Day by Day

INTERACTIVE  ITINERARY:

(click on VIEWS to see photos)

 

For seven days we explore a wild area few people have ever seen.  The whitewater is outstanding and builds in difficulty with the most challenging 4+ rapids coming at the end. For most of the trip, participants will have the option of inflatable kayaking.  The rivers numerous class 3 and 4 rapids and warm water make this one of the better inflatable kayaking rivers found anywhere. We will camp on beautiful islands with beaches covered with tracks of moose, bear, wolf and lynx. Clear, star filled nights may include the magical pulsing light of the aurora borealis. Pine trees laden with osprey nests and rocky shores lined with sun-bleached, bone-colored driftwood abound to feed evening campfires. The Magpie's remote falls, deep pools and pristine water make for excellent trout fishing.


DAY 1: SEPT-ISLE / MAGPIE LAKE
This morning we fly (on our own) into the small French-speaking city of Sept-Isle, Quebec where we meet in the lobby of the Chateau Arnaud Hotel. After a trip briefing we board the van for a beautiful one hour drive, along the north shore of the St. Lawrence River,  past high sea cliffs, remote beaches and impressive waterfalls, to our rendezvous point with the helicopter.  One of only two commercially run rafting rivers in the world that are accessed by helicopter,  the ride is exhilarating as we glide over remote lakes and wild river canyons through the seemingly infinite, rugged glaciated wilderness that unfolds in every direction as far as the eye can see. We arrive at 30 mile long Magpie Lake where we camp the first night. 


DAY 2: MAGPIE RIVER (RAFTING/ INFLATABLE WHITEWATER KAYAKING)
This morning we paddle a few minutes to where the Magpie River spills from the lake. The river is a relatively warm, 68 degrees, due to the top few feet of  lake flowing into the river. The day is filled with numerous class four rapids. For the more intrepid in the group there will be a chance to paddle many of these rapids in their own inflatable kayak while being accompanied by a kayak guide instructor who teaches paddling skills and leads the way through the rapids. The terrain varies from old growth boreal forest, to hillsides of thick white lichen, green moss and granite much like Norway.  Our final rapid of the day, Marmot (whirlpool), is large, technical 4+. Our night's camps is tucked away in a cove, just below Marmot.  


DAY 3: MAGPIE RIVER (RAFTING / INFLATABLE WHITEWATER KAYAKING / STAND-UP PADDLE BOARDING)
Today we run a series a class 4 rapids down to our first impassible class 6 rapid where the guides line the boats around.  After lunch we run a few more rapids down to our second class 6 rapid which the guides line the boats around. In the afternoon we float down to camp on a swift current with only riffles. The scenery in this section is stunning, with 1,000 foot walls rising from the boreal forest. There are numerous ospreys fishing in the river. This is the perfect section of river for first timers to try the inflatable kayaks and stand-up paddleboard.  We spend the night on a beautiful little island, surrounded by beach, in the middle of a miniature lake. This is the perfect place to try out the stand-up paddleboard. 


DAY 4: MAGPIE RIVER (RAFTING / INFLATABLE WHITEWATER KAYAKING / STAND-UP PADDLE BOARDING) 
In the morning we raft a series of class 2 and 3 rapids down to 3/4 mile long, class 4, Saxophone Rapid. Above Saxophone is an excellent opportunity for people to try the inflatable kayaks and even the stand-up paddle boards.  Above Saxophone, we put people with a little more experience back in the inflatable kayaks. We raft Saxophone down to a beautiful lunch spot on a granite bluff where the river makes two sweeping 90 degree turns affording river views in all four directions.  After lunch, there are numerous class 3+ rapids down to a large sand and pebble beach where we spend the night.   

DAY 5: MAGPIE RIVER (RAFTING / INFLATABLE WHITEWATER KAYAKING / STAND-UP PADDLE BOARDING) / GORGE CAMP

Today contains the biggest rapids of the trip including double drop (4+), Ledges (4+), 13 foot high Trust Falls (4) and Picket Fence (4+).  At nearly a mile long, Picket Fence is the longest, most technical rapid on the river.  In the early afternoon we paddle across a lake to the magnificent Gorge Camp for the night. This is one of the most spectacular camps in the world. The camp hangs on the edge of a stunning granite gorge laced with three impassible class 6 cataracts.  if there is an aurora borealis that evening it will be in view of the camp, directly over the first falls.  The Gorge Camp views are only surpassed by the views from the Falls Camp the following evening. 

DAY 6: MAGPIE RIVER (HIKING / SEA KAYAKING  / STAND-UP PADDLE BOARDING) / FALLS CAMP
This morning we take one hour hike to the base of the first falls in the gorge.  The view is surreal as we stand a mere feet away from the wild maelstrom dropping over one hundred feet in a few hundred yards.  There is an incredible place to swim in a calm eddy just below the falls. -  While we are hiking and swimming, a helicopter arrives to the camp and portages our camping gear down below the gorge to our final night's camp. Later in the morning we hike down to the end of the gorge and board fast (5 MPH), stable, inflatable kayaks for the two mile lake paddle to the top of 90 foot high Magpie Falls where we eat lunch. Here the entire river hurtles 90 feet of the Laurentian Plateau in a thunderous crescendo of sound and spray. A constant rainbow, rises from the mist and never leaves the falls. We camp on a ledge directly across from the main falls and directly above a second 25 foot falls. This is probably the most spectacular commercial river camp in the world. -- If there is an aurora borealis in the evening, it will be to the north, directly over the falls. 


DAY 7: MAGPIE RIVER (SEA KAYAKING / STAND-UP PADDLE BOARDING)  / SEPT ILES

This morning we paddle the sea kayaks or stand-up paddle boards down river, with current for 4 miles to the take out where we meet the van. A 45 minute drive towards Sept Iles, takes us to a trail head where we embark on a 1.5 hour R/T hike to spectacular 130 foot high Manitou Falls. In the earlyafternoon we arrive back into at Sept Iles and check into the hotel. That evening we have a farewell dinner.


DAY 8: SEPT ILES / MONTREAL / CONNECTING FLIGHTS
After breakfast, we transfer by taxi (on our own) to the airport for the flight to Montreal and then on to our international flights. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




 

 

 




This morning we take a mile hike around the gorge to the sea kayaks and paddle across a three mile lake to Magpie Falls. We camp that night on a flat ledge directly across from the falls. This camp is without doubt the scenic highlight of the expedition.  The next morning we sea kayak the final three miles (with current) past smooth granite cliffs and dense spruce forests to the take out. With the vast wilderness to our right and the open St. Laurence to our left, we drive back to the hotel in Sept Iles. That evening we have a farewll dinner.


DAY 8: SEPT ILSES / BACK HOME
Today we take a taxi to the airport (on our own) and catch our flights back home.

 

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"I want to personally thank Earth River for helping us stop the hydro-electric projects on our land preventing the destruction of one of North America's last great wildernesses.
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