Back River

Submitter & Author Information
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Additional Route Information
1077 km
72 days
Loop Trip: 
Portage Information
No. of portages: 
Total Portage Distance: 
0 m
Longest Portage: 
3000 m
Difficulty Ratings
River Travel: 
Lake Travel: 
Background Trip Info
Water Levels: 
Route Description
Technical Guide: 

Access by air from Yellowknife
Put in at Sandhill Bay on Aylmer Lake
(Alternate at Sussex Lake - the headwaters of the Back)
Headwaters are very rocky and shallow - some wading
North through Muskox Lake
Long stretch of flatwater paddling
P Muskox Rapids on left
North on river - fast water and rapids
P left around Malley Rapids
East through Beechey Lake
P 3000 m around large falls
Section 100 km long with many rapids
Past confluence of Back and Baillie Rivers
Section 100 km long with sand bars, strong current, rapids
Past Hawk Rapids (canyon)
Through a series of lakes, including:
- Pelly Lake
- Upper Garry Lake
- Garry Lake
- Lower Garry Lake
- Buillard Lake
- MacDougall Lake
Past Rock Rapids
Through long section of rapids and falls, including:
- Escape Rapids
- Sandhill Rapids
- Wolf Rapids
North on Back River
North through Sinclair Lake
Finish at Cockburn Bay on the Arctic Coast

Maps Required
Topo Maps (1:250,000): 
76 C Aylmer Lake 76 B Healey Lake 76 G Beechey Lake 76 H Duggan Lake 66 E Jervoise Lake 66 F Pelly Lake 66 G Deep Rose lake 66 J Joe lake 66 H Amer lake 66 I Montresor River 56 L Mistake River 66 P Sherman Basin 56 M Lower Hayes River
Special Comments: 

Considered to be the most challenging river in the north. Very long, very isolated, and lots of demanding whitewater. Not for north of 60 novices


Post date: Wed, 05/21/2008 - 21:00


I am interested in roughly a 100 mi trip for couples (husbands and wives)on the rivedr withou much in the way of difficult (grade 3) rapids or too much lake travel