Ultimate Adventure: Yukon River

Does anyone know anything about paddling the Yukon River? Mostly the section in the Yukon territory. Has anyone done it? How fast is the river? Are there any rapids? How many days to paddle from Whitehorse to Dawson City? Is it worth the long trip up there?

check here —

I’m interested in paddling the same
section, Whitehorse to Dawson. I’ve hiked the Chilkoot and would love to finish the trip to Dawson. From what I understand, It’s basiscally a float. There is a annual canoe race in that section. You can take a bus between cities so it simplifies the shuttle. The last time I was at Dawson seen some canoes zipping by and looked like fun. Fast moving river though and wouldn’t want to go alone. When are you planning on doing it? Maybe we can work something out? Check out this Web Site: http://www.myccr.com/SectionForums/viewforum.php?f=11

My wife and I paddled a section…
…in the Yukon Teritory last summer.

We went from where the Little Salmon enters it to Carmak.

The only rapids that you will encounter are the Five Finger rapids which are pretty easy to get through.

The current was quite strong in the section we did, and, (some places 10MPH by our GPS), and there were some whirpools, but you could keep out of the main current by working from eddy to eddy.

We had our touring kayaks, and during the whole trip we only saw two other canoes, and it was two college professors from Florida who were doing the whole river from start to finish and were writing a book.

We loved the section that we did, and once again we were at our element in the wilderness being the masters of our own fate.

Cheers, and stay happy

does this make you want to go ?

that sounds good
hey yaknot maybe you could give me your e-mail address. I have to ask where are you located at?

One thing that crossed my mind today is driving to whitehorse. The speeds up in Canada are km per hour. I am not too quick to convert mph to kmph while driving so how do people from the US adapt to driving in Canada???

hey liv2paddle
i want to ask how did you make it from North Carolina to the Yukon territory. And with the boats if you took them and your gear?

The speed sounds pretty good. 10 mph sounds like you could make good timing. I have heard of some campgrounds around the river in which you could stay. where did you camp?

I expect VERY much to encounter bears along the way. Thats why before i go i am going to purchase this bear repellant spray thing. not sure what it is but sounds like it is going to work.

Check out.
WWW.spellofthewild.com. This is the site that the two guys that paddled the whole thing had.

their names are: Bill Gore and Chuck Wilson.

Cheers, and stay happy,


that wasn’t my trip - - -
that was a link to a “paddling the yukon” site in which someone else had that experience. a friend sent it to me so i thought i’d pass it along.

i DO paddle expeditions in the Northwest Territories almost every year though and drive there. depending on the trip, i’ve driven to Whitehorse and gotten a “fly-in” from there. i’ve also driven to northern Quebec and gotten a fly-in. i like to drive and hate to fly basically and like being able to take my own gear. also, i almost always take my dog and driving allows me to do that.

No adaptation necessary
I recently came back from a long trip which included driving from Colorado to Prince Rupert, B.C. and back.

Your vehicle’s speedometer has both miles and km markings on it. You don’t really need to adapt.

OTOH, I kept converting the numbers anyway, because the mileage numbers were much larger on the dial. It’s not hard; just remember that 100 km = 62 miles and you can quickly do the math for estimates of other speeds.

Don’t buy bear spray yet
Wait till you get to Canada, or at least check what the laws allow regarding transporting weapons across the border.

For our Alaska paddle, we bought bear spray only when we arrived at the town (Ketchikan) where we were to start paddling. At the end of the trip (Skagway), we gave it to two other paddlers about to begin their trip, because we knew we would have to throw it away or give it to the border authorities anyway.

If we had brought spray into Canada, we would have had to give it up there and buy it again in Alaska. The stuff is EXPENSIVE–about $50 per can. You don’t want to buy it twice.

I didn’t think…
I didn’t think bear spray was a weapon. Does that include knives and axes you might bring also? How long does it take to get across the border? I am assuming you never used the bear spray. So 50$ went down the drain. I would of sold it to another paddler. Now does anyone know if the bear spray actually works? Are they going to have to go through all of my gear at the border?

That is not on the Bear Spray
We also were led to believe that you couldn’t take it into Canada, but we found out that as long as it is labeled for bear protection it is OK.

