South Nahanni River Expedition Rafting

Hooked on rafting and looking for a once in a lifetime trip?

The South Nahanni River is a Canadian icon. Experience a 10 day expedition, flowing through the Nahanni National Park, Northwest Territories, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The river plunges almost 100 meters over Majestic Virginia Falls before carving its way through 4 incredible canyons filled to the brim with adventure. Enjoy the ride downstream relaxing in a raft, while one of our certified and experienced guides expertly pilots you down the mighty Nahanni. There is no paddling experience necessary; first timers and experienced paddlers alike can enjoy an adventure & experience together without stress and to truly feel the wilderness around them. Please note that the earlier season trips tend to have higher water and bigger splashes than later season raft trips.

Dates available:
June 25 – July 4, 2025
July 26 – August 4, 2025
August 12 – 21, 2025

Cost: $9865 CAD + $225 Park Fee + 5%GST

Discounts available for groups of 4 or more Please contact us by email at [email protected] or call 1-800-599-4399 for more details. We would love to plan this epic adventure with you.

Experience Nahanni National Park – Experience this UNESCO World Heritage Site in all its stunning beauty. Journey down the Nahanni River and enjoy the thrills and splashes as the rafts crash over waves on the river. Marvel at the scenery of Virginia Falls, Sunblood Mountain, The Gate and the Nahanni’s four famous canyons soaring up to 1000 meters high.

Wildlife Viewing – There is a possibility to see caribou, Dall’s sheep, bison, and wolves who call the park home.

Comfy Camps – We spare no luxury with our 5-star menu, fine camping gear, and roomy tents. The rafts allow us to carry comforts such as tables and comfortable chairs, as well as thick Paco Pads to sleep on. We enjoy 24 hour daylight allowing for relaxing evenings around the campfire and leisurely mornings

Camaraderie – The camaraderie built on a raft is like no other wilderness experience. As the days go by, a cup of tea, hot chocolate or coffee becomes at home in your hands as much as a paddle or a camera. By the end of the trip new friends and memories for life will have been made.

Relax on the River – The objective of a raft is to remove stress but not enjoyment from a special wilderness experience. Rafts provide a solid and extremely stable platform for your adventure, allowing first-timers or experienced paddlers to truly feel the wilderness around them while enjoying the ride, paddling or socializing.

Itinerary

DAY 0: Fly from Yellowknife to Fort Simpson, arriving around 2pm, meet your guides, have lunch in Fort Simpson, select your gear and prepare for your adventure!

DAY 1-2: Depart from Fort Simpson, NT for the river around 11:30 AM. Stunning flight into the heart of the Mackenzie Mountains arriving at Virginia Falls, set up camp and overnight. Explore the spectacular scenery around Virginia Falls on this scheduled layover day with an opportunity to hike to the summit of Sunblood Mountain and take in a spectacular view of Virginia Falls. Parks Canada Staff may offer an interpretive program discussing specific aspects of flora and fauna unique to Nahanni National Park.

DAY 3: The group, with lots of help from the guides, finishes the 1.5km portage around Virginia Falls and load the rafts prior to entering Nahanni’s legendary canyons; the first which is known as Painted Canyon. Inside its towering walls lay some of the biggest rapids on the Nahanni River, up to class 3 in difficulty, and we will rise to the challenge to meet them. We wil cover approximately 15 kms on this first big day of class 2-3 whitewater.

DAY 4: Raft down through the Third Canyon with 1200m walls as it makes its way through the Funeral Range. Camp in the shadow of the Nahanni Gate.

DAY 5: We start the day by hiking up the Gate, an incredible lookout high above the river, and spend the rest of the day relaxing in its shadow at this majestic spot.

DAY 6: Another glorious day on the river takes us through 3rd canyon & 2nd Canyon. After drifting through 2nd Canyon, we float through into the Headless Valley, a place shrouded in mystery, myth and legend about lost gold and headless men. After enjoying the spectacular views of the headless range, we camp at the mouth of Dry Creek.

DAY 7-8: In the morning we take the time to explore up Dry Canyon, before departing in the afternoon to shoot the class 2-3 rapids of Georges Riffle before entering 1st canyon, the deepest canyon in Canada. This exciting stretch of river is home to some of the most scenic canyon lands in the world,with towering walls surrounding you everywhere you look. A short day of floating through this otherworldly landscape you arrive at your camp beside Lafferty Creek to enjoy a layover day exploring the side canyon of Lafferty Creek, and its turquoise-coloured pools and slot canyons.

DAY 9: After shooting the class 2 Lafferty’s Riffle and stopping for a short soak in Kraus’s hot springs, you enter the splits – a section of river with a myriad of channels and braids. After a long day of navigating through this maze with the chance to see bison grazing along the river, you will arrive at last chance camp.

DAY 10: A Dene Guide meets us at our campsite and whisks you towards civilization and the town of Nahanni Butte. From Nahanni Butte, you will depart by plane back to Fort Simpson, where you will stay the night and celebrate your adventure!