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Arctic canoeing expedition on the Horton River in northern Canada

Paddle Canada's most northerly mainland river on this arctic canoeing expedition on the Horton River. This large but gentle river flows through the tundra as it winds northward to the Arctic coast. Wildlife viewing is a highlight of this tour and besides watching for caribou, muskox, wolves and grizzly you will also see Golden Eagles, Peregrine and Gyrfalcons. You'll hike the dramatic Smoking Hills, exploring the vents that issue billowing plumes of natural sulphurous smoke, and scan the Arctic coast for seals and Beluga whales amidst the ice flows.

You will travel by two-person canoes over 12 river days for a distance of 210 kilometres (130 miles) with an elevation drop of about 105 metres (300 feet). This canoeing journey will take you through some of the most remote areas on earth.

There are a few whitewater challenges on the Horton, most of which occur in the canyon area.  Three outstanding features characterize the Horton River, the abundance and variety of wildlife, the amazing diversity of the scenery and clear, swift-flowing waters that are generally easy to navigate.

$10550.00 CAD
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River Canoeing

June to July


Your guides are licensed and very experienced and knowledgeable of the area.  Our licensed guide/interpreters are among the best in the north. Because guides are the most significant variable in selecting a holiday, we maintain a 1:4 guide to guest ratio to ensure that you receive maximum benefit of their knowledge assistance and good nature. They strive for the most consistent level of knowledge of flora, fauna, geology, geomorphology and cultural human history.


Class II moving water skills required but the trip is suitable for beginners.

$150 land use fee applies.


Requirements: Sleeping bag and pad, sunglasses, sunscreen, day pack, insect repellent, water bottle, pocketknife, matches, whistle.


Trips originate and end in Inuvik, NWT.  Inuvik is accessible by air from Calgary, Edmonton and Yellowknife.   It is also accessible by car via the Dempster Highway.


This river is located in two different semi-arid climatic zones.  Inland, the summer temperature averages 7-13 degrees Celsius.  Closer to the coast the summer temperatures average 3-5 degrees Celsius.

Northwest Territories

Canoes and equipment, tents, group camping equipment.


Clothing that will keep you warm and dry.  Clothing made out of polypropylene, polyester, wool and silk are best for dryness.  Rain gear, warm jacket, long pants, sweater, hat, gloves. Full packing list provided upon booking.


Camera (waterproof), binoculars, flashlight, bug jacket, fishing gear.


Accommodations in tent campsite while on the river.  Hotel accommodations in Inuvik before and after the trip are required and not included in the price.



All meals while on the river are included. Creative variety and nutritious with ample snacks available during the day. With advance notice we cater to special dietary needs.  Meals while staying at the hotel are not included.

Jun 14, 2019 - Jun 28, 2019
$10550.00 / per person - CAD

Pricing does not include: 5.00% GST.

A 30% deposit is required to hold your reservation.

Balance of payment is due 90 days before trip commencement.
Your deposit is refundable less a $100 administration fee until 90 days prior to your trip departure date - then your final payment will be due, and all deposits become non-refundable. Trip Cancellation & Medical Evacuation Insurance is available, and highly recommended. Insurance is refundable until the 90 day non-refundable period.

Jun 14, 2019 - Jun 28, 2019

Day 1

Arrive in Inuvik, NWT the night before. Arrange your own accommodations and meals.

We’ll meet in the hotel lobby at 8 a.m. following breakfast (not covered). Via Twin Otter, we’ll fly east over the unique tundra ecosystem. We may see frost polygons from the air and will begin to get a feel for this diverse and solitary landscape. We’ll assemble the canoes and prepare our campsite. This spot offers ideal hiking opportunities and a chance to catch a glimpse of the Horton River’s canyons.

Day 2

We embark on the river and the Horton’s broad valley stretches out before us. Trees appear only in the very bottom of the valley and along the incoming tributaries. You are now truly immersed in the barrenlands.

Day 3

Days 3-4: Days will be spent exploring the river and the land. Icy veins in the riverbank indicate the layer of permafrost that lies underneath the tundra. The treeless tundra offers ideal hiking. There have been active wolf dens here in the past – with some luck they may be occupied again. The river valley is home to many raptors such as the Golden Eagle and the Gyrfalcon.


Day 5

Days 5-8: In this section of classic rolling tundra, three of the four days will be spent paddling, while one will be a layover, giving opportunity for hiking and resting up. The Horton now flows north, parallel to Franklin Bay on the Arctic Ocean, which is about 30 kilometres (19 miles) to the east. Often a cool wind blows off the ocean, which may require that you pull out that extra sweater. This section of the river provides opportunity to see grizzly bears, wolves, muskoxen and caribou. If we’re lucky, migrating groups of caribou from the Bluenose caribou herd can be seen. Their annual migratory path takes them northward in the hills between the Horton and Franklin Bay.

Day 9

The Horton River begins to slow in this section, as it nears the coast. The badlands and the geology of the Smoking Hills become evident, with a variety of colours and textures. These hills make for intriguing hikes.

Day 10

Large meanders in the river are navigated during today’s paddle, an indication that the Horton is an old river. We will likely find ourselves camped at the bottom of a large meander, which puts us within a 3-kilometre (2 mile) hike of the ocean.

Day 11

We’ll hike from the river over land in search of active vents in the Smoking Hills. Also, with some luck, we may be able to see Beluga whales in Franklin Bay. It’s possible that Franklin Bay may be covered in pack ice even in early July. As always, we won’t stop looking for caribou on their migration north – they could be anywhere!

Day 12

The aircraft will pick us up and return us to Inuvik. There may be time to explore the highlights of town after a shower. We’ll meet for a farewell supper (not included in the package) and reminisce of tundra memories.

Day 13

Homeward bound.