The Hood River is a classic Barren Lands river, flowing through a mixture of arctic tundra, granite hills, and sandy eskers that stretch on for miles. Far above the treeline, the river flows for 300 km from its headwaters at Tahikafaaluk Lake to Arctic Sound on the Arctic Ocean. The canoeing season is short - the headwater lakes can be ice-choked to early July, and winter approaches in mid August.
The first 100 km of the Hood River is characterized by many small lakes connected by rocky rapids and swifts. Continuing downstream, the river has many rapids, canyons, and waterfalls. This region has abundant wildlife such as muskoxen, caribou, grizzly bears, wolves, Peregrine Falcons, and golden eagles.
The trip is accessed by float plane via Plummer’s Lodge on Great Bear Lake. We will then descend the river in our custom, 17‘ covered canoes, negotiating fun and challenging whitewater along the way. We will also move camp each day, and there will be a few days planned for optional hiking, fishing, or simply taking in the amazing landscape.
The Barrens scenery, abundant Arctic wildlife, and challenging whitewater make this trip a "must" for the experienced whitewater canoeist and a warm up paddling session at one of our springtime clinics is highly recommended! If you are looking for something a little tamer yet still in the Barrens, check out our Coppermine or Thomsen river trips.
"The trip was as good as I'd hoped. Challenging whitewater, and I was thrilled to see muskoxen and caribou." Jean, Wisconsin, USA
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
• all meals and snacks from Day 2 lunch to Day 15 lunch
• 17’ ABS expedition canoes with spray decks and knee pads
• paddles, PFDs, throw bags, paddling helmets
• tents: free-standing 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 Hood River - Day 2
• charter float plane flight from Hood River 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