Out of the Mackenzie Mountains in Canada’s Northwest Territories, the renowned South Nahanni flows through a wilderness full of the lore of headless Creek, Kraus Hot Springs, Deadman’s Valley, Hell’s Gate, Sunblood Mountain, Pulpit Rock and Painted Canyon. This land plunges us into unrivaled, pristine beauty. Canada’s River of Gold offers adventurers an unparalleled and genuine wilderness experience. The unmatched majesty of Virginia Falls, surrounded by towering peaks and four spectacular canyons make The Nahanni experience one that will touch deep into your soul.
The Nahanni River and Nahanni National Park are Canadian Icons. Originally Created by Pierre Elliot Truedau in 1972, NNP and its sister park Nááts’įhch’oh now protect 35 000 km² of pure, pristine mountain wilderness, with the Nahanni River as its centerpiece. The Nahanni River flows through traditional Dene Territory of the Dehcho and Sahtu people, and we are greatful for their leadership in protecting this vast wilderness.
Paddlers from all over the world consider this river to be their mecca. It travels 375km through the park as it descends to the Liard River that connects to the Mackenzie River at Fort Simpson. Fort Simpson is the leaping-off point for the floatplane flight into NahʔĄ Dehé. The land flows below the wings over canyons, twisting plateaus and a myriad of stream running down to meet the river. Layers buckle up with patterns galore running through each mountain as it comes into view. Sunshine illuminates the land, warming our faces as we gaze with wonder over the undulating scene.
||Departure from Yellowknife on Canadian North, arriving Fort Simpson before noon met by guides, lunch in Fort Simpson, debrief and gear selection prior to charter flight departure to Virginia Falls at 2pm. Stunning flight into the heart of the Mackenzie Mountains arriving at Virginia Falls, set up camp and overnight. Explore the stunning scenery around Virginia Falls on this scheduled layover day with an opportunity to hike to the summit of Sunblood Mountain and take in a spectacular view of Virginia Falls, Rabbit Kettle Valley and the South Nahanni Valley. Parks Canada Staff may offer an interpretive program discussing specific aspects of flora and fauna unique to Nahanni National Park.
||We complete the 2km portage around Virginia Falls and load the rafts prior to entering Nahanni’s legendary canyons - the first which is known as Painted Canyon. The sheer-cliff vaulted canyons inspire the description of Nahanni as the Grand Canyon of the North. As the canyons narrow, the whitewater and standing waves will provide maximum thrill and adventure for our Team. We cover approximately 20kms on this first big day of whitewater.
||We raft down through the Third Canyon with 1200m walls as it makes its way through the Funeral Range. We camp in the shadow of the Nahanni Gate and have an opportunity to embark on a short hike high above Pulpit Rock.
||Another glorious day on the river takes us through the 2nd Canyon traveling through the Headless Range and into Deadman Valley. Many of you will know of the mysterious deaths of the McLeod Brothers The valley expands with distant views of the Tigotsho Plateau. Camping is at Prairie Creek where there is a large alluvial fan.
||We run George’s Riffle before entering 1st Canyon dotted with hundreds of caves. Here the canyon cuts through the Nahanni Plateau creating the most dramatic canyon in Canada. This is a relaxing section of river to experience the majesty of the canyon. Camping will be at Lafferty’s Canyon.
||A short float to Kraus’ Hot Spring for a relaxing soak in the 32-degree waters.
||We enter The Splits, a 75 km braided section of river where the current slows and the country opens up. We spend the day relaxing and reflecting on the wonders upstream.
||We press on as we make our way to Nahanni Butte near the confluence of the Nahanni and Liard Rivers. After a quick tour of the town in the late afternoon, a charter flilght arrives to take the group back to Fort Simpson
||After enjoying a relaxing morning and breakfast with your group it is time to say our final goodbyes. Your flight home departs in the early afternoon.