Canoe North Adventures

For over 30 Years, Canoe North Adventures has been making memories for life. With bases in Norman Wells & Fort Simpson, Northwest Territories, CNA provides guided wilderness canoe and rafting trips on some of the most renowned wilderness rivers in Canada, including the Nahanni, Keele and Horton Rivers. Owners Al Pace, Lin Ward and Taylor Pace have dedicated their lives to curating quality expeditions for their guests that provide a backdrop to unwind, reconnect and share a truly spectacular wilderness experience in the most wild spaces left in Canada. CNA's professional guides will share their enthusiasm with you and provide a safe and fun experience while on trip. Let the adventure begin!

Overview

Tucked away in the Mackenzie Mountains of Canada's Northwest Territories, just north of the legendary Nahanni, lies a hidden gem. The Keele River's turquoise waters cut swiftly through this mountainous landscape, offering thrilling but friendly class 2 whitewater-perfect for novice canoeists and seasoned paddlers alike. Spend 12 days exploring untouched wilderness with world class hiking opportunities, great fishing and find new friendships forged around the campfire.
The Keele River offers an iconic Canadian wilderness canoeing experience through the majestic and stunning Mackenzie Mountains of the Northwest Territories. Turquoise waters flow from high in the divide between the Yukon and NWT through towering mountain scenery and broad valleys full of rugged black spruce with inviting vistas around every bend. Although fast and boisterous, the Keele River has a generous heart providing lots of options for fun but easy whitewater to build your paddling confidence. Our qualified guides will help instruct you every day to get the most out of your time on the river, and the wilderness will speak to your soul along the way!
Starting at
$6215 USD
$8495 CAD
Per Person

Trip Highlights

  • Paddle through "the Banff of the north"
  • Turqouise, clear blue waters are beautiful and fun to swim in on hot days
  • Easy but fun whitewater the whole way downstream
  • Great for novices who have paddled flatwater before, but not rivers.

Canoe North Adventures

For over 30 Years, Canoe North Adventures has been making memories for life. With bases in Norman Wells & Fort Simpson, Northwest Territories, CNA provides guided wilderness canoe and rafting trips on some of the most renowned wilderness rivers in Canada, including the Nahanni, Keele and Horton Rivers. Owners Al Pace, Lin Ward and Taylor Pace have dedicated their lives to curating quality expeditions for their guests that provide a backdrop to unwind, reconnect and share a truly spectacular wilderness experience in the most wild spaces left in Canada. CNA's professional guides will share their enthusiasm with you and provide a safe and fun experience while on trip. Let the adventure begin!

Quick Facts

Paddlesport

  • Canoeing

Activity

  • Whitewater
  • Expedition
  • Canoe Tripping

Experience/Service

  • Paddling Trip

Waterway

  • Whitewater Class II

Destination

  • North America

Length

  • 12 Days

Accomodation

  • Wilderness Camping

Guided

  • Yes

Outfitted

  • Fully

Special Interest

  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate

Adventure Level

Easier Challenging

Itinerary

65°16′53″N 126°47′55″W

Meeting Place

Canoe North Adventures Lodge & Outfitting Centre

Norman Wells, NWT

The river braids and narrows into chutes as it glides down a steady gradient drop towards the Mackenzie River winding through spectacular mountain scenery. Enjoy superb fishing opportunities, breath-taking hikes, delicious meals after long days of paddling fun and challenging whitewater.

Day 1:

Hot breakfast at the CNA Lodge, charter flights to Keele River put-in point. Short paddle to Delthore Creek Camp, gear and tent familiarization, evening nature hike, excellent fishing for arctic grayling and bull trout, convenient fast-water rapid for canoe skills training.

Day 2:

River running clinic and canoe skills training as we paddle 20kms of fast water with some rapids and tight turns including dramatic Shezal Canyon. Lots of big waves and paddlers can select how adventurous they want to be at this stage of the trip! Arrive at Blackwolf Camp with panoramic views includ

Day 3:

Hiking opportunity to Blood Mountain – this is a full day hike with packed lunch on the trail. Some hikers may make it right to summit with option for some hikers to return to camp at halfway point. Alpine wildflowers are plentiful, great chance to see our first Dahl sheep and Woodland caribou.

Day 4:

Full day on the river, lots of fun rapids and fast current as we paddle in the shadow of towering Sheep Mountain. Options to overnight at Strawberry Camp, Beattie Camp or Nidhe Brooke.

Day 5:

Exciting day of whitewater as we ride the big waves down to Ekwi River or Flowerpot Camp. We will scout the Boat-Sucking Boil with the option to run or line this tricky rapid which can change dramatically with changing water-levels. The valley closes in tight as the mountains vault upwards – the exc

Day 6:

We head east at the Big Elbow where the Twitya River joins the Keele and we glide past the spectacular cliffs of the Seven Sisters below Mount Eduni as the Keele River valley doubles in scale. We will keep an eye out for Dahl sheep as they seek safety along a treacherous basalt cliff face. A few big

Day 7:

Lunch stop at Nainlin Brook where there is great trout fishing. Photo shoot at Beattie Wave Corner and a fabulous run down to our layover camp at Toochingkla. This camp is a Canoe North favourite with too many great memories to count!

Day 8:

Layover Day where we can relax, fly-fish, laundry, swim, extra cooking time for fresh baking and recharge. August trips can count on picking blueberries and cranberries on a short hike up the tributary.

Day 9:

We enter The Braids at Inlin Brook and the Mackenzie Lowlands roll out before us in undulating waves as we run the canoe fleet down to historic Moosehide Camp.

Day 10:

Another day of canoeing through broad valleys and braided sections as the Mackenzie Mountains leave our view for the last time. We leave an offering of dry meat at Red Dog Mountain and camp on the beach around the next bend. As we are just a few hundred feet above sea level, we notice the change in

Day 11:

Last day on the braided Lower Keele as Mount Clarke rises in the east across the Mackenzie River. Final night dinner at Mike Peake Camp and a late night to watch the rising moon and reminisce about our favourite memories of the trip.

Day 12:

6am breakfast, launch the canoes at 7am, arrive at the confluence of the mighty Mackenzie River at 9am. First charter flight back to Norman Wells with North-Wright Airways departs at 10:30am. Lunch and well-earned cold beer at Canoe North Lodge! Final-Night Gala Dinner at Canoe North Adventures Lodg

Dates & Packages

Keele River Canoe Expedition

June 30 - July 11, 2025 July 14 - July 25, 2025 July 28 - August 8, 2025 August 4 - August 16, 2025
Airport pickup and return in Norman Wells (complimentary airport shuttles are available in Yellowknife and Edmonton). Charter flights to and from the river. Royalex Canoes 17′, with spray decks. All required paddling gear (PFD, paddles, splash jackets) 60L personal watertight barrel with harness (holds about 30 to 35lbs of clothing and gear). Eureka K-2 Expedition Tents. All quality camping equipment and gear. Camp chairs for each person on the trip. Certified guides with a maximum ratio of 5:1. Hearty and nutritious trip meals including two snacks (GORP) each day. Emergency satellite phone and two-way radios for guide-staff.

What Guests Are Saying

Fantastic trip! Fantastic tour company! We paddled the Keele River this summer - Al and Lin worked with us for 3 years through COVID to make this trip-of-a-lifetime happen for us. We had terrific guides who were knowledgeable, helpful, and full of fun and adventure.

- Ellen V
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