Take the next step or the first step in developing your expedition skills to empower your next trips. Join TRAK in the Great Slave Lake in the Thaidene Nëné National Park Reserve. Thaidene Nëné National Park Reserve is a protected area in the vicinity of the east arm of Great Slave Lake, located on the northern edge of the boreal forest in the Northwest Territories, Canada. It measures in at 28,568 square kilometres, roughly the same size as Belgium. Great Slave Lake is also North America’s deepest lake, reaching a maximum depth of more than 615 metres in it’s East Arm– deep enough to cover the CN Tower.
The fabled East Arm of Great Slake Lake has a spectacular reputation among locals, and for good reason. It features deep, clear water with abundant islands, narrow channels with tall red cliffs, and world-class fishing. With craggy cliffs and rocky islands, the islands of the East Arm support bald eagles, terns and gulls. Breathtaking cliffs are built from rock as old as 2.7-billion years (the oldest in the world), making for some of the most epic campsites you’ll ever experience. If fishing is your thing, you’ll definitely want to bring a fishing rod to enjoy the seemingly bottomless depths surrounding these islands. They are swarming with trophy-sized lake trout. And because the lake is clean and cold, fish keep near the surface in summer, making for plenty fishing opportunities from a kayak and from camp.
The sun will rise at 5am and set at 11pm on this trip. For those willingly to stay up late and aurora hunt, it will be possible to add an element of magic to this expedition. You'll have a catch the glittering lights dancing across the sky, as we show you the best of our spectacular Aurora. Great Slave Lake lies directly in the magnetic “Aurora Belt”, which means it’s one of the most reliable places on earth to spot the northern lights.
If the North has been on your bucket list for ages, the majestic East Arm offers a place like no others: unspoiled, remote, and iconic.
Region: Thaidene Nëné National Park Reserve, NWT, Canada
Duration: 8 Days
Skill Level: Beginner/Intermediate
What we're going to do
Our route will take us deep into the East Arm, to the most remote park of Great Slave Lake. This area will be the heart of Thaidene Nëné National Park Reserve, know to the nearby Lutsel K'e Dene First Nations as "The Land of our Ancestors". We'll have a chance to spot caribou, moose, wolves, bears and many bird species in this pristine protected area. Muskoxen populations have been making a dramatic rebound in this part of the North, and we have a good chance at getting up close to one of these prehistoric-looking beasts.
Our TRAK Kayaks expedition will spend 6 days kayaking the spectacular waters of Thaidene Nëné National Park Reserve and arrive at a cultural and spiritual gathering hosted by the Lutsel K'e Dene First Nations. This Dënesųłiné or Chipewyan gathering is held annually near the old site of Fort Reliance, a clutch of outposts rich with history dating back to explorer George Back in 1833. Locals gather here from nearby communities and beyond every year to take part in sacred ceremonies and a celebration of their traditions in this beautiful wilderness site. James Marlowe is a member of Lutsel K'e Dene First Nations and will be our cultural guide at the gathering. We'll be greeted by James with a welcome feast and follow him through a 3-day cultural adventure of hand-games, drum-dancing and a myriad of traditional activities at this very special event. It's a rare honour to be invited to this gathering. Guests will receive information pre-trip on how to behave respectfully at the gathering and respect local traditions. We'll have a chance to connect with and learn from our Chipewyan hosts, who have a thousand generations of experience paddling the same waters, roaming the same ridges and camping in the same bays we'll explore on our expedition.
What you'll learn
This amazing program includes a wildlife and natural history focus, sail expedition with sea kayak day trip excursions. Hands-on experience and instruction and the opportunity to discover the best ways to plan, lead, and execute a multi-day, international sea-kayaking expedition.
- Beginner and intermediate sea kayak skills progression with TRAK kayaks
- Route planning and basic sea kayak navigation
- Expedition leadership and seamanship skills
- Cold water tactics including self and assisted rescues
What's included in the tour
We'll provide everything you need once the tour starts, until it ends. You may want to bring your favorite PFD and paddle, and if you have a TRAK kayak already, bring it with you and save.
- Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary
- All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea
- All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by TRAK kayak or zodiac
- Sea Kayak and Risk Management Skills Training with certified instructors / guides and TRAK pilot mentors
- Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff
- Free use of snow shoes and expedition-related equipment