The Keele is one of the most spectacular, yet unknown, rivers in the Northwest Territories. The Keele River system drains a large area of the Mackenzie Mountains between the Nahanni and Mountain Rivers. Our canoe route flows 300 km through beautiful mountain ranges to the Mackenzie River.
The river valley is home to caribou, grizzly bears, Dall sheep, and wolves. This is a fun stretch of river, with current and runnable rapids which are suitable for paddlers of all skill levels. Many swifts and small rapids are easily run in our custom, covered canoes. The river is wide and meanders through beautiful mountain valleys, with breathtaking vistas.
Paddlers of all skill levels enjoy the relaxing paddling, splashing down easy-to-run rapids, photography opportunities, hiking excursions, and wildlife viewing. The Keele River is ideal for paddlers with some camping experience and basic whitewater canoeing skills. It would be an excellent choice for your first northern canoe expedition. We also offer this trip as a women-only expedition - click here for more information.
Looking for a shorter trip in the mountains? Check out our Kootenay River trip.
“We enjoyed every minute. There was time for some great day hikes, and the paddling was not too difficult. We saw nobody but the members of our group.” Rudy & Dorothy, Maine, USA
Recommended Skill Level And Dates
Guides 5:1 ratio
• 10 nights camping, 1 night hotel in Norman Wells
• excellent trail meals and snacks from Day 1 lunch to Day 11 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 float plane flight from Norman Wells to the Keele - Day 1
• shuttle of group and gear from the mouth of the Keele River to Norman Wells
• transportation of guides, group gear, food, etc. to Norman Wells
• ground transfer between Norman Wells Airport and Black Feather Base / float plane
docks on Day 1, and from the hotel to the airport on Day 12
Trip Rendezvous Point: Norman Wells, NWT