

The Foster River trip meets at Churchill River Canoe Outfitters in Missinipe, Saskatchewan. We will overnight there, before heading by charter flight to Lower Foster Lake on the Foster River. The guides will review paddling strokes, canoe maneuvers and safety before we head downstream. At the first rapids we’ll go over river reading and route planning. There will be many rapids to hone those whitewater skills. Expect some portages each day at waterfalls, or rapids that we cannot, or you would prefer not to paddle. Most portages are less than 300 meters, but the last day, depending on the route you choose, and the skill of the group there could be a portage of 1100m. On the last day, you’ll be picked up noon by our van for our ride back to Missinipe and on to La Ronge to connect with late afternoon flights to Saskatoon. Some in the group may want to stay overnight for a celebratory meal together.

Foster River Trip Itinerary

Day 0 Monday, July 25th, 2022 - Travel to Missinipe, SK, drive or fly
  - Flights from Saskatoon to La Ronge, CRCO shuttle pickup at the airport to Missinipe (80 km).
  - Pre trip meeting, gear check, dinner, overnight at CRCO in Missinipe
Day 1 Tuesday July 26th - Breakfast, charter flight to Lower Foster Lake
 - Set up camp, canoe skills review
Day 2 to Day 12 - Paddle the Foster and Churchill Rivers
 - The unspoiled clear waters of the Foster and Churchill Rivers flow over a number of lakes and through rapids. There are many fun runna ble rapids, and a few falls that we will have to portage. Each night, we will camp at a new site, surrounded by ruggedly beautiful scenery.
Day 13 Sunday, August 7th, 2022
 - The trip ends at Devil Lake or Otter Rapids. Shuttle back to Missinipe (5 km).
 - Optional Group Dinner and overnight in Missinipe (own expense) or mid-afternoon departure from Missinipe to the La Ronge airport. That shuttle to La Ronge can also go the next day.
 - Overnight in Saskatoon (own expense) or flights home

What is Included in the Trip Price?

•Overnight stay at CRCO in Missinipe on July 26
•Guides - 5:1 ratio
•Trail Meals
 • Excellent meals from Day 2 lunch to Day 13 lunch
 • Snacks
•Canoeing Equipment:
 • 17’ Prospector expedition canoes
 • Paddles, PFD, helmets (you may bring your own)
 • Throw lines and other safety accessories
• Camping Equipment:
 • Tents - free standing custom expedition dome tents - 2 per tent
 • ‘Kitchen’ - tarp, fire box, cooking stoves, utensils, dishes, etc
•Safety Equipment:
 • First aid and repair kits, communications equipment (satellite phone)
 • Canoe rescue gear
•Local Transportation:
 • Charter flight to Lower Foster Lake Lake on the Foster River from Missinipe, Saskatchewan
 • Transportation to and from the La Ronge airport and Missinipe
 • Transportation of guides, group gear, canoe etc to and from trip

What is not Included in the Trip Price?

• Saskatchewan tax: 11% of the trip fee
• Personal clothing and gear - a recommended clothing & equipment list will be provided
• Travel between your home and the trip rendezvous - Missinipe, Saskatchewan
• Accommodation in Missinipe SK after the trip (approx $60 per person based on double occupancy)
• Any meals in Missinipe before or after the trip
• Any additional expenses or costs incurred as a result of delays to the trip caused by factors beyond our control - i.e. wind, waves, unsafe paddling conditions, forest fire, pandemic, etc
• Any costs associated with your emergency evacuation from the trip - please contact us at CRCO for more information
• Gratuities - we recommend $12-$15 per day per guide

The Foster and Churchill Rivers region often has idyllic summer temperatures, but not always. Expect temperatures to range from 15 C to 32C, but averaging from 20 - 25 C. A good rain suit is a must, along with some warm clothing for cool days and nights. The water temperature in mid summer is usually about 22 C.

Frequently Asked Questions

YES, we highly recommend you to purchase 1) Emergency Medical/Evacuation Insurance, 2) Trip Interruption Insurance and 3) Trip Cancellation Insurance. Many credit card companies offer limited interruption/cancellation insurance, so please consult with yours before you book your trip to ensure you are adequately covered. Please also note that some types of insurance are only valid if they are purchased within a short time of making a non-refundable payment towards a trip. More information about these can be obtained through your preferred insurance provider. Prior to confirming your trip’s departure, we will ask you to sign a waiver stating you have either purchased adequate insurance or that you will be personally responsible and financially liable for any costs incurred as the result of any delays/cancellations/evacuations to you on your trip.