The pristine waters of the Clearwater River flow westward through Alberta, from Saskatchewan’s Broach Lake all the way to Fort McMurray, where the waterway empties into the mighty Athabasca. The river has always drawn adventurers to its banks, offering something different around every turn as it wanders lazily past sandbars, roars in a froth of whitewater over rapids or cuts through sandstone cliffs and glacial moraines.
Designated a heritage river in 2004, the Clearwater has a rich history in Alberta. The Methye Portage, discovered by explorer Peter Pond between La Loche and the Clearwater, opened the door to the fur trade in Canada and drew such legendary explorers as Sir John Franklin, Sir Alexander Mackenzie and David Thompson.
Canoe or kayak on the Clearwater
Today, the Clearwater still beckons to adventurers. Spend a day canoeing or kayaking in the sparkling waters of the river, or take advantage of the network of campsites along the river’s banks. Wood Buffalo is home to a variety of outfitters and experienced guides, such as Wood Buffalo Wilderness Tours, who would love to share their knowledge of the Clearwater’s twists and turns through the forested backcountry, far from the noise and bustle of city life.