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Canadian Canoe Routes

Little Churchill / Churchill River
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Author:  Rappi [ August 27th, 2008, 3:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Little Churchill / Churchill River

Just did a canoe trip down the Little Churchill and Churchill Rivers starting at Lake Waskaiowaka and finish in Churchill with my wife and daughter three weeks ago. Did the trip in 12 sunny days, lots of wildlife and fast current on most of the little Churchill and quite some wading between big boulders on the Churchill. Crossed path with a polar bear upstream of Red Head Rapids about 70km upriver from Churchill, but luckily he decided to stay away from us!

Didn't met anybody on the river and enjoyed three more days in Churchill. Another delay on the train - 20 hours.


Author:  Worth [ September 3rd, 2008, 8:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Little Chuchill / Churchill River

PM sent. I would like to hear more about your trip and its logistics.

Author:  Red Lake Rob [ September 3rd, 2008, 9:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Little Chuchill / Churchill River

Post the full Trip Report here. Register in the photo gallery and and upload the pictures there for free.

Author:  Barbara [ September 3rd, 2008, 10:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Little Chuchill / Churchill River

I second Rob's suggestions....we would all love to read the full trip report, and see any photos of the big, fuzzy, white puppy. :)

Photos need to be resized to fit within the forum columns. Around about 800 x 600 will fit nicely.

One other little can edit the title of your thread to "TR: Little Churchill/Churchill River", to distinguish it from a thread asking for advice.


Author:  Rappi [ September 5th, 2008, 3:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Little Chuchill / Churchill River

Some notes and pics from our trip, sorry Barb – no white one! We´d decended shallow rapids along the shore and drifted rather quickly towards the Bear, so didn´t bother to look for the camera. Just 30m from the guy we got into an eddy and wondered what to do next.

We took the train up from Winnipeg to Thompson and got picked up from Venture Air. Next morning 6a.m. we flew in with their Beaver right to Jerry Dunlops Fishing Lodge at the outlet of Lake Waskaiowaka.

After a cup of coffe with Jerry we started our trip down the little churchill wich had quite more rapids the first 1 ½ days than we had expected, but we had to do only one portage, one short lift over and some wading and lining due to lower waterlevels. The frist good camping we encountered at Recluse Lake with some nice sand beaches to choose from. Good fishing at the 2nd set of the outletrapids there, also made another portage here over the rocks on river left.

Saw most wildlife the next three day´s to the Churchill- two bull moose, one cow with calf, wolf and wolverine! Otherwise clear waters and good current.

The Churchill is wide and especially at Swallow Rapids and up- and downstream from Portage Chute full of rocks and boulders as far as the eye could see. At Swallow we paddled and waded down on river left, river right looked much tougher a descend from some distance. Towards Portage Chute we worked down river right and just crossed the river for the short portage over the island, good camping at the end of the trail at high rocks!

Down from the chute the rapids named Kilnabad lasted for about 16km, the first half we stayed river left and then crossed to river right. There were some hidden ledges in river center and with higher waterlevels one should avoid these!

After this section we´d left the boulders and had deep water and good current intersected with some short rapids over gravel and rocky bands across the river similar to those of the lower Sturgeon Weir River.

The next major rapids were Red Head which we descended river right, again some wading involved. Running Landing Place were a long chute with standing waves and at Limestone we used the channel far river left. We dropped more than 100feet the previous 15km. A strong NW wind forced us into the lee of Governor Island and we camped right there.

Early next morning we took advantage of a nice and calm day and paddled all the way to Churchill. Short after Long Island area the river widens and we had to be carefull to follow the deep water. From here till about the pumphouse and marina area we we didn´t saw any camping possibilities anyway so we dedided to head on.

We stayed three more day´s in Churchil, enjoyed the scenery there and met interesting people.

After all it was a good trip with good scenery, wildlife and clear water.

Going earlier in the summer with a little more water would might made for a much faster trip with easier passages here and there and lesser wading but we enjoyed a nearly bug-free canoetrip!!

Before the trip we checked waterlevels and outflow from Missi Falls at the Manitoba Hydro Site: ... issi.shtml

For a shorter trip one could fly into Recluse Lake out of Gillam with Gillam Air´s Chessna: "Patrick Chartier" <>

Venture Air: ... -river.php

Might be able to load up more pics at the Gallery


Author:  Paddle Power [ September 8th, 2008, 12:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Little Chuchill / Churchill River

Sounds and looks great Chris. I love the first just above portage chute picture.

Did you load additional images to the Gallery?

Author:  paddlenorth [ September 8th, 2008, 2:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Little Chuchill / Churchill River

Just for fun,

Compare this picture two Rappi's 2nd picture (middle).

There was more water on both the Little Churchill and Churchill. This rapid was runnable at these levels. The Churchill was never as bouldery as Rappi's picture.

Do you have a Portage Chute picture from river right?

Author:  Rappi [ September 9th, 2008, 12:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Little Chuchill / Churchill River

still have no webserver for my pics, but will try! Never loaded up something so far.

much more water indeed! Guess you´ve had much more fun up-and downstream of the "Chute"

Author:  Rappi [ September 12th, 2008, 12:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Little Chuchill / Churchill River

More pictures from the trip:

<a href="" target="_blank" title="Ihr kostenloses Online-Fotoalbum mit!!"><img src="" border="0"></a>

Chris :oops:

Author:  Rappi [ September 12th, 2008, 12:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Little Chuchill / Churchill River

My fault, try this one,

Chris :oops: :oops:

Author:  Rappi [ September 12th, 2008, 12:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Little Chuchill / Churchill River

third try.....


Author:  Paddle Power [ September 15th, 2008, 11:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Little Chuchill / Churchill River

It worked fine and the shots are great. It is good to see your old town in use. Lots of rock! Where is your baker tent? Glad to see you saw the old fort and whales.

Author:  Rappi [ September 16th, 2008, 2:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Little Chuchill / Churchill River

The Baker is still in good shape, but we cut down on weight and bulk for airlinetravel the last couple of trips. For 2 week trip´s the small tent is o.k. anyways. Hope to do some longer ones in the future again, then the Baker will come out of the storage!!

Author:  Worth [ September 22nd, 2008, 8:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Little Chuchill / Churchill River

I downloaded the maps for this route to get a better understanding of what I want to get myself into. However, I see that some of the maps have dual zones and coordinates. This confuses me. I have posted a question in the Maps, Navigation and GPS forum: Can you explain or answer my question?

Author:  Rappi [ September 22nd, 2008, 2:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Little Chuchill / Churchill River


I´ve used the blue numbers on those maps, no problems. I prever MGRS while canoeing, find it easier to translate the coordinates into the map and vice versa.

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