Submitter & Author Information
Route submitted by: 
Sherwood Botsford
Trip Date : 
Additional Route Information
500 km
20 days
Loop Trip: 
Portage Information
No. of portages: 
Total Portage Distance: 
15000 m
Longest Portage: 
4000 m
Difficulty Ratings
River Travel: 
Lake Travel: 
Not applicable
Background Trip Info
Water Levels: 
Route Description
Access to Put-In Information: 

The Cluft lake mine road has year round access. You can actually stop above Ft. Smith if you can find the little road that runs along the river. This has no traffic.

Technical Guide: 

Start at Forrest Lake on the upper Cluft Lake mine road.

Downtream on the Clearwater for a few hours.

Upstream on the Mirror to it's headwaters.

Portage overland to the McFarlane.

Down the MacFarlane to Lake Athabasca.

South shore of L. Athabasca to delta region, then island hop to Ft. Chipewyan.

Riviere de Quatre Fourchet to Slave River.

Finish at Ft. Smoth.

Trip Journal/Log/Report/Diary: 

I don't give out trip logs.

Special Comments: 

Portage accounting is a rough guess. It was almost 20 years ago.

The overland segment from Mirror to MacFarlane is very dependent on water levels, but we were able to do it in a single day.

The mirror has a steady 1-2 km current. It took us 5 days to go up.

The NTS maps are not reliable for rapids on the MacFarlane. There is at least one lethal rapid that is not marked at all, one 30 falls on the map that isn't there, and lots of errors on smaller rapids.

You can do the entire canyon in one 4 km portage on the west side.