If a trip to Canada’s spectacular north has been on your bucket list for a while these majestic islands offer a place like no other; unspoiled, remote and iconic. Craggy cliffs and rocky islands support Bald Eagles, terns and gulls. Breathtaking cliffs on these islands are as old as 2.7-billion years (the oldest in the world), making for some of the most epic campsites you’ll ever experience.

Ethan Island is 150 km from the nearest road which is in Yellowknife. We will access the location by boat or chartered float-plane at the start and end of the trip with all of our equipment along with us. This means we can go from the wilderness to a hotel shower in around 45 minutes.

This freshwater lake is located in the southern half of the Northwest Territories and is the 11th largest freshwater lake in the world at roughly the same size as Belgium. On this sea kayaking expedition, we will be exploring the eastern arm of the lake and paddling around Ethan Island. The eastern arm has a spectacular reputation with northern locals for its deep, clear water with abundant islands, narrow channels with tall red cliffs, and world-class fishing.

If you like fishing, you’ll definitely want to bring your rod to enjoy the seemingly bottomless depths surrounding the islands. They are swarming with trophy-sized lake trout and because the lake is clean and cold the fish keep near the surface in the summer making for plenty of fishing opportunities from your kayak or from camp.

Paddling alongside you on the profound blue depths, exploring deep bays backed by granite cliffs will be James and Dympna, owners of Ontario Sea Kayak Centre. James and Dympna have extensive training and experience guiding in remote locations and will keep your group safe and within their comfort zone. James is an excellent wilderness chef with Dympna as his sous chef. James and Dympna are senior Paddle Canada instructors as well as BC Guides Alliance trained kayak guides.

The Great Slave Lake lies directly under the magnetic “Aurora Belt”, which means it’s one of the most reliable places on earth to spot the northern lights. While it is impossible to guarantee such a sight there is a chance that to add an element of magic to this expedition we may catch the start of the autumn Aurora season.

We are happy to answer any questions you may have about our expedition kayak trips. Email or call us 1-905-399-1216

9 days / 8 nights

Price p.p. from:


plus taxes


July 31–August 8, 2022

August 14–22, 2023

Participant Skill Level

Please contact us with any question related to these trip prerequisites.

  • You should have Paddle Canada Level 1 skills or equivalent or higher
  • Ability to wet-exit and rescue quickly

 Trip Route Map

Here’s a map of our travel route, to help put things in perspective.

 Trip Itinerary

A day-by-day plan to guide your journey ahead. Just keep in mind that it may change due to weather or group needs.

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Arrival in Yellowknife

Arrive in Yellowknife on July 29th or earlier. Stay in accommodation.

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Day 1

Shuttle from your accommodation to the docks to take boat shuttle Yellowknife to Ethan Island in the eastern arm on the Great Slave Lake. (Potential to boat shuttle on July 30th or August 1st if needed depending on weather)

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Day 2-8

On trip paddling around Ethan Island, backcountry wilderness camping self-supported in our sea kayaks.

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Day 9

Charter flight from the Eastern arm back to Yellowknife. Shuttle to your accommodation.

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Depart Yellowknife

Fly out of Yellowknife on August 11th or later if you choose.

  Meet Your Guides

James Roberts

James started kayaking at 18. Since then his paddling career has taken him all over the world as an expedition leader and senior kayak instructor.

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Dympna Hayes

Dympna is co-owner and operator, of Ontario Sea Kayak Centre along with her partner and husband James. She loves sharing her craft with others through her coaching on skills courses and through her guiding while on kayaking trips.

Learn More

 What's Included

Don’t worry, we’ve got this covered.


  • Boat Shuttle/float-plane charter.
  • Shuttles from local accommodations and back to the charter flight
  • Equipment (kayak, safety gear, paddles, skirts)
  • Gourmet meals and snacks* (Once informed, we can accommodate most food allergies and preferences.)
  • Group cooking and camping gear
  • Expedition First Aid Kit. Guides are Wilderness Medical Associates First Responder Certified.
  • Communication devices. Guides have their VHF Marine Operators License. We travel with a satellite messenger device on all OSKC trips.
  • Camping fees and all permits
  • Large tarps (in case of rain or intense sun)
  • Your guides, James and Dympna, are Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of British Columbia trained, they are also senior level Paddle Canada instructors.

What's Not Included

  • Flights to and from Yellowknife
  • Any accomodation required in Yellowknife
  • Trip cancellation, interruption evacuation and medical coverage. (Plans are cheap and we can give recommendations.)
  • Shuttles from Yellowknife airport to your accommodation
  • Meals while in Yellowknife

What You Should Bring

A detailed gear list is sent before the start of the trip but this can get you started.

  • Sleeping Mat
  • Your tent, one can be provided if needed
  • Sleeping bag in a dry bag no larger than 15 L
  • Personal clothes for on land, in a dry bags no larger than 15 L, maximum 2 bags
  • Personal on-water garments (Drysuits available to rent)
  • Hiking shoes and water shoes
  • A detailed gear list is sent on booking
9 days / 8 nights

Price p.p. from:


plus taxes


July 31–August 8, 2022

August 14–22, 2023

The trip was great. I appreciated the attention paid to making sure that our experience was safe as well as fun.

Kathy P.

 Nearest International Airport

The Small Print

($300 Deposit due on booking) 2nd/3rd payments due April 1st and June 30th

We are happy to answer any questions you may have about this trip or about any of our other trips or courses.

Email Us Call Us: 905-399-1216