Exploring Archaeological Frontiers Rock Art Camp

Exploring Northern Saskatchewan's rock art

Joyce and Cam explore northern Saskatchewan’s ancient Aboriginal rock art  ©canoeski

Trip Overview

The overall goal of the Rock Art Camp will be to acquaint you with the archaeology of one the most spectacular rock art sites in the Canadian Shield boreal forest region of Canada. On our daily paddling visits to the rock painting sites, you will also be able to acquire some wilderness canoeing skills.

There are over 100 pictographs — vivid and well preserved – at this northern ‘open-air gallery’. The setting is dramatic with gigantic outcrops and sheer rock walls — natural inspiration for the visionary messages painted ages ago on this rough granite canvas. Accessible only by floatplane or by a gruelling 2-week canoe trip, the rock art site has remained relatively obscure since being officially recorded in 1964. Here’s your chance to visit a truly special place and explore exciting new archaeological frontiers. Be one of very few who have had the privilege!

Base camp for the program, located about 50 air miles from the Churchill River hamlet of Missinipe (500 km (300 mi.) north of Saskatoon), is located near the primary rock art sites. Participants and canoes are transported to base camp by floatplane. Rustic cabin accommodation is available in addition to tenting on site.

Trip Details
Duration: 5 days, 4 nights
Scheduled Dates: June 12- 16, 2024
Custom departure dates for groups can be arranged.
Geographic Area: Churchill River area, northern Saskatchewan, Canada
Nearest Communities: Missinipe & La Ronge
Paddling Venue: Lakes
Adventure Rating: Novice – being physically fit will enhance your enjoyment of canoeing
Minimum Age: 14
Paddling Distance: 35 km (20 mi.)
Accommodation: Outpost fly-in fishing cabin with rustic amenities
Price per Person: $3135 plus 5% GST

Booking Info


The morning and afternoon of Day 1, we spend driving to the Missinipe floatplane base north of the town of La Ronge. If time permits, we take a brief tour of some of the La Ronge town site attractions. At Missinipe, 80 km (50 mi.) north of La Ronge on the Churchill River, we board the floatplanes for a half hour flight north to the outpost camp in the vicinity of the rock paintings. This is base camp for the 5-day archaeology program – a remote location with no modern amenities. The camp has a cabin with bunk bed sleeping quarters and open living/dining area, designed to accommodate fishermen. Wood heater, propane lantern and an outhouse are the resident luxuries! We also have tents available for those who prefer to sleep closer to nature!

After establishing camp, we spend some time on program orientation, and if weather permits, we review paddling and safety techniques in the evening. For the remainder of the four days at the camp, we explore the rock painting sites by canoe with Tim Jones, one of Canada’s foremost rock art experts, photographing and learning more about the pictographs and their archaeological significance. We arrange the daily itinerary according to the prevailing weather and the interests of the group.

In the evenings, you can get involved in learning activities such as throwing an atlatl, fire making with a bow drill, or trying your hand at flint knapping. For readers, Tim Jones brings in a small library of pertinent archaeological literature, including his own book on the Churchill River paintings. Local legends and stories cap the day’s events.

After lunch on Day 5, we load up the canoes and gear and board the floatplanes for Missinipe from where we journey back to Saskatoon, arriving late that evening after a stop in Prince Albert for a restaurant supper.

Package Includes:

  • Canoeing and safety equipment
  • Accommodation in outpost cabin
  • Waterproof packs for personal items & clothing
  • Park entry & camping fees
  • Nutritious meals
  • Certified canoeing instructor/guide
  • Return transportation by passenger van from Saskatoon
  • Floatplane charter

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 cliff@canoeski.com

Rock Art Camp Article from the National Post newspaper

Deep Secrets on the Cliffs by Cleo Pascal

Story Line: An immersion in the mysterious world of Aboriginal rock art in one of the most remote and exotic locations in the Canadian Shield country of northern Saskatchewan…>>>