Are your ready to explore and experience a pristine and untouched wilderness landscape? The Upper Anderson offers a fantastic whitewater tundra experience unlike any other. Flowing deep into the wilderness of the northern NWT, the Anderson River creates an arctic oasis that is teeming with life. The river is quite unique in that the upper section features eskers and other glacially created features, and has several amazing whitewater canyons to paddle as well! Opportunities to see Caribou, Muskoxen and a vast array of bird life abound; not to mention the world class fishing for Inconnu, Arctic Char, Whitefish, Lake Trout and Arctic Grayling. Join this exploratory descent of the Anderson, and be one of the first paddlers ever to set foot on this ancient landscape.
This is an exploratory descent of the Anderson River, sister river to the Horton. Exploration like this usually means you need a good sense of adventure and a penchant for the unknown! We know from maps, high definition satellite imagery and previous trip reports that the river is a beautiful paddle, with great whitewater and good current throughout. Your journey starts by flying into a remote lake high up near the headwaters of the river. After a short paddle down a side creek, you arrive at the Anderson River proper. The next few days are spent paddling through an otherworldly taiga landscape, potentially watching caribou and other wildlife from the river. After 150km of swift current interspersed with class 2 rapids, the Anderson carves its way dramatically through 3 limestone canyons with big, fun class 2+ to 3 whitewater. Certainly an exhilarating way to cap off your experience on this remote and little explored part of Canada! Come and join us on our first ever expedition down this ancient waterway, used by the Dene and Inuvialuit peoples for millennia.
Accommodation and Meals
What’s included with your trip fee?
||Arrive at the CNA Lodge & Outfitting Centre, and get ready for your departure to the river the next day!
||Fly to Anderson Lake in the boreal taiga, that is connected to the Anderson via tributary river. Spend the morning fishing at the lake, before descending down the small tributary. Camp at the confluence!
||Explore the eskers and sandy bottom of this beautiful section or river. Short sections of class 2 whitewater, with one potentially class 3 rapid, intersperse an otherwise calm but fast flowing river. After 30km, camping is at the bottom of a beautiful rapid, where trout and Arctic Char linger in the eddy below
||Start your day off with some more class 2 rapids forming over limestone bedrock on the river bottom. As the afternoon begins, the river slows and begins to meander. Camping is at on white sand beaches where the river has cut its way through an esker.
||The river becomes lazy as it cuts through the sand and sediments left behind by the glaciers thousands of years ago. Spend the day relaxing as the gentle current carries you forwards. After a day of gentle paddling, another esker camp awaits 30km from your starting point.
||A Layover Day, where the tundra and Eskers surrounding the river beckon.
||A shorter day takes you on calm waters, past many tributaries, where trout, grayling and arctic char await your cast! Camping is below one of these tributaries after 20km, so the fishing continues!
||The river begins to grow, and gains speed as it heads towards the canyons below. a 25km paddle brings you to the brink of 1st Canyon.
||A whitewater paddlers paradise! 18km of class 2-3 whitewater awaits in 1st & 2nd Canyons, as the river cuts its way through spectacular limestone formations. Camping is at the mouth of a large tributary, where the fishing is sure to be fantastic. This day may involve some lining and short carries, depending on waterlevels.
||The whitewater continues, as the river cuts through Falcon Canyon, with beautiful limestone mesas and class 2-3 whitewater a plenty. Camping is at below a mesa at the bottom of the canyon.
||A layover day in Falcon Canyon, where we go and explore this magical landscape by foot.
||Another morning of easier class 2+ whitewater paddling brings you out into the true taiga, and the boreal spruce forest slowly dissipates behind you. Camping is just 10km upstream of your destination.
||After a short paddle on easy water, you arrive at Halfway Lake. A 350m portage to the lake ends your day, and your float plane arrives in the PM to whisk you back to the CNA Lodge.
||It's time to say your goodbyes after an epic adventure. Depart for the south from Norman Wells.