Canada’s South Nahanni River is to canoeists what the Colorado River’s Grand Canyon is to whitewater boaters: the ultimate bucket-list experience.
Photographs by Henry Georgi
Words by Conor Mihell
The Nahanni cuts through canyons more than half a mile deep, plunges over a waterfall that dwarfs Niagara, and roils through wave trains in the remote Northwest Territories. For paddlers with intermediate skills, wilderness savvy and a healthy sense of awareness, it’s not a difficult river says photographer Henry Georgi. “But the vast majority of paddlers spend big bucks to go guided. That’s why our trip was different.”
Last July, Georgi, his wife, Bernadette, and their 11-year-old daughter, Maija, joined former river guides Brian Bell and Andrea Graham and their children, Kasha, 11, and Niki, 9, plus friends John and Jo McRoger and their brood—Jesse, 16, Jack, 13, and Jerri, 11— to set out on a self-guided, 13-day expedition by canoe and raft through the stunning limestone gorges of Canada’s most spectacular waterway.