Northwest Territories: Kayaking Great Slave Lake
Kayaking in Canada with Explorer's Corner LLC
- Beginner kayaking with some intermediate day hikes
- 7 nights wilderness camping in tents
High in the Canadian Subarctic lies Great Slave Lake, the deepest in North America and one of the largest in the world.
Its 125-mile-long East Arm holds a maze of forested islands, sheltered bays, shale beaches and red granite cliffs sculpted by glaciers, spectacular territory for paddling. The region, part of the rockbound Canadian Shield, sits at the northern edge of the Boreal Forest zone known as the taiga. It is also home to the Dene, a First Nations people who have lived here at the nexus of woodland and tundra for millennia.
Our trips in late August and September are timed to coincide with generally good weather, the southward migration of waterfowl, autumn colors at their peak, and negligible exposure to black flies and mosquitoes.
All participants on this journey to the Islands of the Taiga will fly into Yellowknife from Edmonton. We then fly to the East Arm of Great Slave Lake, a 45-minute flight by Twin Otter plane from Yellowknife. We spend the next six days paddling 70 kilometers (43 miles) along the island-smattered coastline of the East Arm, traveling westward along the basalt buttresses of the Pethei Peninsula before passing through Taltheilei Narrows, gateway to the steep-walled passage of Hearne Channel, an area rich with migratory birdlife and dramatic scenery.
The kayaker’s pace allows for intimate contact with the lakeshore, and affords an unparalleled opportunity for wildlife viewing. On some parts of the trip we are likely to encounter large flocks of migratory birds, as well as moose, bear, muskrat and mink. We will plan to move camp on most days—wind and weather permitting—paddling three to five hours a day, which allows us plenty of time for hiking, exploring and looking for wildlife in the open Shield country. Secluded bays offer world-renowned fishing for lake trout, arctic grayling, northern pike, walleye (pickerel), and whitefish. An evening of storytellling by the local Dene elders of Lutsel K’e and vibrant sunsets around the campfire make for memorable evenings. On a clear night, the promise of northern lights entices us to linger a little longer before crawling into our sleeping bags.
At the end of our paddling trip, our chartered Twin Otter aircraft will meet us at our appointed pick-up site. The group will then fly back into Yellowknife to overnight, catching the southbound jet back to Edmonton on the following day. While we will leave the boreal wilderness behind, the stark beauty of such a unique landscape will remain etched in our memories for years to come.
- Expert leadership and support personnel
- Meals as noted (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)
- Twin Otter aircraft charter as noted
- All group equipment including sea kayaks, paddles, life jackets, tents, cooking gear and safety equipment
- International airfare (Round-trip from home to Yellowknife, NWT)
- Meals and accommodations in Yellowknife
- Any extra expenses incurred due to delayed departures of chartered or scheduled flights
- Insurance of any kind including mandatory evacuation insurance or suggested cancellation insurance
- Any costs associated with an emergency evacuation during the trip
- Excess baggage charges
- Airport transfers and taxes
- Personal belongings and gear per ‘Clothing and Equipment List’
Day by Day Itinerary
About The Operator:
Explorer's Corner LLC
About Explorers’ Corner
Explorers’ Corner is a high-end, specialty adventure company offering unique destinations and experiences, custom adventures and “old-world” one-to-one customer service. We stand firmly behind our slogan: Real Explorers Wanted - True Adventures Guaranteed!
Explorers’ Corner was founded in November of 2000 by Olaf Malver. After working in the travel industry for over 15 years, Olaf felt strongly that there was a market of travelers whose “true adventure and exploration” needs were not being met. At a time when the meaning of adventure is being watered down in travel, Explorers’ Corner is dedicated to fostering a community of curious and driven travelers that dare to make their travel dreams come true - only limited by their imaginations. We will provide the leaders and the safety and your participation will enhance the experience.
Explorers' Corner's passion has been to pioneer real adventures that provide an authentic experience rather than buffer you from what these places are all about. If, for example, you join us in an expedition to the Antarctic or to Greenland you’ll be expected to pitch in and do your part to make for a safe and successful journey for all. The reward is that you will have a true and direct experience, which you play an integral role in creating.
Real explorers are flexible and team players: for instance, if the weather changes to the worse then you might have to pitch your own tent, help the team haul your kayak out of the water, and lend a hand with the other camp chores. In a place like the Douro River of Portugal you might have to jump in and get your feet wet, not in the river, but stomping grapes to help the locals with the crush! An authentic experience means making the efforts to get up before the crack of dawn to be the only ones at a Galapagos landing site to watch a Pacific Green Sea Turtle returning to the ocean after a night of laying eggs.
True adventure is seeking out and safely experiencing the fullness of what the world has to offer on its own terms, not terms dictated to it. We say “real explorers wanted, true adventure guaranteed” because we mean it.
Making travel dreams a reality is a closely held philosophy at Explorers’ Corner. Therefore, creating and making custom adventures come true for our clients is a large part of Explorers’ Corner’s business. Explorers’ Corner will customize any one of our listed adventures to create a special event for families, groups of friends, or business associates. Guests can request special departure dates, custom activities, or extra accommodations as part of their group adventure. We will work with you to make your ideas come to fruition -- as long as they are seasonally appropriate and your group meets the minimum person requirement.
Explorers’ Corner can also custom design an adventure for our clients to any new place (on Earth, at least!) that only they have imagined exploring — again, providing the trip is seasonable and the minimum persons requirement is met. Bring us your dreams and our travel specialists will work to make your trip a reality. We love to travel, and we love to send travelers to any of the world’s most wonderful destinations.
Explorers’ Corner Founder
Dr. Olaf Malver—CEO, Chief Exploratory Officer. Olaf founded Explorers’ Corner, a boutique adventure travel company, 7 years ago. He, his guides, and his staff have since taken like-minded adventurous folks to far-flung corners of the world. In addition to running Explorers’ Corner, Olaf is a passionate eco-tourist activist working for the United Nations to help promote sustainable tourism in developing countries in the quest to save the world’s natural habitats.
Olaf is a true explorer who has sea kayaked, climbed mountains, dog sledded, and hiked in more than 100 countries spanning 35 years. He's led trailblazing expeditions to diverse locations such as South Georgia, Kamchatka, Antarctica, Pakistan, Nepal, Greenland, Indonesia, Vietnam, Panama, the Nicobar Islands, Zanzibar - and many other "frontier destinations”. Olaf claims many "firsts" in the world of high adventure, such as sea kayaking in Irian Jaya, Burma, North Vietnam, Panama, French Polynesia and British Guyana. He also led the first dog sled crossing across the Northern Brooks Range in Alaska and soloed around Zanzibar in a Hobie Cat. He is a lifetime fellow of the world famous Explorer’s Club, in recognition of his “true” explorations. Olaf is a living proof that the world of modern day exploration is still infinite and only limited by our lack of imagination and dreams! And Olaf is not alone. We have attracted some of the best adventure guides in the world.
Explorers’ Corner Guides
Our guides have more than 80 years of collective guiding experience and have been to over 150 countries, safely leading hundreds of travelers to unique destinations via kayaking, hiking, boating, and biking. They naturally carry with them the mission of Explorers’ Corner—to experience unique destinations and make travel dreams come true. Explorers’ Corner’s seasoned guides include Olaf Malver, Dave Mention, Mick O’Shea, Nancy Moore, Baldvin Kristjansson and many more.