Participants need to arrive in Fort Simpson with First Air, or before 12 noon with their own vehicle. Following a pick-up at the airport, your guide will hold a pre-trip orientation with lunch. Personal clothing and bags not required for the trip can be left behind in Fort Simpson at our base. We will board our charter flight to Virginia Falls (weather permitting). This breathtaking flight takes us over the Nahanni Range and the Ram Plateau before reaching Virginia Falls. We will camp at the Falls the first night and will have time to explore and take photographs from the many promontories overlooking the Falls.
After breakfast your guides will complete the portage of camp equipment. Participants are asked to portage their own pack 2 km to the "put in" below the Falls. Most of this portage is on a board walk and downhill. Lunch is served on the cobble beach below the falls. Following a safety talk, we load the rafts and begin our descent. Leaving the roar of the falls behind us, we will ride high on the waves through the Painted Canyon. The excitement continues with our passage through Figure Eight Rapids. We will find our camp close to the mouth of the Flat River.
Back on the river we float along the foreboding Funeral Range and enter Third Canyon (35km) where the Nahanni cuts a passage just past Mary River. You will be awestruck as we float silently between the 1200m canyon walls which rise skyward above the river. We will camp at The Gate in view of Pulpit Rock. A short hike to a lookout above The Gate affords a magnificent vista of the valley below. We continue on through Third and Second Canyon (15 km) into Deadmen Valley - known for its legends and mystery. This spectacular open valley offers numerous exploratory options. Following an exciting run through George's Riffle, we drift between the sky-high walls of First Canyon which reach heights of over 1400 m. This 26 km canyon will lead us to the soothing waters of Kraus' Hot Spring. We then bid farewell to the canyons and make our way into the Splits - a maze of islands.
Our last day on the river takes us to the First Nations village of Nahanni Butte. (Pop. approx. 120) Remote yet surprisingly modern, a stroll into town provides insight into a culture far removed from most of North America. Here we board a charter plane for our flight down the Liard Valley back to Fort Simpson. You will need to book accommodation for this final night in Fort Simpson. The group will meet at a restaurant in Fort Simpson for a celebratory meal and a farewell to the guides.
After a relaxing morning and time to look around the village of Fort Simpson (Lįįdłįį Ku ́e), you will board your homeward plane with a load of fond memories and a relaxed and renewed spirit.