Grenville L. - Parent R. - Redrock L. - Coppermine R. - Fairy Lake R. - Takijuq/Napaktulik L. - Lake 414 - Hood R. - Arctic Sound

Submitter & Author Information
Route submitted by: 
Trip Date : 
Route Author: 
Additional Route Information
700 km
46 days
Loop Trip: 
Portage Information
No. of portages: 
Total Portage Distance: 
11570 m
Longest Portage: 
3000 m
Difficulty Ratings
River Travel: 
Lake Travel: 
Background Trip Info
Water Levels: 
Route Description
Technical Guide: 

Float Plane Dropoff at west end of Grenville Lake.
Lined Rapids into Rawalpindi Lake.
Out of Rawalpindi Lake, Ran RL, Lined, then Ran RL.
Runnable CI. Ran then lined rapid into Parent River.
Runnable CI. Rock at center at top.
Runnable CI. Ran, then lined.
P50m RL.
Runnable (top half) and lined RR (bottom half)
Runnable CII, then lined RR.
Runnable CII.
Lineable CII.
Lineable CII.
Several fast sections. All runnable. Very bouldery and shallow.

*NOTE* get from maps which sections of the Coppermine were fast.

Onto Redrock Lake and the Coppermine River.
Some short fast water sections between Redrock and Rocknest Lakes. The Coppermine is a huge river so the swift water is much more powerful than on most rivers.
After Rocknest Lake, runnable CII. Very big waves, fast water. Curved around bend. Scouted RL. P200 RL. Except for a couple sections, the river is continuous fast moving current from here to the Fairy Lake River.

P500 RL. CIII/CII. Entire rapids is huge, top half too scary for us. Top half unrunnable. Portaged packs RL the entire distance. We portaged canoes partway, and ran empty canoes (with spray decks) for fun through the huge haystacks of the lower half (CII).
Runnable CI.
P100m RR. CIII/CII. Portaged around top half (CIII), and ran lower section (CII).
Several runnable CI and CII.
Camped at entrance to the Fairy Lake River (just upstream on Fairy Lake River, RR).
P3000m. Continuous, powerful, fast-moving CIII for this entire stretch of river. Portaged RR upstream on the Fairy Lake River.
P600m RR. CII. Stay high off rocks.
Tracked RR.
Tracked RL.
Camped RL.
Tracked RR, CIII.
Tracked RR
Tracked RL
Tracked RR
Short tracking, RL. Watch slippery rocks.
P250m. CI/CII.
P50 m RR, possible to track as well. Crossed to RR.
P800m RL, CIII. Mountain Goat Portage.
Tracked long stretch RL (using Bridal on bow line Only). CII.
All narrrow sections on map are swifts.
Tracked 50m RR into lake (elevation 385).
Tracked 1000m RR into Lake 392.
Tracked RL. Swift water. Slippery rocks.
Takajuq Lake
Paddled 50m to P50m into small lake.
P1800m into Lake 414 (height in metres above sea level, marked on
topo maps).
Lake 414. The Hood River starts at the east end of this lake.
Keep in mind that water levels for us on the Hood River were unusually low,
so some otherwise unsafe rapids became runnable, and some otherwise
runnable rapids became unsafe or too much effort due to excessive
exposed rocks.
P400 RL, CIV.
Runnable P200m RL CII.
P750 RL CII. Long rapid.
P50 RL.
Lineable CII. Into unnamed Lake (elevation 371).
P250 RL unrunnable into another unnamed lake (elevation 361).
Runnable CII. RR.
Runnable CII. Runnable top portion RL.
Into unnamed lake with elevation 356.
P400 RR.
Runnable Easy rapid. CII.
P1000 RL. Unnamed Falls.
Runnable RR, 1st chute above another Unnamed Falls. Easy CII.
Runnable RL, 2nd chute above Unnamed Falls, ran RL. Easy.
P400m RR around Unnamed Falls.
Runnable CII. Big waves. Approximately 750km downstream of Wright River. Runnable RR.
Runnable CIIs with rocks and large waves in stretch below the Wright River that must be scouted.
Lots of CI and CII rapids. Scouted lots, ran all. Many not marked on maps.
Runnable CII. Ran RR. Watch boulder ledge.
Lots of CI and CII rapids. Scouted most.
Numerous runnable CI and CII rapids. Ran all. Faster current than yesterday.
Runnable CIII. We ran this upper stretch, but it could be quite dangerous in higher water conditions. P150m RLCIII lower stretch of rapid. This is likely always a mandatory portage.
Fast CI rapids all day. Scouted most.
P300m around Wilberforce Falls.
Runnable CII.
Runnable CII.
Runnable CIII. Hello Rock Rapid.
Runnable CII.
Runnable CII.
Runnable CII. Scouted RR, ran centre.
Runnable CII. Scouted RL.
Fast Water. Lots of CI swifts.
P25m RL, over rocks, the last falls on the Hood River.
Lineable/Runnable upper part is a big drop CIII may be lined or carried over, lower CII easy to run
Pick up location was 6km from mouth of Hood River.

