Hayes River - Norway House to York Factory

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

Start at Norway House at the north end of Lake Winnipeg
North on Nelson River to confluence with Echimamish
Upstream on Echimamish to Hairy Lake
Upstream on Echimamish (series of beaver dams)
Painted Stone Portage to Hayes River
North on Hayes River
Robinson Lake
Logan Lake
Opiminegoka Lake
Windy Lake
Oxford Lake
Community of Oxford House (final contact with outside)
Series of class 2 and 3 rapids
Knee Lake (large, wind caution)
Swampy Lake
Section with many Class 2 & 3 rapids
Junction with Fox River
End of rapids, but fast water continues
Past Junction with Gods River
Finish at York Factory

Maps Required
Topo Maps (1:250,000): 
63 I Cross Lake 53 L Oxford Lake 53 M Knee Lake 53 N Gods Lake 54 C Hayes River 54 F York Factory
Special Comments: 

A remote whitewater river that requires advanced paddling and wilderness skills.

Egress from York Factory is by plane. Paddling from York Factory through Hudson Bay to the Nelson to the road at Limestone. This is dangerous and not recommended.

The depot building at York Factory still remains, the remnant of what would have been a community of 1500 during the 19th century.


Post date: Wed, 07/02/2008 - 08:57


planning s solo trip june 2009 for my 50th birhtday.Any advice or contact info.would be appreciated.Thank You!
John Silbar

Post date: Sat, 01/01/2000 - 07:00


This is an excellent trip, a very long one. Toward the end the river moves at about 10-15 km/hr, so you can make about 90 km in a good day. Watch out for the weather nearing the end - there is often a fierce wind combined with the tide to make paddling nearly impossible. There are also a good deal of portages, the data is inaccurate on this website.