In 1903 at 4:10 am 110 million tonnes of limestone slide down Turtle Mountain and buried part of the town of Frank. For our 100th episode of ETA we wanted to explore the area around the slide and hike to the summit of Turtle Mountain!

 

 

 

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide. We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.

We also want to hear about your Frank Slide adventures. If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

 

Have fun out there!

– ETA







 

In the winter, Revelstoke is world renowned for its record snowfall and vast snowmobile terrain. Boulder Mountain specifically, has 50 kilometers of groomed trails and over 150 square kilometers of powdery bowls and steep hill climbs. With average yearly snowfall of 14-20 meters, Boulder Mountain’s terrain will satisfy all skill levels from beginner to expert.

 

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: Full day activity

Location: Revelstoke, BC

Highest Elevation: ~1664m (Boulder Cabin)

Season: November to June

Additional Requirements: Snowmobile, Avalanche Gear

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From Revelstoke:  Head west on the Trans-Canada Hwy/BC-1. Take your first right after you cross the river onto Westside Rd and follow that road for 3.8km. There will be a parking lot and a “Revelstoke Snowmobiling Club” building on your left. Unload here and away you go.

 

WHAT TO BRING

  • Snowmobile Gear: Water resistant ski-pants, jacket, gloves and boots. Helmet, goggles, and balaclava if its cold out. Avalanche beacon, probe and shovel.
  • Water: Snowmobiling is more work than you make think, stay hydrated.
  • Snacks: Bring some of your favorite snacks to enjoy along the way. Some of our favorite snacks are trail mix, bananas, beef jerky and licorice.
  • Weather appropriate clothing: Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly.
  • Sunscreen: Also something to you wouldn’t think to consider but should. If it is sunny and you’re like Mattson, who easily burns, bring sunscreen!
  • Camera: There are numerous photo opportunities you won’t want to miss.
  • This Guide: Print a copy of this guide to reference throughout the hike

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Avalanche Safety: Avalanches are a real concern sledding in the mountains. Know your equipment, know how to use it and practice. Here is a short tutorial on how to use an avalanche beacon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X90kUtxMd_Q

Boonmaps: Boonmaps is an app for your phone that can track your location and where you’ve travelled even if you don’t have service. You will have to download the area beforehand if you want it to work offline. This app is very useful for newcomers to Boulder Mountain that aren’t familiar with the terrain. We used it and it worked great!

Sled Rental: There are a few sled rental places around Revelstoke including Stoked Mountain Adventures, Revelstoke Sled Rentals, Full Speed Rentals, and Sledrent.ca. We went with Sledrent.ca and they were great. They we friendly, easy to deal with, and provided pick up and drop off at Boulder Mountain staging area.

Leave No Trace: It is important that we enjoy the outdoors responsibly and sustainably. Some key principles to consider when hiking to “Leave No Trace” are:

  • Plan ahead and prepare: Proper planning allows adventurers to hike safely while minimizing damage to the land.
  • Travel on durable surfaces: Stick to the trail when possible. If there is no trail, or you must travel off trail, stay on durable surfaces to reduce your impact.
  • Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out.
  • Leave what you find: Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
  • Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed wild animals.
  • Be considerate of other visitors: Be courteous to others to allow everyone to enjoy their outdoor experience.

To learn more about “Leave No Trace” visit http://www.leavenotrace.ca

 

SLEDDING DIRECTIONS

From the parking lot there are three main trails to head up before you reach Boulder Cabin. These trails are groomed and easy to follow. Note that there is a 25-dollar trail fee to use the groomed trails that must be paid daily (or you can get a yearly membership for 200 dollars). From Boulder Cabin, the choice is yours to dip into the trees or climb some wide-open powder bowls.

Hope this guide was useful in planning your adventure.! Stay safe and have fun!

 

Sledding Boulder Mountain - Revelstoke - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: Sledding Boulder Mountain

 

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide. We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.

We also want to hear about your Boulder Mountain Sledding adventures. If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

 

Have fun out there!

– ETA




For a downloadable PDF version of this guide CLICK HERE!

 




 

West Wind Pass is a 4.7km hike off the Smith Dorrien Trail near Canmore. It’s a well trafficked hike with beautiful views of the Spray Lakes reservoir behind you, Rimwall Mountain to your left and Windtower to your right. If you can pick a nice calm day to do this hike that is ideal. It tends to be windy in the pass… as the name would indicate.

 

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: 2-3 Hours

Location: 25km drive South of Canmore

Distance: 4.7km round trip

Highest Elevation: 2083m

Elevation Gain: 350m

Difficulty: 5/10 – Family friendly, dog friendly

Season: June to mid-October for summer conditions

Additional Requirements: Crampons/spikes or snowshoes if hiking in the winter

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From Canmore:  Turn right off Three Sisters Dr onto Spray Lakes Rd/Three Sisters Pkwy and follow that road for roughly 20km.  Park on the side of the road. Google Maps has West Wind Pass Trailhead marked.

 

WHAT TO BRING

  • Comfortable Footwear: Hiking shoes. Make sure your shoes are broken in prior to tackling this hike to prevent unexpected blisters. You could get away with running shoes but having extra grip on the rock surfaces will come in handy!
  • Water: This hike has some elevation gain to reach the pass. Be sure to bring enough water for 2-3 hours of physical exertion.
  • Snacks: Bring some of your favorite snacks to enjoy along the hike. Some of our favorite snacks are trail mix, bananas, beef jerky and licorice.
  • Snowshoes/Spikes: If you are attempting this hike in the fall/winter months, bring spikes as it can be icy. There can be snow waist deep if you wander off the trail, so if that’s something you want to do pack snowshoes as well.
  • Weather appropriate clothing: You will be exposed to the elements throughout this hike. The pass is usually very windy, hence the name. Wear a wind breaker and have a chin strap so your hat doesn’t blow away.  Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly.
  • Sunscreen: If it is sunny and you’re like Mattson, who easily burns, bring sunscreen!
  • Insect Repellent: Insect repellent can greatly improve your hiking experience.
  • Bear Spray: You are in bear country. Always hike with bear spray that is easily accessible.
  • Camera: There are numerous photo opportunities you won’t want to miss.
  • This Guide: Print a copy of this guide to reference throughout the hike

 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Wildlife: You will be hiking in bear country.  It is always advisable to check in at the local Visitor Information Center to learn of any trail closures due to wildlife.  Carry bear spray in an easily accessible location.  Travel in groups of multiple hikers and make lots of noise to avoid an unexpected encounter.

