Legends of the Shield — Churchill River Canoe Trip

Trip Overview

Relaxing on Canadian Shield rock

Relaxing on 2-billion-year-old Canadian Shield rock!  ©canoeski

This trip is the classic Canadian Shield wilderness canoeing experience on a large river with ancient connections to Aboriginal culture and early fur trade activity. The term river is a bit of a misnomer as it applies to the Churchill River in northern Saskatchewan, which is more of a series of lakes connected by fast water channels, rapids and falls. Well established portages around such restrictions allows for ease of upstream and downstream travel by both novice and experienced paddlers. The landscape surrounding the river is typical northern boreal forest of mixed species covering slopes of Precambrian bedrock. The country is rugged and beautiful, and wherever the rock is exposed on shorelines, hills and cliff faces, it forms an elemental part of the wilderness scenery.

Large wildlife such as moose and black bears are rarely encountered. Larger birds like Bald Eagles, American Pelicans and Great Blue Herons are the most common wildlife viewed on northern waterways while the Common Loon can frequently be heard from camp in the evening or early morning.

With cooperative weather, paddling should be relatively relaxing, with time in the daily itinerary for swimming, exploring, photography and other personal pursuits. Socializing at meal times and storytelling around the evening campfire will add the finishing touch to fun-filled days!

Trip Details
Duration: 5 days, 4 nights
Scheduled Dates: Aug 10 – 14, 2024
Custom departure dates for groups can be arranged.
Geographic Area: 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: 58 km (36 mi.)
Accommodation: Wilderness camping in storm-proof nylon tents
Price per Person: $1370 plus 5% GST

Booking Info


Day 1 will involve travelling by passenger van from Saskatoon to Lac La Ronge where paddling and safety instruction and trip orientation will take place. The following morning, we’ll drive another 80 km (50 mi) north to begin the canoe trip.

Day 2, the canoe trip will launch at Missinipe, a small resort and outfitting community on the Churchill River. We paddle downstream on the Churchill to an island campsite where we establish a camp to act as a base for initiating day trips to various locations on the river on Day 3 and 4.

Day 3-4, 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 and return to camp via North Falls. Choices will be influenced by prevailing wind and weather and paddling experience and overall energy level of the group.

Day 5 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 stop in Prince Albert for a supper break. 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
  • Certified canoeing instructor/guide
  • 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 cliff@canoeski.com

Legends Trip Tales

Paddling & Camping in a Group of Seven Painting by Lorna Sim, August 2010

A CanoeSki Learn to Canoe “graduate”, Lorna Sim decided her time had come for a canoeing adventure in northern Saskatchewan. After trimming her paddling skills and whetting her appetite on the South Saskatchewan River…>>>

Getting Into the Spirit of an Untamed Wilderness by Molly Penrose, August 2008

In the summer of 2008, the Legends of the Shield canoe tour took on Molly Penrose, a plucky young woman looking for wilderness adventure. Luckily for her, Nature rose to the occasion with a few challenges on the trip…>>>

Legends of the Shield Photos August 2008

Towards the end of August 2008, the CanoeSki Legends of the Shield canoe tour headed into the Churchill River country in northern Saskatchewan’s Lac La Ronge Provincial Park. On this occasion, Mother Nature conspired against the intrepid canoeists, with blustery head winds and blow downs on the portages. But the “mighty voyageurs”, so-labelled by Molly, our most gung-ho paddler, persevered and eventually triumphed, not much worse for wear! Here are shots of some of the better moments and scenic spots along the way.

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