Trip Journal/Log/Report/Diary: 

Day 1
Float Plane Dropoff at west end of Grenville Lake. Spent afternoon flying kites and exploring the barrens. Camped approximately 8km from landing at old hunt camp. Grave Site present. Lots of caribou remains and garbage.

Day 2
Lined Rapids into Rawalpindi Lake. Bouldery but doable. Dragged over end.
Camped on Rawalpindi Lake.

Day 3
Strong NNE headwind.
Camped at scenic location on Rawalpindi Lake. Saw caribou across campsite. Saw 2 Grizzly bears during evening hike.

Day 4
Saw two grizzly bears (one swimming) on Rawelpindi Lake, near campsite.
Out of Rawalpindi Lake, Ran RL, Lined, then Ran RL.
Camped just into 1st unnamed lake.

Day 5
Runnable CI. Ran then lined rapid into Parent River. Shallow.
Runnable CI. Rock at center at top. Shallow.
Runnable CI. Ran, then lined. Boulder garden.
P50m RL. Camped at bottom of portage (11 W 0623750 - UTM 7222035). Caught arctic greyling. Very buggy.

Day 6
Runnable (top half) and lined RR (bottom half)
Runnable CII, then lined RR. Shallow and rocky.
Runnable CII. Shallow and rocky.
Lineable CII. Shallow and rocky.
Lineable CII. Shallow and rocky.
Runnable RL into Parent Lake. Big Waves.
Camped south right before esker (11 W 0629534 - UTM 7236485). Nice campsite with sandy beach.

Day 7
Few easy and fast sections of river.
Camped RR at marshy spot (11 W 0618221 - UTM 7247229). Not a great spot.

Day 8
Paddled 19km.
Several fast sections. All runnable. Very bouldery and shallow.
Camped just before Red Rock Lake on beautiful sandy campsite (11 W
0615750 - UTM 7263262). Fresh bear tracks.

Day 9
Paddled 4km.
Windbound on sandy point at start of Red Rock lake. Beautiful sandy
point. Plentiful fire wood. Lots of tracks (bear, wolf,
caribou). Camped here at (11 W 0619610 - UTM 7265278). Sheltered from wind.

Day 10
Detoured to Max Ward`s Lodge on Red Rock Lake. No one was around (could be since it was 6:00am).
Fast water sections into the Coppermine River.
Camped above first set of rapids. Caught lots of lake trout and
released arctic char. Met two other groups at this section of river.
Camped at (11 W 0631761 - UTM 7288001)

Day 11
Runnable CII. Big Waves. Curved around bend. Scouted RL. optional P75 RL.
P500 RL. CIII/CII. Top half too scary. Portaged gear RL the entire distance. Trails emerge into one path along river. Easy trail. We portaged canoes partway, and ran empty canoes (with spray decks) through the lower half (CII). Fun waves.
Runnable CI. Stay RL (other side too shallow).
Camped at (11 W 0623413 - UTM 7294682)

Day 12 Travelled 50km, hardly paddling. Continuously fast stretch of river.
P100 RR. CIII/CII. Portaged around top half (CIII), and ran lower section (CII). Huge waves.
Several runnable CI and CII. Watch surprise ledges at bottom.
Camped on the RR shore of the Fairy Lake River a bit upstream of the confluence (11 W 0623452 - UTM 7340934).

