Adventures / Rapid Rafting

Canadian Wilderness Expedition

Get dropped off by a float plane in the middle of nowhere, and then raft, hike and wild camp your way back to civilisation

This trip is no longer on sale

Trip Ref #10257

Adventures / Rapid Rafting

Canadian Wilderness Expedition

Get dropped off by a float plane in the middle of nowhere, and then raft, hike and wild camp your way back to civilisation

DURATION

7 nights

LOCATION

Canada

ANNUAL LEAVE

1 week off work

SEASON

Jul-Sep

GROUP SIZE

Up to 12 people

MEETING POINT

Sept Îles Airport

ACCOMMODATION

Hotel · Wild camping

DIFFICULTY

Moderate

This is a wild and remote expedition, so bring along some moderate fitness, an adventurous spirit, and a love of the great outdoors

Gaze down over boreal forest as you fly into the wilds for a week of true Canadian backcountry adventure

Take on exhilarating white-water rapids and stand-up paddle board along the remote Magpie River

Wild camp on riverbanks, islands and gorges, swim in lakes and rivers and catch your own trout for dinner

This trip is brand new

We’re still waiting to collect any reviews from other travellers on this trip. However, all our hosts go through an extensive vetting process to ensure that your adventure is awesome.

Included

Internal flights

Float plane into the wilderness

Guides

Expert, English-speaking local wilderness guides

Accommodation

2 nights in a hotel, 5 nights wild camping

Meals

All meals throughout the trip

Transfers

Airport transfers and everything in between

Equipment

All your rafting gear, expedition tents and cooking equipment

Permits

River rafting permits

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel insurance

Personal expenses

Tips for your guides

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Sept Îles Airport

13:00

Ends

Sept Îles Airport

09:00

Transfers

Your host will meet the group at Sept Îles Airport on day 1 and transfer you over to your accommodation for the first night. At the end of the expedition, you'll be picked up at your accommodation on the morning of day 8 and transferred back to Sept Îles Airport in time for your onward flight.

Travel options

Sept Îles Airport is accessible by routes via Montreal, Quebec City and Toronto. The town of Sept Îles is set deep in Canada's north-eastern interior, so if you wish to drive there it will take approximately 7 hours from Quebec City or 10 hours from Montreal. The remote and rugged scenery if you do drive to the start point of this adventure makes for an epic road trip.

Day 1

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2 – Day 6

Wild camping · Twin tent

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 7

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 8

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

Your host has partnered up with a local organic restaurant to provide high-quality gourmet food, specifically vacuum packed for each expedition. These packs provide the base for each of your lunches and dinners on the expedition. The meals will differ each day and the chef insists on traditional Canadian meals, using lots of fresh locally grown veg and locally sourced fish. Fresh speckled trout are easy to catch during your time on the river and are delicious grilled. Your guides are also knowledgable about certain foods that can be foraged from the forest during the expedition. Breakfast is prepared by the guides each morning, consisting of fruit, bread, eggs, cereals, coffee, chocolate and tea. There'll be a poutine night, indulging on the traditional Quebecois dish of french fries, cheese curds and brown gravy which literally translates as 'mess'. Snacks and drinks are available at all times on the river to keep you fuelled.

What is the accommodation like?

Wild camping

On nights 2-6, you'll be wild camping out in the wilderness at a variety of epic spots on beaches, islands and gorges. This really is one of the true highlights of the trip, and some of the best wilderness camping you're likely to find anywhere in the world. Expedition tents are twin-share, and you'll need to bring your own sleeping bag and mat for the duration. All the cooking equipment is provided by your host. The expedition will involve some mucking in with putting up and taking down camp each night - all part of the adventure.

Sept-Îles

Before and after the expedition you'll stay in twin-share rooms at Chateau Arnaud, located on the waterfront next to Sept-Îles marina with sweeping views of the ocean. The hotel makes for a super comfy stay before and after your 5 nights camping out in the Canadian wilderness. Chateau Arnaud is a good launchpad for the final night of the trip as you celebrate a successful expedition with a few drinks and some poutine in town. Continental breakfast is included on both your stays here.

Upgrades

For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room and tent can be booked for an extra charge, see Optional Extras for the price. Please request this at the time of booking (this is subject to availability).

