Blue Dog Kayaking in partnership with Jackpine Paddle offers you an amazing sea kayak adventure in the East Arm of Great Slave Lake, NWT!
Great Slave Lake, located in the southern half of the Northwest Territories, is the 11th largest in the world and, after Great Bear, the biggest entirely within Canada. It measures in at 28,568 square kilometers, roughly the same size as Belgium. Great Slave Lake is also North America’s deepest lake, reaching a maximum depth of more than 615 meters 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.
To add an element of magic to this expedition, we’ve picked dates to take advantage of autumn Aurora season. As you tip your head back in awe to catch the glittering lights dancing across the sky, we’ll 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.
These expeditions offer a chance to experience Canada’s newest national park: Thaidene Nëné, or “Land of the Ancestors” in the Denesoline Yati language. The Etthen Island expedition ventures into Thaidene Nëné for part of the route.
Book your East Arm Great Slave Lake kayak expedition today!
Skill Level Required
The East Arm is a remote location, so previous paddling experience in a sea kayak is definitely an asset. Participants are not required to be proficient or highly-skilled paddlers, but should be familiar with the basics of kayaking and able to perform a wet exit if required, Paddle Canada L1 skills would be a good place to start. Previous experience camping in the back-country is required. We can be exposed to wind and waves on this trip.
$3800 + 5% GST
Paddling club and loyalty discounts are NOT valid on this trip
Itinerary - days 1 to 4
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 island, 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?
We spend our days moving to a new location each day, setting up camp on beautiful natural sites on the subarctic shield. As we work our way to the North end of Etthen Island, the scenery grows bolder. Spectacular granite cliffs rise along the shore. We are treated to Aurora that dances in the sky above our tents. The fishing is non-stop, and world-class. If the weather permits, we cross over to Utsingi Point for a day trip to hike and explore this stunning peninsula.
Itinerary - days 5 to 9
We paddle around the North end of Etthen Island and are treated to spectacular granite cliffs rising along the shore. It's a breath-taking and stunning scene that few will ever experience. We continue to paddle South, enjoying some of the most unique and beautiful campsites in the Northwest Territories. Perfect paddling on the profound blue depths off Etthen island will offer exciting days. Often, we spot wildlife such as moose or bears. Eventually, we are back to our original campsite having successfully completed our 70 km circumnavigation of Etthen Island.
One last chance to pick our fill of wild berries before the float planes roars in to whisk us 200 km back to the nearest civilisation of Yellowknife. After hot showers we meet up in town for cold celebratory beers and final farewells!
A float-plane air charter to the East Arm and back . Experienced sea kayak guides, high-quality fiberglass sea kayaks (single and tandem) and high quality paddles, spray-shirts and other safety equipment. Lifejackets (you are free to bring your own), group gear (tarp, kitchen equipment, utensils, water filtration, etc), gourmet meals three times a day plus snacks while on trip (except for breakfast on Day 1 and dinner on the final day) - First aid and kayak repair kits. Communication devices (satellite phone and Garmin In reach). Shuttles from Yellowknife Airport to local accommodations, and back to the airport for your return flight. Expedition-quality tents. 4:1 minimum participant to guide ratio
Whats NOT included
Accommodations in Yellowknife, flights to Yellowknife. Dry suits and personal camping equipment. Meals before and after the expedition (breakfast on Day 1 and dinner on the final day).Gratuity for guides/instructors. Dry suit rental is available on request.
Etthen Island Circumnavigation
16th to 24th August 2021