Coppermine River: Rocknest Lake to Kugluktuk (18 days / 400 km)

Trip Report - Coppermine - Cliff jump below Escape Rapids

The Coppermine River is an incredible river that starts with a large series of lakes in the Northwest Territories and empties in Kugluktuk Nunavut, in the Arctic Ocean. This 400 km trip takes you through a variety of landscapes, with crystal clear water, fun rapids, plentiful wildlife and great campsites.

We paddled the Coppermine in July 2023, and it was an incredible trip. We were a group of 6 in paddling 3 different canoes; A Nova Craft Moisie, an Esquif Canyon and an Esquif Miramichi 18, all with spraydecks. The river was record low and record warm during our time there, which made some rapids a lot less exciting, while some others more exciting or difficult depending on how you look at it. The water was around 19oC, which made for great swimming conditions, but made the fishing for lake trout and arctic char very poor.

Trip Completed: July 2023

Trip Summary

Starting Point: Rocknest Lake, NWT

Ending Point: Kugluktuk, Nu

Duration: 18 days

Difficulty: Advanced

Location: Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

Traditional Territory: This route takes place on the traditional territory of the Akaitcho, Tłı̨chǫ Ndè, Dënéndeh, and the Inuit Nunangat.

Maps & Resources

Guidebook: We did not find any guidebooks for this river

Map: I use the Canada Topo app for all my river trips, which is a free app (on iPhones) that uses the original topographic maps of Canada. You download the maps of your route before departing, and you can use them on your phone (or iPad) while out on your trip just like you would use a regular GPS.

Permits and Reservations

Campsite Reservations: No reservations

Permits: No permits required

Know Before You Go

Season: We paddled this river from the 15th of July until the 31st and it seemed like a good time of the year to paddle it if you want warmer weather and fewer bugs. Most lakes that you can land on in this region won’t be free of ice until late June/early July. August ca...

To continue reading this Trip Report, please login below.

If you aren't a Member yet, please sign up here.