Back River

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The Back River (Dogrib: Thlewechodyeth,[1] Inuktitut: Haningayok,[2] or Great Fish River), is a river in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut in Canada. It rises at an unnamed lake in the North Slave Region of the Northwest Territories and flows more than 974 kilometres (605 mi)[3] mostly through Kivalliq Region, Nunavut, to its mouth at the Arctic Ocean in the Kitikmeot Region of Nunavut.



The river begins at the outflow of an unnamed lake at an elevation of 382 metres (1,253 ft) and flows west into Sussex Lake, then north to Muskox Lake, at the border between the Northwest Territories and Kivalliq Region, Nunavut, where it takes in the left tributary Icy River. It flows over the Muskox Rapids, takes in the left tributary Contwoyto River, and heads east through the Heywood Range. The Back River heads over the Malley Rapids, takes in the left tributary Siorak River and enters the long lake-expansion Beechey Lake in a southeast direction. It heads east, takes in the right tributary Baillie River, left tributary Warren River, right tributary Jervoise River, passes over the Hawk Rapids, takes in the right tributary McKinley River and right tributary Consul River. Between the Baillie and Consul Rivers, the Back River forms the northern border of the Thelon Wildlife Sanctuary.[4] The river turns northeast, takes in the left tributary Bullen River, and reaches Pelly Lake at an elevation of 155 metres (509 ft). It flows east through, in immediate succession: Upper Garry Lake, where it takes in the right tributary Morse River; Garry Lake; Lower Garry Lake; Buliard Lake; Upper MacDougall Lake; and Lower MacDougall Lake. The Back River then heads over the Rock Rapids, Sinclair Falls, Escape Rapids, Sandhill Rapids, and Wolf Rapids, and takes in the right tributary Meadowbank River. The river curves around Mount Meadowbank, takes in the right tributary Hermann River and left tributary Montresor River, passes McKay Peak, heads over the Whirlpool Rapids, and reaches Franklin Lake. It continues northeast, takes in the right tributary Mistake River, passes north into Kitikmeot Region, takes in the right tributary Hayes River (Nunavut) and reaches its mouth at Cockburn Bay on Chantrey Inlet on the Arctic Ocean.[1]

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