Leave No Trace: It is important that we enjoy the outdoors responsibly and sustainably. Some key principles to consider when hiking to “Leave No Trace” are:

  • Plan ahead and prepare: Proper planning allows adventurers to hike safely while minimizing damage to the land.
  • Travel on durable surfaces: Stick to the trail when possible. If there is no trail, or you must travel off trail, stay on durable surfaces to reduce your impact.
  • Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out.
  • Leave what you find: Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
  • Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed wild animals.
  • Be considerate of other visitors: Be courteous to others to allow everyone to enjoy their outdoor experience.

To learn more about “Leave No Trace” visit http://www.leavenotrace.ca

 

 

HIKING DIRECTIONS

Summary: West Wind Pass is between Windtower and Rimwall Peak. The out and back hike is well trafficked and straight forward. There is only about 350m elevation gain which makes this a great trail for families, dogs, and beginner hikers.

 

West Wind Pass Adventure Map - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: West Wind Pass Adventure Map

 

Step-By-Step Guide:

The trailhead is just off the road. Set your odometer at the turn off onto Spray Lakes Rd/Three Sisters Pkwy for 20km (Or use Google Maps). On a weekend or busy day, it will be obvious where to park as there will be other cars. The trailhead is on the north side of the road (Route marker #1 on the map).

 

West Wind Pass Trailhead - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: Parking on the side of the road
West Wind Pass Trailhead - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: West Wind Pass Trailhead

 

The beginning of the trail is well trafficked and easy to follow with some elevation gain. There is pink and orange flagging tied to trees to mark the trail. Along the way there are a couple signs to reassure you that you are on the West Wind Pass Trail.

 

West Wind Pass Trail - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: A small sign marks the trail
West Wind Pass Trail - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 5: Following the trail as it gains elevation

 

There are some rocky slab sections with cliffs to your right. If uncomfortable with that terrain, stay right wherever possible and the trail will be a little more friendly. The different trails join up to become one trail again later.

 

West Wind Pass Trail - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 7: Descending slippery snow-covered rocks
West Wind Pass Trail - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 8: Hiking along the gully ledge

 

Once you reach the top of the pass (Route marker #2 on the map) there is a beautiful meadow with a trail that’s easy to see and follow. There are stunning views of the Spray Lake Reservoir and surrounding peaks. The Windtower can be summited from West Wind Pass. To summit Rimwall, you start on the same trail be veer off left before reaching the pass. Neither should be summited in the winter if you are not an experienced winter climber. After taking in the views from the pass return to your vehicle the way you came.

West Wind Pass - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 8: Hiking through the meadow
West Wind Pass - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 9: Taking the view from the pass

 

 

West Wind Pass - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 10: West Wind Pass

 

 

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide. We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.

We also want to hear about your West Wind Pass adventures. If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

 

Have fun out there!

– ETA







 

One thing worth checking out on the Big Island for the adrenaline junkies out there… is jumping out of a plane!!! Big Island Gravity was such an awesome company to book a jump with. The customer service was fantastic and booking online was straightforward. Included in the price is GoPro footage of your jump, a scenic plane ride up and the rush of a lifetime!

 

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From Kona:  Get onto HI-19 and head north for 30 miles, turn left at the stop sign onto HI-270. After 1.5 miles at Kawaihae turn right to stay on HI-270. Keep heading north for 16.6 miles and you will see signs for Upolu Airport (turn left). Follow that road about 2 miles until it ends and park in the lot.

From Hilo:  Head north on HI-19/Hawaii Belt/Kamehameha Ave for 54 miles into the town of Waimea. In town, turn right onto Lindsay Rd which curves into Kawaihae Rd. Follow for 2 miles then turn left to stay on Kawaihae Rd/Hwy-19. Continue on this road until you reach Kawaihae. Turn right to stay on HI-270. Keep heading north for 16.6 miles and you will see signs for Upolu Airport (turn left). Follow that road about 2 miles until it ends and park in the lot.

or call 808-937-9258

 

 

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide. We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.

We also want to hear about your Big Island Gravity Skydiving adventures. If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

 

Have fun out there!

– ETA




For a downloadable PDF version of this guide CLICK HERE!

 




 

Tunnel Mountain is an easy hike in the town of Banff that is very popular and accommodating to new hikers. Despite the relatively short hike to the summit, it has incredible views of the town and surrounding Mountains. After hiking Tunnel Mountain another must see is Bow Falls, right in the heart of the town of Banff.

 

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: 0.5-1 Hours

Location: Banff, AB

Distance: Roughly 4km round trip

Highest Elevation: 1677m

Elevation Gain: 267m

Difficulty: 3/10 – Family friendly

Season: Year Round

Additional Requirements: N/A

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From Calgary: Take the Trans-Canada (Hwy 1) west approximately 110km and exit into the town of Banff.  Follow Banff Ave to Fox St, take a left, then a right onto Deer St, Deer St will turn into Otter St, take a left onto Moose St, which will turn right onto Grizzly St. Take a slight left onto St. Julien Rd and continue for 350m and the Lower Tunnel Mountain Parking Lot will be on your left. This sounds confusing so just plug “Tunnel Mountain Trailhead (Lower Parking Area)” into google maps and you’ll get there no problem.

