Journey by Water
In Northern Frontier region, we have four months of open water from June through September. With our 18 to 20 hour days, Great Slave Lake and hundreds of smaller lakes right on the doorstep, you can enjoy a lot of time on the water. Rent a canoe or kayak, windsurf on Back Bay, charter a motor boat or a sailboat. You can go fishing with a guide, or take a dinner cruise on one of our fully equipped tour boats. If you have the time, take a once in a lifetime cruise to the spectacular East Arm of Great Slave Lake.
If there ever was a place on this earth to have a canoe, surely Northern Frontier is it. Dotted with hundreds of lakes and myriad waterways, you can go for a half hour paddle, a three day trip or a month long expedition, by changing direction from any one of several drop in points.
Canoes and kayaks are easily rented in Northern Frontier, and the friendly people at our member shops, or at Northern Frontier Visitor's Centre will help you plan your trip. Members also offer canoeing or rafting packages, with some packages suitable for persons with limited experience or abilities.
Please practice safe canoeing and kayaking. You'll be in a remote area with few people to help you. Never travel alone. Tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return. Always travel with a good insect-proof shelter, raingear, cooking gear, extra paddles and rescue equipment. Wear a personal floatation device or lifejacket at all times. Our water temperatures are usually cold and hypothermia from a sudden upset is a real danger, even on the warmest days.
Day trips for experienced paddlers
Hidden Lake — Drop in: Powder Point, 40 km from Yellowknife on the Ingraham Trail. Several short but strenuous portages take you into one of the most scenic lakes in the Yellowknife area. Suitable for one, two or three day trips.
Lower Cameron River — A one-day trip for experienced paddlers, starting at Reid Lake about 60 km from Yellowknife on the Ingraham trail. Canoeists follow the Cameron River, portaging around several scenic waterfalls, to Powder Point.
Tartan Rapids — To really enjoy this trip some whitewater experience is necessary, but a portage trail allows novices to avoid the rapids, and enjoy the scenery. The trip starts at Cassidy Point, about 17 km from Yellowknife, and paddlers can return to the start, or follow the Yellowknife River to the Yellowknife River bridge.
Tibbitt Lake Loop — An easy weekend trip, this route circles back to the start, at the end of the Ingraham Trail, 65 km from Yellowknife, and features a variety of wilderness scenery and good camping.
Powder Point to Yellowknife River Bridge — This is a four day trip crossing big lakes, with excellent camping, and just a few portages. However, because Prelude and Prosperous Lakes are so large they can be dangerous in windy conditions. A shorter trip might start, or end, at the Prelude Lake boat launch.
Pensive Lakes — This four day wilderness trip for experienced canoeists takes you north from Tibbitt Lake, through good camping country, to reach the top of the Cameron River rapids, an 8 km run.
Upper Cameron River — This two day trip for whitewater enthusiasts starts at Tibbitt Lake, 65 km from Yellowknife and heads south and west to follow a challenging but enjoyable route with several rapids and a waterfall. The trip ends at Reid Lake campground.
Jennejohn — This is a five day wilderness canoe trip, with several portages, for experienced canoeists. Starting at Reid Lake, the trip follows a string of beautiful lakes and ends at Akaitcho Bay on Great Slave Lake, near Dettah. A map and compass is necessary, and wind can be a problem on Reid, Jennejohn and Great Slave lakes.