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Old 04-24-2014   #1
Kirkland, Washington
Paddling Since: 1972
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 71
Anyone done the Mountain River from Alberta into the NW Territories?

This year I was planning a trip every single month this summer commencing with the Smith River Mt. in May, then the John Day in June, the Grande Ronde in July, the Lower or Main Salmon in August, the whichever of the Salmon trips I did not do in August in September. Now I am thinking about doing an Alaska, B.C. or Alberta trip around August 1 and bagging the other July-August-September trips. I am not sure that if I do one of these totally road less remote wilderness trips in Alaska or B.C. or Alberta/NW Territories that I would ever get all that excited about the rather civilized stuff here in the lower 48, that is, through rather civilized country.

So this is what I found, actually tripped onto and what I propose to do this summer (drum roll please) THE HOLY GRAIL OF MY BUCKET LIST (extended drum roll please) THE MOUNTAIN RIVER & a tributary of the Mackenzie River in Canada’s Northwest Territories. Wiki quote: "Its source is in the Mackenzie Mountains close to the watershed border with Yukon. It flows eastward, joining the Mackenzie River just south of the Arctic Circle. The river flows about 370 km (230 mi), dropping over 1,200 m (3,900 ft) over its course, with large volume rapids, fast current, and six canyons. The upper half of the river is surrounded by mountains which reach heights of over 2,700 m (8,900 ft), with rock colours of buff, grey, cinnamon, green, and maroon. Wildlife includes caribou, moose, wolf, Dall sheep, grizzly bear, and black bear. It is considered an excellent but difficult wilderness canoeing river."

This truly represents my kind of mountain river experience. Actually much better than my most ambitiously imagined truly mountain river expedition experience. Anyone done the Mountain?

If people don't occasionally walk away from you shaking their heads, you're doing something wrong.
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Old 04-24-2014   #2
Kirkland, Washington
Paddling Since: 1972
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 71
And a mountian peak view of the Mountain River

The Mountain River Valley
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If people don't occasionally walk away from you shaking their heads, you're doing something wrong.
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Old 04-29-2014   #3
Laramie, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1974
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 19

We ran the Mountain River in 2012 late July. The water level was low and the rapids were easier than they would be with higher flows. We bought pakcanoes for the trip expecting to use them again in the future. Shadow Lake Shadow Lake Expeditions: raft rentals&wilderness trips in the Yukon in Whitehorse YT can rent you anything you lack from canoes to stoves. We used Black sheep out of Mayo to fly in but had a 2 mile portage to get to the river. If you outfit from Norman Wells they can land you on a small lake closer to the river. We spent a long day portaging to get all our gear to the river. If you go the same way tank up on water from the lake or the ponds you pass for the portage, the river water is not potable. You will get to a clear stream on river left after just a couple miles.

The scenery is fantastic and we were only charged by grizzlies once. They were on shore, we were in the river so we didn't need fresh undies. They took off when two more canoes caught up to us.

This is one of those trip of a lifetime rivers.
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Old 04-29-2014   #4
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 321
I've been eyeballing that one on Google Earth. Certainly looks intriguing
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