 

WHAT TO BRING

  • Comfortable Footwear: Hiking shoes. Make sure your shoes are broken in prior to tackling this hike to prevent unexpected blisters. You could get away with running shoes but having extra grip on the rock surfaces will definitely come in handy!
  • Water: This hike has some elevation gain to reach the summit. Be sure to bring a water bottle or two.
  • Snacks: Bring some of your favorite snacks to enjoy along the hike or at the summit.  Some of our favorite snacks are trail mix, bananas, beef jerky and licorice.
  • Weather appropriate clothing: You will be exposed to the elements throughout this hike. Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly.
  • Sunscreen: If it is sunny and you’re like Mattson, who easily burns, bring sunscreen!
  • Insect Repellent: Insect repellent can greatly improve your hiking experience.
  • Bear Spray: You are in bear country. Always hike with bear spray that is easily accessible.
  • Camera: There are numerous photo opportunities you won’t want to miss.
  • This Guide: Print a copy of this guide to reference throughout the hike

 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Wildlife: You will be hiking in bear country.  It is always advisable to check in at the local Visitor Information Center to learn of any trail closures due to wildlife.  Carry bear spray in an easily accessible location.  Travel in groups of multiple hikers and make lots of noise to avoid an unexpected encounter.

Leave No Trace: It is important that we enjoy the outdoors responsibly and sustainably. Some key principles to consider when hiking to “Leave No Trace” are:

  • Plan ahead and prepare: Proper planning allows adventurers to hike safely while minimizing damage to the land.
  • Travel on durable surfaces: Stick to the trail when possible. If there is no trail, or you must travel off trail, stay on durable surfaces to reduce your impact.
  • Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out.
  • Leave what you find: Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
  • Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed wild animals.
  • Be considerate of other visitors: Be courteous to others to allow everyone to enjoy their outdoor experience.

To learn more about “Leave No Trace” visit http://www.leavenotrace.ca

 

 

HIKING DIRECTIONS

Summary: The hike up tunnel mountain is straightforward and relatively easy. You can start at either the lower or upper trailhead and there is a clearly marked and easy to follow trail that will take you to the summit.

 

Tunnel Mountain Adventure Map - Banff - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: Tunnel Mountain Adventure Map

 

Step-By-Step Guide:

There are two places to park and start this hike from. The lower parking area, and the upper parking area. We were planning on starting at the upper parking lot (Route marker #1 on the map) but the road to it is closed during winter months so we had to park at the gate and walk down the road for a few minutes. It would have been easier to have just gone to the lower parking lot. At both the lower and upper parking area there is signage marking the trailhead.

 

Tunnel Mountain Upper Trailhead - Banff - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: The Upper Trailhead
Tunnel Mountain Hike - Banff - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: Tunnel Mountain Trail

 

This trail to the summit is extremely easy to follow and is heavily trafficked. There are a few switchbacks, some elevation gain, and a couple spots to stop and soak in the views looking both east and west. At the summit (Route marker #2 on the map) there are stunning views of the town of Banff and surrounding mountains.

 

Tunnel Mountain Viewpoint - Banff - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: Views of the Bow River along the hike
Tunnel Mountain Summit - Banff - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 5: The summit of Tunnel Mountain

 

After our hike up Tunnel Mountain we wandered our way across the river in town to check out Bow Falls (Route marker #3 on the map). It’s a beautiful walk along the river and the falls are stunning. Park on Glen Ave or at the YMCA and enjoy the walk to the falls from there.

 

Bow Falls - Banff - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 6: Bow Falls
Bow Falls - Banff - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 7: Bow Falls

 

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide. We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.

We also want to hear about your Tunnel Mountain adventures. If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

 

Have fun out there!

– ETA




For a downloadable PDF version of this guide CLICK HERE!

 




 

Iceline Trail is located in Yoho National Park just north of the town of Field, BC.  Iceline Trail provides incredible views of the Yoho Valley and Takakkaw Falls. The trail switchbacks up the west side of the valley, then turns north and takes you past a glacier, alpine lakes, and waterfalls. This hike has a little bit of everything and on a beautiful day it can be truly magical.

 

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: 6-8 Hours

Location: 17km north of Field

Distance: 25km round trip

Highest Elevation: 2300m

Elevation Gain: 800m

Difficulty: 7/10 – Rapid elevation gain, long hike

Season: June to September

Additional Requirements: N/A

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From Calgary:  Take the Trans-Canada (Hwy 1) west approximately 210km to Yoho Valley Road. Turn right off the highway (there will be signs marking Yoho National Park) and follow that road past the Cathedral Mountain Lodge about 15km until you hit the parking lot.

 

WHAT TO BRING

  • Comfortable Footwear: Hiking shoes. Make sure your shoes are broken in prior to tackling this hike to prevent unexpected blisters. You could get away with running shoes but having extra grip on the rock surfaces will definitely come in handy!
  • Water: This hike is long with lots of elevation gain. Be sure to bring enough water for 6-8 hours of physical exertion.
  • Snacks: Bring some of your favorite snacks to enjoy along the hike as well as a light lunch. Some of our favorite snacks are trail mix, bananas, beef jerky and licorice.
  • Weather appropriate clothing: You will be exposed to the elements throughout this hike. Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly.
  • Sunscreen: If it is sunny and you’re like Mattson, who easily burns, bring sunscreen!
  • Insect Repellent: Insect repellent can greatly improve your hiking experience.
  • Bear Spray: You are in bear country. Always hike with bear spray that is easily accessible.
  • Camera: There are numerous photo opportunities you won’t want to miss.
  • This Guide: Print a copy of this guide to reference throughout the hike

 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Wildlife: You will be hiking in bear country.  It is always advisable to check in at the local Visitor Information Center to learn of any trail closures due to wildlife.  Carry bear spray in an easily accessible location.  Travel in groups of multiple hikers and make lots of noise to avoid an unexpected encounter.

Leave No Trace: It is important that we enjoy the outdoors responsibly and sustainably. Some key principles to consider when hiking to “Leave No Trace” are:

  • Plan ahead and prepare: Proper planning allows adventurers to hike safely while minimizing damage to the land.
  • Travel on durable surfaces: Stick to the trail when possible. If there is no trail, or you must travel off trail, stay on durable surfaces to reduce your impact.
  • Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out.
  • Leave what you find: Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
  • Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed wild animals.
  • Be considerate of other visitors: Be courteous to others to allow everyone to enjoy their outdoor experience.

