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Canadian Canoe Routes

Tsichu River: How to get there
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Author:  ole [ December 11th, 2016, 9:14 am ]
Post subject:  Tsichu River: How to get there

In summer 2017 we want to canoe (Ally folfing canoe) down Tsichu river, then Keele, MacKenzie, to Norman Wells.
We will probably fly to Whitehorse and I guess it shouldn't be a problem to get a bus to Ross River (?). But how can we get up the Canol highway to MacMillan Pass? Are we likely to find a car and driver who is willing to drive us and our gear up there?
I read that the last bit from the pass to mile 222 is a bit rough, but if we can't be driven there, we will just walk the 10 km and carry our stuff, even if we need to go twice. But how do we get to Mac Millan Pass?

Author:  jmc [ December 11th, 2016, 5:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tsichu River: How to get there

Ole -

I know that the poster of the original Tsichu thread - "Duende" - actually did paddle the river. See here -

Have you tried to contact them directly for information?


Author:  adelorenzo [ December 22nd, 2016, 7:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tsichu River: How to get there

You need to get to the small airstrip at Mile 222 which is located at the Tischu River, some distance past MacMillan Pass. It is drivable although a vehicle with some clearance is needed. Up North Adventures would be your best bet for getting shuttled to the airstrip but it will not be cheap.

With folding canoes it will almost certainly be cheaper to fly into Mile 222. North Wright can fly you in from Norman Wells or Black Sheep Aviation from Whitehorse.

We paddled the Tischu in 2015 en route to the Keele and Carcajou rivers. You can see our trip reports here: ... s-packraft

Author:  MartinG [ December 22nd, 2016, 11:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tsichu River: How to get there

@ adelorenzo
Wow!!! That is one hell of a trip! Spectacular photos too. Opened me up to a whole nuther world.

Author:  ole [ January 16th, 2017, 11:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Tsichu River: How to get there

Hi adelorenzo,
do you really think it's cheaper to be flown out to mile 222 instead of being driven there by car? I asked about flights (from Norman Wells); they are incredibly expensive.... This won't be different from Whitehorse, I guess. I was sure a folding canoe would be an advantage, because you can carry it in a car.
Hm, if I don't find a cheaper way to get up there, I'm afraid we'll have to look for a different river. Any Ideas? I find it difficult to find something affordable (where you don't have to be flown in or out, this always exceeds the financial scope). I've done Beaver Creek in Alaska, down to the Yukon Bridge; that was great and didn't involve flying and thus was much cheaper.
You were driven to mile 222 by car weren't you? How did you organise that? Who drove you?

Author:  adelorenzo [ January 30th, 2017, 7:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tsichu River: How to get there

Hi Ole,

We live in Whitehorse so we drove ourselves up there and then flew back to the truck when we finished. In 2015 we paid about $3000 to charter a Cessna 205 from Norman Wells back to Mile 222 for four people plus gear.

I don't think you could hire someone to drive you from Whitehorse to Mile 222 for much less than that. It's well over 600 km and 12+ hours of driving each way and usually you need to spend at least one extra night as the ferry in Ross River only operates from 9-5.

There are tons of rivers to paddle up here in the north I'm sure you can find something that works. Or else get a packraft and hike in!


Author:  ole [ February 17th, 2017, 4:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Tsichu River: How to get there

Hi Anthony!
Thanks for your answer. We've given up for this year, but I'll keep that trip on my list. It's too expensive for us this year (Even the flights to Whitehorse!), plus we are too short on time as my girlfriend doesn't get enough holidays (only three weeks).
We will probably go to Alaska again instead. Flights to Fairbanks are much cheaper and it seems easier to find rivers that can be paddled in about two weeks.
Sad. I would have preferred Canada's North much more.... As I said: still on my list.
The packrafts are interesting. I hiked the jungles of Indonesia and Myanmar with a friend. We took inner car tubes with us to build "boats", but they were difficult to push forward when there is not enough current (far too slow). Maybe we will consider Packrafts should we go again.
Happy paddling!

Author:  PaddleheadPete [ May 25th, 2019, 1:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Tsichu River: How to get there

If you're still out there, I did this exact trip last summer. (Aug2018)
I scrounged rides up the Canol with an Ally.
Lined and ran the bolder garden of the Tsichu, paddled the Keele then down the MacKenzie to Norman wells.
Then flew home in style.
I can give you a ton of info if you want.

Author:  ole [ May 25th, 2019, 5:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Tsichu River: How to get there

Hi PaddleheadPete!
Thanks a lot. The trip still appeals to me and our Ally is still waiting in the cellar.
This year, however, we are heading for a different destination: We are trying to paddle our sea kayaks from St. Petersbourgh to Helsinki. The border, of course, will be the main problem....
Great trip! Thanks for the videos! Looks just like I imagined.
Take care,

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