The Quoich River (175 km / 11 days)

A tourist enjoying in Quoich River

The Quoich River is a lesser-known river in Nunavut and is approximately 370 km in length, flowing into Baker Lake. It is a treasure trove of wildlife and Inuit culture. Unlike better-known rivers in the Canadian North, it is far more difficult to access so it is rarely travelled.

The river is fast-moving with frequent rapids; fortunately, most are easily run. Most of the rapids consist of large standing waves and one rarely has to deal with rocks. We were the only group to paddle down the river in 2019. In previous years, I had paddled big-name rivers like the Nahanni, Coppermine and Snake so was looking for something different. I discovered an outfitter named Wanapitei Canoe and was very happy with the decision to go on this trip.

This trip report covers a section of the river that starts about halfway down and ends close to the mouth. Since access to the river is only possible by a plane landing on the tundra, there are only certain spots where it is possible to land. Normally there is not a lot of rainfall in the area, but 2019 was exceptionally wet which made tundra landings even more difficult.

Trip Completed: August 2019

Trip Summary

Starting Point: Quoich River (65.1521, -94.21133)

Ending Point: Quoich River (64.3713, -94.0014)

Total Distance: 175 km

Duration: 12 days

Difficulty: Advanced

Location

The Quoich River is found about 250 km north of the town of Baker Lake, Nunavut. Interestingly enough, Baker Lake is very close to the geographic centre of Canada. Travelling to Baker Lake is an adventure in itself.

Many people in the canoeing world associate Baker Lake with the end of the Thelon River and many trips end here. The journey to Baker Lake starts in Winnipeg. The only airline to use is Calm Air. Our first flight started in Winnipeg and stopped in Churchill, ending at Rankin Inlet.

Weather delays are very common due to the proximity to Hudson Bay and my flights were no exception as I feasted on vending m...

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