William River

CanadaSaskatchewanNorth
Submitter & Author Information
Route submitted by: 
Patrick Mahaffey
Trip Date : 
July 2013
Additional Route Information
Distance: 
120 km
Duration: 
8 days
Loop Trip: 
No
Portage Information
No. of portages: 
8
Total Portage Distance: 
1630 m
Longest Portage: 
750 m
Difficulty Ratings
River Travel: 
Intermediate
Lake Travel: 
Intermediate
Portaging: 
Easy
Remoteness: 
Advanced
Background Trip Info
Water Levels: 
High
Route Description
Access to Put-In Information: 

Alternative 1: Slow drive north from La Loche village along rough Highway 955 to Lone Wolf Camp on Carswell Lake. Should enquire with Areva Resources about access through Cluff Lake Mine site, and must obtain permission from Lone Wolf Camp for access to lake.

Alternative 2: Fly from La Loche to Carswell Lake.

Technical Guide: 

Route has 4 sections:

  1. Carswell Lake: 30 km, with 10 m portage to Carwell River
  2. Carswell River: 20 km; shallow with numerous boulder gardens; frequent lining necessary after July & in low water years
  3. William River: 50 km; deeper but still several boulder gardens; 2 rapids require portages
  4. Lake Athabasca: 15 km; can follow shore but prone to strong winds; 600-m portage to Cantara Lake for pick-up
     
Trip Journal/Log/Report/Diary: 

7 days of paddling plus 4 days of hiking and rest.

Other
Suggested Resource Material: 

Excellent detailed river information in Laurel Archer's book: 'Northern Saskatchewan Canoe Trips' (except for road access and Carswell Lake).

Special Comments: 

Significant features to explore: crater edge ridge of Carswell Crater near west end of Carswell Lake, and Athabasca sand dunes along William River.