Day 13
Day off. Scoped out first portage on Fairy Lake river.

Day 14
P3000m. CIII. Portaged RR upstream on the Fairy Lake River. Took 2 1/2 trips. Challenging terrain, swamps, hills, trees, and many many bugs.
Paddled short distance to campsite, RL. Poor site (marshy), but good
flat rock for cooking. Evidence of previous campers. Camped at (11 W
0626725 - UTM 7340467)

Day 15
P600 RR. CII. Stay high off rocks.
Tracked RR, ferried across and tracked RL
Tracked RL. Short distance.
Camped RL at (11 W 0629464 - UTM 7351458). Grassy meadow.

Day 16
Tracked RR, CIII. Treacherous slimy rocks.
Tracked RR
Tracked RL
Tracked RR
Camped at small falls at (12 W 0365557 - UTM 7351211). Caught lake trout for dinner. Water Quality Monitoring Station upstream from falls with fuel cache. Good night hiking site. Buggy.

Day 17
Short tracking, RL. Watch slippery rocks.
P250. CI/CII. Big Drop.
P50 RR, possible to track as well. Easy portaging and easy tracking.
Crossed to RR.
P800 RL, CIII. Mountain Goat Portage. Steep uphill section at start. Once on top, follow rock cairns. Beautiful view looking down into canyon. Tough downhill section, less defined. Have to walk over boulders at end. We put in at the earliest opportunity then tracked up fairly difficult rapids the rest of the way, but you could portage about an extra 800m to the top of the rapids. After the rapids we tracked RR and camped at the next major rapid. Beautiful Site overlooking Fairy Lake River at (12 W 0371372 - UTM 7350081). Good tent sites on rocks.

Day 18
Tracked long stretch RL CII.
All narrrow sections on map are swifts.
Tracked 50m RR into lake (elevation 385).
Camped on peninsula facing east overlooking Lake 385 at (12 W 0378433
- UTM 7345057). Easy landing in little cove. Beautiful site overlooking water. Good swimming.

Day 19
Tracked 1000m RR into Lake 392. Rough sections, particularly around willows on RR. Pulled canoes most of the way.
Tracked RL. Swift water. Slippery rocks.
Camped on peninsula on Takijuq Lake at (12 W 0392796 - UTM 7343973). No wind. Back to the barrengrounds.

Day 20
Camped at southeast corner of lake, approximately 5km from southern
tip of Takijuq Lake at (12 W 0414087 - UTM 7327188). Nice campsite. Breeze blew away bugs. Incredible view of Takijuq peninsula.

Day 21
Paddled north along east shore of Takijuq Lake. Very calm
conditions. Saw swallow nesting island approximately 5km north of
campsite (12 W 0420261 - UTM 7351590), 500m off shore. Also saw stick nests.

Day 22
Camped at end of esker at point at northeast corner of Takijuq Lake
just before portage route to Lake 414 (12 W 0414967 - UTM 7382579). Beautiful site. Signs of previous campers.

Day 23
Day off.

Day 24
Paddled 50m to P50m into small lake.
Dragged canoes through narrow grassy/muddy channel, into lake with with 90 bend.
Dragged canoes through grassy section half way up lake.
P1800 m into Lake 414. Started portaged halfway along east shore, landing on sandy beach. Portaged along esker, staying west of two lakes. Followed cairns to Lake 414.
Camped on Lake 414 was on an island located approximately 6km from
end of portage, at (12 W 0422217 - UTM 7390013). Island was close to north shore of mainland. Flat rocks for swimming (brr!) and cooking. Saw single muskox appromately 100m away, on the mainland.

Day 25
Windbound. Strong NE wind. Played capture the flag using entire island. Huddled in tent out of wind and cold. Hiked on mainland. Found muskox skull on mainland.

Day 26
Windbound. Strong NE Wind.

Day 27
Paddled 21 km east on Lake 414.
Camped approximately 5km from end of Lake 414, on
island. Well-sheltered site with good tent sites at (12 W 0440250 -
UTM 7392375)

Day 28
Windbound. Hiked on north shore of mainland. Nice view.

