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Aha! Adventures- Athabasca Sand Dunes, SK

Dates:  June 22-July 4, 2023 (driving)

Cost: $5500 + gst

See and experience the Athabasca Sand Dunes from the canoe!  They are the most northerly active sand dunes in the world with unique landscapes and plant life that are one of a kind in the world. We will take the time to hike and explore and see the forest get swallowed up with the sand.  The river is shallow, with many technical rapids and may need to be waded and lined in spots.  This is a trip of a lifetime for true adventurers!  This is a far remote river that requires 2 long floatplane flights to the start and then a return flight from a smaller lake close to Lake Athabasca.

There will be a pre-trip meeting via Zoom.  After you register, you will receive an email when this will occur.  At the pre-trip meeting, you will meet your group and we will discuss clothing selection, food planning, packing techniques, meals and travel logistics.

All of our Aha! Adventure trips are "community catered".  All participants and guides take their turn providing and cooking breakfasts and suppers on the trips. Everyone looks after their own lunches. This is a fun way to share, try new meals and learn how to bake and cook in the backcountry. Guides will help at every meal and give you lots of assistance! 

Prerequisites: You need to have intermediate canoe skills for this trip and be comfortable paddling class 2 rapids and are proficient at doing eddy turns and forward ferries. You should also have a good fitness level for the portages. 

Cancellation Policy:  A $500 non-refundable deposit is required to register. The balance is due 30 days before the trip start date. No refunds on or after this date. We recommend trip cancellation insurance.
 

Itinerary:

June 22: Meet Group by 3pm at Buffalo Narrows, Saskatchewan at the floatplane base of Voyage Air. Map: https://www.voyageair.com/  We will plan to fly out by 4:30pm to the put-in on Carswell lake.  We will camp where we are dropped off and enjoy nice camping with a sand beach. 

June 23 – July 3:  Enjoy 11 full days of paddling the Williams/ Carswell rivers.  We will have a couple of layover days to enjoy hiking and exploring the Athabasca sand dunes.   The river has numerous exciting rapids and ledges to navigate.  We will have a few portages to get around some of the larger rapids.  The trip will end on Lake Athabasca and we can try to catch some of the large lake trout.  We will have to portage into a smaller lake to be picked up by the floatplane.

July 4:  We will be picked up by the floatplane on Cantara lake and taken back to Buffalo Narrows.  From there you will start your drive back home.

Cost Includes:

  • Safety equipment (throwbags, first aid kit, emergency communication)

  • Group camping gear (tarp/ shelter etc.)

  • Group cooking equipment (pots, stoves, utensils, fuel)

  • Experienced and qualified guides

  • All canoe gear (canoes, paddles, pfd's)

  • Camping and permits

Transportation Details:

You are welcome to join the van from Rosthern, or you can fly to Stoney Rapids on a commercial flight to avoid the very long drive up to Stoney Rapids.

Medical Form and Waiver:

In order to participate in this trip, you are required to fill out all your registration and medical information.

EMERGENCY EVACUATION AND TRIP CANCELLATION: In rare cases, if you have an emergency and need to be evacuated from the trip, you will be responsible for any extra charges.  The quickest way to get off our remote trips is via floatplane or helicopter and if we contact these companies directly for the quickest service, you will be responsible for the expense.  To ensure that there are no surprises, we recommend that you get evacuation insurance.  An evacuation could be very costly in remote locations, so we recommend that you are covered through your credit card or another plan.  One option available is Tugo Insurance at:  https://www.tugo.com/en/travel-insurance/canadians/.  You may also want to consider purchasing trip cancellation insurance if for some reason (i.e. illness) you are unable to go on the trip.  If cancellation is required at the last minute, you will need to have trip cancellation insurance. This will protect yourself and Aha! Adventures and allow us to offer great trips into the future.