Nut Point – A Hike through the Canadian Shield

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Getting There

Nut Point Hike is located in Northern Saskatchewan close to the community of La Ronge in the Nut Point Provincial Park. It is located roughly 4 hours north of Saskatoon on Highway 11 to Prince Albert then Highway 2 to La Ronge.

Once you get into La Ronge you will follow the main road, once you can see the lake make a right hand turn (towards the lake) and follow the road that runs parallel to the lake until you reach the provincial park- there are multiple signs around town to point you in the right direction. You will need a park pass and best to purchase before arriving, you can do it online if you wish. When we arrived there was no one working the front desk. The trail head is located inside the campground. You follow the main road you came in on until the end, which will be the trail head parking lot. Just an FYI there isn’t bathrooms at the trail head, but you do pass a shower house on your way which you may want to visit before making it to the trail head. 

Theft is always a possibility when leaving your vehicle unattended, so make sure you do not leave any valuables in your vehicle. The trailhead is slightly secluded and off the beaten path for most visitors.

Trail Info

The trail stretches over a 15.4 km one way to the point of Nut Point Peninsula. Through the trail you will venture through thick lush forest, granite ridge lines, large rock faces, water, lots of marshy water. Be prepared to get your feet wet. The first few kilometres are relatively well traveled and have well established boardwalks. Careful the wood is very slippery and the further you went, some of the boardwalks were in rough shape, however signs indicated that this fall they will be repaired. You will encounter a few intersections as trails weave in and out of the main path, however they are all well marked on which trail to stay on. Majority of the trail follows the ridge-line in the middle of the peninsula, so access to water for filtering is very limited throughout the trail. This also means majority of the time you are in full sun exposure with little shelter from trees or a cool breeze. Be prepared for hot days with lots of water and clothing with sun protection.

The trail from start to finish does not see a huge total elevation difference, however the trail does continuously have you going up and down, with some sections quite steep. In previous blog posts from other hikers, it is stated that there was ropes to help through some of the steep sections, when we did the trail in July 2020 we did not come across any ropes, however never felt like we needed them. Out of other trails we have completed in Saskatchewan this is one of the more technical and challenging hikes. So be prepared to travel slowly and not cover lots of distance in short amount of time. Some of the previous we read before heading out stated that 6 hours should be excepted at the most. After completing it and hearing others stories, 6 hours is pretty realistic at a decent pace. Depending on fitness levels, you may require additional time. We opted to do the trail in 3 days and 2 nights, spending both nights at the first camp spot. The second day we left majority of our gear behind and hiked to the point and back. We were happy with our decision to plan our trip this way, as it shorten the distance and time required for us to hike out on the third day before driving back to Saskatoon. However, the few other groups we encountered on the trail had down the push for a 1 night trip. We averaged about 6 hours to hike each way. This was including stopping for photos opportunities and snacks, but moving at a decent pace when we were hiking.

It is strongly recommended to wear a proper hiking boot with good water protection as the trail is especially wet this year and there are multiple sections where you will have to water through ankle height puddles. The use of gators is also strongly recommended as they would prevent moisture from getting in the top of your boots, as well as any mud or debris. On the trail, we found sections very slippery and many exposed rocks and roots were hard to hold your balance. Each one of us fell at least once on the trail. The use of poles definitely helped through many sections and luckily reduced the chances of falling more. Poles also helped gage the depth of some of the water and the condition of the ground below the puddles.

Camp Site #1
Nut Portage 7.5km from TrailHead – First Camp Site

Located 7.5km in from the trailhead, the first camp spot is located at the Nut Portage, this is also the first access you have to water. We opted to set up camp here, so we would have a shorter distance to hike out before driving home. We found a spot on top of the rocks tucked into the trees a little ways, there was a pre established fire ring and enough space to set up two tents. At the portage itself, there was two picnic tables and a perfect spot to jump into the lake for a cool off. If it’s hot, you are going to want it. You will see the clearing where the portage enters and will not be able to miss this opportunity to top up on some fresh water. As are all the sites along the trail, this spot offers no amenities. You will be responsible to dig your own cat holes, tie up your food in the trees and collecting your own fire wood. It is important that we protect these areas, and leave no trace so others can enjoy them for years to come.

Camp Site #2
Camp Site 2

Located roughly 8.8km from the trailhead the second site is located in a sheltered bay from the main lake. It was clear other campers had been there previously as there was an established fire ring and make shift benches set up around. This spot had the ability to have a couple more tents set up as there was more space. Once again you will have immediate access to water. One of the things I liked most was that at each spot there were large boulders on the shore which jetted out into the lake a bit, but allowed you to access deep water without having to get very wet.

Camp Site #3
Nut Point

The last camp site is located at the point, 15.4 km from the trailhead. You will be greeted with stunning views of Lac La Ronge. Here places to set up your tent are endless, there is definitely lots of room here and you shouldn’t have a problem finding a spot to set up your tent. Just an FYI all the spots tend to be on bedrock or soft moss, which makes staking out your tent challenging. If your tent requires staking you may want to bring snow anchors or extra rope to secure your tent. If you know someone with access to a boat, some hikers have been known to get picked up at the point to save the trek back.

Each camp spot offered easy access to filter water, amazing views and room to set up multiple tents. If the forecast is calling for hot sunny day, definitely bring your bathing suit as there is plenty of opportunities to swim at each camp spot. You will have service periodically throughout the trail as you are in close proximity to La Ronge. Though on our adventure we did not encounter any bears, there was lots of evidence that there were bears in the area so it is super important to be bear aware. Create lots of noise while you are hiking, so the chances of sneaking up on a bear are lowered and always carry bear spray with you in case of emergency. The trail is very primitive and does not have any outhouses, bear caches or designated camp spots. It is important when selecting your tent spot you do so in a responsible manner and try to disturb as little vegetation as possible. Ideally if you can determine where others have set up camp prior and reuse the same spot we will create less destruction over time. Keep fires under control and avoid burning large logs, or cutting down live trees, and always put your fire out completely before heading to bed or leaving the fire.

Trip Details

Sunset at Camp 1

Length 15.4 km one direction

Time approximately 6 hours one way

Trip Difficulty – Challenging with technical sections

Camp Site #1 7.5 km

Camp Site #2 approx. 8.8km

Camp Site #3 15.4km

Cost– Provincial Park Pass is required to access the trail head, however there is no additional fees to use the trail or the backcountry sites.

You are not required to check in anywhere, but it is always recommended you inform someone of you plans and estimated length of your trip.

Views from the second camp site

Heading out on the trail, we would love to see some photos so make sure you tag us @outterlimits so we can see and share them!