To learn more about “Leave No Trace” visit http://www.leavenotrace.ca

 

 

HIKING DIRECTIONS

Summary: Iceline Trail is a large loop with a few different options for routes depending on the distance you want to hike. The route we took, and the one described in this guide, is roughly 25km and hits Takakkaw Falls, the glacier, Celeste Lake, Twin Falls and Laughing Falls.

 

Iceline Trail Adventure Map- Yoho - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: Iceline Trail Adventure Map

 

Step-By-Step Guide:

Before starting the Iceline Trail we recommend checking out Takakkaw Falls (Route marker #1 on the map). It’s so close to the parking lot that you can’t pass up a chance to check out this behemoth of a waterfall. Pass over the bridge and follow the well-maintained trail to the base of the waterfall.

 

Takakkaw Falls - Yoho - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: Takakkaw Falls
Takakkaw Falls - Yoho - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: Takakkaw Falls

 

After checking out the falls you can backtrack to the main trail. Iceline Trail starts on the opposite side of the valley from Takakkaw Falls so you must cross the road to get over there. The Iceline Trail starts by climbing up the side of the valley. Most of the elevation gain for the hike is completed during the switchbacks through the forest until you reach the tree line (Route marker #2 on the map). After that the trail levels out and is more gradual.

 

Iceline Trail - Yoho - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: Switchbacks up the valley wall
Iceline Trail - Yoho - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 5: Views of Takakkaw Falls across the valley

 

From the top of the tree line we had an incredible view of the Yoho Valley and Takakkaw Falls. As you follow the trail it becomes very clear why it is called Iceline Trail. The trail runs parallel to the glacier and runoff creates waterfalls, streams and alpine lakes. It is quite easy to follow the trail but if you get lost look for inukshuk’s to get you back on track.

 

Iceline Trail - Yoho - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 6: Streams along the Iceline Trail
Iceline Trail - Yoho - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 7: Alpine lakes from the melting glacier

 

There are a few different length loops you can take but we took a right at the Celeste Lake Connector and then another right at Little Yoho Valley Trail in order to make our way to Twin Falls (Route marker #3 on the map). The Celeste connector is about 4km and the Little Yoho Valley Trail is roughly 500m before it turns into Marpole Lake Connector which took us to Twin Falls. The trails are all marked very well with signs and distances so navigation is fairly straight forward.

Iceline Trail - Yoho - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 8: Signs marking the trail
Iceline Trail - Yoho - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 9: The trail to Twin Falls

 

Twin Falls was the highlight of our hike. We climbed right up close to the falls to be able to really appreciate their size and beauty!

 

Twin Falls - Yoho - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 10: Twin Falls
Iceline Trail - Yoho - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 11: Views of Yoho Valley

 

From Twin Falls we made our way back to the main Yoho Valley Trail. On the way back to the car we passed Laughing Falls (Route marker #4 on the map) which is another large waterfall worth checking out.

 

Laughing Falls - Yoho - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 12: Laughing Falls

 

 

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide. We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.

We also want to hear about your Iceline Trail adventures. If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

 

Have fun out there!

– ETA




For a downloadable PDF version of this guide CLICK HERE!

 




 

Walcott Peak is in Yoho National Park and sits just north of the Trans-Canada Highway about 1km east of the town of Field.  Walcott Peak is one of two summits that make up Mount Burgess. With 1300m of elevation and some fun scrambling along the way, summiting Mount Walcott is a challenge! From the summit, at 2575m above sea level, you have spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and Emerald Lake.

 

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: 5-7 Hours

Location: 1km east of Field

Distance: 12km round trip

Highest Elevation: 2599m

Elevation Gain: 1350m

Difficulty: 7/10 – Route finding, scrambling, loose footing

Season: June to September

Additional Requirements: N/A

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From Calgary: Take the Trans-Canada (Hwy 1) west approximately 210km to the trailhead. The parking lot is on the North side of the highway 1km east of the town of Field. Take a quick left after turning off the highway and follow that road to the end. There’s an open area where you can park.

 

WHAT TO BRING

  • Comfortable Footwear: Hiking shoes. Make sure your shoes are broken in prior to tackling this hike to prevent unexpected blisters. A good pair of hiking shoes is important to ensure good grip when scrambling.
  • Water: This hike is long with lots of elevation gain to reach the summit. Be sure to bring enough water for 5-6 hours of physical exertion.
  • Snacks: Bring some of your favorite snacks to enjoy along the hike and maybe a lunch to enjoy at the summit. Some of our favorite snacks are trail mix, bananas, beef jerky and licorice.
  • Weather appropriate clothing: You will be exposed to the elements throughout this hike. Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly.
  • Sunscreen: If it is sunny and you’re like Mattson, who easily burns, bring sunscreen!
  • Insect Repellent: Insect repellent can greatly improve your hiking experience.
  • Bear Spray: You are in bear country. Always hike with bear spray that is easily accessible.
  • Camera: There are numerous photo opportunities you won’t want to miss.
  • This Guide: Print a copy of this guide to reference throughout the hike

 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Wildlife: You will be hiking in bear country.  It is always advisable to check in at the local Visitor Information Center to learn of any trail closures due to wildlife.  Carry bear spray in an easily accessible location.  Travel in groups of multiple hikers and make lots of noise to avoid an unexpected encounter.

Leave No Trace: It is important that we enjoy the outdoors responsibly and sustainably. Some key principles to consider when hiking to “Leave No Trace” are:

  • Plan ahead and prepare: Proper planning allows adventurers to hike safely while minimizing damage to the land.
  • Travel on durable surfaces: Stick to the trail when possible. If there is no trail, or you must travel off trail, stay on durable surfaces to reduce your impact.
  • Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out.
  • Leave what you find: Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
  • Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed wild animals.
  • Be considerate of other visitors: Be courteous to others to allow everyone to enjoy their outdoor experience.

