Aha! Adventure - Frenchman River, SK
Dates: May 8-14, 2022
Start your paddling season off with this early canoe trip and explore Grasslands National Park in southern Saskatchewan. This Park is unique and breathtaking as you look across a sea of grass, observe the prairie dogs, and watch the buffalo and antelope roam. It’s easy to imagine what it would have been like before the settlers came and bison roamed free on the open range.
The Frenchman River winds its way through the West Block and we paddle from 70-mile Butte towards the US border. We will enjoy hiking on the hills each day and camping on the wild prairies. The river is small with some fun riffles, tight corners, small canyons and beaver dams. Wildlife is abundant and you will learn about the early history of the First Nations, ranchers and homesteaders.
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: No experience necessary. Guides can teach you what you need to know on your trip. You should have an average fitness level.
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.
May 8: We will meet at the Frenchman Valley campground. It would be great if you could be there by 7 pm. The guides will aim to get there for supper. You will be responsible for your own supper that night (there are restaurants in Val Marie or you could bring your own food and eat at the campground). Fires are allowed in the campground.
May 9: We will set up our shuttle in the morning and drive to the put-in near 70-mile Butte. We will plan to hike up Eagle Butte and get a great view of the river valley before we launch our canoes. We will have lunch at the put-in and start our trip after that. We will camp just inside the park for our first night.
May 10 - 13: Continue paddling down the river with lots of hiking and exploring along the way. We will pick our campsites with good hiking and scenic views. On Friday, we will camp at our vehicles at the take-out. We are close to the US border and can hike to it and enjoy one last night under the starry canopy in one of the darkest sky reserves.
May 14: We will pack up and drive home and pick up the rest of the vehicles on the way out.
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 fees in the park
There is no transportation provided to the location and you will meet the group at the Frenchman Valley Campground, SK. We will work together to set up the shuttle.
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. 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.
COVID information: All are welcome on our trips, as long as you are not currently sick with COVID. We respect everyone’s private health information and freedom of choice. We are outdoors for the duration of the trip; masking is not required but a personal choice. You are welcome to carpool in the van on certain trips where it is provided, but if you are more comfortable you can organize your own transportation.
When you sign up for this trip, you are joining a trip cohort. You should be aware that you will be spending an extended amount of time and meals with your trip cohort and the potential risks associated with that. If you become ill or know you have been exposed to COVID before the trip begins, we ask that you stay at home. On the day of the trip, you will need to be able to answer “no” to all these screening questions. If cancellation is required at the last minute, you will need to have trip cancellation insurance. This will protect yourself and Aha! Adventures. We will do our best to provide and encourage clean practices during food preparation and around camp.