We love to paddle and hike and thus have recently tried to make it a big part of our summers. Here is a short description of our most recent adventures. Check out additional photos on google maps.
Fort Fitzgerald, Alberta, to Yellowknife via the Slave, Dog, Tethul, Tazin, Thekulthili, & Taltson Rivers, Sled Creek, and the Mary Frances and Lockhart Rivers
In the summer of 2019 we began a trip with our two young sons: Emile, 4 years old, and Aleksi, not quite a year old. We also had a film-maker along, Keith Robertson, and his father and paddling partner Harry Robertson.
We crossed the Slave River, paddled up the Dog River, and wound our way along ancient portage routes to Nonacho Lake. This route up the Tethul, Tazin, and Thekulthili Rivers hadn’t been travelled in ages and the portages were in horrible shape. Dwayne spent as much as 3 hours with a bow saw on some of the portage trails to clear all the deadfall. The portages are now in great shape! From Nonacho we continued up the Taltson, portaged north into Eileen Lake, went up Sled Creek to Lynx Lake, and then via Whitefish Lake into Garde Lake and the Mary Frances River. At Mary Frances Lake we continued to Smart Lake and then west via the Hanbury Portage into Ptarmigan Lake. From there we turned south to Artillery Lake, Pike’s Portage, and Great Slave Lake where we paddled home to Yellowknife.
1500 km, 107 days, 116 portages, 227 fish eaten
(May 20 to September 3, 2020)
In August of 2018, Dwayne paddled the Flat River with 5 friends. The team drove from Yellowknife to Tungsten in the Mackenzie Mountains via BC and the Yukon. They put in at the very headwaters of the Flat above the Mactung Mine and paddled down to the Nahanni River and further on to Lindberg Landing on the Liard River.
The Upper Flat River, above Irvine Creek, is fast and challenging with numerous portages, frequent log jams that can block 80% of the river, tight corners, and numerous obstacles. Below Irvine Creek is where this river gets its name. The river is an easy and fast Class I float from here down to the Nahanni River.
500 km, 20 days (Aug 6 to 25, 2018)
Johnny Hoe River and the Idaa Trail
In late June of 2016, we flew to Whati with our toddler Emile to begin a loop that would bring us back to Behchoko. We paddled north across Lac La Martre, paddled and tracked our canoe up the Grandin River, and portaged into Lac Grandin. From there we continued west to Lac Tache which is the headwaters of the Johnny Hoe River. We followed this river downstream through Lac Ste Therese to Great Bear Lake and then travelled eastward. We left Great Bear Lake to follow a route through Tachay Lake to reach the Idaa Trail and continue south to Behchoko.
1100 km, 59 days (June 29 to August 26, 2016)
Tsichu, Keele and Mackenzie Rivers (Mile 222 on Canol Road to Norman Wells)
In the summer of 2014 we (& embryo Emile) paddled from the NWT/Yukon border to Norman Wells, NWT on the Tsichu, Keele and Mackenzie Rivers and then hiked back along the Canol Trail. We drove from Yellowknife with 4 friends to the end of the North Canol Road in the Yukon & 16 km beyond into the NWT where the Tsichu river can often be paddled in the early summer. It is a great whitewater ride down to the Upper Keele River. The Keele river joins the Mackenzie just south of Tulita, but we paddled it to Norman Wells where we said goodbye to our 4 friends and switched gear to hike back along the Canol Trail.
575 km, 24 days (July 1 to 24, 2014)
Canol Trail (Norman Wells to Mile 222)
The same summer of 2014, after paddling from the NWT/Yukon border to Norman Wells, we hiked back from Norman Wells to our truck at Mile 222 of the Canol Trail. Our trip was unassisted as we left a mini food drop for ourselves during our paddling trip and carried the rest with us.
360 km, 25 days (July 27 to August 20, 2014)
Marian, Emile, Parent, and Coppermine Rivers (Rae, NT to Kugluktuk, NU)
The summer of 2013 included 2 months of paddling and 1 month of hiking. We paddled upstream from Rae, following the Marian and Emile Rivers, to the barrenlands where the water no longer flows south to Great Slave Lake but rather flows in the opposite direction to the Arctic Ocean. Here at Grenville Lake we met 4 friends who paddled the Parent and Coppermine Rivers with us to Kugluktuk.
945 km, 55 days (June 9 to August 2, 2013)
Kugluktuk, NU to Paulatuk, NT
That same summer of 2013 we sent our canoes home on the barge and then hiked northwest from the mouth of the Rae River until we again reached the Arctic Coast. We then followed the coast west and south to Paulatuk, passing briefly through Tuktuk Nogait National Park. We packed all of our food with us and encountered 2 snowstorms on our way.
485 km, 26 days (August 6 to September 1, 2013)
Monfwi Trail (Rae, NT to Greenstocking Lake, NT)
In the summer of 2012 we paddled our first trip together, upstream on an old traditional trail with 2 friends. The route begins in Rae, NT, and ends at Drymeat Lake on the tundra. We then meandered to Singing and Greenstocking Lakes.
310 km, 22 days (June 23 to July 14, 2012)
East Arm of Great Slave Lake (Union Island, NT to Yellowknife, NT)
That same summer of 2012 we hopped on an empty leg of a charter to the east end of Union Island where we paddled a 17′ Clipper Tripper on the big lake back to our home in Yellowknife. We circumnavigated Etthen Island, followed the south shore of Blanchet Island, and passed through the Caribou Islands before following the North Arm back to Yellowknife. A rare early August wind storm has us windbound near Burnt Island for 2.5 days.
365 km, 13 days (July 27 to August 7, 2012)
Beaulieu River (Spencer Lake, NT to Great Slave Lake, NT)
Dwayne and 5 friends paddled the Beaulieu River in the summer of 2011 from Spencer Lake to Pauline Bay on Great Slave Lake.
200 km, 15 days (August 7 – 21, 2010)
View about Arctic Tern
View the team