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 Post subject: Great Bear River
PostPosted: September 6th, 2015, 9:27 pm 
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Joined: February 7th, 2006, 1:24 pm
Posts: 15
Location: Preeceville, Saskatchewan
Just wondering if anybody has any recent information, experience, comments or advice for canoeing the Great Bear River.


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 Post subject: Re: Great Bear River
PostPosted: September 7th, 2015, 11:52 am 
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Joined: June 23rd, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 3182
Location: Newmarket, Ontario Canada
No experience. We just paddled across the mouth where it hits the Mackenzie at Tulita. It is lovely and clear, and it was running at 3 C the last week of July.

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Present: Slip, Slap and Slop, hide from the sun! Past: Get some colour in those cheeks! Paddle Naked!



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 Post subject: Re: Great Bear River
PostPosted: September 7th, 2015, 12:33 pm 
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Joined: February 7th, 2006, 1:24 pm
Posts: 15
Location: Preeceville, Saskatchewan
Thanks, Cheryl. What caused you to be paddling across the mouth of the GBR? In 2007, my wife Kathleen and I planned to spend a week or so on Great Bear Lake, and then portage to the Hare Indian River to paddle down to the Mackenzie near Fort Good Hope. From there we intended to continue down the Mackenzie to Inuvik to visit our friends. Since then, our friends moved to Saskatchewan, as have we, leaving our home in Vancouver.

We love the tundra and its big lakes, though, and are now planning to go to Great Bear Lake in the summer of 2016. We will likely end our trip at Norman Wells, meaning that the GBR is the best exit for us from Great Bear Lake. My understanding is that the rapids on GBR are Class I and II.


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 Post subject: Re: Great Bear River
PostPosted: September 7th, 2015, 1:21 pm 
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Joined: June 23rd, 2001, 7:00 pm
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Location: Newmarket, Ontario Canada
We paddle the Keele, and hd 2 days on the Mackenzie to get to Great Bear Mountain. Had tail winds the 2 days on the river. Ferocious winds and thunderstorm hit Tulita in the afternoon, and the storm raged all to the N, E and W of us. We camped on a beach 4 km south of Tulita right at Great Bear Mountain, and did not get very much rain. However the winds from the N. came forth that night and the famous Mackenzie winds lived up to their name! We would have been windbound if the plane had not come in early to take us back to Norman Wells.

It was very cool to see the separation between the warmer, dirty aand silty Mackenzie (10 C) and clear and colder Great Bear R.

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Present: Slip, Slap and Slop, hide from the sun! Past: Get some colour in those cheeks! Paddle Naked!



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 Post subject: Re: Great Bear River
PostPosted: September 7th, 2015, 2:21 pm 
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Joined: February 7th, 2006, 1:24 pm
Posts: 15
Location: Preeceville, Saskatchewan
Yes, I saw from your post last December that you were paddling the Keele. Were you being flown and guided by Canoe North Adventures in Norman Wells? Were you happy with their services? If you can comment on this company, would you prefer to do so in a private message?

Michael


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 Post subject: Re: Great Bear River
PostPosted: September 7th, 2015, 2:39 pm 
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Joined: June 23rd, 2001, 7:00 pm
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Location: Newmarket, Ontario Canada
Very happy with their services! and the flight crew (North Wright) were also very professional.

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Present: Slip, Slap and Slop, hide from the sun! Past: Get some colour in those cheeks! Paddle Naked!



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 Post subject: Re: Great Bear River
PostPosted: September 7th, 2015, 2:48 pm 
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Joined: February 7th, 2006, 1:24 pm
Posts: 15
Location: Preeceville, Saskatchewan
Do you know if North Wright still takes hard shell canoes on their pontoons?


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 Post subject: Re: Great Bear River
PostPosted: September 7th, 2015, 3:01 pm 
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Joined: June 23rd, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 3182
Location: Newmarket, Ontario Canada
We did see a single engine with a canoe on it, but the Twin Otter they were stacked. I think the Otter had the canoes on the pontoons.

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Present: Slip, Slap and Slop, hide from the sun! Past: Get some colour in those cheeks! Paddle Naked!



