Great Bear River

Trip Overview

The boreal forests that grace the shores of the Sahtu de (Great Bear River) offer spectacular views of the Mackenzie lowlands. The current on this river often reaches speeds of 10 to 12 km per hour with icy-cold, crystal clear water.

The Great Bear River is one of the world-class fishing areas of the North, offering ample opportunities to vie for lake-trout and arctic grayling from rugged campsites located at the confluence of numerous side creeks (Porcupine River, Stick Creek, Mount St. Charles and Brackett River). Fishing is certain to be a memorable highlight of this trip – either on spinning or fly rod.

At Mount St. Charles we’ll get a chance to explore on foot in a rewarding layover day in the area early explorers used to access Great Bear Lake and the arctic barrenlands. Downstream of Mount St. Charles we’ll take care when working our way through Class II rapids, the only real whitewater on the trip.

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Safety Notes

There is only one Class II rapid requiring technical paddling on the Great Bear River, so this trip is suitable for novice whitewater paddlers.

Gear Notes

– Certified guides with a maximum ratio of 5:1

– one night of accommodation in Norman Wells (double occupancy – single occupancy available for + $150)

– Expedition canoes with knee pads

– Werner paddles, PFDs, throw bags

– Group gear for each expedition (tarp, kitchen equipment, utensils, water filtration, etc)

– Personal watertight barrel or drybag

– Expedition first aid kit and canoe repair kit

– Emergency satellite phone, two-way radios for guide staff

– Expedition tents by Mountain Hardware

– hearty and nutritious meals including snacks while on trip

– Group will be limited to 10 participants + 2 guides


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Trip Details

  • Departure Months: July, August
  • Trip Duration: Extended Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Canoeing
  • Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate
  • Water Type: Flat/Sheltered Water, River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Services Available: Guided, Meals
  • Group Rates: Upon Request

Trip Location