South Nahanni River from Flat Lakes

CanadaNorthwest TerritoriesMackenzie
Submitter & Author Information
Route submitted by: 
Trip Date : 
Route Author: 
Additional Route Information
639 km
21 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: 

Float plane from Fort Simpson, Blackstone Park or Fort Liard (Northwest Territories)
Float plane from Watson Lake, Yukon or Fort Nelson
(British Columbia)
Start at Flat Lakes (headwaters of Little Nahanni)
16 km section on river
Staircase Rapids - 18 km of continuous class II and III
40 km from Flat Lakes - first Canyon - portage left
5 km section of class II and III rapids
Second canyon - more class II and III
8 km upstream of confluence with South Nahanni
Third Canyon - some class III and IV rapids to walk / line
Class I and II rapids for remainder of way to South Nahanni
South on South Nahanni River towards Rabbitkettle
Generally strong current / gravel bars
Confluence of South Nahanni and Rabbitkettle Rivers
Groups must hike to Rabbitkettle lake to register in park
Confluence with Flood Creek
39 km section of river
Sluice Box - violent rapid
Virginia Falls - 385 feet high
P 1250 m along boardwalk to base of falls
Five Mile Canyon (Painted Canyon) 8 km long
Swift current, large standing waves
Confluence with Marengo Creek
Confluence with Clearwater Creek
Hell`s Gate (Figure Eight) Rapids
(Most difficult on South Nahanni)
17 km stretch - fairly quiet - some rapids & whirlpools
Confluence with Mary River
48 km section of canyons, including ...
Third Canyon
Second Canyon
Cache Rapids (George`s Riffle)
First Canyon - class III to class IV rapids - no portage
Yohin Ridge
River slows down, becomes braided
33 km section of river
Nahanni Butte (alternate finish point)
40 km downstream on Liard River
(alternate finish point at Blackstone Territorial Park)
144 km section to Fort Simpson on MacKenzie River

Maps Required
Topo Maps (1:250,000): 
Nahanni 105 I Glacier Lake 95 L Flat River 95 E Virginia Falls 95 F Sibbeston Lake 95 G Fort Simpson 95 H


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


looking for information on the little Nahanni River. If anyone can help me out, drop me an email or call at 506-328-4965. thanks alot. Laurie

Post date: Sun, 02/08/2009 - 11:55


Please be in touch. We canoed this route in 1972 and have a detailed log of the journey!