Explore some of the ‘greatest wilderness’ with Jackpine Paddle

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Jackpine Paddle has early-bird specials available until the end of December to help NWT residents get out and explore Great Slave Lake by canoe or kayak.

Owner Dan Wong said: “Part of living in the North is you’re living in a place that really is beautiful. And to me, it’s the adventure of a lifetime to go out and explore what we have here.

“We can help with that – that’s what we’re here for.”


There are two tour options for novice and family-friendly guided trips: one takes paddlers around the Trout Rock area via Boundary Creek, while the other takes people out to the entrance of Yellowknife Bay from Yellowknife.

Wong called Boundary Creek a local secret spot for paddlers, combining creek paddling with a few small rapids before opening up to Great Slave Lake near an area called Trout Rock in the North Arm. Paddlers are likely to see some wildlife on this trip, too.

“For those that haven’t been in the North Arm before, there are hundreds of islands, and it’s a way that we can get some of the stunning vistas of the big lake – which is almost like an ocean,” he said.

The Yellowknife Bay trip, said Wong, is “a way to explore the bay for those who have looked out on Great Slave Lake and Yellowknife Bay for a long time and kind-of wondered what’s out there.”

A canoe on a tour of Sparrow Lake. Julien Schroder/Jackpine Paddle
A canoe on a tour of Sparrow Lake. Julien Schroder/Jackpine Paddle

Paddlers can choose between a three or five-day tour or reach out to Jackpine Paddle to customize another trip. Wong’s company can supply all necessary gear, or people can bring their own canoe or kayak if they want to become more comfortable in their own boat.


The three and five-day tours are available at a $100 discount until December 31, and Jackpine offers reduced rates for children.

“These trips have been popular for visitors but also for Yellowknifers,” said Wong, noting participants often include families with young children who want to explore the area with a little extra help, or younger couples or solo paddlers who want to paddle with a group and explore the northern wilderness.

Jackpine Paddle offers courses in everything from beginner lake paddling to sea kayaking and whitewater paddling. Wong also teaches people how to plan a canoe trip and runs a northern guide training program, while leading expeditions on famous rivers like the Nahanni and the Thelon.

“We can help people get the skills to safely explore these areas by themselves, and have confidence to do that. But we also are really excited when we get to share with them these wilderness experiences on a guided canoe or kayak trip with our guides,” he said.


A canoe course on Tartan Rapids on the Yellowknife River. Julien Schroder/Jackpine Paddle
A canoe course on Tartan Rapids on the Yellowknife River. Julien Schroder/Jackpine Paddle

He said Jackpine can be flexible in helping people to purchase – or give a credit toward – a tour or course as a gift.

“We will work with the lucky recipient to figure out what works for them, either this summer or transfer it to a future summer,” said Wong.

“We do what we do because we live in the north, and part of the reason why I love Yellowknife is it’s just a very exciting place for those that have the thirst for adventure.

“The wilderness that we still have left is some of the greatest wilderness actually left on the planet.”

This article appears as part of a paid partnership with NWT Tourism inviting northerners to Give the Gift of Experience this holiday season. Watch out for six articles highlighting different experiences you can try in the Northwest Territories, even if you already live here.