Itinerary for Magpie River Adventure
We pack a lot into our 9-day white water rafting vacation.
Day 1 - Arrival in Sept-Îles and welcome meeting
You’ll be greeted at the airport and brought to the seaside Chateau Arnaud Hotel. You’ll have free time until 6:30 p.m. to explore Sept-Îles. At 6:30 we have a kickoff cocktail and go over how to pack your drybags.
Dinner is on your own. Within walking distance, you can choose:
- awesome pub fare with Quebec microbrew beers
- high-end steaks and seafood (lobster, crab, scallops, shrimp are all fished locally),
- or the Quebec chip-stand classic: poutine and milkshakes.
Day 2 - Fly to Lake Magpie and start trip
It’s an early morning start before driving along the coast for about 90 minutes to our aircraft. Most trips use helicopters but small groups may fly on float planes. Both are amazing experiences. You’ll get a true sense of the immense wilderness you’re about to experience as you fly over lakes, rivers, steep cliffs, forested valleys, and barren hill-tops.
The adventure kicks off at the southern tip of the 100-kilometre Lake Magpie, just metres from the river’s start. Before getting on the water you’ll learn about river safety, practice strokes and raft maneuvers and then the whitewater fun begins!
We make camp after only a few rapids to ease you into the experience. The scenery changes several times throughout the trip. This first section is both spectacular and unique for its steep hills and mix of Boreal Forest and tundra-like open areas.
As we set up camp for the first time, you’ll learn how everything works, from your tent and sleep system, to the toilet and hand washing system, and the kitchen.
Once settled in, there’s time to get to know the river. Whether you want to try to swim through one of the rapids, or go for a 15-minute hike to a nearby hilltop with amazing views of the river, or both, Day 2 is designed to introduce you to river life.
Days 3 to 6 – River life: running the river & wilderness camping
Each morning the guides rise early to get coffee, tea, and fruit ready before preparing breakfast. After breakfast, we take down camp and pack up.
On the river, you’ll be delighted by how the continuous current tugs us along and how the scenery changes. Trees grow in stature as we descend the river and out of the highlands. Calm sections allow us to gaze at giant cliffs. Be sure to scan the river banks for signs of moose, wolves, lynx, bear and osprey.
To ensure you get the challenge you’re looking for we bring multiple types of boats for you to try. From our guided rafts, to stand up paddle boards and inflatable kayaks, there’s the perfect boat for you. In the rafts, we paddle as a team and work on technique and coordination. For those who want more of a challenge you can use the inflatable kayaks; we’ll teach you how to charge down rapids and surf waves.
There are a few rapids that are too big to paddle. We’ll teach you how to ‘line’ (guide with ropes from shore) the rafts and/or do short portages to get around these.
Each camp on the Magpie has its own character and provides different vantage points of the river valley. We make our temporary homes on beaches, flat rock ledges and on the edge of the Boreal Forest. When we arrive in camp you change into dry clothes, relax with a book, take a swim, fish, practice your photography or help collect driftwood for a fire while our guides prepare a ‘happy hour’.
Fresh, delicious, locally sourced food
Our meals are delicious, wholesome, and plentiful, with as many fresh, locally sourced ingredients as possible. Check out our sample menu. You’ll enjoy:
- produce from a greenhouse near Sept-Îles
- organic Quebec-farmed cheeses and meats
- local, wild-caught seafood, meats and vegetables grilled over open fire
- sauces cooked on a stove
- desserts baked in a Dutch oven
One of the greatest things about a river trip is how the group comes together. By day we work as a team to paddle the rapids and safely work through the obstacles along the way. At camp, with the leadership of the guides, everybody plays a part in making for a great trip. Each group is different because of the variety of people and experiences that come together. But we always share highs and challenges, moments of laughter and calm, and adventures that make for lasting memories and shared bonds.
Days 7 & 8 – Big whitewater and stunning falls
All of the whitewater practice and teamwork get put to use on Day 7. Get ready for fun as our team will guide you through the biggest rapids on the river including ‘Chute des Femmes’, ‘Trust Falls’, and ‘Borealis’.
After the rapids, our trip shifts from paddling whitewater to witnessing awe-inspiring falls and campsites. At Magpie Gorge, the river thunders through a canyon and tumbles over a series of dramatic drops.
We camp overlooking the gorge—this is undoubtedly a world class setting and the perfect way to enjoy our last evening and morning in the wilderness. There are a couple of hikes that we can do to gain different vantage points and take in the beauty and awesome power of the river.
Here we leave behind our rafts and extra equipment, while we take a forest path around the gorge and go for a short canoe paddle across a lake takes us to another spectacular location: the stunning 100-foot Magpie Falls. A beautiful mossy trail takes us to a breathtaking lunch spot amongst giant water-sculpted boulders at the edge of the drop.
From the Falls it’s a short paddle to the coastal highway where we’re met with a van that will take us the 80 minutes back to the hotel. On the way we’ll make a quick stop in a seaside village for souvenirs (cloudberry jam is a big hit).
Back in Sept-Îles you’ll have time to shower and get adjust back to ‘civilization’ before we meet for our farewell dinner at a nearby restaurant.
Day 9 – Good-byes and airport drop-off
After breakfast, we’ll drive you to the airport for your flight home. Alternatively, you can stay in the region to continue your adventure, which we would be more than happy to help you plan.