Mountain River: Dusty Lake to Mackenzie River (14 days / 310 km)

Trip Report - Mountain River - Dusty Lake

The Mountain River is an absolutely spectacular river flowing from the Yukon/NWT divide high up in the Mackenzie Mountains all the way to the Mackenzie River in 310 km. The sharp mountains, the canyons and the wildlife encounters made this river one of, if not the best, river trip I have ever done.

We paddled the Mountain in July 2019, and although we had a mix of weather, it was a magical trip. We were a group of 6 experienced paddlers paddling in 3 canoes; A Nova Craft Moisie Royalex, a Trailhead Prospector 17 Royalex and a Nova Craft Prospector 18 Royalex all with spraydecks. The river started at a medium level and became high during the trip due to heavy rains. This made the canyons slightly more challenging and forced us to spend most days in dry suits just as a precaution.

Trip Completed: July 2019

Trip Summary

Starting Point: Dusty Lake, NWT

Ending Point: Mackenzie River, NWT

Duration: 14 days

Difficulty: Advanced

Location: Northwest Territories

Traditional Territory: This route takes place on the traditional territory of the Sahtu Dene and Métis

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) which uses the original topo 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 21st of July until August 4th and it seemed like a good time of the year to paddle it if you want warmer weather and fewer bugs. Lakes in this region won’t be free of ice until late June/early July. August can be great for the Fall colours but expect colder weather.

Cell Reception: No cell reception

Water: The water was very...

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