Day 29
P75 RR very shallow CII. May be draggable, but took the P 75m RR due to cold weather and low water.
P20 RL very shallow. Took portage due to cold weather and low water
P400 RL, CIV. Took portage. Nice lunch spot at bottom of falls.
Runnable P200m RL CII. Ran to first pool. Lots of rocks to avoid.
P750 RL CII. Long rapid. Two large drops. We took portage RL top. No clear channel at bottom. Went RL with lots of dragging and a liftover. Portage would be tough.
Camped on RR at end of upper end portage (12 W 0448574 - UTM 7391837). Rough spot but good tent sites.

Day 30
P50 RL. Not worth dragging. Easy portage. Beauty campsite at top overlooking rapids.
Lineable CII. Paddled to the island in the middle of the rapids then lined along right side of island into Unnamed Lake (elevation 371).
P250 RL, big mess of boulders. Took portage until first calm stretch, then dragged through bottom RL.
Paddled 10 km length of Cave Lake.
Camped on north shore of east end of Cave Lake (12 W 0467883 - UTM 7392033). Rough spot, few tent sites. Fox trap/cairn on hill SE of campsite. Just beside cairn with its entrance on the east side is cave, potentially used a food cache or for shelter. A few animal bones inside.

Day 31
Runnable CII. RR. No problem, few big rocks. Could portage RL
Runnable CII. Runnable top portion RL. Saw herd of 14 muskoxen RL. Could portage this section P250 RR. Lower section boulder strewn. Pulled over. Could portage this section P100m RR.
Camped at sandy beach on west side of esker (12 W 0479506 - UTM 7392298). Beautiful site. Elevation 365.

Day 32
Paddled to the end of Esker Lake (elevation 356). Beautiful campsite
on point at southeast end of lake on huge sandy plains (12 W 0497954 -
UTM 7407235). Bay to the southwest was a sandy plain partially covered by ice, not water as shown on 1:50000 map. Spectacular view. Sandy plains made for fabulous hiking.

Day 33
P400 RR. Mandatory portage. Good trail. Pulled canoes down hill towards end of portage.
Runnable Easy rapid. CII. Scouted RL. Narrow line down centre.
P500 RR. CII+/CIII. Many exposed rocks. Took portage RR.
Fast current in all narrow sections.
P1000 RL. Unnamed Falls. Comes up fast. Hilly portage. Not runnable.
Camped at south end of falls (12 W 0508222 - UTM 7414041). Beautiful site. Great swimming, but buggy in evening.

Day 34
Runnable RR, 1st chute above another Unnamed Falls. Easy CII.
Runnable RL, 2nd chute above Unnamed Falls, ran RL. Easy. Avoid ledge RR.
P400 RR around Unnamed Falls. Slid canoes down bottom half of portage. Absolutely spectacular from the bottom. Saw peregrine falcons. Great lunch spot.
Not much current below the falls to the Wright River. Lots of sand bars. Stay on outsides of bends to avoid grounding.
Camped just west of Wright River (12 W 0526875 - UTM 7413291). Small scenic site. Beautiful hike upstream on Wright River to falls. Saw nesting Peregrine falcons. Saw tent rings (south-east corner) on small plateau just east of large hill.

Day 35
CII runnable on RR. Big waves.
Current increases after Wright River. Swifts. Some not on map.
Runnable CIIs with rocks and large waves in stretch below the Wright River that must be scouted.
Camped near start of 1km swift at elevation 265 (12 W 0541069 - UTM 7420363). Saw grizzly bear on opposite shore. No problems though.

Day 36
Lots of CI and CII rapids. Scouted lots, ran all. Many not marked on maps.
Runnable CII. Ran RR. Watch boulder ledge.
Campsite just below 1km stretch of swift water shown on map (12 W
0553742 - UTM 7421938). Good swimming but buggy.

Day 37
Lots of CI and CII rapids. Scouted most. Saw two wolves (RR).
Camped near valley where river turns 180 (12 W 0578382 - UTM 7421748), about 54 km from Wildberforce Falls. Rough site, but exposed. Valley isn`t visible from the river but is a must-see side hike. Saw muskox and arctic hares. This valley is a probable location of one of George Back`s paintings.

