Pekans River - Moise River

CanadaQuebec07 Lower St Lawrence, N Shore
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Additional Route Information
350 km
15 days
Loop Trip: 
Portage Information
No. of portages: 
Total Portage Distance: 
0 m
Longest Portage: 
2000 m
Difficulty Ratings
River Travel: 
Lake Travel: 
Not applicable
Background Trip Info
Water Levels: 
Route Description
Access to Put-In Information: 

Road access to the Pekans which leads to the Moise is not bad. It involves a marathon drive to the put in and then a train ride back to Labrador City. The best way to access this would be to ride the Quebec North Shore and Labrador Railway from Sept Iles Quebec to Labrador City. From Lab City you could get a ride to the Pekans River. Once on the river you could paddle directly to your vehicle in Sept Iles and avoid the drive on Quebec 386 which is ten hours plus on mixed pavement and gravel.

Technical Guide: 

Put in at bridge over Pekans River on Quebec 386 about 40 km south of Labrador City.

Pekans River runs for 100 km to Moise River. Flatwater through class III runnable whitewater with more difficult rapids and portages.

Moise River runs for 300 km. Large, deep, and powerful river. Constant fast current, numerous class II, III, IV rapids. Sneak routes on shore used extensively. Portages scattered throughout with some oppurtunities to line rapids. Well established portage routes. Canyons are gorgeous and have some larger rapids. Final Canyon along railway can be run with care at appropriate water levels with only a few portages. There is big water down there though.

Takeout - In town of Moise at Highway 138 or paddle 25 km of coast to Sept Iles which is interesting but weather dependant.

Trip Journal/Log/Report/Diary: 

Coming soon!

Special Comments: 

Our trip was made during the last few weeks of July 2002. We found medium high water levels that seemed great.

Camping on the Pekans is fantastic.

On the Moise good campsites are available at most portages and at the ledges and falls. We often found good campsites, but not necesarily when we wanted to camp. Sites could generally be bushed where side creeks entered the steep valley of the Mosie and have made deposits of flatter ground. Expect at least one poor campsite on the trip.

People complain about the portages but we found them to be well marked and pretty plush for a northern Canadian route. The 2km carry around the series of falls where the Pekans enters the Moise is a bit long. The route follows a side channel clearly marked to the south of the main channel of the Pekans River. It is worth taking the time to find this trail. Be sure to take the time to check out the falls and cascades on the Pekans. This is a truly special place.

The route can be enjoyed by canoes and kayaks. Kayakers have to deal with the flatter sections but have the chance to run some big water if they are up for the challenge.

While the center lines at many rapids look wayto big to canoe, look for sneak options along shore that are more technical but stil very deep and fun.

Truly spectcular country that needs to be preserved for future generations.

Good trout fishing as well.


Post date: Sat, 11/02/2013 - 16:51


Be advised that the Moisie canyon suffered a serious burn this June (2013). We paddled the Pekans route and the burn extended from the Pekans / Moisie junction to the Caopacho River for a total of 125 km.

Post date: Sat, 08/29/2009 - 21:17


4 of us ran this route and found the description of the Pekans to be true. The run down the Moise from the Pekans junction was tougher. Portages often were obscured and we had to bushwack a number of times. Be prepared for a slow slog for the first few days after meeting the Moisie because of the numerous C 4's which need lining or being carried about.

The portage on river right around the fish ladder was dreary and dangerous because of much deadfall. River left offers boardwalks but a more hairy put-in.

Be prepared for wet weather & flies!!