Whitewater Trail of the Voyageurs — Paull & Churchill River Canoe Trip

Trip Overview

This canoe trip combines two of northern Saskatchewan’s quintessential Canadian Shield rivers offering a typical “pool and drop” flow regime with short stretches of rapids and falls interspersed by lakewater paddling. The basic difference between the two rivers is size; the Churchill being considerably larger in volume and in the extent of its river valley. Because it is smaller, the Paull tends to compress the beauty of the surrounding boreal forest landscape, making it more intense. There are also a number of exceptionally scenic falls and gorges along the Paull River and terrific walleye fishing at Tuck Falls and on Whitefish Lake. The paddling challenges require beginner to intermediate whitewater skills for the short stretches of runnable rapids with well-travelled portages around most rapids and falls. The larger lake sections may demand some skill paddling in wind and waves.

Trip Details
Duration: 8 days, 7 nights
Scheduled Dates: Note: This trip not available in 2022
Geographic Area: Paull River and Churchill River – northern Saskatchewan, Canada
Nearest Communities: Missinipe
Paddling Venue: Whitewater and lake water
Adventure Rating: Intermediate paddling skills plus whitewater training or experience
Minimum Age: 14
Paddling Distance: 105 km (65 mi.)
Accommodation: Wilderness camping in storm-proof nylon tents
Price per Person: N/A

Booking Info


Day 1, we will have a morning departure from Saskatoon and spend about 5-6 hours driving north to the Missinipe floatplane base at Otter Lake on the Churchill River. Missinipe is located about 80 km north of La Ronge and approximately 500 km north of Saskatoon. Depending on the flight schedule, we may have time to explore a couple of local attractions en route. In the late afternoon, we’ll board a Twin Otter floatplane, the workhorse of the Canadian north, which will land us and our canoes at our evening campsite on Paull Lake.

Day 2-5 we’ll spend paddling and exploring the Paull River and entering the Churchill. The Paull River is a small tributary of the Churchill River with its headwaters in Paull Lake, about 60 km upstream of the Churchill. The remaining 45 km of the trip follows the Churchill downstream to Missinipe. The route can be paddled at a reasonably relaxed pace in 6-7 days. There are two larger lakes to cross, McIntosh Lake at the outlet of the Paull River and Nipew Lake in the upper stretch of the Churchill River, both of which can slow progress if the wind is contrary.

Although larger birds like Bald Eagles, American Pelicans and Great Blue Herons are the most common wildlife viewed on northern waterways, occasionally large ungulates such as moose and caribou may make a rare appearance. Assuredly, the Common Loon can frequently be heard from our campsites in the evening or early morning.

Day 6-8, we’ll continue downstream on the Churchill River, finishing with a run through famous Otter Rapids before arriving back at Missinipe early afternoon. Then it’s loading the van and trekking homeward with a supper stop in Prince Albert, arriving in Saskatoon early evening.

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 instructor/guide
  • Floatplane transfer
  • 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

Whitewater Trip Tale

Whitewater Trails by Kathryn Landry, August 2001

A resident of B.C’s Saltspring Island, Kathryn reconnects with her childhood roots on this Paull River northern Saskatchewan canoe trip, finding the landscape “as beautiful and pristine as ever I remembered.” Enjoy her intriguing and beautifully written account…>>>