Retracing the route of the Klondike Gold Rush, this is an active outdoor adventure, camping on the banks of the Yukon River in a vast wilderness surrounded by wildlife.
The Yukon River is one of North America’s longest, and the longest in the Yukon. It provided the principal means of access for the legendary Gold Rush of 1898, so is rich in history and culture. However the river is more than its history, as the land through which it flows is rich in wildlife. As you paddle, keep an eye out for wolves, moose, and bears on the shore, bald eagles, falcons and hawks wheeling in the skies, and beavers, otters, muskrats in the river.
Day1: Fly to Whitehorse via Vancouver, arriving shortly after midnight – 1-night hotel.
Daytime flight to Vancouver arriving towards the end of the afternoon, with a late connection to Whitehorse, where you overnight in a hotel in town. Your river guide will meet you and explain how to prepare for canoeing the Yukon River, and will advise what to include when packing your dry bags. Anything not needed during the river trip can be left in Whitehorse to collect on your return.
Day2: Drive to Deep Creek, Lake Laberge and start canoeing. Overnight camp.
After an early breakfast, head north to the put-in point at Deep Creek, on the shore of Lake Laberge – some 50 kilometres, roughly one hour’s drive from Whitehorse. The adventure starts here as you paddle to the northern part of the lake. It takes a while to get accustomed to the new rhythm, but after setting your first camp and eating dinner in unfamiliar surroundings, you will have no problems falling asleep in the quiet wilderness after such an exciting day.
Days3-6: Canoeing on the Yukon River, camping each night on the bank.
An early morning start, then after breakfast you get ready for the next stage of the journey. Thanks to the steady current of the river, you can reach your daily destination without any problem, and have plenty of time to stop en route to visit historic sites.
The river slices through the deep impenetrable forest; with luck you will spot moose, bears, lynx, or wolves along the way, and often catch sight of beavers and bald eagles. There are opportunities to fish to provide more variety to the daily menu, and you'll learn a few tricks of wilderness survival. During the trip a couple of short hikes are planned – these will give you a good impression of the Yukon wilderness and allow you to explore places that are steeped in history and still bear the unmistakable impression of the times of the Gold Rush.
Day7: Arrive Carmacks and transfer by road back to Whitehorse. Overnight hotel.
Late in the morning you arrive in Carmacks, where the canoe trip comes to an end. From here you drive the 180 kilometres - which will take around two and half hours - back to Whitehorse, where you can appreciate a hot shower or bath in your hotel, followed by a hearty dinner (not included) in one of the many restaurants.
Day8: Free morning before flying to Vancouver and connect to overnight flight to the UK
Day9: Arrive UK
Duration and price including flights from/to UK: 9 daysfrom £3,195 pp
Duration and price excluding international flights: 8 daysfrom £1,595 pp
Camping equipment (except sleeping bag and mattress)
The Yukon borders Alaska on its western edge and British Columbia to the south, and is one of three Canadian territories (rather than provinces). The entire region is dominated by pristine wilderness, home to many of North America’s iconic animals, such as black bear and brown bear, and the mighty Yukon River.
Ideal for viewing: brown bear, American black bear, grey wolf, Canadian lynx, golden eagle
Excellent for: Self-drive, Bear watching, Wolf watching
The Yukon River is the third largest river in North America, but arguably the continent’s most spectacular waterway, with breathtaking landscapes and abundant wildlife along its entire length. Yukon means “great river” in the native Gwich’in language, and there is simply no better way to describe it.
Ideal for viewing: brown bear, American black bear, northern river otter, golden eagle, Canadian lynx
Carmacks is a tiny village standing on the Yukon River at its confluence with the Nordenskjold River, roughly 180 kilometres north of Whitehorse on the North Klondike Highway. Home to the Little Salmon First Nations, it is also a gateway to some of Yukon's most spectacular scenery.
Excellent for: Activity & adventure, History & culture
The capital and largest city of the Yukon Territory, Whitehorse stands on the 2,232 kilometre-long Alaska Highway, straddling the Yukon River, which runs north from British Columbia to Alaska. It takes its name from nearby rapids which resembled the mane of a white horse.