To learn more about “Leave No Trace” visit http://www.leavenotrace.ca

 

 

HIKING DIRECTIONS

Summary: Walcott Peak is the northern summit of Mount Burgess. The hike is relatively straight forward but does involve some scrambling and ascending steep scree slopes. After making your way up switchbacks to the tree line there is an obvious gully to ascend to reach the summit.

 

Walcott Peak Adventure Map - Yoho - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: Walcott Peak Adventure Map

 

Step-By-Step Guide:

From the parking lot (Route marker #1 on the map) head west on the trail into the forest. This hike begins with an easy consistent ascent of switch backs through the tall forest. You will pass a small water source after about 20 mins of walking so fill up while you can.

 

Walcott Peak Trail - Yoho - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: Walcott Peak Trail
Walcott Peak Trail - Yoho - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: Ascending through the forest

 

Soon you will come out of the forest to a wide-open avalanche area. From here you can see the steep walls of Walcott Peak and Mount Burgess.  Walcott peak is the northern peak while the high point of Mount Burgess is the south peak. Make note of the gully (Route marker #2 on the map) to the right of a “treed island”, this is where you will want to ascend to reach Walcott Peak.

 

Walcott Peak - Yoho - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: The gully to the right of the “treed” island”

 

While in the gully, stick to the right hand side. There is some scrambling at this point and lots of loose rock that can be frustrating. We ended up climbing out of the gully to get off of the loose rock but the safer and easier approach would be to stay in the gully.

 

Scrambling up Walcott Peak - Yoho - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 5: Anderson scrambling up the side of the gully

 

Once you’re through the gully the hard part is over and there is a scree slope to ascend to the summit! (Route marker #3 on the map)

 

Scrambling up Walcott Peak - Yoho - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 6: Anderson working his way to the top
Walcott Peak - Yoho - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 7: The scree slope to the summit

 

At the top you’re treated to panoramic views of the other peaks around Field plus a bird’s eye view of Emerald Lake.

 

Walcott Peak Summit - Yoho - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 8: Anderson at the summit
Walcott Peak Summit - Yoho - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 9: Mattson at the summit
Walcott Peak Summit - Yoho - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 10: Emerald Lake

 

 

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For a downloadable PDF version of this guide CLICK HERE!

 




 

Johnston Canyon is close to Banff and rated as an easy hike. The trail is mostly paved, with railings and bridges, and it takes you on a journey through a stunning hundred-foot-high canyon with beautiful trees, streams and waterfalls. Between Upper Falls, Lower Falls and the Ink Pots, there are lots of beautiful sights to see along the way.

 

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: 3-4 Hours

Location: 38km west of Banff, AB

Distance: 11.4km round trip

Highest Elevation: 1440m

Elevation Gain: 330m

Difficulty: 3/10 – easy to follow trail with some elevation gain

Season: Year-Round – May require micro spikes in the winter

Additional Requirements: N/A

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From Calgary:  Take the Trans-Canada (Hwy 1) west approximately 121km to Bow Valley Parkway (Hwy 1A). Follow Hwy 1A 17.5 km east and the trailhead for Johnston Canyon will be on your right.

 

WHAT TO BRING

  • Comfortable Footwear: Hiking shoes or a comfortable pair of sneakers. The trail has good footing and is easy to follow.
  • Water: It is always a good idea to bring lots of water when hiking.
  • Snacks: Bring some of your favorite snacks to enjoy along the hike. Some of our favorite snacks are trail mix, bananas, beef jerky and licorice.
  • Weather appropriate clothing: You will be exposed to the elements throughout this hike. Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly.
  • Strollers/Wheelchairs: The first part of this hike is wheelchair and stroller accessible. The trail can get very busy so if you can choose a time that’s less busy it may make the hike less stressful. Also note that strollers and wheelchairs can only make it to Lower Falls, the trail from there has uneven terrain and more elevation.
  • Ice Cleats: If you decide to do this hike in the winter, the trail can become very icy from the change in temperature so ice cleats may be worth considering bringing.
  • Sunscreen: If it is sunny and you’re like Mattson, who easily burns, bring sunscreen!
  • Insect Repellent: Insect repellent can greatly improve your hiking experience.
  • Bear Spray: You are in bear country. Always hike with bear spray that is easily accessible.
  • Camera: There are numerous photo opportunities you won’t want to miss.
  • This Guide: Print a copy of this guide to reference throughout the hike

 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Wildlife: You will be hiking in bear country.  It is always advisable to check in at the local Visitor Information Center to learn of any trail closures due to wildlife.  Carry bear spray in an easily accessible location.  Travel in groups of multiple hikers and make lots of noise to avoid an unexpected encounter.

Leave No Trace: It is important that we enjoy the outdoors responsibly and sustainably. Some key principles to consider when hiking to “Leave No Trace” are:

  • Plan ahead and prepare: Proper planning allows adventurers to hike safely while minimizing damage to the land.
  • Travel on durable surfaces: Stick to the trail when possible. If there is no trail, or you must travel off trail, stay on durable surfaces to reduce your impact.
  • Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out.
  • Leave what you find: Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
  • Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed wild animals.
  • Be considerate of other visitors: Be courteous to others to allow everyone to enjoy their outdoor experience.

To learn more about “Leave No Trace” visit http://www.leavenotrace.ca

 

 

HIKING DIRECTIONS

Summary: Johnston Canyon is a popular, straight forward, out and back hike. There is basically no need for directions as this is one of the most popular hikes in Banff and the trail is very well maintained. The highlights of the hike are Lower Falls, Upper Falls and the Ink Pots.

 

Johnston Canyon Adventure Map- Banff - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: Johnston Canyon Adventure Map

 

Step-By-Step Guide:

From the parking lot, enter the trail through the pretty obvious wooden arch that says Johnston Canyon at the North end of the parking lot (Route marker #1 on the map). From there you will follow a paved trail, very easy to follow, that has railings and steps and is manageable for all skill levels. The trail follows the canyon and eventually ends up at Lower Falls. The distance from the trailhead to Lower Falls (Route marker #2 on the map) is 1.2km with 50m elevation gain.

