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08 Days / 12 Days Nahanni River Rafting Journey
RBC#04 Nahanni River
The Nahanni is Canada's most celebrated wilderness river and has long been favored as the country's classic river trip. At famous Virginia Falls, the river cascade down over 90 meters to form this continent's most spectacular undeveloped waterfall, an inspirational setting for the photographer and naturalist. Immediately down river from the falls are eight kilometers of nearly continuous rapids and standing waves created as the river flows through Fourth Canyon. A riverside soak in the soothing warm waters of Kraus' hot spring adds another incredible dimension to your Nahanni trip.

Geological features so unique dominate the valley that Nahanni National Park was declared the first World Heritage Site by the United Nations. Many opportunities to view the abundant wildlife exist as the region is home to Dall sheep, caribou, moose, black bears, bald eagles and trumpeter swans. The itinerary has been designed with much thought to capitalize on the most scenic and exciting parts of the river while making time on other sections. No previous rafting or camping experiences are necessary.
Nahanni River Rafting, Nahanni National Park Northwest Territories, Virgina Falls Nahanni Park, Raft Tours, Nahanni Canyon Adventure Trip
Canada River Rafting Directory, Fort Simpson Accommodation. Northern Canada Guided Camping Adventures, Rafting Tours NWT
Arrival in Fort Simpson by air or road. After loading our supplies and gear into the aircraft we begin one of the major highlights of the adventure - the upriver flight. Flying over the majestic Nahanni Range and Ram Plateau, a visually stunning panorama unfolds in front of our eyes. You want to be sure to have your camera on your lap with lots of film! We will camp at the Falls the first night, eat supper and have plenty of time to explore and take photographs from the many vistas overlooking the Falls.
After breakfast at Virginia Falls the guides will complete the portage of camp equipment. Participants are asked to hike the 2 km portage around the falls, which is mostly on board walk. We inflate and load the rafts and head downstream. Leaving the roar of the Falls behind us, we will ride high on the waves through the Painted Canyon. Camp is finally made for the evening below Wrigley Creek.
Back on the river we float along the foreboding Funeral Range and enter Third Canyon where the Nahanni cuts a passage just past Mary River. Floating silently, all are gripped with awe at the 1200m canyon walls rising skyward above the river. We camp halfway through this canyon near The Gate in view of Pulpit Rock. A short hike to a lookout above The Gate affords a magnificent vista of the valley below.
Paddling through the Big Bend and Second Canyon and past Headless Creek we will find ourselves camped in the vicinity of Deadmen Valley. The view includes the Tlogotsho Plateau and Prairie Creek Canyon. It was here, on the shores of Headless Creek that the bodies of the Mcleod brothers were found in 1905 and the legend of the Headless Valley was born. Downriver at Sheaf Creek, R.M. Patterson and his partner, Gordon Mathews, wintered over in 1928. Patterson later wrote Dangerous River, one of the most eloquent accounts of the early days on the river. Around the campfire, we will read from his book.
We start the day by challenging the big waves of George's Riffle and enter First Canyon, which reach hights of over 1400 m - the deepest of all the canyons. Camp will be made at Lafferty's Riffle.
After the 26 km long canyon and the waves of Lafferty's Riffle, we reach the soothing waters of Kraus Hot Springs. After a refreshing dip we then bid farewell to the canyons and make our way to the Slpits a maze of islands.
Making an early start from our camp in The Splits, we will rendezvous with a powerboat and whisked through the slow meandering Nahanni delta to the native community of Nahanni Butte. Remote yet surprisingly modern, a stroll into town provides insight into a culture far removed from most of North America. Following refreshments from the village store we sill continue down stream to Blackstone Landing, where we will camp for the final night and enjoy a warm shower.
We will be greeted by our van and driver and transported through the aspen-forested roadway back to Fort Simpson to meet the homeward airline flight.
Please Note: The 12 day raft trip provides for a second day at Virginia Falls, a slower pace between camps while on the river and more time for off-river explorations.
Rates per Person in CAD$
Month / Departures Trip Length Rates
June August / on Request
08 Days $3650.00
May August / on Request
12 Days $4490.00
Services Included
07/11 Nights Camping Accommodation
Nahanni National Park Professional & Licensed Guide Service
Charter Flight to Virginia Falls
All Road Transportation to Fort Simpson
River Boat Shuttle from to Blackstone Landing
Complete Rafting Equipment
Rafting Lessons
Camping Gear including Dry Packs
All Meals
Mandatory National Park Fee
Please Note: Wet suits, sleeping bag and pads may be rented.