Submitter & Author Information
Route submitted by: 
Sherwood Botsford
Trip Date : 
Additional Route Information
550 km
23 days
Loop Trip: 
Portage Information
No. of portages: 
Total Portage Distance: 
27000 m
Longest Portage: 
6000 m
Difficulty Ratings
River Travel: 
Lake Travel: 
Background Trip Info
Water Levels: 
Route Description
Technical Guide: 

Route starts at Forrest Lake on the Cluft Lake Mine Road. Forrest Lake drains into the Clearwater. Most of the rapids are boulder gardens, but there is one canyon which needs to be portaged. Trail is somewhat imaginary.Down the Clearwater to the junction of it and the Virgin River. Up the Virgin River, portage the falls. This is a tough portage. There are trails on both sides. Both are tough.Careen Lake is at the top. Paddle generally east to Black Birch Lake. Portage fromt the north end of BB into a series of small lakes. One is Jerrold, I think, one starts with a D.This series leads generally ENE. Portage out of the end lake in this series into the Brustad River. Go down the Brustad River to Cree Lake. There is one rapid on the Brustad about 2/3 of the way down, not marked. We portaged on the right. Cross Cree Lake west to East, ending near MacIntyre Bay (I think that is the name). Puddlehop from here to the Highrock River. This area has numerous cutlines from mining surveys. They do NOT always go where you want.The Highrock drains into the Geike. Continue down the Geike, pulling out near Wollaston Lake where the highway crosses it.

Special Comments: 

I did this trip as part of a school group using 4 22 foot voyageur canoes. Our group had 16 grade 10 boys and 4 staff. Compared to other trips I've done this group was substantially stronger than most. With a more average group the trip would have taken 3-5 days longer.We were resupplied twice, once on Cree Lake, and once on Highrock lake. The latter was at the camp of George MacDonald.Portages between Black Birch and Cree Lake are largely non-existent.Portages between Cree Lake and the Geike River are mostly winter roads or survey lines. Both are likely to have deteriorated, as they were put in for the Uraniam explorations connected to the Key Lake mine and related boom.Portages on the Geike are little more than moose trails. At the time we were there, it had burned over in the previous decade.Most of the rapids on the Highrock and Geike are shootable, Most are boulder gardens, with a few small ledges. The usual procedures for wilderness travel must be observed -- If you can't stop in what you can see, then pull over and scout.This is an extreme wilderness trip. There was a lodge on Careen Lake, and was one on Highrock Lake. Likely others, but we saw no boats, very few planes. We crossed one road, which supports a mine. No traffic came by while we portaged the culvert.From Careen Lake to High Rock Lake the route is on the Cree Lake Sandstone formation. Spruce is present only in low lying areas. Pine dominates. There is more underbrush than there is on the Canadian Shield. Usually moving inland a hundred feet from shore will find cariboo moss covered sand underneath the pine canopy.