Coyotes and Coulees North Saskatchewan River Canoe Trip

Trip Overview

Coyote in a North Saskatchewan River coulee

There is a distant coyote in this North Saskatchewan River coulee.  (© canoeski)

The North Saskatchewan River courses through a broad deep valley providing scenic vistas at every turn. At river level you can see the valley slopes grazed by cattle into a park-like appearance. The pasturelands are broken up by wooded coulees that drain the slopes into the river. Autumn brings the valley to life with stunning combinations of brilliant color in the coulees side by side with almost monochromatic grazing lands. Where farmland borders the river, yellow fields of ready-to-harvest crops yield another visual sensation. It’s the best time of year to have a travelling “road show” that changes at each lap of the journey!

Although the most eye-catching aspect of the coulees is the color they add to the landscape, they also provide cover for wildlife that roam the open slopes, including the cunning coyote. Chances are good of spotting the wily creatures roaming the riverbanks in search of small prey. There is no doubt we will be advised of their presence in the evening by their weird high pitched barking and howling. The other obvious encounter with wildlife in the valley will be the numerous flocks of waterfowl fattening themselves on surrounding grain fields and roosting on the river at night, preparing for migration.

Geographically, this trip covers a portion of the river between Battleford and Borden. Starting at the old Denholm Ferry Crossing, several kilometres downstream of Battleford, we launch our canoes, heading toward Glenburn Regional Park below the Maymont Bridge. By the end of the following day, we find ourselves at the take-out point a few kilometres south of Radisson. With normal river levels and no ferocious SE winds to blow us upstream, it will be a fairly relaxing 2-day canoeing excursion.

Trip Details
Duration: 2 days, 1 night
Scheduled Dates: Sept 16 – 17, 2023
Custom departure dates for groups can be arranged.
Geographic Area: North Saskatchewan River – Battleford region
Nearest Communities: North Battleford and Radisson, Saskatchewan Canada
Paddling Venue: River flatwater with moderate current
Adventure Rating: Novice – a modest degree of fitness and upper body conditioning will help prepare you for paddling and portaging
Minimum Age: 14
Paddling Distance: 52 km (31 mi.)
Accommodation: Wilderness camping in storm-proof nylon tents
Price per Person: $520 plus 5% GST

Booking Info

River sand bar patterns in autumn

Low water in fall season produces intriguing sand bar patterns in the river (© canoeski)


Day 1 – We depart from the CanoeSki base in early morning and head northwest on the Yellowhead highway 16 to the town of Denholm. Once there, we follow the back road down to the abandoned ferry crossing to launch our canoes. After a brief paddling and safety instruction session, we head down river, taking a break for a riverbank picnic lunch and then continuing to our riverbank campsite near Glenburn Park below the Maymont Bridge.

Paddling distance: 25 km (15 mi).

Day 2 – Our trip continues downstream to our final destination – a pastureland take-out point with a panoramic view of the river valley in fall splendor. We load up the van and head up to the Red Bull at Radisson for some post-trip refreshments, then on to Saskatoon, arriving around suppertime.

Paddling distance: 27 km (13.5 mi).

NOTE: The North Saskatchewan River has a stronger current than the South Sask. R. and carries a heavier sediment load with a higher clay content than its more sand-based southern counterpart. Shorelines tend to be muddy and access to potential campsites is much more restricted. Rubber gum boots can come in handy at launching and landing sites along the river.

Package Includes:

  • Canoeing and safety equipment
  • Storm-proof nylon tents
  • Waterproof packs for personal items & clothing
  • Nutritious meals prepared over an open fire
  • Certified instructor/guide
  • Historic and cultural interpretive activities en route
  • 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

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

Coyotes & Coulees Trip Tale

Michael Oelck

Coyotes & Coulees: A Trip of Surprises by Michael Oelck, September 2002

Weird weather, hiking for a day and group bonding all combine to make a fall trip on the North Saskatchewan River a memorable experience. Coming from Germany, Michael gets re-acquainted with the Canadian way>>>