As the days grow long, the snow drifts recede and the first hints of green appear in the trees I let bird song wash over me, a spring baptism of sorts. Many of the birds that I see in April and May in the forests of northwest BC are migrating north to nesting grounds and their seasonal homes. We are on the same trajectory these birds and I as we both prepare for our yearly pilgrimage to the Arctic.
Guide & Outfitter Dana Hibbard will be sharing stories from growing up on northern rivers in a family that encouraged her to take the stern and choose her own line. Three decades later she continues to share her deep love for these rivers with others through her family businesses, Nahanni Wild and Canadian River Expeditions.
Join us for our dramatic presentation with spectacular images of the "Best Northern Rivers" with Neil Hartling and Joel Hibbard of Nahanni Wild & Canadian River Expeditions. Enjoy the stories and find out why National Geographic Adventure designated us one of the ‘Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth’. You have dreamed of that bucket-list river journey.
This fall saw Nahanni Wild grow as the team at Nahanni River Adventures and Canadian River Expeditions joined the family. After years as friendly competitors we are so excited to bring together two incredible teams of guides and to continue our growth from two of the most experienced guides and outfitters in Canada, Neil Hartling and David Hibbard. Their decades of experience allows our guide teams to ask important questions and ensures our expeditions remain unparalleled. There is no substitute for experience!
Standing at the edge of the Nailicho (Virginia Falls) on the South Nahanni River it is easy to understand the formation of Fourth Canyon and it’s colourful walls that line the river below the Falls. The power of the Nahanni is immediately evident amongst the spray and towering rock formations and it is hard to believe that the precipice does not crumble faster.
Nahanni and Nááts'ihch'oh National Park Reserve encompasses a watershed. Mostly undeveloped, rarely explored and spectacularly beautiful, each raindrop and snowflake is making its way through the South Nahanni watershed and into the Mackenzie basin. Looking at it on a map it is hard to comprehend the scale of these valleys. Part of what makes this area so unique are the limestone and granite heights of land that separate this watershed this watershed into areas with dramatic differences.
While the Nahanni’s landscapes, geology and ecological significance are truly on a scale that is difficult to comprehend, it is often the colourful myths and legends of the Nahanni that people first hear about. Tales from the Nahanni have found their way into our collective imagination in part through the many books written about this river with the beautiful name.
Nahanni is an evocative word. For many Canadians, whether you paddle or not, this word summons images of the renowned Nailicho (Virginia Falls), of towering mountains, and a kingdom of canyons. The word has become synonymous with adventure and wilderness. It is one of the finest representations of natural beauty in Canada.
I’ve been working with Nahanni Wild for the past few years supporting the marketing department with graphic design, and light media projects. Last May I had the opportunity to enrich my understanding of their business, and start my journey to becoming a guide, by joining their Guide School. I brought a couple of disposable cameras along the ride (partly for the nostalgia, partly for the convenience), and the results were surprising. Bold colours, and suspended movements.
When you are heading out on an extended wilderness adventure the food you eat is important and you want to feel your best. If that means no gluten, no problem. We invite input from our guests with dietary concerns before the trip to ensure that we are providing them with the appropriate options. And we love learning tricks from our guests about their favourite options; whether it’s a vegetarian lasagna recipe or gluten free brownies, more than a few of our guests’ suggestions have made their way into the infamous Nahanni Wild trip menu.
I was so very fortunate this summer to work along side an incredible female guide team. I have appreciated their support, their intuitiveness and been so very impressed with their professionalism and skills. Every bit as tough as their male colleagues (and yes they are paid the same amount!) they accomplish their work with smiles and while caring for others.
Whether you like the idea of stretching your legs after a day of paddling, want to seek out wildflowers or have summit fever, the Nahanni holds hiking opportunities for everyone. Here are some of Dana’s favourite hikes that we share with guests on the guided trips we offer along the length of the Nahanni River.