THE ULTIMATE NORTHERN CANOE TRIP
Canada’s Baffin Island – now Inuit governed Nunavut Territory – lies to the north of the Labrador sea, and to the west of Greenland. It offers some of the earth’s most spectacular and dramatic glacial arctic landscapes. Rugged coastlines are indented with countless fjords; glaciers cover much of the wild interior. The rolling tundra glows with delicate arctic flowers and lichens – all illuminated by the sublime radiance of the midnight sun. Inhabited by the proud and stalwart Inuit, Baffin Island is also home to the full range of arctic wildlife; caribou, seals, walrus and polar bears roam freely, and roughly 12% of the North American bird population breeds on Baffin. Renowned for its artists, the vibrant culture of the Baffin Inuit has produced some of the finest artists and sculptors in the North.
The Soper River Valley, on the Meta Incognita Peninsula, along the southern end of the island, directly across the Hudson Straight from the Ungava Peninsula, is considered one of the most beautiful pieces of terrain in the eastern arctic. Open canoeing on Baffin Island was virtually unheard of – until our first descent of the upper Soper River in July 1990. Proclaimed the “Oasis of Baffin Island”, the Soper River Valley receives both federal and territorial protection. This pristine valley is characterized by lush and delicately flowered tundra, intimate gorges, thin wisps of waterfalls cascading off terraced escarpments – lit by the soft glow of the summer northern light.
The Soper River is moderate in terms of whitewater; comprised of many short, runnable Class I-II+ rapids. Access is via twin-engine Otter, equipped with “tundra tires”; landing directly adjacent to the river. The climate is surprisingly dry, and weather can be temperate. The pace is fairly relaxed, allowing ample time for some spectacular side hikes, and excellent Arctic Char fishing. As we approach the coast, and Soper Falls, we paddle into the small, native community of Kimmirut, (formerly Lake Harbor.) This historic, traditional community has greeted whalers, missionaries, and traders since the 1860’s, and is renowned for its intense soapstone carvings. Offshore excursions, among icebergs and polar bears, are optional. The trip meets in Ottawa, the evening prior; First Air scheduled flights, (group fares arranged through Smoking Rivers) take the party to Iqaluit, the bustling capital of newly formed Nunavut Territory, from which point the party embarks, via air charter to the river.
Soper River Canoe Trips
Trips Available: July
Trip Length: 9 Days
Age Minimum: 12
Deposit: 50% Deposit required at time of reservation. Remainder due no later than (21) days prior to trip departure (non-refundable).
Cancellations & Refunds:
0-59 days prior to trip- deposit non-refundable
60-89 days prior to trip- 35% deposit refundable
90 days or more prior to trip- 75% refundable