Paddle the Thelon River and other pristine wild tundra rivers with Alex Hall, wildlife biologist and the Canadian Arctic's first and most experienced canoeing guide. All of our canoe trips are located deep in the Barren Lands east of Great Slave Lake and hundreds of miles from the nearest road or community.
Our trips offer unprecedented opportunities to see and photograph herds of caribou and muskoxen, tundra wolves (our specialty), grizzlies, moose and a plethora of birds.
Since 1975, we have been operating fly-in canoe trips on the most remote rivers left in North America. National Geographic Adventure chose our canoe trips in the Canadian Arctic as one of its "Top Destinations for 2007 and Beyond."
All of our canoeing expeditions are 8-12 days in length. We can accommodate all levels of canoeing experience. Party sizes are limited to a maximum of nine clients per trip. With the addition of Alex as guide, the typical Canoe Arctic party numbers ten people in five Royalex canoes. Most people join our trips as singles or in pairs. The majority are in their 40s, 50s and 60s.
To see more than 250 of our photographs, our video, and complete details on our canoe trips, please visit our website at www.canoearctic.com
Our best fishing trips are the dated in mid June and in August. Our mid June trip offers superb fishing for large lake trout and northern pike with many in the 10 to 30 pound class. Our August trips provide excellent grayling and lake trout fishing.
Our canoe routes pass through the nesting grounds of an impressive mixture of boreal and tundra birds, including a number of species that have expanded their breeding ranges northward in recent years into the Thelon Wildlife Sanctuary. To date, we have recorded 104 bird species in this sanctuary and have confirmed 63 species breeding there. Canoe Arctic's guide, Alex Hall, has co-authored a scientific paper on these breeding range expansions into the Thelon Wildlife Sanctuary. Birds of note on our trips include peregrine falcons, gyrfalcons, bald and golden eagles, merlins, tundra swans, four species of loons, jaegers, arctic terns and large numbers of ducks and geese.
Canoeing and Kayaking
Canoe Arctic Inc. operated the first guided canoe trips in the Northwest Territories, years ahead of anyone else. We have 14 rivers under licence including several of the largest in the Barren Lands--the Thelon, Back, Dubawnt and Coppermine--but at least half of our canoe trips each year are routed along the Thelon River, the largest and easily the most magnificent of all the arctic rivers.
The amount of white-water canoeing on our rivers varies considerably. Some rivers have virtually none. While white-water skills are always an asset, they are not a prerequisite for any of our regular canoe trips under Alex's guidance. However, anyone joining our trips needs to be a reasonably competent flat-water paddler, and at least four participants, in addition to Alex, must be able to handle the stern position effectively.
A typical day sees us on the water from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. With an hour out for lunch we average six hours of canoe travel most days including rest breaks and time out to watch and photograph wildlife. All of our canoes are 17, 18 and 20 foot Old Town and Nova Craft Royalex canoes.
There is ample opportunity to hike off from our campsites each afternoon since we make camp on our canoe trips about 4 p.m. each day. On our August trips, we also plan a few extra days or parts of days that are devoted to hiking.
All of Canoe Arctic's canoe trips place a special emphasis on wildlife and offer unprecedented opportunities to view and photograph the large mammals of the Barren lands, including caribou, muskoxen, tundra wolves, moose and grizzlies. Alex Hall, who guides every one of Canoe Arctic's trips, is a wildlife biologist who has decades of intimate experience with arctic wildlife. Alex did his Master's degree on wolves and has been a life-long student of tundra wolves ever since. We visit up to ten wolf dens on some of our canoe trips.
Alex has recently co-authored scientific papers with other Northwest Territories biologists on tundra wolves and on the population dynamics of the Beverly Caribou Herd.
All of Canoe Arctic's canoe trips are guided by Alex Hall, the Canadian Arctic's first and most experienced canoeing guide. Alex has paddled more miles in the Barren Lands than anyone else.
In 2002, Alex was the runner-up for the "Arctic Award", an international award administered by World Wildlife Fund for linking tourism and conservation in the world's arctic regions. In 2004, Northwest Territories Tourism presented Alex with its "Lifetime Achievement Award" for his impact on the development of the tourism industry in the Northwest Territories. In 2003, Key Porter Books of Toronto published Alex's award winning book on the Barren Lands entitled "Discovering Eden: a Lifetime of Paddling Arctic Rivers."