Keele River: Tsichu River to MacKenzie River Confluence (10 days / 345 km)

The Begadee River as it is known by the Sahtu Dene, otherwise known as the Gravel River or the Keele River, is well known by paddling enthusiasts as an alternative to the Nahanni River. Flowing out of the Mackenzie mountains in western NWT, the scenery is spectacular. This is a fantastically beautiful area to paddle through for any intermediate/advanced white water paddlers.

Our full route began at Mile 222 on Carol Rd, along the Yukon / Northwest Territory border, and ended in Tulita, NWT (488 km in total). This trip report covers the Keele River section, between its meeting point with the Tsichu River and the MacKenzie River (345 km).

Trip Summary

Starting Point: Mile 222 Canol Rd. YK/NWT

Ending Point: Tulita, NWT

Total Distance: 345 km

Tsichu - 53 km (not included in report)

Upper Keele River - 69 km

Lower Keele River - 276 km

Mackenzie - 90 km (not included in report)

Duration: 10 Days

7 Days - Tsichu (not included in report)

2 Days - Upper Keele

8 Days - Lower Keele

3 Days - Mackenzie River (not included in report)

Difficulty: Advanced (The Upper Keele is advanced, the Lower Keele is more intermediate)

Note: We travelled this route in Pakk canoes. Much like a canvas canoe, they are fragile and we needed them to last all the way to Yellowknife.


Western Northwest Territories, Mackenzie Mountains

Maps & Resources

Maps: Here are the topographic maps required (1:50 000):

Tsichu: 105P05, 105P06, 

Keele: 105P06, 105P08, 105P09, 095M12, 095M13, 106A01, 096D04, 096D03, 096D02, 096C04

Camping Permits / Reservations: This route does not require permits or reservations It would be advised to make contact with the Chief in Tulita and let them know your intentions. 

There is a lot of excellent information available on Dwayne Wohlgemuth has also paddled the route and is a wealth of information on all things territories.

Outfitters & Shuttle...

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