 

Johnston Canyon - Banff - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: Johnston Canyon Trailhead
Johnston Canyon - Banff - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: The trail to Lower Falls

 

 

Johnston Canyon Lower Falls - Banff - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: Johnston Canyon Lower Falls

 

From Lower Falls to Upper Falls (Route marker #3 on the map) the trail gets slightly more challenging with 70m more elevation gain and 1.3km further to walk. Although the trail isn’t wheelchair accessible from Lower Falls on, it is still very manageable for nearly all skill levels. There may be a lineup of people waiting for their turn to take a picture at the Upper Falls.

Johnston Canyon - Banff - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 5: Smaller waterfalls along the way
Johnston Canyon - Banff - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 7: The lineup at Upper Falls

 

 

Johnston Canyon Upper Falls - Banff - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 7: Johnston Canyon Upper Falls

 

If you have the energy and want your adventure to continue it is only another 3.2km and 210m elevation gain to reach the Ink Pots (Route marker #4 on the map). This trail is not paved and travels up through the forest then back down the other side of the ridge. Eventually the trail opens out of the trees to a nice meadow where you’ll find the Ink Pots. The Ink Pots are spring fed mineral pools that will occasionally bubble up and swirl with different colors. The Ink Pots are a great spot for a picnic before you begin your hike back.

 

Johnston Canyon - Banff - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 8: The trail to the Ink Pots
Johnston Canyon - Banff - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 9: Dirt trail to the Ink Pots
Johnston Canyon Ink Pots - Banff - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 10: Anderson at the Ink Pots
Johnston Canyon Ink Pots - Banff - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 11: Staring at the Ink Pots

 

 

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide. We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.

We also want to hear about your Johnston Canyon adventures. If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

 

Have fun out there!

– ETA







 

The Kananskis River cuts through the heart of Kananaskis Country in the Rocky Mountains.  The river’s class II and III rapids draw local paddlers and have been on our list to check out for a while.  After a brief warm up at Harvie Passage in Calgary we headed to Kananaskis to give the river a go.

 

Our Tips

  • If you need gear, rent from Aquabatics in Calgary https://aqoutdoors.com
  • Warm up and hone your skills at Harvey’s passage in Calgary
  • Check the flow rate and schedule (Kananskis river is controlled by a TransAlta dam) https://transalta.com/hydro/river-flows/
  • Our route was from the Widow Maker to Canoe Meadows

 

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide. We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.

We also want to hear about your Kananaskis River adventures. If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

 

Have fun out there!

– ETA




For a downloadable PDF version of this guide CLICK HERE! 

 




 

The Churchill River system runs from Alberta, across Northern Saskatchewan and into Manitoba where it dumps into Hudson’s Bay. It is over 1600km long and we have had the privilege of exploring it on two separate occasions. The Churchill River has everything from lakes and rapids, to canyons and waterfalls. Don’t forget your camera as the sunsets in North Saskatchewan are incredibly beautiful. If you’re lucky, maybe one night the northern lights will put a show on for you.

Canoe Trip #1: Devil Lake to Corner Rapids

 

Canoe Trip #2: Stack Lake to Missinipe

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: 3 days/3 nights (depending on your itinerary)

Location: 80km North of La Ronge, SK

Distance: 20km-50km depending on your itinerary

Difficulty: 7/10 – Route finding, portages, outdoor living.

Season: June to September

Additional Requirements: Camping equipment, canoe, PFD, paddles.

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From Prince Albert: Head north on the number 2 highway out of Prince Albert. Follow that highway 240km to La Ronge where the highway becomes the 102 and winds its way 78km to Missinipe, SK.

 

WHAT TO BRING

  • Comfortable Footwear: Water shoes. Bring a pair of water shoes for portages and a pair of hikers or running shoes for the nights when you’re outside camping. Your feet will be wet for most of the day so it’s really nice to put on a dry pair of shoes at night.
  • Water: Having a good water purification pump or purification tabs are a good idea.
  • Snacks/Food: The amount of people on your trip will determine the amount of food you should bring. Here’s a list of some basic foods we packed for our trip:
    • Coffee
    • Powdered milk
    • Tang powder
    • Bacon/Eggs
    • Beef Jerky
    • Salt/Pepper
    • Oatmeal/Brown Sugar
    • Pancake Mix
    • Fish Beer Batter
    • Cheese
    • Syrup
    • Jam
    • Ketchup/Mustard
    • Butter
    • Potatoes
    • Rice
    • Bread

We also had the luxury of having Bush Pie makers with us. If you have access to them or can go buy some, we recommend it! Bush Pies make for a good lunch or evening snack. For our bush pies we had bread, cheese, pizza sauce and salami or sausage and we cooked them over the campfire.

Bush Pie Maker - Saskatchewan- Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: Bush Pie Maker
  • Weather appropriate clothing: Bring a raincoat! Learn from our mistakes. We got poured on and some of us didn’t have anything to keep us dry. A poncho will suffice. Also bring a sweater, toque, long sleeve shirt, T shirt, multiple pairs of socks, sweatpants, swim trunks, and maybe a bug net of some sort. Bring a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.
  • Camping Equipment: Knife, cutlery, plates, bowls, cups, pots, pans, grill to place over the fire, bush pie makers, camping stove, propane, gasoline, fire starter, matches, lighter, tent/hammock, sleeping bag, tarp, pillow if you have room, Ziploc bags to keep any valuables dry, lantern, compass and first aid kit. Totes and a sealed barrel are good for storing equipment and food. Pack any personal items you want to keep dry in a dry bag. Bring a fishing rod, tackle, and fileting knife. Great fishing up there.
  • Canoeing Equipment: For every 2 people you need 1 canoe, 3 paddles, 2 PFD’s and 1 bailing bucket. Make sure you have an extra paddle in case you lose one. Even if you aren’t running rapids, you will get water in your boat so bring a bailing bucket. We rented all of our equipment from Churchill River Canoe Outfitters in Missinipe, SK. They were very helpful, reasonably priced, and even provided a shuttle that dropped us off with our canoes at the launching area. They also have experienced guides that will take you out and teach you the basics of whitewater canoeing and outdoor survival.

