Arrival in Norman Wells
Arrive in Norman Wells by noon. We’ll begin with orientation, canoe skills training, and accommodation at our basecamp lodge.
Our morning charter flight will take us to our put-in point on the Keele River.
Paddling the Keele River
We’ll spend these days voyageur style, paddling the pristine waters of the Keele River, camping as we go.
Overnight in Norman Wells
Our charter flight will pick us up at our take-out point and return us to Norman Wells. Here we’ll overnight and say our goodbyes at our basecamp lodge.
Depart Norman Wells via commercial flights home.
- Charter flights from Norman Wells to Keele River (and return to Norman Wells)
- Ten nights on the Keele River
- All trip food, canoes, expedition gear, tents, etc
- Expert guide services
- Transportation to and from the Norman Wells Airport
- Two nights' accommodation and meals at our basecamp lodge in Norman Wells
- Commercial flights to Norman Wells
- Pre- and post-trip hotel accommodations
- Mandatory medical evacuation insurance
- Discretionary trip cancellation insurance
- Wine, beer, spirits
- Fishing license
- Expenses incurred due to itinerary changes beyond our control
The Keele River offers an iconic Canadian wilderness canoeing experience through the rugged Mackenzie Mountains in Canada’s Northwest Territories. Turquoise waters flow from high in the divide between the Yukon and Northwest Territories through towering mountain scenery and broad valleys full of rugged black spruce with invitingvistas on every curve. Although fast and boisterous, the Keele River has lots of room to find a smooth path. As confidence builds, paddlers will seek the larger wave trains.
The Keele has very clear lines and the choice to paddle smooth water or bouncy water. There are gracious campsites, big mountain vistas, no portages, very few bugs to worry about, and excellent hiking available.
The Keele is wide and deep with high standing waves in places. It narrows into chutes as it glides down a descending gradient slope toward the Mackenzie River turning through spectacular landscapes with panoramic views. There can be sightings of caribou, moose, eagles, grizzly and black bears, Dahl sheep and great fishing for both arctic grayling and bull trout. We don’t always plan for a fish dinner but often if we have fishermen in the group, grayling or trout can be added to tempt everyone’s palate with a fresh fish dinner. Names of landmarks remind us of the exotic nature of a pristine wilderness: dramatic Shezal Canyon; the spacious confluence of the Ekwi River where the mountains plunge right down to the river; sparkling Nainlin Brook; Toochingkla where the fishing is superb; the lively Twitya; Red Dog Creek with its quiet current; and, Talking Cliffs that announce the mighty Mackenzie River lying around the next few bends.