The Churchill River drains a third of Saskatchewan. The river is really a series of island filled lakes joined by short thrilling rapids or waterfalls. On this trip we are paddling only a short portion of the river. Our total trip is about 190 kilometers. The portion we will paddle flows through typical Precambrian Shield country. Beautiful rock outcroppings form great camping spots all along the river.

The Cree call the river Missinipe or Big Water. They have been it’s inhabitants for thousands of years and continue to live along it’s shores. We’ll visit many of their sacred rock painting sites along the river. The Churchill was part of the main voyageur route across the continent during the fur trade era. We’ll visit a site of an old fur trade post.

The trip is a great mix of thrilling whitewater and peaceful lake paddling. You’ll get to see eagles, pelicans, osprey, moose and bear. You will likely meet other groups on the river. But, the river is not busy until you get within a day of the end. The trip begins with a charter flight from Missinipe. This trip is run in co-operation with Black Feather.

Trip at a Glance

Lakewater with Whitewater options wilderness canoe trip
Length: 12 days
Skill Level: Novice/Intermediate
Dates: August 2 to 13
Trip Fees: $3995 CAD
Trip Rendezvous: Missinipe, Saskatchewan with shuttle service available from La Ronge

Trip Description

The Churchill River trip meets at Churchill River Canoe Outfitters in Missinipe, Saskatchewan. We will overnight there, before heading by charter flight to Pinehouse Lake on the Churchill RIver. The guides will review paddling strokes, canoe maneuvers and safety before we head downstream. At the first rapids we’ll go over river reading and route planning. From here on it is mostly lake paddling with some really fun rapids in between. Expect some portages each day at waterfalls, or rapids that we cannot, or you would prefer not to paddle. Most portages are less than 200m, but the last day, depending on the route we choose, and the skill of the group there could be a portage of 1100m. On our last day, we’ll be picked up noon by our van for our ride back to Missinipe (6 km) and for those who nee to, on to La Ronge to connect with late afternoon flights to Saskatoon. Some in the group may want to stay overnight for a celebratory meal together.

Trip Itinerary

Day 1 Monday, August 2nd, 2021 - Travel to Missinipe, SK
  - Flights from Saskatoon to La Ronge, CRCO shuttle pickup at the airport to Missinipe (80 km).
  - Pre trip meeting, gear check, dinner, overnight at CRCO in Missinipe
Day 2 - Breakfast, charter flight to Pinehouse Lake
 - Set up camp, canoe skills review
Day 3 to Day 11 - Paddle the Churchill River
 - The unspoiled clear waters of the Churchill flow over a number of lakes and through rapids. There are many fun runnable rapids, and a few falls that we will have to portage. Each night, we will camp at a new site, surrounded by ruggedly beautiful scenery.
Day 12 Friday, August 13th, 2021
 - The trip ends at Devil Lake or Otter Rapids. Shuttle back to Missinipe (5 km).
 - Optional Group Dinner and overnight in Missinipe (own expense) or mid-afternoon departure from Missinipe to the La Ronge airport. That shuttle to La Ronge can also go the next day.
 - Overnight in Saskatoon (own expense) or flights home

What is Included in the Trip Price

•Overnight stay at CRCO in Missinipe on August 2
•Guides - 5:1 ratio
•Trail Meals
 • Excellent meals from Day 2 lunch to Day 12 lunch
 • Snacks
•Canoeing Equipment:
 • 17’ Prospector expedition canoes
 • Paddles, PFD, helmets (you may bring your own)
 • Throw lines and other safety accessories
• Camping Equipment:
 • Tents - free standing custom expedition dome tents - 2 per tent
 • ‘Kitchen’ - tarp, fire box, cooking stoves, utensils, dishes, etc
•Safety Equipment:
 • First aid and repair kits, communications equipment (satellite phone)
 • Canoe rescue gear
•Local Transportation:
 • Charter flight to Pinehouse Lake on the Churchill River from Missinipe, Saskatchewan
 • Transportation to and from the La Ronge airport and Missinipe
 • Transportation of guides, group gear, canoe etc to and from trip

What is not Included in the Trip Price

• Saskatchewan tax: 11% of the trip fee
• Personal clothing and gear - a recommended clothing & equipment list will be provided
• Travel between your home and the trip rendezvous - La Ronge, Saskatchewan
• Accommodation in Missinipe SK after the trip (approx $60 per person based on double occupancy)
• Any meals in Missinipe after the trip
• Any additional expenses or costs incurred as a result of delays to the trip caused by factors beyond our control - i.e. wind, waves, unsafe paddling conditions, forest fire, pandemic, etc
• Any costs associated with your emergency evacuation from the trip - please contact us at CRCO for more information
• Gratuities - we recommend $12-$15 per day per guide

The Churchill River region often has idyllic summer temperatures, but not always. Expect temperatures to range from 15 C to 32C, but averaging from 20 - 25 C. A good rain suit is a must, along with some warm clothing for cool days and nights. The water temperature in mid summer is usually about 23 C.

YES, we highly recommend you to purchase 1) Emergency Medical/Evacuation Insurance, 2) Trip Interruption Insurance and 3) Trip Cancellation Insurance. Many credit card companies offer limited interruption/cancellation insurance, so please consult with yours before you book your trip to ensure you are adequately covered. Please also note that some types of insurance are only valid if they are purchased within a short time of making a non-refundable payment towards a trip. More information about these can be obtained through your preferred insurance provider. Prior to confirming your trip’s departure, we will ask you to sign a waiver stating you have either purchased adequate insurance or that you will be personally responsible and financially liable for any costs incurred as the result of any delays/cancellations/evacuations to you on your trip.