Any month long or longer paddle trips?

Can anyone know of any month long or longer river paddle trips that do not require a portage?

I am about to start a month long kayak trip at Macon, GA down the Ocmulgee River to the Altamaha River and then to the ocean (Darie, GA), about 310 miles I think.

I would prefer flat water, no more than Cat II difficulty. My kayak is an Old Town Loon 138. It is simply great for long paddling/camping trips. It has a max load weight of 400 pounds. Great boat.

I love long distance paddle trips.


The Mackenzie
The Yukon… The Noatak…the Thelon and more… go north

Maine Island Trail
But this is all open water, as in ocean. If you are not ready for that situation it is not a go. My personal preference for doing the trail would be a kayak that was more aggressive in bigger water than the Loon 138. But I have seen people complete this trip in surprising craft with the right personal prep and planning - we have met them on the island camp sites.

More info here:

An Ozark stream…
The Gasconade in MIssouri has about 250 miles of free-flowing floatable water. I’ve been wanting to do the whole thing for many years but just haven’t gotten 3 or 4 weeks of free time yet. You could do it in May or early June when the upper portions still have enough water that you don’t have to drag a lot. The first 30-40 miles will get too low by midsummer. The last 100 miles you’ll run into a lot of jetboats on weekends. It’s all class I with lots of long, slow pools, but it’s a gorgeous river with big bluffs and beautiful gravel bars for camping.

Or if you want to, you could float most of the longest free-flowing stream left in the lower 48, the Yellowstone in Montana, over 600 miles. It has the occasional class II rapid, but I’ve done most of the stretches with rapids in them in a solo canoe and a SOT kayak. As long as you put in below Yankee Jim Canyon you can avoid the big rapids.

I would LOVE to kayak the Yukon, but I have absolutely not experience up north. Can you recommend some information for kayaking the Yukon? Maybe a put-in and take-out point and how long a trip that would be?

How do I get started learning about paddling this area?


The Yellowstone River sounds perfect! Any suggestions on put-in and take-out points? So, there are no portages along the way or higher than Class II? Sounds perfect for me. How many miles would I need to do without a resupply would you think?

I have a full skirt on my Loon, but I agree about open water with this boat. I have kayaked along the Atlantic coast a little near Tybee Island, but not much rough open water.

Someday I hope to though.

two thousand miles long
and you can easily average 50 miles a day. Probably best to do it first on a smaller scale like Whitehorse to Dawson… Five hundred miles. Ten days.

Logistics can be complicated…Whitehorse to Dawson is easy. Whitehorse to Kotzebue involves flying all your gear out.

The easiest egress points are Dawson City, Eagle, Circle.

I’ve done Johnsons Crossing on the Teslin to Dawson City and would like to go back and go to the Dalton Hwy.

Your boat however is not a good choice for some of the river. Five Finger Rapids is not technical but a swamp could be deadly with high standing waves of several feet.

I’ve paddled the Loon 138.
It should be fine on the Ocmulgee. But Old Town always overestimates safe and practical weight capacity. I doubt that the boat will handle well with 400 pounds aboard, so try to pare down your own travel weight.

I am staying well below their 400 lb. limits.

I am carrying food for a month and all my light backpacking type camping gear for a total weight of about 70 lbs. I will be using a ceramic water filter (Katadyne) for my water supply. I’m carrying all backpacking type food (dehydrated food, dry oatmeal and energy bars).

With my personal weight of 240lbs, my total kayak weight is at about 310 lbs which I think will be ok.

Dont forget the entire Intercoastal Waterway…Florida to NYC as well as FL to Texas…thats probably 2500 miles Protected from the ocean and no dams.


Try the biggest in North America. Yankton to St. Louis…along the lewis and clark trail. Plenty of HIstory or go beyond to New ORleans down the Mississippi another 800+ miles. Great camping and huge islands and sandbars on the lower Miss! (Google all the above)

Where have YOU been? YOu are from Georgia and you have one of the longest water trails known to man in the state next door!!! Try the Alabama water trail-- 3000 miles of paddling!!!

A few hundred miles of water trails in Tennesseee too:

Great Lakes Circumnavigation---- from ! mile long to 8000 miles!!

Plenty in Canada too, Like the Yukon Comment… Not much different than paddling where you are. You do that same task, paddle the same techniques, camp, eat, sleep…just like home…only longer. My first big trip ever was a solo 2-month to the Arctic Ocean thru Canada. Its endless the places you can paddle.

Other choices.
Thanks. The Alabama Scenic Trail has a lot of portaging doesn’t it? Not sure. I might look into that more.

I have also considered going along the Atlantic Inner Coastal Waterway all the way around Florida, but I wasn’t too sure of how my Loon 138 would handle the waves and wind near the coast.

There are a lot of choices if you are willing to portage around dams and locks. But, the Loon 138 is heavy! Plus, the issue of a months worth of gear to be carried each time is more than I want to do at my age.

But, I have considered it.

ICW doesn’t have a lot of waves
There are a few spots where it is a little wide or there is a big pass and some waves form or get through, but mostly it passes behind barrier islands or has canals. There is a lot of boat wake chop. Here in NC, there are lots of parks and preserves along it or in the sounds. The Neuse River has had all the old dams removed and from just outside Raleigh (actually still within city limits) you can paddle to the ocean for a nice inland start, though up in VA on the Chesapeake would also be nice.