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 Post subject: Re: Great Bear River
PostPosted: September 7th, 2015, 3:11 pm 
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Joined: February 7th, 2006, 1:24 pm
Posts: 15
Location: Preeceville, Saskatchewan
We intend to paddle Great Bear Lake and GBR on our own down to Norman Wells. I suppose that we would need to coordinate with Canoe North Adventures to hook up with one of their charter flights? Do you know of anyone else who would fly us directly to Great Bear Lake?


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 Post subject: Re: Great Bear River
PostPosted: September 7th, 2015, 4:35 pm 
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Joined: June 23rd, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 3182
Location: Newmarket, Ontario Canada
You can book directly with North Wright I believe. But they can help with lodging and meals, and could probably book you flights.

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Present: Slip, Slap and Slop, hide from the sun! Past: Get some colour in those cheeks! Paddle Naked!



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 Post subject: Re: Great Bear River
PostPosted: September 7th, 2015, 4:53 pm 
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Joined: February 7th, 2006, 1:24 pm
Posts: 15
Location: Preeceville, Saskatchewan
Thanks, Cheryl. I will look into it.


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 Post subject: Re: Great Bear River
PostPosted: September 9th, 2015, 8:44 pm 
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Joined: April 22nd, 2010, 5:06 am
Posts: 7
We were down the Great Bear River mid August 2015 exiting Tulita.
Great Bear Lake has stunningly clear water and the first 2/3 of the River ran clear. Initially ran swift 12-15 km/h with paddling first 40-60 km then slowed to 8-10 km/h at our flows. We had some headwind last 40 km which decreased progress a bit.
The banks are bouldery ( football to pumpkin sized) so potentail campsites seemed to be where streams came in ie upstream of Stick and Wolverine Creeks. We stopped at Wolverine Creek. It also looked very nice at Mt St Charles on RR or for a flat area at Bennett Air Field on RL (Note-a local who grew up living at Bennett Airfield said they had stored the uranium ore at Bennett Airfield prior to transport- i did not verify this)

The 1:50 000 NTS shows 12 rapids around Mt St Charles these ranged from nothing or swifts to Class I-II. Mostly standing waves and dodging the occaisional rock and rock bar- scouted while running. There was one rock bar that extended out about 7-10 m from the RR I think at UTM 273120 which fortunately had a gap that we shot thru but it would probably be submerged at higher water.

The Great Bear River is the main commute for travel between Deline and Tulita so keep an ear out for jet boat travellers who generally were courteous with the wake. We saw about 5 jet boats.

Plenty of Eagles/ 4 black bears cruising the banks - one sitting upright on a rock apparently enjoying the sunset- all looked pretty mellow and well fed.

We stayed at the Two Rivers Hotel in Tulita- very clean and nice staff- they spontaneously called their boss to ask for a discount on our behalf so the room price decreased from $325 to $150 for the night.

Northwright offers scheduled service bewteen NW / Tulita / Deline/ Yellowknife Monday to Friday.

We flew our hardshell and xs gear back to Yellowknife cargo via Buffalo Air- they charge cargo rates ie $2.50/ lb but scheduling is loose so you may need wait at the other end - it took a week which is fine if you live in YK or do not have wet stuff in your dry bag but not if you are on a fixed schedule.


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 Post subject: Re: Great Bear River
PostPosted: September 9th, 2015, 9:21 pm 
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Joined: February 7th, 2006, 1:24 pm
Posts: 15
Location: Preeceville, Saskatchewan
Thanks very much! Very useful information. Where did you put in on Great Bear Lake?


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 Post subject: Re: Great Bear River
PostPosted: September 9th, 2015, 11:02 pm 
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Joined: April 22nd, 2010, 5:06 am
Posts: 7
We came onto Great Bear at Gun Barrel Inlet - part of a trip from YK via Marian Camsell.


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 Post subject: Re: Great Bear River
PostPosted: September 10th, 2015, 8:47 am 
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Joined: February 7th, 2006, 1:24 pm
Posts: 15
Location: Preeceville, Saskatchewan
Quite a trip of yours! Ours will not be so adventurous, as we plan a leisurely trip this time. We intend to put in at Bear Point, at the northeast end of Grizzly Bear Mountain, which is fairly close to Gun Barrell Inlet. It looks like there should be good camping there, based on the map. We look forward to many relaxing days enjoying the scenes and clear water of Great Bear Lake. Might even catch a fish or two for supper.


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