We bought ours in Baniff, and the guy in the store clued us. Then on the return trip when we came back into Canada, the customs guy asked us if we had any weapons, and when we said: “just the bear spray”, he asked to see it, and then said:“OK”.

By the way, if anyone around the Western Carolina, E. TEnn area is heading up to Ak next year, you are welcome to mine, (no charge). It cost about fifty bucks, and I think the belt holder cost anothe 18 or so.

You will have to come pick it up.



The subject above should say:
“that is not TRUE on the bear spray.”

I still haven’t figured out how to edit a word in the titles.


If any of you would be Ak travlers…
would like to read our Ak trip report, give me a shout, and I will gladly e-mail you a copy.

You might pick up a few tid-bits of information.

We drove from NC to there and back, with our two kayaks, our two mountain bikes, and every type of camping equipment you can think of.

We paddled just about every place in Ak that we could get to, except the Behering Sea, and Kodiak Island.

We had planned to paddle the Mckenzie River in the Yukon out to the Bearing sea, and then back, camping along the way, but after driving the 1000 miles round trip to Innuvek which is where we were going to put in , we found that the Mckenzie River current was too strong to paddle against on the return and we would have had to make costly arrangements with a bush plane.

We had also planned to paddle at Kodiak Island, but between the ferry schedule, and not being able to find any one that could give us paddling info, we passed it up.

We were up there for four months totally.

We had been there twice before: Once on a seven day kayak/camping trip into Glacier Bay, and another time on a fourten day canoeing/camping trip down the Noatak River in the ANWR.

Cheers, and stay happy,


I paddled from Whitehorse to

– Last Updated: Jul-28-04 1:08 PM EST –

Dawson July 2001..I spent 21 days on the river...I will be going back to paddle the Pelly River to the Yukon and on down to Dawson next year.....If you like you can email me some questions...P. S. I carry a 338 Winchester mag and pay the 35 bucks to have it registered at the border..

Bear spray was illegal a while back
in Canada but isn’t now. The Canadians originally banned pepper spray as a whole but changed the law. I carried bear spray into Canada many times. I’m headed up to Canada this September to paddle the Bowron and will have my bear spray with me.

That sounds good…
but what are you going to do with it? Would you actually shoot a bear if he was in your camp? And how do you keep it from get wet and the ammo? Aren’t you just suppost to stand still if you cross a bear or is that a mountain lion? I get confused with what the “experts” claim you should for each dangerous animal. I think the bears can’t swim out to your kayak and eat you there so thats is a good think. Unlike alligators which are so abundant in this state i can’t believe they were once on the endangered species list. They are in people’s backyards in my neighborhood.

I still have to figure out how the hell to get me and my kayak back down to Whitehorse from Dawson City any suggestions?

Answers to your questions
We brought the usual pocketknives and Leatherman-type tools–no problem with those.

Should take only a few minutes to cross the border, assumimg they don’t stop you for either a search or more intensive quesioning. We did see some people’s rigs getting searched. And on our way IN to Canada on our way north (supposedly the easy part!), my friend and I got asked to come in for more questioning. Very invasive questioning, I might add. Things such as, “How much money are you carrying?”

“Do you have credit cards or other financial sources with you?”


“Marital status?”

“Have you ever been arrested?”

I thought this stuff went beyond the expected questions of “How long will you be in Canada?” and “Purpose of trip?” along with checking photo IDs.

Our other two paddling companions breezed right through with no more than a couple of standard questions.

No, we never used the bear spray. We saw some bears and saw plenty of scat and tracks (and heard sounds that might have been bears in the woods) but never had an “encounter.”

I can’t say if the stuff works. I do know that the much less strong human version used by law enforcement officers hurts like hell, because I had to go through training to carry it on me to work as a park ranger last summer. The training included getting sprayed in the face and then performing some tasks while “under the influence.”

Bear spray is hotly debated
among experts, what they do know is that it tends to keep you from running, which is the worst thing you can do. If you are attacked by a grizzly play dead. If a black bear is mauling you fight back for all you are worth, as they occasionaly(rarely)look at humans as prey.