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The South Nahanni is one of the most classic Canadian rivers, renowned for wildlife, beautiful canyons, and a thunderous 300 foot waterfall that puts Niagara to shame. Avery and I received a generous grant from the Ritt Kellogg Fund to explore this stretch of river, so in July of last year we embarked on a road trip from Colorado to a small town in the Northwest Territories named Fort Simpson. We quickly learned of horrendous wildfires as we drove along smoke-filled dirt highways, and delayed our departure as the bush plane wouldn't be able to fly in with such low visibility along the river corridor. Eventually the weather turned in our favor as the smoke cleared, and rains took care of the wildfires.
The nearly 160 miles of river below Virginia Falls was spectacular, and while the whitewater isn't world-class (harder whitewater exists upstream), the experience constantly tests your senses as any sense of scale disappears upon looking at wide valleys, deep canyons, and an enormous Virginia Falls. The wildlife didn't disappoint either with quite a few black bears, eagles, beaver, caribou, and wandering porcupines.
I'd highly recommend experiencing this northern river, especially since less than 450 people float down it each year. This makes it easy to snag a permit and allows for a great wilderness experience. If you're looking into such a trip the Nahanni River Guidebook by Peter Jowett is very helpful, and The Dangerous River is a fantastic book to read about early exploration in the area by some intrepid men.
This was my first attempt at filming RAW video on a Canon 60D, and the shots turned out pretty well. Enough from me though, I'll let the photos and video speak for themselves.
Feel free to shoot an email with any questions about the Nahanni if you're looking for information to plan a trip in the area!
Any questions or opinions? I'd love to hear from you, just leave a comment below.
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