Day 38
Numerous runnable CI and CII rapids. Ran all. Faster current than yesterday.
CII. We ran this upper stretch, but it could be quite dangerous in higher water conditions.
Camped below first stretch of this big set of rapids (12 W 0588959 - UTM 7428433), just upstream from Booth River. Sheltered site. Cold and windy. N wind.

Day 39
Windbound/Inclement weather day.

Day 40
P150m RL. CIII. Lower stretch of rapid. We portaged due to
cold weather and difficulty of rapid, although it may be runnable
under some conditions. Fast CI rapids all day. Scouted most. Many
not marked on maps. About 7km after Caribou Rapids, gravel bars
started and river splits around them. Arrived at Wildberforce
Canyon. Landed 1km upstream from start of Falls to scout landing. We
landed about 25m up from the rapids above the falls. Take out fine in low water, but could sneak up quickly. We were told that normally the take out is 1km upstream from the falls in a small bay RL, and it`s
possible that the eddy we used may not be so big or easy to hit in
higher water. Scout the landing first, and approach with great
caution. Camped on rise at (12 W 0595762 - UTM 7443201), right by the rapids above the falls). Probably an island in high water. Excellent
campsite. Nothing can prepare you for the splendor of this
place. Count on spending lots of time here. Swam in alternate falls.

Day 41
Day off. Hiked around falls. Part of the group hiked the 25km
round trip to Portage Bay on the ocean. Bearing 70. Difficult
walking, very mountainous. Took 3 hours each way of solid hiking. Do
not recommend this day hike unless you`re in for a tough day.

Day 42
P300m around Wilberforce Falls. Most groups portage the entire length
of the canyon (P3500-4000m) RL. This would be a relatively easy
portage, stay high. We scouted rapids from on top of the canyon and
decided to run the canyon. If you are considering running the canyon,
please consider: 1) A call to Environment Canada after our trip
confirmed, as we had suspected, that our water conditions were
extremely low, about 25cms compared to normal July levels of over
100cms. At this low level, it was possible to stop and scout each
rapid at river level which is what made the canyon manageable. For
comparison, the secondary channel of Wilberforce Falls was a little
trickle when we were there. Even at such low water the river in the canyon had a completely different character than before the falls, with powerful currents and huge waves. 2) You can`t accurately guage the difficulty of rapids from the top of such a big canyon. Submerged rocks, huge waves, and squirrely hydraulics can all escape your attention from
above. The best things to scout for are water level, availability of
lining, portaging, and scouting options, and clear obvious passages.
3) A capsize in the canyon, particularly without a wetsuit or drysuit,
could easily result in hypothermia and drowning as happened on the
Mountain River in summer 2002. 4) You can hike down to the first rapid
to get a view of the canyon even if you don`t run it, and can paddle
up a ways from the bottom. That said, running Wilberforce Canyon was
a spectacular highlight I`ll always remember.

The crux of the canyon is the third set of rapids which we referred to
affectionately as Hello Rock Rapid, and this one has no portage option
even in very low water. Getting the boats and gear down into the
canyon is treacherous. Rocks would be slippery in wet weather, and
the sharp rocks could damage canoes. Cold weather would also elevate
the risk. Read Bill Mason`s Path of the Paddle for the recounting of
Mason`s wet adventure in Wildberfore Canyon in higher water
conditions. We frequently wondered where Mason and crew could have
possibly scrambled up the cliff to safety.

We carried packs down then lowered boats into the canyon with the help
of ropes. We set up our throw ropes as handholds when descending with
packs and boats. The canoes were lowered using the stern line. One
person sat down in a secure position and lowered the boat using the
stern line while the second person guided the bow of the boat down,
and held the boat in place when the sterns person ran out of rope and
had to move down. Once down in the canyon, spray decks were
fastened. We ran the canyon fully loaded.

