View topic - Routes From Great Slave Lake to Great Bear Lake

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PostPosted: May 26th, 2011, 9:40 am 

Joined: May 25th, 2011, 9:14 am
Posts: 1
We are 2 Norwegians who did the Sled Lake - Eileen River - Snowdrift River - Lutselk'e the summer of 2010.

We are planning a new NWT canoe trip summer 2012, and have started looking at the possibility of canoeing from Great Slave Lake to Great Bear Lake.

Have been looking at some different possibilities:

From Great Slave to Gameti, I have found two options:

Option 1: (Is this the Idaa Trail?)
Martian Lake
Shoti Lake
Hislop Lake
Bea Lake
Mazenod Lake
(Sarahk) Sarah Lake
Faber Lake
Rey Lake / Gameti

It looks to be most small river all the way. How much rapids / portages can we expect?

It looks very marshy, how is the terrain?

How much work is it to canoe upstream this small river?

The thought of struggling against a river most of the way, led me to
Option 2:
Slave / rae-edzo
Russel Lake
Slemon Lake
Snare River
Bigspruce Lake
Kwejinne Lake - ca 16 Portages to Faber Lake via:
Basler Lake
Snively Lake
Saddle Lake
Faber Lake

This route seem to give more flat water, but maybe more work on the portages from Kwejinne Lake to Faber Lake.

From Gameti to Great Bear Lake:

Lake Sainte Croix
Taka Lake
Hardisty Lake
Isabella Lake
Hottaw / Hottah Lake
(Camsell River:)
Grouard Lake
Zebulon Lake / Cut Lake
Camsell River
Conjurer Bay / Great Bear Lake

How often is these routes canoed?
How is the terrain / portages?
I see there is some roads in the area between Great Slave Lake and Gameti. Are these used?

If someone can help us out with some info, we will be most grateful.

- Håvard

PostPosted: June 16th, 2011, 9:48 pm 

Joined: October 27th, 2003, 1:41 pm
Posts: 128
Location: Fairbanks AK
Hi Havard -

I have done option 1 upstream. The first time it took two weeks and 45 portages or lining the canoe. But you will go faster and can line where I had to portage. The longest portage (which I found on the last trip) was 900 meters but went around several rapids. The terrain is marshy around Shoti Lake and on the portage between Mazenod and Sarah Lakes.
The roads between Great Slave Lake and Gameti have mostly reverted to forest.

This route was the traditional route to Gemeti.

The current is slow so upstream travel is easy. You will not be "struggling against a river most of the way". And good camping is easy to find. You will need 1:50k maps for the route between Hislop Lake and Sarah Lake. If I can find it I'll post a map of the portages between Hislop Lake and Bea Lake.

Option 2 will require a lot more work. I believe the portage between Kwejinne and Basler Lakes is at the westernmost margin of Kwejinne Lake.

From Gameti to Bear Lake.
I did this route twice downstream. Portages are few so you can do this route in a week or less. There is a shortcut through Beaverlodge Lake but the channel from Lac Malfait to Beaverlodge is described as very narrow and may be dry if the water level is low. I followed the route through Isabella Lake.
If you wish to avoid following the Camsell to Conjuror Bay you can follow some narrow lakes from Clut Lake to Fishtrap Lake and then go through Yen Lake to Gunbarrel Inlet.

Ask if you have further questions.


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