Yukon: 7-day Yukon River Expedition
Yukon: 7-day Yukon River Expedition
2 days in Whitehorse, plus 5 days on the river!
One of the major routes taken by gold prospectors 120 years ago, the Yukon river is awash in both history and beauty. We travel on fast moving crystal clear turquoise water, through scenic landscapes with towering sand cliffs on both sides, and camp among the ruins of those who braved the river before us. Bald Eagles roam the skies above, and wildlife abounds in the streams and creeks feeding the Yukon, but the real treat is at night, when the sky is clear, and the northern lights come out to dance.
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Locations: Yukon RiverActivity: Canoeing, Hiking, Photography Difficulty: Beginner/Moderate
Day 0 – Whitehorse
Relax and enjoy your day in Whitehorse. The city is a fantastic and lively place in the summer, with plenty of sites to see, some great lookouts within walking distance from the city-centre, and the fast-moving Yukon River flowing right through it all. We’ll meet downtown at a local restaurant where we’ll meet and get to know each other, before heading back to the hotel for a good night’s rest.
Day 1 – Lower Laberge
We rendezvous at the outfitter, and after a quick final gear check, we load up the van, and we’re on our way! While we could technically start our trip right here on the river, this would mean crossing a large and windy lake, which would take several days. We skip this part, and put in immediately after the lake, on what is commonly known as the most scenic part of the entire Yukon River.
We stop for a quick snack and our safety briefing, and then load up the canoes, and we’re off! The turquoise water of the Yukon River never fails to impress even the most seasoned paddler, and the sand-cliffs lining the water only add to the surreal nature of the scene. The rest of the world quickly fades away, as you immerse yourself in the remote wilderness of the Yukon.
Day 2 – Yukon River
We wake up from our beautiful site (this portion of the river has several excellent choices), have a quick morning coffee (every morning has coffee!) along with breakfast, and we’re off. Today, our river meets up with the darker waters of the Teslin River, and for several kilometers, the two rivers run side by side without ever mixing. It’s an incredible site, and one that can be enjoyed from the top of a lookout, off of the historic ancient town of Hootalinqua. Here, the gold rush comes to life, as almost every site tells a story, including an island that houses a massive shipwreck, and several sites that still hold the remains of prospector cabins and equipment.
If the weather is nice, we can camp out next to the shipwreck, and watch the northern lights dance across the sky.
Day 3 – Yukon River
As the river winds it’s way north through the Yukon, it passes through forests that long ago burnt down, but whose ash-covered trees still stand to this day. There are several places to stop and walk around, and if there is time, even a few hills that can be climbed to get a lookout of the river. The river picks up it’s pace as well, allowing us to make more distance at a time, and more stops along the way. There are some smaller rivers and streams that feed into the Yukon, and these are great places to see wildlife, like Moose, Lynx, and even Bears (from a distance!).
In the afternoon we’ll come to the salmon river, an old village still seasonally in use by some local aboriginal people. Here some of the cabins are still in decent condition, and an old cemetery can be found a short hike from the site.
Day 4 – Big Salmon
Our final full day on the river, and by now we’re all paddling pros. This is good news, because if the wind is right, there are some great places to hold the boats together, put up a sail, and sit back and enjoy the ride! There are some great trails on this portion of the river with some excellent lookouts. We make camp about 20 kilometers from our final destination, and if we haven’t had the chance yet, we can stay up and watch the northern lights.
There are also some great fishing spots along this part of the river, so for those who purchased the fishing license back in Whitehorse (sold at the outfitters), now is a great final chance to catch some Pike or Arctic Grayling.
Day 5 – Arrival at Carmacks and Return to Whitehorse
After a quick (and scenic! Did I mention that this route is beautiful?) paddle throughout the morning, we finally come to our destination of Carmacks. We dock at a campsite out of town, and grab a quick ice cream while we unload and wait for our ride. A few hours later (the ride is also super-scenic!) we arrive back in Whitehorse, and check into our hotel. A night at the restaurant is well deserved!
Day 6 – Return Home
We say our farewells, get each other’s contact information, and it’s back to civilization, where we spend the next week pouring over thousands of pictures of the past 10 days. This trip is unlike most vacations, and something that you’ll likely remember for a very, very long time. Once you’ve paddled in the Yukon, it’s hard not to want to keep coming back.
This package does not include
Transportation to and from Whitehorse
Personal gear (clothing, toiletries, camera, etc...)
Food and drinks in Whitehorse
This package includes:
Accomodation in Whitehorse
Whitewater Canoe Instruction
Camping Equipment (Tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, etc.)
Canoe Rentals, life jackets, paddles
(Personal equipment can be used pending conversation with Overhang)
Transportation from Whitehorse to Lower Laberge
Food, Drinks (non-alcoholic), Snacks on trip
All safety and First Aid Equipment