The Coppermine River follows the treeline from the central Barren Lands to the Arctic Ocean. Renowned for its wildlife and fascinating history, it has been designated a Canadian Heritage River. We begin the trip downstream from "diamond country", where mineral discoveries have transformed the economy of the region. We'll re-live the route travelled by early European explorers, Samuel Hearne and Sir John Franklin, as they discovered the great north and the people who lived there.
Caribou and muskoxen graze along the shores as we work our way through moderate rapids, lakes, and a lazy river current. There is remarkable bird life, including nesting golden eagles and gyrfalcons. The Arctic char fishing can be exceptional. The river meanders through rolling hills, steep-walled canyons. and past towering cliffs. The trees dwindle until we paddle out onto the Barrens beneath the midnight sun. Our last camp is at Bloody Falls, in sight of the ocean. Finally we'll paddle to the sea. We'll then have a little time to wander through the Inuit hamlet of Kugluktuk before our charter plane takes us to Plummer’s Lodge, on Great Bear Lake, for a final night and farewell dinner.
The Coppermine River trip is enjoyable for whitewater paddlers who have various levels of proficiency, but are knowledgeable in basic skills, strokes, and safety techniques. A warm up paddling session at one of our springtime clinics is highly recommended! Those with less experience should consider our Barrens trips on the Thomsen or Soper rivers
"We had a fantastic time. Everything went well. I got the impression that it wasn't just luck. Rather that Black Feather manages its business well to ensure a great experience." Rob, Ontario, Canada
Recommended Skill Level And Dates
Guides 5:1 ratio
• 1 night at Great Bear Lake
• 1 night in Yellowknife
• 13 nights camping
• dinner Day 15 and breakfast Day 16 at Plummer’s Lodge
• excellent trail meals and snacks from Day 2 lunch to Day 15 lunch
• custom 17’ ABS expedition canoes with spray decks and knee pads
• paddles, PFDs, throw bags, paddling helmets
• tents: free-standing, custom expedition dome tents - 2 per tent
• "kitchen": tarp, fire box, cooking stoves, utensils, dishes, etc.
• containers for food and group equipment
• first aid, safety, river rescue, and repair kits
• communications equipment (satellite phone)
• charter flight from Yellowknife to Great Bear Lake and return - Days 2 and 16
• charter float plane flight from Great Bear Lake to Coppermine River - Day 2
• charter float plane flight from Kugluktuq to Great Bear Lake - Day 15
• ground transfer to Yellowknife Airport - Day 2 morning
• transportation of guides, group gear, food, return of canoes to Yellowknife, etc.
Trip Rendezvous Point: Yellowknife, NWT