The South Nahanni River is a Canadian Icon. Flowing through its namesake Nahanni National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the river plunges almost 100 meters over Majestic Virginia Falls before carving its way through 4 incredible canyons filled to the brim with adventure. Enjoy the ride downstream relaxing in a raft, while one of our certified and experienced guides expertly pilots you down the mighty Nahanni. There is no paddling experience necessary, as Rafts provide an extremely stable platform for your adventure downriver and allow for first timers and experienced paddlers alike to enjoy an experience together without stress and to truly feel the wilderness around them. Please note that the earlier season trips tend to have higher water and bigger splashes- than later season raft trips.
The Nahanni River is truly the crown jewel of river trips in the NWT. Made famous to the outside world by RM Patterson’s book “Dangerous River” published in 1957, the river’s true history is one that is intertwined with the Mountain Dene People of the Dehcho Region of the NWT, who have lived here for thousands of years.
Náįlįcho, or Virginia Falls, is twice the height of Niagara falls and is the centerpiece of Nahanni National Park, one of the largest protected areas in Canada and a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. The park also protects the incredible southern Mackenzie Mountain Ranges and the many incredible canyons of the Nahanni River.
A raft is a wonderful way to explore this landscape, providing all the comforts possible on a wilderness trip at our fingertips and enabling you to relax and enjoy the incredible scenery and create new friends on the river. Our guides will regale you with tales of the north, the Dene history of the land and the incredible geology that shaped the Nahanni River. When the river and weather allows it, guests will be encouraged to take inflatable canoes out to enjoy paddling on their own, and feel the currents pull against their paddle.
Scenic rafting on the Nahanni is all about removing the stress from a wilderness expedition. Experienced, in-experienced, young, old (even children as young as 7!), rafting is the great leveler for people to experience the wonders of a northern river trip. Loaded with gear for 10 days, the rafts provide an extremely stable relaxed platform to experience the river and its rapids in all its splendor. You should still expect some thrills and splashes as the rafts descend through the class 3 rapids of 4th canyon and Georges Riffle, but you will also find peace as you are able to look around and enjoy the spectacular scenery that the canyons of the Nahanni are famous for.
Your trip begins with a dramatic flight over Virginia Falls, touching down just upstream. You are allowed a full day to take in the majesty of the falls before your group departs into the famed canyons of the Nahanni. Once you are off onto the water, the real fun begins. Each raft can accommodate 4 paddlers as well as skilled and certified “Captain” at the oars, expertly navigating your craft downstream. As you briskly float onwards, conversations and laughter echo off of the canyon walls – the camaraderie built on a raft is like no other wilderness experience. As the days go by, a cup of tea, hot chocolate or coffee becomes at home in your hands as much as a paddle or a camera. The scenery beckons you to look around, drink it in and relax in one of the largest protected wilderness areas in Canada. At night, the large rafts allow us to carry many more creature comforts than canoes such as tables and comfortable chairs. As the campfire crackles and the sun dips low against the horizon, you can feel yourself finally at peace with yourself and the world.
In camp we will spare no luxury, and our 5-star menu is to die for. We will spend the nights socializing around a campfire and enjoying the 24 hour daylight that makes evening stretch long and beautiful. Mornings are slow but steady, and every day is a learning experience of how everything gets packed and put away- but it’s worth every moment in this incredible land.
By the end of the trip new friends and memories for life will have been made, and you will be ready for your next northern adventure!
Gear and Flight back to Fort Simpson from Nahanni Butte (the take out) Included.
Youth must be over 8 years old and 55 pounds to join a rafting adventure.