The canyon started with a runnable CII. Scouted RR. Possible
liftover RR.
Runnable CII. Scouted RR, runnable tight RR, or treacherous portage RR
Runnable CIII. Hello Rock Rapid. Scouted RL, ran RL. Watch exposed
rocks at top. Eddied out halfway down the rapid. What makes this
rapid difficult is that RR is blocked by a ledge, centre has enormous
waves, and the entire river tries to push you into a big rock on
RL. Appears to the bowsperson that the canoe is about to smuck the
rock, although at the last moment the current helped out a little as
it changed direction by hitting the rock. No portage option.
Runnable CII. Scout RR, ran right of RL.
Runnable CII. Scouted RL, ran RR. Deceivingly large waves. Could
track up this rapid to explore canyon. Camped at next boulder garden
rapid RL (12 W 0594539 - UTM 7445848). Lined canoes to sandy beach
partway along RL and portaged packs to campsite.

Day 43
Runnable CII. Scouted RR, ran centre. Just 400m past campsite. Narrow Line
Runnable CII. Scouted RL. Difficult line. Lots of rocks at bottom of rapid.
Fast Water. Lots of CI swifts.
P25 RL over rocks, last falls of the Hood River. Beautiful Falls. 8m drop. River slows down after falls.
Camped across from James River on RR (12 W 0595614 - UTM 7457282). Cooked on sandy beach. Camped a ways back. Found lots of big downed willows for a campfire.

Day 44
CII. Scouted RL. Lined Top section RL. Ran Lower Section RL.
Paddled to pickup location (approximately 25km from James River).
Pick up location was 6km from mouth of Hood River, at sandy beach RL
(12 W 0590446 - UTM 7473351). Nice site. Good tent locations.

Day 45
Left campsite setup and did a day paddle to the mouth of the Hood River. Explored the remains of a hunt camp at the point. Enjoyed the view of Arctic Sound. Paddled around the point to the SE. Found another hunt camp site. Portaged empty canoes back to campsite (P2000) to avoid paddling upwind back around the point. Spectacular view of Hood River and Ocean. Definitely recommend this day paddle and hike.

Day 46
Pick up by float planes at campsite. Make sure you call (satellite phone) the outfitter first thing in the morning, well before arrival time to confirm pick up. We were told this is standard procedure. Our plane had to pickup another paddler and canoe in Bathurst Inlet, about 60km away. We got to spend an hour wandering around the community, and buying dried fish. This community was really neat to see. We were then flown back to Yellowknife. We stayed at the Northern Lights Hotel in Yellowknife. They were great about letting us pile 6 people and gear into one room, and letting us spread our gear all over the parking lot to dry out. We had a great dinner at the Wildcat Cafe, and the waitress was exceptional, even bringing the entire ice cream container to the table with dessert.

Maps Required
Topo Maps (1:50,000): 
These are monochrome so they photocopy very well. Despite what the maps say, magnetic compasses work quite well along the entire trip if the declination is set correctly. 86 B/15 Grenville Lake 86 G/2 unnamed 86 G/1 unnamed (Rawalpindi to Parent Lake) 86 G/8 unnamed, 86 G/7 (very small section) 86 G/9 Rocknest Lake (with Coppermine R) 86 G/16 unnamed 86 J/1 Fairy Lake River 86 J/8 unnamed (small section) 86 I/4 White Sandy River (has lakes 385, 392, Takijuq/Napaktulik) 86 I/3 unnamed (Takijuq) 86 I/2 unnamed (Takijuq) 86 I/7 unnamed (Takijuq) 86 I/10 unnamed (Takijuq and Lake 414, headwaters of the Hood) 86 I/9 unnamed (Lakes 414, 385) 76 L/12 unnamed (Lakes 373, 371, 361, 356) 76 L/14 unnamed (Lake 356, icefield, start of river proper) 76 L/15 unnamed 76 L/16 unnamed (has Wright R.) 76 K/13 unnamed 76 K/14 Sellwood River 76 K/15 unnamed (has Booth R.) 76 N/2 Wilberforce Falls 76 N/7 Baillie Bay
Topo Maps (1:250,000): 
Indin Lake 86B (Grenville Rawalpindi Lakes) Redrock Lake 86G (Rawalpindi Lake, Parent River, Redrock Lake, Coppermine River) Hepburn Lake 86J (short stretch of the Coppermine, lower Fairy Lake River Napaktulik Lake 86I (This big lake is now called Takijuq. This map also includes the headwaters of the Hood, Lake 414/Tahikafaaluk Lake) Kathawachaga Lake 76L (Lakes 373, 365, 356, the beginning of the all-river section of the Hood) Mara River 76K (includes the confluence of the Booth River) Arctic Sound 76N (to the mouth of the Hood, includes Wilberforce Falls) Other Maps 1:1,000,000 aeronautical charts WAC D-13 and WAC C-10 contain the entire trip and are very useful for getting the big picture
Special Comments: 

