The Magnificent Falls of the Nahanni

Virginia Falls, Nahanni River

Virginia Falls, Nahanni River, seen from the air.

 

Five weeks in northern Canada, more than 2000 photos. It’s hard to know where to begin, but I can’t go wrong with one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world. If you are made of really stern stuff, you can put a canoe in the water at Nahanni Butte and paddle upriver for several gruelling days. Most people prefer to fly there, either for one day or as part of a multi-day trip on the river. Our group was planning to travel down the Nahanni in oared rafts.

If conditions are right, and your pilot is in a good mood, you may get to come in low, directly over the falls, on your way to a landing.

Flying over Mason Rock that splits the falls. The left side is more than twice the height of Niagara.

Flying over Mason’s Rock that splits the falls. The left side is more than twice the height of Niagara. Sluice Box Rapids in the background.

 

Bird's-eye view of crest of falls.

Bird’s-eye view of the crest of the falls.

The landing upstream is surprisingly peaceful.

Dock at Virginia Falls campground.

Dock at Virginia Falls campground.

We spent a day viewing the falls. Water rushing through Sluice Box Rapids toward the precipice creates a tumultuous ballet of billowing whitecaps and spiralling mist.

Sluice Box Rapids

Sluice Box Rapids

Swirling mist

Swirling mist

Spray reaches to the top of Mason Rock.

Spray reaches to the top of Mason’s Rock.

Chaos at the precipice.

Chaos at the precipice.

To complete the tour, a view of the falls from below.

Below the falls.

 

 

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