9 August 2002

Canoeing Blackfeather Creek / Mountain River, NT: Willowhandle Lake > Mackenzie River Confluence

Location: Norman Wells, NT, Canada

Dann's Choice for BEST River Trip


Air Travel: Ottawa > Edmonton > Yellowknife > Norman Wells
Air Charter: North Wright Airways from Norman Wells > Willowhandle Lake
Guides: Wendy Grater, Jamie Gupthill
Mandatory Portage: Willowhandle Lk. outlet > Push-Me Pull-You Creek > Blackfeather Creek
Tandem Canoe: Blackfeather Creek > MOUNTAIN R. > MACKENZIE R. confluence - CII+ / CIII+, 12 days, 308 kms
Water Taxi: Mackenzie R. confluence > Norman Wells
Air Travel: Norman Wells > Edmonton > Ottawa
Event: 28th Wedding Anniversary
DVD Available: Get copy from Store

Publicity: Our trip was featured as article " Coming Down the Mountain " by Larry Rice, Canoe & Kayak Magazine, August 2003

View 2002 Blackfeather Creek / MOUNTAIN / MACKENZIE in a larger map

Excerpt from KANOE TRIPPERS Adventure Journal:

" We have a long list of rivers that we want to paddle, so selecting one for this trip was a very difficult choice.  We would be celebrating our 28 th wedding anniversary, so it was also special for that reason.  It was chosen on the advice of Karen and Gerry, who paddled it in 1991 and the fact that it has won “Guides Choice” by the Canadian River Guiding Community for several years now. It was picked over comparable rivers like the Nahanni, Hood and Stikine. We certainly weren’t disappointed.

What we got, was twelve exhilarating river days of seemingly continuous white-water.  A twisting, braided, pushy course of water that widens constantly after it’s confluence with Blackfeather Creek. It becomes several 100 metres across at the mouth as it merges with Canada’s longest river; the MACKENZIE, just upstream from Norman Wells.  This trip had it all; an exciting alpine plane flight through the Mackenzie Mountains, constant current, technical white-water, beautiful canyons, several great hikes, wildlife, superb views, tufa mounds, warm springs, flowerpot rocks, and good food and companionship.

It was our first extended canoe trip on a northern river and it will be hard to ‘Top’! "
Mini Canyon in Blackfeather Creek


MACKENZIE @ the MOUNTAIN confluence

We didn't take any of our own video, but here's a movie by Justine Curgenven of another trip down the Mountain.

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