Day 1

Arrive at Sept-Îles

Catch your first glimpse of the Côte-Nord region of Quebec as you land at Sept-Îles Airport. Your host will meet you and transfer you over to your accommodation for the first night. Grab some dinner with the group and discuss the adventure to come...

Day 2

Hop in a float plane over infinite boreal forest to the start point

Rafting

2hrs · 6km

Adventure kick-offs don't get much better. Fly over vast boreal forest and land on a lake a stone's throw from the river’s start point. Run through the all-important river safety, practice strokes, and raft manoeuvres with your guides, and then the expedition begins! Ease your way into river life with an easy few hours of paddling through the dynamic scenery before setting up your first wild camp on its banks. Grab a swim, hike to a hilltop lookout point or cast your rod into the river to nab a speckled trout or two for dinner.

Day 3

Your first taste of big white water rapids

Rafting

6hrs · 10km

Stand Up Paddleboarding

1hr · 2km

Load up on breakfast, then raft down a series of class IV rapids starting with Marmot, a class IV+ cascade of white water sure to wake you up. After a thrilling series of descents, you'll reach two grade VI rapids - this is where you'll hop out and have lunch on the riverbank while your guides rope the rafts safely round. After lunch the river calms down so you can inflate the SUP and paddle your way to camp, eyes peeled for wolves, bears, moose and osprey. Sleep on a beautiful islet surrounded by beaches.

Day 4

Run a mile-long rapid

Rafting

5hrs · 13km

Stand Up Paddleboarding

1hr · 2km

Hiking

1-2hrs · 3-4km

Wake up on your mini island and grab a morning swim before another big day on the water. Float down a series of easy and fun class 3 rapids on the way to the mile-long class IV Saxophone Rapid, one helluva crescendo to an amazing morning. After a well-earned lunch on the riverbank, you’ll hop on a paddleboard and glide down to your next camp. There'll still be plenty of time to stretch your legs on a forest hike and take a dip in the river before dinner.

Day 5

The big ones

Rafting

6hrs · 14km

Hiking

1-2hrs · 3-4km

Today you'll raft the biggest rapids of the trip: Double Drop, Ledges, Picket Fence and the 13-foot-high Trust Falls. Each one is a class IV rapid, with some calm stretches in between as you catch your breath. In the afternoon, you'll paddle across a lake to a gorge to set up camp for the evening. This is the most spectacular camp of the trip; perched on the edge of a sheer-walled gorge containing three consecutive class VI rapids forming a stunning torrent of water.

Day 6

Portage day + swim and camp next to Magpie Falls

Hiking

4hrs · 6km

Rafting

2hrs · 6km

Waking up at this incredible spot, you'll hike down to the base of the first falls, helping with the portage as you go. Nab a cool-down dip in the water before reaching a lake that you'll raft across to marvel at Magpie Falls. Here the entire river leaps down to a pool thirty metres below, forming an ever-present rainbow from the spray. Spend the rest of the day relaxing by the lake or taking a side hike or two by the waterfalls. You’ll camp opposite the falls and enjoy another slap-up supper around the campfire.

Day 7

The home stretch

Rafting

3hrs

Spend some time soaking up your last morning out in the wild, relax at camp before floating down the final stretches of the river and across a lake to the take-out point at the end of the expedition. Have a lakeside lunch and enjoy one last swim before jumping in the van and heading to Sept-Îles. Back in civilisation, grab a hot shower before heading out for a celebratory dinner and a few drinks to toast a successful expedition.

Day 8

Bid farewell

Sadly the adventure is over as your host drops you off at Sept-Îles Airport in time for your onward flight home.

15% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What's included?

  • All your rafting gear
  • Helmets and life jackets
  • Stand up paddleboards
  • Expedition tents and all cooking equipment

What do I need to bring?

###Sleeping

  • Lightweight sleeping bag (2-3 season)
  • Packable travel pillow
  • Lightweight Thermarest or sleeping mat that packs down small

###Bags

  • Soft overnight duffel bag or rucksack, to be left with your host in Sept-Îles
  • Rucksack for personal gear on the expedition (20-25 litres)
  • Waterproof cover for your expedition rucksack

###Clothes

  • Waterproof jacket with hood
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Light, packable down or synthetic jacket
  • Light, packable fleece jacket
  • Woolen base layers
  • Worn in hiking shoes, ideally waterproof
  • Goretex or waterproof shoes for the raft
  • Flip flops for evenings at camp
  • Hiking socks, ideally woollen for quick drying. Avoid cotton!
  • Thin gloves
  • Warm hat
  • Sunhat

