"Paddling Canada's Less Traveled Waterways for Over 50 Years"

Why Travel With Us?

  • Small personal approach
  • Company Size
  • Leadership
  • Guides
  • History
  • Trip Routes
  • Food

Running Wilderness Canoe Trips is not just a business for us, it’s a passion!  We love and believe in what we do and we want to share this passion with our trip participants.

Small Personal Approach

With an average size of 6 clients and 2 staff (3-1) and normally a max of 10 participants and 2 staff (5-1) we bring a small personal approach to all our trips.  Shawn personally plans our trips and the guides are actively involved in the planning and packing not just the guiding.  We recognize that our clients are spending valuable time and money in joining our trips and our trips are run for you.   We strive to make our trips the best they can possibly be.  We want you to have the best trip of your life, and we want you to come back.  We feel we’re doing a great job at this.  The vast majority of our clients return for many more than one trip.  We have clients who’ve done as many as 19 trips in a row, we have others who have been traveling with us every year or two since 1980.  We think this speaks both to the quality of our trips and to the value of our small personal approach.

Company Size & Leadership

Wanapitei CANOE is not a large company, we are small and family run.  We are personable and approachable.  We know our clients and we know our staff.  We don’t have dozens and dozens of staff and we don’t offer dozens and dozens of trips.  We don’t try to offer everything, but rather focus on what we are good at, running a relatively small number of high quality outdoor adventure trips.  Owner Shawn is still actively involved in guiding a half a dozen trips a year and spends as much as 100days a year out on the water or trail.  When not out you can still speak directly to him in the office.


Our guides are hand picked and share our passion and our approach.  We don’t have that many guides, only about a dozen.  Most of these have been with us between 15 and 20yrs.  They are remarkable people who are mature, highly trained, have a passion for the wilderness, are good cooks, and are great fun to be with as well.  You can see their bios in the ‘about us’ section of the website.


We’ve been in the canoe tripping business for a long time.  Our canoe tripping history dates way back to the 1920s and it’s been a family business since 1956.  Owner and head guide Shawn has been canoeing all his life and began his guiding career in the late 1970s.  He’s been at the helm of this business since the mid 1980s and took over ownership in the mid 1990s.  Suffice it to say that we have long history of offering quality canoe trips and bring our years and years of experience to your canoe trip.

Trips & Trip Routes

We take great care and pride in our trip selection. Each year we redo our trip schedule, not only trying to add a new exploratory trip, but offering routes that we know our returning clients will appreciate.  Shawn plans the trips and consults widely with staff and clients about the trip selection.   We recognize that it is a huge commitment to dedicate a week or two to a northern canoe trip.  Sometimes we paddle well-known rivers but just as often we’ll offer unique routes like Nunavut’s Lunan-Quoich or Amittaq, the Yukon’s Hess or Tsichu or Quebec’s Leaf River.

On our trips you can expect a small group personal approach; the trips after all are for you. Schedules are designed to allow time for relaxation, fishing, hiking or exploration.  Menus and food are personally designed and packed by each guide and are not only delicious and varied, but nutritious as well.  We see food as a critical component of the trip.  Having great food is we think an essential component of having a great trip.