20+ Day Wilderness Flatwater-Class I

Looking for an idea for 20 days (or so) for a wilderness canoe trip. Looking for mostly flatwater/class I (maybe class II ok with optional portage).

Was thinking upper Mississippi, or maybe Missouri, even North Forest Canoe Trail is an option. Leaning away from the NFCT because of the amount of walking I have seen in some past thru-paddler blogs.

It would be my wife, myself, and our dog. I know some parks are not dog-friendly.

Any suggestions that I’m overlooking?

Thanks in advance!



– Last Updated: May-14-15 9:46 PM EST –

What about the Yukon River, starting at Whitehorse? Several different length trips are possible. It is a fast basically flatwater river, with only two very short tricky sections with moderate standing waves.

Contact outfitters and transporters at either Kanoe People

or UpNorth Adventures

go north
"Wilderness"??? If thats the main criteria of message, then Canada.

If you want a great 20-day paddle trip…plenty in the lower 48 but not real wilderness?

Three Forks Montana to James Kipp Bridge, Montana. Historic, beautiful, flatwater…+ riffles, dam portages, people.

Daniel, what’s the longest canoe camping
venture you’ve done to date? We started with 12 nights in BWCA/Quetico, and that was at least 6 nights too long for a beginner outing. A 20 night venture comes with all sorts of complications, especially food resupply. Dog chow?

And, it is very hard to find a 20 night route that is only class 1 and easy portages.

I suggest you start with just a few overnights and work up.

20 days
I agree with ezwater. It is not that easy to find a 20 day trip without dams outside Canada and Alaska. Going to the Yukon becomes an expedition.

For long trips in the US I would consider the Yellowstone below Paradise Valley, or the John Day in Oregon to the Columbia. You could start on the Columbia R in BC and take it as far as you want to.

Lots of camping experience
We have done a lot of multi-day and week+ long backpacking trips. We’re good with all the general gear, water filtration/treatment, food, and shelter hurdles.

We’ve done a few 3-4 night canoe trips locally too.

We liked the NFCT because of the resupply options along the route, and occasional B&B or hotel night for the wife. Yes…this probably rules out me calling it a “wilderness” trip. We’d be willing to forgo these luxurious nights for the right trip. But like I said in original post…the idea of dragging my canoe upstream for entire days isn’t appealing to me.

Thanks for the other suggestions…I’ll poke around some of these options too.

when you survey
the extended USA trips, go to Weatherunderground’s your location then adjust the ‘almanac’ to your chosen trip times. Temperature, Humidity and WIND.

trip reviews for longer trips are often extremely windy, its the remaining area outside everyone’s backyard. No one lives there caws the weather is …

Nothing personal but imho if you’re

– Last Updated: May-21-15 12:19 PM EST –

comfortable with Class_I only I'd start with shorter trips and those a little nearer to civilization...many not be as high & mighty when posted on YouTube but will be more enjoyable to you.
There are a lot of areas that don't have footage on YouTube...but have been explored before....long before cameras, smartphones and camcorders have been around.

Any reason not to cut your canoe
camping teeth on the Delaware? Not wilderness but lots of options for stops and layovers, and other than Skinners, no need for portages on the upper Delaware. Plus you can dial in as many days and nights as you want. But I suggest no more than 6 nights with at least one layover day.

Be sure you’re equipped to keep your gear dry in the event of a flip. There are still flipping opportunities in class 1.

If t doesn’t have to be on a river…
If you want to tool around the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and adjacent Quetico Provincial Park, I’m sure you could cobble together a great 20 days of wilderness travel. Sure, there will be some portages, but if you plan them out you can probably minimize the “not having fun” factor.


I’m not sure where the camera idea or youtube came from.


– Last Updated: May-26-15 9:16 AM EST –

A few trips on the Delaware as I posted earlier. Small sections. I'd like something a little less crowded.
4 nights out in upper-DE and 3 nights out in Lower. Lower was not fun with other motorboats/jet-skis.

I’m surprised noone has mentioned the Missouri River Breaks, or would that one not last twenty days? Would you be amenable to breaking your trip into multiple rivers close to each other? If so you might consider streams in the Arkansas and Missouri Ozarks.

I mentioned the Breaks.
Plus an additional 200 miles.

accounts down the Missouri thru the reservoirs go into the Crossing The Barrens category as an exercise in strength fortitude endurance and boredom.


Oopsie. So you did. Sorry bout that!

Another option for informaion
The portages in Woodland Caribou are generally shorter and flatter than other Canadian parks. Send an email to Red Lake Outfitters (http://redlakeoutfitters.com/contact/ ) describing what you are looking for and I think they will get you some information on good options.

Are You Planning To Paddle
Everyday? It seems to me that first one should know If any other activities are planned before giving advice.

Will you be packing hiking boots?

Google maps and

– Last Updated: May-30-15 8:28 PM EST –

Weather underground are remarkable.


Fort Peck to Williston 150 miles

Google map gives storage at Wolf Point or Glasgow AND schedules for the EMPIRE BUILDER running shuttle back to your truck while the boat stays in storage at the other end

Weather G tells us that May winds blow from the east but June winds are variable.

talk abt selling sneakers in Uganda !

Boots and Books
Mostly paddling and relaxing is the plan. Not so much worried with mileage as with time. Some light hiking if there are spots we’ll pass. I’m a geologist so I explore often.

The trip is mainly focused on the canoe portion. BWCA and NFCT are the two ways we’re leaning right now. Very different experiences on each, just trying to guesstimate our timeframe.

BWCA offers more time to just relax in a spot for a few days and read/fish if we desire. NFCT looks like it’ll keep us moving more since some areas are more public with camping/privacy.