###Other

  • Sunglasses
  • Sun cream with a high SPF and lip balm with UV protection
  • Water bottle
  • Personal toiletries (please bring biodegradable products)
  • Personal first aid kit, including antihistamines/bite relief for any bug allergies
  • Insect repellent (ideally DEET free)
  • Padlock for left luggage
  • Universal travel plug adapter
  • Power bank or solar charger
  • Passports (and visas)
  • Alcohol hand-gel
  • Headtorch or torch
  • Biodegradable wet-wipes

Pre/post trip accommodation in Sept-Îles - Double/Twin room

Payable Before Departure

Pre/post trip accommodation in Sept-Îles - Double/Twin room

Pre/post trip accommodation in Sept-Îles - Single room

Payable Before Departure

Pre/post trip accommodation in Sept-Îles - Single room

Optional Private Room & Tent Upgrade

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Room & Tent Upgrade

Private Transfer Sept-Îles Airport to Château Arnaud

Payable Before Departure

Private Transfer Sept-Îles Airport to Château Arnaud

We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 161kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2022 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

Days on the expedition are long and action-packed and you'll be exposed to the elements on a week in true wilderness, so a love for adventure and the great outdoors is a must on this trip. The rafting and hikes are easily manageable by anyone with decent fitness levels. Day 6 is the toughest day with a big portage for the group to muck in and achieve together, however, there are plenty of moments to rest and swim in the lake, so it's easily doable for everyone with a good team spirit!

A portage is a process of moving a watercraft - such a raft, canoe or kayak - overland to traverse an obstacle or a section of the river which is not safe to paddle down. On this expedition, there's a big portage section when you reach three consecutive class VI rapids - about as big and dangerous as a rapid can get! So part of the adventure is helping the guides portage the rafts and expedition gear around these rapids ready for the final camp at Magpie Falls and the final section of paddling on day 7 to reach the end of the expedition. The portage does involve some hard graft, however, it's a real team effort and there are plenty of scenic rest and swim stops throughout the day, plus some paddling and swimming when you reach the lake beneath Magpie Falls. The guides will ensure you have plenty of fun and soak up more of the wilderness during the portage. You're experiencing a time-honoured Canadian river tradition, as explorers through the ages carried their canoes around river obstacles and from lake to lake, covering incredible distances and pioneering river travel as is Canadian wilderness tradition.

The trip runs in Canada's summer months, so on the July and August dates you can expect temperature ranging between lows of 15°C / 59°F and as high as 30°C / 86°F. Things are a little cooler in September 5°C / 41°F and highs of 25°C / 77°F. September trips benefit from the beautiful autumn/fall colours that time of year.

You can experience rain on the trip, so it's important to come prepared with good waterproofs and a waterproof cover for your expedition backpack. Your host does not run trips from mid-August to mid-September as this is the peak rainstorm season.

Your host knows the river and the surrounding area better than anyone and has carefully planned the departure dates to ensure the best chance of good conditions on and off the river, avoiding the stormy season that rolls in for a few weeks during mid-August. The one element of this trip which can be affected by extreme weather is the floatplane. Simply put, if the conditions are not suitable, the flight won't go ahead. This is relatively rare within the dates that the expedition has been planned around, however, nature can and does throw even the best-made plans off-course. Your host has made contingency plans for this outcome, so in the rare and unfortunate event that the flight can't take place, day 2 will involve an alternate day trip to an island or national park within range of Sept-Îles. In this instance, the floatplane will take place on day 3 and the expedition condensed into 5 days instead of 6 (this is easily manageable with a bit of extra time on the river each day).

Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Tips are not included in the cost of your adventure, and tipping in Canada is customary. You should budget 10-15% of the price of the tour per person as a suggestion for your guides on the adventure, with the upper end suggested if your guides did an amazing job. We also suggest you budget extra spending money to cover tips while dining out in Sept-Îles, as tipping in restaurants is mandatory in Canada.

Your guides will bring along filtering equipment and water purification tablets. However, you are in a pristine wilderness environment so a lot of the water from the streams and rivers on the expedition can be drunk with no purification required.

Yes, your host can store your luggage at their base in Sept-Îles at the start of the trip, to be collected on return ready for much needed fresh clothes.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.

Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

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