NEW: Choose & Pay in Your Currency - Dropdown ▸

TRAK Tour - Thaidene Nëné National Park Reserve: 2020

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.



Tour Itinerary

Expedition Plan:

  • Day 0 - Arrive in Northwest Territories
  • Day 1: In the morning, we board an air charter to the East Arm. As our float plane lifts off the waters of Yellowknife Bay, we get a bird's eye view of the spectacular Canadian Shield as we fly deeper into remote wilderness. Once at camp on a majestic rocky shore, we take in our new surroundings: pristine air and clear deep water. It doesn't take long to reel in our first lake trout. Fish fry for dinner!
  • Days 2 - 6: We spend our days kayaking to a new location each day, setting up camp on beautiful natural sites on the subarctic shield. As we work our way along the north shore of McLeod Bay we explore pocket beaches and clear turquoise bays. Eventually we arrive at Fort Reliance, the historic site of the spiritual and cultural gathering. James Marlowe greets us on arrive with a welcome feast and we set camp near his. .
  • Days 7 - 8: Participation in the cultural and spiritual gathering. A unique opportunity to take part in a celebration of culture, land and people.
  • Day 9: We bid farewell to our Chipewyan hosts before a float planes roars in to whisk us 300 km back to the nearest civilization of Yellowknife. After hot showers we meet up in town for cold celebratory beers and final farewells!.

Meet Your Guides

Jackpine Paddle x TRAK Kayaks

We employ experienced guides who not only live in the Northwest Territories, but grew up here with deep roots on our rivers and lakes. Based out of Yellowknife, NT, we know that when it comes to the North, there is no other place like it. And we know it like no one else. It’s the best paddling in the world: pristine, epic, and wild!

Our team, alongside TRAK Kayaks and TRAK Pilot(s), will improve your kayaking and canoeing skills in an atmosphere of fun and friendship! You can trust our teaching program and hands on approach to transform you into a safer, better and more confident paddler. 

As Northerners, we believe in protecting our own wild backcountry and supporting healthy communities here.

Tour Reviews

Chelsea Josue

“It was very exciting to be around such a culture of people and find myself on the open waters of the wild pacific coast with such an inviting and welcoming group, in these amazing high-performance kayaks. Never in my wildest dreams would those few basic skills that we learned on the first day, would progress to where we went today.”

Chelsea Josue

Natalie Kelly

“That was really fun. He just broke it down… It’s funny when you have someone take the time to go through things that might be natural. He broke down the surf process into little bitty pieces that made me way more comfortable. I would have never just dove in and done that on my own.”

Natalie Kelly

Where we're going

  • East Arm of Great Slave Lake, Northwest Territories
  • Thaidene Nëné National Park Reserve

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

Not included

  • Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights
  • Accommodations before and after trip
  • Medical insurance
  • Passport and visa expenses
  • Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges
  • The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided)
AUG 1-9, 2020

Still have questions?

Call us Send us a message