Upper Thelon River Guided Canoe Trip

Trip Overview

We’ll be paddling the upper part of the The-lew-dezeth (Thelon River), the largest river in the Barren Lands and easily the most magnificent. The Thelon is, without question, the most remote and the most pristine wilderness river of any considerable size left in North America. Our 120 mile (193km) long route is 80% river paddling. There are eight rapids along our route but no portages at all.

Our entire route is on the tundra, south of the Thelon Wildlife Sanctuary, and is one of the most remote places left in the world.

Big treed sandy eskers are prominent topographical features along our Thelon River canoe route. They stand out many miles away and greatly enrich the landscape.

Archaeological sites are abundant on the Thelon river where ancient hunters waited for the Beverly caribou herd to cross these rivers on their summer migration.

You just can’t get any more remote than the Thelon, anywhere else in the world north of Antarctica.

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Safety Notes

While paddling experience is an asset, this trip is suitable for whitewater canoe beginners – with the support of our experienced guides. However participants should be good flat-water canoeists, particularly when in the stern. Back-country camping experience is required as this is a remote wilderness trip.

“Our guide was always thinking, keeping the abilities of his clients in the forefront” – Kim M, USA

Gear Notes

– Charter flight from Yellowknife to the Thelon River, return

– Shuttles from the airport when in Yellowknife, NWT

– Certified guides with a maximum ratio of 5:1

– Royalex expedition canoes and knee pads

– Werner paddles, PFDs, and 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