East Saskatchewan: Rice River Canyon (2 days / 19 km)

Two hikers backpacking through Rice River Canyon

The Rice River Canyon is a loosely defined trail and wilderness adventure in Northern Saskatchewan. The route takes hikers in, around and across a shallow river, while walking into the bush. There is no trail, just a river to follow and occasional kilometre markers. The weaving, braided river is surrounded by thick bush, large boulders and fallen logs, often forcing hikers to cross the knee-to-waist deep river.

Overall the walk feels a bit more like a long portage than an established hike. The endpoint is marked by the confluence of two streams, but rough campsites have been established all along the route. Though advertised by local towns and popularized by Saskatchewan hiking blogs, this route should only be attempted by experienced backcountry users with a strong sense of navigation, route finding skills and a lust for adventure and challenge. 

Trip Completed: June 2021

Trip Summary: Rice River Canyon

Starting Point: Rice River Canyon Trailhead

Ending Point: Rice River Canyon Trailhead

Total Distance: 19 km

Elevation Gain: 310 m

Duration: 2 days

Difficulty: Advanced


Crown land in Northern Saskatchewan. The trail is located 108 km north of Hudson Bay, Saskatchewan or 93 km east of Carrot River, Saskatchewan. Approaching from either direction requires ~100 km of driving on gravel. 

Traditional Territory: This route takes place on the traditional territory of the Cree, Michif Piyii (Métis) and Niitsítpiis-stahkoii (Blackfoot).

Maps & Resources

Guidebook: No guidebook available. The most comprehensive blog post is this one by The Lost Girl’s Guide. 

Map: Canada NTS 063E09, 063E08

Campsite Reservations / Permits: This route is on crown land, no reservations or permits are required.

Outfitters & Shuttles

No outfitters offer trips in this area. A shuttle is not needed as the trail starts and ends at the same point.

Trip Report

Day 1: Rice River Bridge Trai...

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