Phone number: (306) 635-4420

Address: Walker street, Missinipe, SK S0J 2P0

Website: www.churchillrivercanoe.com

  • Insect Repellent: Insect repellent can greatly improve your experience. A hat with a bug screen on it, or even a full mesh jacket is a good idea. The bugs in Northern Saskatchewan are huge and relentless. If you are not prepared for them, your trip may be very unpleasant.
  • Maps: Take some handheld laminated maps and keep them connected to your canoe You can usually find something applicable to your trip for purchase at your local outdoor recreation shop.
  • Bear Spray: You are in bear country. Always carry bear spray and keep it easily accessible.
  • Camera: There are numerous photo opportunities you won’t want to miss.
  • This Guide: Print a copy of this guide to reference throughout the trip!

 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Wildlife: You will be camping in bear country.  It is always advisable to check in at the local Visitor Information Center to learn of any trail closures due to wildlife.  Carry bear spray in an easily accessible location. The guides at Churchill River Canoe Outfitters will have the most up to date information on the last bear sightings and where they have been most commonly making visits. Camping on islands is the best way to avoid bear interactions.

 

Flights: For our second trip we booked flights. We flew into Stack Lake and then paddled back to Missinipe. We booked through a company called Osprey Wings. It is located right in Missinipe and they were very easy to deal with.  Phone: (306) 635-2112 Email:  Ospreywings@sasktel.net

 

Leave No Trace: It is important that we enjoy the outdoors responsibly and sustainably. Some key principles to consider when hiking to “Leave No Trace” are:

  • Plan ahead and prepare: Proper planning allows adventurers to hike safely while minimizing damage to the land.
  • Travel on durable surfaces: Stick to the trail when possible. If there is no trail, or you must travel off trail, stay on durable surfaces to reduce your impact.
  • Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out.
  • Leave what you find: Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
  • Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed wild animals.
  • Be considerate of other visitors: Be courteous to others to allow everyone to enjoy their outdoor experience.

To learn more about “Leave No Trace” visit http://www.leavenotrace.ca

 

ADVENTURE DIRECTIONS: CANOE TRIP #1 (DEVIL LAKE TO CORNER RAPIDS)

Summary: This guide will contain information on what we did on our trip. The beauty of canoeing in North Saskatchewan is having the option to explore hundreds of rivers and lakes. There’s no right or wrong route to choose. Your skill level and physical condition will determine the route that is most suitable for you to take. This route we took is for the intermediate canoer. It requires lining up rapids, portaging, and ferrying across weak class rapids. There is also the option to run some higher class rapids if you want a challenge.

 

Canoeing The Churchill River Adventure Map - Saskatchewan- Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: Canoeing The Churchill River Adventure Map

 

Step-By-Step Guide:

Our trip started at Churchill River Canoe Outfitters on a Friday evening. We had 6 guys, 3 canoes, and we got dropped off at Devil’s Lake boat launch (Route marker #1 on the map) at about 5pm. We paddled northwest across Devil Lake and around Manitou Island to our first portage at Mosquito Rapids. This was only about a 4km paddle and took less than an hour. The portage around the rapids is a short 100m on a well trafficked trail. We launched our boats back in the water, continued paddling passed Murray Falls (we could only hear it because we were upstream) and to the end of Muchaye Island where we found an awesome campsite (Route marker #2 on the map).

Portaging on the Churchill River - Saskatchewan- Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: Portaging at Mosquito Rapids
Camping on the Churchill River - Saskatchewan- Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: Camping at Muchaye Island

 

The next morning, we took off from our campsite and paddled across Barker Lake and around the north side of Barker Island to a point called Hank’s Hotel. There are nice campsites at Barker Island and at Hank’s Hotel. We continued up the rapids, ferrying across to the North side of the river, and then stopped at a little island before getting out and lining our canoes up the South side of that island. Once passed those rapids it was a straight shot to Surf City (Route marker #4 on the map). Lining our canoes over Surf City was a little more challenging.

 

Lining up the Churchill River - Saskatchewan- Epic Trip Adventures
Image 5: Lining up Surf City

 

After passing Surf City we headed North passed Carla’s Rapids and then West toward Scouts Island (Route marker #3 on the map). This was where we spent most of the afternoon. We shot Corner Rapids a few times to get some confidence and practice our white water skills. Then we tried a short set of rapids beside Ric’s Falls that didn’t go as well.

 

Canoeing The Churchill River - Saskatchewan- Epic Trip Adventures
Image 6: Corner Rapids
Canoeing The Churchill River - Saskatchewan- Epic Trip Adventures
Image 7: Ric’s Falls

 

After an afternoon of adrenaline and fun, we decided to head back to Surf City to camp. We found a great campsite above the rapids. After jumping in the rapids and going for a ride a few times, we grabbed our fishing rods to catch dinner. There is an eddy on the North bank of the rapids that was very generous with fish. We had beer battered fish for supper before calling it a night.

 

Fishing on the Churchill River - Saskatchewan- Epic Trip Adventures
Image 8: Mattson catching a fish at Surf City

 

When we woke up the next morning it was raining. Some of us weren’t prepared for the rain and a raincoat or poncho would have been very nice. We paddled down Surf City, across Barker Lake, then around the South side of Muchaye Island. We portaged our gear around Mosquito Rapids on the same trail we went up the day before, but left our canoes at the top. After transporting all our gear we got back in the canoes and paddles all the way around Muchaye Island to the Murray Channel on the north side of the island. The Murray Channel has four sets of rapids all in a row. The rapids are class 3, then 2, then 3, then 1 and there are little eddies after each set to stop and wait for your comrades. After the second class 3 set of rapids there is a whirlpool as a result of the waterfall and rapids meeting. If you stay left you can avoid it, but paddle hard!

