There's Magic in the Mountains
Find extreme outdoor adventure and near absolute seclusion at the headwaters of the South Nahanni River in one of Canada's newest National Parks. Naats’ihch’oh protects an undisturbed expanse of river valleys and peaks in the Mackenzie Mountains, home to mountain caribou and grizzlies. The few adventurers who come each year discover unparalleled white water paddling, endless fly-in hiking through remote and spectacular terrain, and a land steeped in the stories of the Shútagot’ine people.
Run the Nahanni’s Best White Water
This 21-day, 600-kilometre paddling expedition takes rafters down the entire South Nahanni River, with plenty of white water and wildlife along the way.
After a two-hour floatplane ride through the Mackenzie Mountains, set down at Moose Ponds, a string of turquoise waters backed by the park’s namesake mountain, the sacred Nááts’ihch’oh. Camp for the night, then plunge into the journey’s most famous stretch of white water, 50 kilometres of class II-IV rapids known as the Rock Gardens.
But that’s just the beginning. Over the course of the next weeks, tackle everything from minor rock riffles to steep boulder sections as you carve your way along the length of the 4,895-square-kilometre park, setting up riverside camps each night in country dense with grizzlies and moose.
The trip is for experienced paddlers only; in fact, only a handful of groups tackle the run each year. Guided tours are available from multiple outfitters.
Blaze a Trail
As one of Canada’s newest national parks, Nááts’ihch’oh has no blazed trails. For experienced hikers, this means a rare opportunity to explore remote terrain and map routes that may one day become part of the park’s established trail network.
Start by chartering a float plane from nearby communities in the Northwest Territories. Hikers can choose to set down at any number of Nááts’ihch’oh’s backcountry lakes, from the turquoise shoals of Grizzy Lake to Divide Lake and its maze of wetlands.
From there, chart your own route into the largely unexplored heartlands of Nááts’ihch’oh. Follow meandering rivers through lush wetlands dotted with stunted evergreens, climb the rocky flanks of the Mackenzie Mountains and look out for alpine wildlife ranging from the mountain woodland caribou to trumpeter swans, grizzlies and mountain goats.