A tributary to the majestic Mackenzie, don’t let the classification fool you, the Mountain River is an important waterway in its own right and spectacular journey for adventurous paddlers.
Running to the cusp of the Arctic Circle, the Mountain—as its name implies—slithers out of high-elevation mountains and quickly turns into hundreds of kilometres of runnable rapids and thundering passages through sheer-walled river canyons. With high-altitude sections starting in rocky moonscapes, the rushing water carving out stupendous chasms, age-old mineral deposits colouring the mountainsides and the fascinating Tufa Mounds—beautiful rock formations with bubbling sulphurous geysers—the Mountain River journey elicits a reminder of the unimaginable grandeur of time.
While alpine hikers may barely catch their breath while in awe of their surroundings, geology and biology enthusiasts unite in their mutual delight in the diverse wilderness and terrain. It’s common to catch sight of caribou, Dall sheep, Arctic wolf, grizzlies and moose while on your travels here.
Only a lucky few visit the Mountain River every year. “It's a truly wild river, way, way off the beaten track,” says Dana Hibbard, guide and outfitter. And, with an elevation loss of 1070 m (3510 ft), guests enjoy an exciting whitewater expedition with near-continuous roller coaster momentum.
Discover the Sahtu’s most thrilling expedition! Nahanni Wild’s 14-day Mountain River canoe journey begins at a fly-in starting point at Willow Handle Lake and ends in Norman Wells along the Mackenzie River. A limited amount of bookings are available for 2020.