 

Canoeing The Churchill River - Saskatchewan- Epic Trip Adventures
Image 9: Paddling to the Murray Channel in the rain

 

After coming out of Murray Rapids we headed right around the corner of Muchaye Island to where we had left our gear from the portage. We packed up and continued East across Devil Lake to the top of Otter Rapids. At this point we decided we needed shelter from the rain and found a perfect spot at the Otter Rapids campground (Route marker #5 on the map). There’s a portage on the East side of the river before the rapids begin that will take you up to the bridge. The campground is on the road just passed the east end of the bridge.

Before drying off completely we had one last thing to check off the bucket list. Jumping off of the Otter Rapids Bridge has been on our to-do list for some time, and we did it. There are signs on the bridge written in spray paint pointing out the safest place to jump.  This is a dangerous activity and we only recommend jumping if you are a strong swimmer and the water level is high.

Otter Rapids Campground - Saskatchewan- Epic Trip Adventures
Image 10: Otter Rapid’s Campground
Otter Rapids Bridge - Saskatchewan- Epic Trip Adventures
Image 11: Otter Rapid’s Bridge

 

The next morning, we shot the Otter Rapids before getting picked up by the Churchill River Canoe Outfitter’s shuttle. Overall the trip was a huge success and we’d highly recommend this route to anyone looking to go on a Canoe Trip in Northern Saskatchewan.

 

ADVENTURE DIRECTIONS: CANOE TRIP #2 (STACK LAKE TO MISSINIPE)

Summary: This guide will contain information on what we did on our second trip. The route we took is for the intermediate canoer. It requires navigating through small to medium rapids, portaging, and long lake paddles. There is also the option to run some higher-class rapids if you want a challenge.

 

Stack Lake to Missinipe Adventure Map - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 12: Canoeing Stack Lake to Missinipe Adventure Map

 

Step-By-Step Guide:

Our first day began with us hopping into two float planes, getting dropped off in Stack Lake, unloading our gear from the plane, and then loading it into the canoes. We made our way Northwest to our first campsite at the “Slick” or “Rooster Tail Rapids” (Route marker #1 on the map).  We dropped our gear off there, launched our canoes and headed Northwest to a portage that would eventually dump us into McIntosh Lake.

Missinipe Float Plane - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 13: Boarding the float plane in Missinipe
Churchill River Portage - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 14: Portaging to McIntosh Lake

We paddled all the way to the South end of McIntosh Lake, where there is a set of Class 2 rapids. These rapids dump into Trout Lake and were a good starter set to run because they were the right mix of challenging yet makeable. From there we passed Trout Falls, Little trout rapids (very easy), and then made our way back to the Slick (our first night campsite). The Slick is a fun set of rapids with minimal risk that is great for beginners to learn on.  We played on these rapids a few times before calling it a night and setting up camp.

Churchill River The Slick - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 15: The Slick
Churchill River The Slick - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 16: Camping at The Slick

Day two we set off East and South through some channels and hit Rock Trout Rapids (Route marker #2 on the map). There is a portage that takes you across the first set of rapids. We portaged our gear and then ran the rapids with empty boats. These rapids were a challenge, and we had multiple wipeouts. After Rock Trout Rapids we reached Little Rock Trout Rapids which we shot with gear in our boats. After some more paddling we popped out into Mountney Lake.

 

Churchill River Paddling - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 17: Paddling across Mountney Lake

We paddled our way to the South end of Mountney Lake. After leaving the lake there were a few small rapids that we shot with gear (Upper and Lower Chief Rapids), both class 1+. After these rapids we were in Nipew (Dead) Lake. Dead Lake is roughly 10km long and can be quite a challenging paddle depending on wind direction. We headed straight East to the end of the lake, keeping Boyes and Boyle Island to the North of us. Straight ahead at the East end of the lake is Devil Rapids Lodge.

Churchill River Dead Lake - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 18: Planning the route across Dead Lake
Churchill River Paddling - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 19: Paddling Dead Lake

 

We made our way through the channels at the Northeast end of Nipew Lake to find a campsite for the night. There are two campsites around there. One on the North side of the river on the mainland, and one on an island that we chose to stay at a little bit farther downstream (Route marker #3 on the map).

Churchill River Campsite - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 20: Night two campsite
Churchill River Campsite - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 21: Night two campfire

 

Day three we set off and paddled around the south side of Two lake Island with the hopes of making it to Sluice Falls for lunch. We made it through Hayman Lake and stopped at the portage trail at the top of Sluice Falls (Route marker #4 on the map). Sluice Falls, and the rapids before it, is a long set of rapids too treacherous for a canoe. Most people portage around this. You’ll find this 850m portage on the West side of the river just before the rapids start and there is a great campsite at the other end.

Churchill River Paddling - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 22: Paddling to Sluice Falls
Churchill River Portage - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 23: Portaging Sluice Falls

 

This is where our trip takes a turn. During our lunch break at the Sluice Falls campsite, we were approached by a man in a jet boat telling us that we had to evacuate due to the spreading forest fires and smoke rolling in.  We packed up our bags and motored back to Missinipe in the jet boat (Route marker #5 on the map). That was the end of our trip.

Churchill River Sluice Falls - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 24: Sluice Falls
Churchill River Speed Boat - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 25: Getting evacuated

 

If our plans didn’t get interrupted by fires, we would have continued to Corner Rapids, Surf City, through Barker Lake and finished with Otter Rapids.  During our first trip we made it to Corner Rapids and finished at Otter Rapids, which was the intended last leg of this journey. So, in other words, if you combine Canoe Trip #1 and Canoe Trip #2, we completed everything from Stack Lake to Otter Rapids. It was a little unfortunate as some of our team had never paddled Otter Rapids before, but the positive is that we didn’t get burnt down or caught in a forest fire.

Missinipe Cabin - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 26: Back in Missinipe
Missinipe Forest Fire - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 16: Missinipe forest fire smoke

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide.  We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.

We also want to hear about your Churchill River adventures.  If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

 

Have fun out there!

– ETA