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Conquer Quebec's Magpie Rapids. 7 Days

Raft Quebec’s Magpie rapids, one of the best whitewater rafting locations in the world. Help protect wild rivers against dams. 7 days.

Immerse yourself in true wilderness in this 7-day white-water rapid trip. Battle the untameable river Magpie by day and spend nights under the star-filled skies of Quebec’s secluded mountain region.

Your host’s core tenants are safety, discovery and sustainability. Since first completing this now iconic trip in 1988, the organisation has spearheaded countless conservation campaigns to protect river resources the world over.

Your hassle-free adventure includes:

  • Helicopter ride to and from the river
  • 7 days guided rafting
  • 7 days camping
  • Final night hotel in Sept Iles
  • All rafting gear
  • All meals
  • All camping equipment
  • Access to the river

Perfect for: Any intrepid traveller with good physical fitness that wants to take on Magpie’s challenging but highly rewarding rapids.

Adventures for Good: Your host is dedicated to the conservation of some of the world’s last great white-water, wilderness rivers. See all of our Adventures for Good here.

Need To Know

You can book any flights as long as your arrival and departure times align with the agreed meeting times. Flight from Sept Iles to Montreal, where you can make international flights back to the UK.

Meals are cooked by the guides and include pasta, steak, chicken, salmon, Mexican food and stir-fries. All dietary requirements can be catered to.

Daytime temperatures range between 60 and 75 degrees, while at night the average temperature is between 45 and 55 degrees. It’s prone to raining so bring waterproofs.

Average physical condition is encouraged. No experience needed – just enthusiasm!

The hosts have asked that travellers bring:

  • Small, lightweight, compressible sleeping pad
  • Lightweight compressible sleeping bag (rating down to 35 degrees)
  • Waterproofs (paddle jacket and trousers)
  • Fast-drying synthetic shirts (also known as Synchilla, fleece, pile, polypro or Capilene)
  • River shoes and lightweight hiking shoes/trainers
  • Neck buff
  • Water bottle with locking carabineer attachment for clipping onto boat
  • Sun glasses with neck strap and sun cream
  • Headlamp
  • Toiletries (only Dr. Bronners’s soap can be used in the river)
  • Towel

They have been tireless campaigners and protectors of the world’s rivers for nearly thirty years. They also use the trips as a means of funding their work, as well as a chance to educate individuals about the issues facing our waterways. For a timeline of their activism, [click here] (http://www.earthriver.com/about-earth-river/earth-river-ethic).

Earth River Expeditions is a tour operator committed to creating safe, immersive trips along some of the world’s greatest rivers. They hire local people, funnel profits into their activism and hope to inspire people into action.

Location

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Nestled in the Laurentian Mountains of Northeastern Quebec, the Magpie was dubbed one of the world’s best rivers for rafting by the National Geographic and is one of the largest areas of untouched wilderness in North America.

It’s a rich area of biodiversity, so try and spy moose, bear, wolf and lynx tracks along the beaches. While away evenings among remote waterfalls, spot osprey nests or dive into deep pools of pristine water. Spend the night under star-heavy skies with the chance of witnessing the wonderful aurora borealis. Watch as the terrain morphs from old growth boreal forest to banks of thick white lichen, with outcrops of green moss and granite that resemble Norway’s fjords.

Start point?* 10:00 AM (eastern standard time) in Sept Iles, Quebec.

Endpoint? 8th morning (any time) in Sept Iles, Quebec.

Getting there and away? Sept Iles doesn’t fly directly to the UK, so you should fly in via Montreal if possible.

What to Expect

Day 1: Helicopter ride to the remote Magpie Lake

Meet your guides in the lobby of the Chateau Arnaud Hotel in Sept Isle. Travel by van (one hour) along the north shore of the St. Lawrence River. Then it’s time to hop aboard the helicopter and fly to Magpie Lake.

Day 2: Kayak to Marmot, take on your first lot of rapids

Paddle a raft or inflatable down the tributary where the Magpie River splits from the wider lake. Then face the first of the class four rapids. Turn in for the night in a sheltered cove, just below Marmot.

Day 3: Class six rapids and paddleboarding

Run a series of class four rapids before stepping up to class six. Between navigating rapids, you’ll float past towering, grey cliff faces and forests. The river is quieter here, which makes it the perfect spot to try out the inflatable kayaks or paddleboarding. Camp overnight on an island in the centre of a miniature lake.

Day 4: Saxophone Rapid and wild camping on a beach

Start off slow with a series of class two and three rapids for approximately four miles, before arriving at the Saxophone Rapid. Aptly named for its twists and turns, after the Saxophone Rapid it’s time to stop for lunch. Complete a couple more class threes before spending the night on a pebbled beach.

Day 5: Traverse tricky rapids and camp in a gorge

Today you’ll face your toughest rapids yet; the Double Drop (4+), Ledges (4+), 13-foot-high Trust Falls (4) and Picket Fence (4+). After facing the Picket Fence, which is perhaps the most technical rapid on the river, paddle across the lake to the Gorge Camp.

Day 6: Waterfalls and the aurora borealis

Hike for one hour to the base of one of the gorge’s waterfalls. While you spend a couple hours swimming and hiking, the helicopter will transport camping gear to the final night’s campsite.

Kayak towards the top of Magpie Falls, where you’ll stop and have lunch. Witness the Laurentian Plateau, where the river plunges 90-feet into a cacophony of sound. You’ll camp here and if there are aurora borealis in the evening, you’ll see them to the north, directly above the falls.

Day 7: Hike along Manitou Falls

Paddle the last four miles of the river before heading back to the van for a 45-minute drive towards Sept-Iles. But it’s not over yet – veer off just before Sept Iles for a 1.5hr return hike along the 130-foot-high Manitou Falls. Then it’s back to the city for a night of farewell dinner and drinks.

Day 8: Hometime

Bid the Magpie adieu after breakfast. Make your own way to Sept Iles airport.

Note: This itinerary and the duration of the activities are subject to change due to group abilities and preferences, and weather conditions and forecasts.

Accommodation

You’ll camp in a variety of spots along the river Magpie, including on small islands, beaches and rocky ledges. As the area is remote and cut off from roadways, facilities are non-existent. On the final night, you’ll stay at the Chateau Arnaud, a charming hotel overlooking the Bay of Sept-Iles. If you want to stay an additional night, there’s a supplement of $100.

Dates & Prices

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Your host will confirm your booking subject to availability. There may be a minimum number of guests required to guarantee that a trip will go ahead.

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Please note: Flights are NOT included and must be purchased separately.

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Guide Prices

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Optional Extras

Make your life easy. Once you have reserved your space, your host can help you arrange the extras you’ll need. Here are some guide prices which can be confirmed with you during booking.

Additional night at the end of the trip Payable Before Departure
Additional night in hotel at end of the trip $100.00 Per Person
Single Room Supplement (where possible) Payable Before Departure
Single Room Supplement (where possible) $100.00 Per Person

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