Environment Canada water levels : The
comprehensive water data web site, but data doesn`t seem to be available
online. phone# 403-920-6060

Bathurst Developments - our outfitter. Since we rented canoes from them at $750/summer, spray decks included, they cut us a good deal on the charter flights. The good deal was also because they have a lodge at Bathurst Inlet, so they were able to economize by combining our flights with trips to the lodge. The flight prices he quoted us were about 20% less than anyone else, but he didn`t offer extra discounts for having flexibility in our dates to allow for ride sharing. Boyd, the owner, is very good at his bush plane business and showed all sorts of creativity in saving air miles by combining trips and leaving one of our canoes at the endpoint to be picked up by skidoo from the lodge for example. However, he is not a canoeist and it shows in that part of his business. If you want a good deal on rentals you`ll get old canoes which were fine for us, but required a very careful checking over and some repairs. Make absolutely sure your spray deck actually has all the right parts and fits on your canoe, and if you are taking apart canoes to nest them that you have all the pieces. If you don`t mind paying extra you can have new or newer canoes. The old spray decks also had a number of problems but luckily we spotted them before starting the trip and were able to repair or replace them. Boyd doesn`t mind answering lots of questions but isn`t very helpful about volunteering information, like the fact that having nesting canoes could save you a lot of money.
contact: Boyd Warner

Some other YK outfitters who might have different canoes and spray decks
than Boyd:

Narwal Northern Adventures, 867-873-6443
Overlander Sports, 867-873-2474

Westjet has the most liberal extra baggage policy of the airlines, at $25
per extra 70lb bag, and affordable 1-way tickets 1-800-538-5696

VIA Rail: The actual baggage policy seemed to limit you to 6 50lb bags,
but the baggage counter didn`t care as long as they weren`t over 50lb and
we paid $10/bag over 3 bags. We sent seven 50-lb bags with Heidi on the
train, plus carry-ons. You can have large carry-on items too, and can take
a canoe per passenger for about $30 apiece.

Greyhound: The go-anywhere fare may be a good deal, but can only get you
as far as Enterprise. From Edmonton, we found the Companion Fare (2 for 1) to be cheaper. Both of these deals require either 1 or 2-week advance
purchase, but your tickets don`t limit you to a particular date. 1-way
tickets expire after 2 months and round trip tickets expire after a year.
Enterprise to YK is on Frontier Coach Lines, and you can buy your ticket
in Edmonton or Enterprise. The only special fare on Frontier Coach Lines
is if you have a student card, but this doesn`t require advanced purchase. The bus lines have the best deal of all extra luggage: $5/bag over 2 bags, and although there must be some sort of policy they don`t seem to care how much they weigh!

Sources for topo maps and aeronautical charts (aero charts are great -
small scale and cover a huge area)

Federal Publications Inc. * great online and actual store!
416-860-1611 local
1-888-433-3782, or to order call 1-888=433-3782

Map Connection (Calgary)

Ingle Health Insurance (get the Help Advantage Passport plan - it`s
affordable, and covers emergency evacuation and medical expenses if you`re hurt on a canoe trip): 1-800-216-3588

Home Electronics/Radio Shack in Yellowknife - very affordable satellite
phone rental, but you`d better reserve early: (867)873-5441

Northern Lites Motel (decent rooms, affordable for YK, let us cram 6
people into 1 room and spread gear all over the parking lot, gave us a
half-day rate)
Phone: (867)873-6023
5115 50 St, Yellowknife, NT X1A 1S1

Calculate current magnetic declination for any latitude/longitude: