Bonding With Nature – Churchill River Canoe Trip

Trip Overview

A CanoeSki all women's canoeing group receiving pre-trip paddling instruction

Canoeing instructor/guide Hilary (centre right) giving some “dry-land” paddling tips before heading out on water (Photo: Sandra Butel)

The focus of this all women’s 4-day wilderness canoe trip is to get more intimately acquainted with nature in the boreal forest while travelling with like-minded companions. Our on-board naturalists are experts in biology and ethnobotany and are anxious to share their knowledge of local flora and fauna with guests. Ethnobotany combines botany and anthropology in the study of the relationships between people and plants.

The Churchill River country through which this trip travels has been occupied for millennia by indigenous cultures which have used local plants for food, medicine, tools, craftwork, etc. Learn how people survived and thrived using available natural materials to support their way of life. Archaeology ties into the scene in the form of Aboriginal red ochre rock paintings, created from natural materials found in the boreal forest environment and present along our river route.

The canoe route traverses a portion of the Churchill River System confined by Otter Rapids to the north and Robertson Falls to the south. Midway between these drops in the river is Otter Lake, an iconic representation of a Canadian Shield wilderness canoeing venue. This large lake has numerous scenic rocky islands, bays and channels with small tributary rivers and creeks providing a fascinating variety of canoeing options.

Adding to the boreal forest nature immersion, the canoeing experience will help develop new skills and confidence in paddling, navigating with map and compass, and a host of outdoor living skills. All told, the trip is a great way of finding a sense of place and making new and meaningful connections to the land. A bonus will be a new-found feeling of self-sufficiency and rejuvenation.

Paddling distances per day are reasonable (12-15 km/7-9 mi) to allow time to relax, socialize and soak up the wilderness ambience. Also, this should allow ample time in camp for our resource team to share their talents in nature interpretation. Some previous paddling experience would be an asset but is not essential. Upper body conditioning would be the best pre-trip fitness preparation to enhance your enjoyment of the trip.

Trip Details
Duration: 4 days, 3 nights
Scheduled Dates: Note: this program not available this season
Geographic Area: Churchill River – Lac La Ronge Provincial Park, northern Saskatchewan, Canada
Nearest Communities: Missinipe & La Ronge
Paddling Venue: Lake & river flatwater
Adventure Rating: Novice to Intermediate – a modest degree of fitness and upper body conditioning will help prepare you for rigorous physical activities like paddling and portaging
Minimum Age: 14
Paddling Distance: 40km (24 mi.)
Accommodation: Wilderness camping in storm-proof nylon tents
Price per Person: N/A

Booking Info


(similar to the Women & Waves itinerary minus one day)

Day 1 will involve an early morning departure, travelling by passenger van from Saskatoon to Lac La Ronge (approx. a 4.5 hour drive), stopping en route for a picnic lunch. For the balance of the afternoon/evening, paddling and safety instruction and trip orientation will take place at the provincial campground. Facilities there for overnight tent camping have flush toilets & a shower house with hot water.

Day 2, we drive another 60 km (36 mi) north to launch the canoe trip at Missinipe, a small resort and outfitting community on the Churchill River. We paddle downstream on the Churchill to establish a camp to act as a base for initiating a day trip to a scenic location on the river on Day 3. Balance of afternoon/evening spent on swimming, relaxing, and eco-programming activities with our resource team as weather permits.

Day 3, there are options to paddle the Stewart River, a tributary of the Churchill to view the Rattler Creek Aboriginal rock paintings or continue downstream on the Churchill to Robertson and Twin Falls. Choices will be influenced by prevailing weather and paddling experience and overall energy level of the group. Balance of afternoon/evening spent on swimming, relaxing, and eco-programming activities with our resource team as weather permits.

CanoeSki women's only canoe trip on the Churchill River

Paddling on the Churchill River (Photo: Sandra Butel)

Day 4 involves packing up camp and paddling back to Missinipe around lunch time. After loading the gear and having lunch, we hit the road to Saskatoon with a restaurant stop in Prince Albert for supper. The trip ends with evening arrival in Saskatoon.

Package Includes:

  • Canoeing and safety equipment
  • Storm-proof nylon tents
  • Waterproof packs for personal items & clothing
  • Park entry & camping fees
  • Nutritious meals prepared over an open fire
  • Experienced women guides
  • Expert naturalist interpreters
  • Return transportation by passenger van from Saskatoon

Prices shown in Canadian Dollars; applicable taxes extra
Advance booking required, subject to availability

To book your space on this trip, please see Registration (trip not available this season)

Packing List, Liability Waiver and Detailed Trip Info – contact Cliff Speer 306-653-5693 or