Thank you. That’s good info. Sounds great. To be honest, at the end of this month long trip from Macon, GA to the ocean at Darien, GA I’m thinking seriously of just resupplying and then heading south from there along the coast towards Florida along the ICW. I was just a little worried about my boat along the coast.


– Last Updated: Feb-25-14 2:12 PM EST –

Contact the folks at Kanoe People in Whitehorse. They are right on the river and are experts with river trips to downstream destinations. You can get an idea of the time line of tourist tripping from the length of their suggested guided trips.
Or the good people at UpNorth -

I've paddled the Yukon 4 times (and am not done yet); twice 440 miles Whitehorse to Dawson, and twice 1000 miles Whitehorse to the Dalton Highway bridge, but these were races in a voyageur canoe.

Whitehorse is the obvious starting place. The shortest worthwhile trip to a road take-out is to Carmacks, about 187 miles by water. This includes 32 miles on the infamous Lake Laberge, really just a huge widening of the river but is frequently stormy and can be quite rough. Stay near the east shore and use common sense. Otherwise the river is a wonder to paddle - big fast and turbulent, but no whitewater rapids (with just a couple of exceptions), and no portages. The spectacular scenery will drop your jaw.

Carmacks is small, but some limited supplies are available and there is a campground with a small store with take-out food and showers. A couple of hours beyond Carmacks you encounter the Five Finger Rapids, 205 miles from Whitehorse. It can be dramatic with large standing waves, but if you know the right line to take (Kanoe People can show you) and don't panic, you should make it ok. It is all over in about 10 seconds and you will wish there was more. Not far below FFR is impressive Rink Rapids, but stay far river right and it is no more than the river as normal.

Next in line is Minto, about 240 miles from Whitehorse. Minto is nothing more than a ferry crossing for mining operations, but there is easy road access should you need it.

The next easy access point is Dawson, about 440 miles from Whitehorse, depending on how much you shortcut behind the hundreds of islands on the way there. Dawson is the end of the Yukon River Quest race, which in race mode takes a few hours more than two full days, including 10 hours of mandatory rest stops. Most recreational trips end at Dawson. Dawson is a regular, if wild west looking tourist town, with all the supplies available that you might need to continue on.

For those paddling beyond Dawson, you will cross into Alaska at 513 miles from Whitehorse - there is nothing there other than a very small monument on the shore and a straight line where the trees and brush are cut low. But you must stop at Eagle, mile 525, to check in with US Customs and show your passport. Eagle was practically wiped out by flooding and ice in 2009, so don't expect much there for resupply. Similarly at Circle, at about mile 680.

Beyond Circle the river significantly changes character as you enter the "Yukon Flats". The river widens to as much as 4 miles, with thousands of shoals and islands, big and small, all with diverging and converging currents. You need to know where you are going and be good at it, unless you just want to drift at the whim of the river. Don't expect much from the few remaining villages, Fort Yukon, Beaver, and Stevens.

I haven't been beyond the Dalton Highway bridge, as it is the finish line for the 1000 mile race. There is a truck stop there with the usual truck stop shop and diner and motel. Including mandatory 6 hour per "night" stops, the 1000 mile race takes a little over 6 days of paddling.

I will be returning to the Yukon once again soon for another race. One day I would like to continue nearly another 1000 miles beyond to the Bering Sea, but that trip introduces a whole host of additional logistical issues to surmount. Go to the Yukon once, and once will not ever be enough.

"There's a land where the mountains are nameless
And the rivers all run God knows where;
There are lives that are erring and aimless,
And deaths that just hang by a hair;
There are hardships that nobody reckons;
There are valleys unpeopled and still;
There's a land - oh, it beckons and beckons;
And I want to go back;
-- And I will."
Rober Service, Spell of the Yukon

that chop can be annoying

– Last Updated: Feb-25-14 2:06 PM EST –

In some places there is a lot of boat traffic, but the really big boats have to stay on the buoy line so mostly you only have to worry about the smaller boats that should see you. But in the areas with the most traffic, the chop is pretty constant. You may have to cross shipping lanes at the big harbors; I think it is worth waiting a few hours for a clear shot when it is busy.

As long as my boat is not overloaded (it isn’t) and I have a full skirt over the cockpit, would you think that the Loon 138 would do ok in the ICW? I try and take my time and watch the traffic and the weather. When it feels wrong, I just wait it out. I am not in a hurry and never push or have a time schedule.

I just don’t like getting caught without an escape plan on open water if you know what I mean. I think the Loon would be fine as long as the wind and waves aren’t too strong.

Anywhere on the Lower Missouri River

– Last Updated: Feb-25-14 3:12 PM EST –

Plenty of put-in/takeout places, no portages, friendly people up and down the river. From our camp to the St. Louis Arch is close to 300 miles, or you could put in way upriver and take out any place you choose (Sioux City, Omaha, etc.)

Great choice!
Sounds perfect for later this summer! What do you suggest for a good put-in place? How many miles are possible for flat water kayak/camping you you think?

Thank you!