Day 0: You will be met at the Whitehorse airport and shuttled to your accommodation. You will have time to explore some of Whitehorse’s historic sites.
Night in hotel in Whitehorse.
Day 1 : Shortly after breakfast we take the hour drive to Lake Laberge, immortalized in the poem “The Cremation of Sam McGee” to begin our paddling adventure. This 50 km by 5 km lake is renowned for cold water and dangerous winds. For this reason, we will cross the lake to the north end by motor boat. There, we load the canoes with all our gear and take our first strokes on the Yukon river. Immediately we travel back in time, as we explore a few sites with remnants and artefacts from the time of the of the gold rush. We take the afternoon to go through safety briefings etc. You will also get a chance to go on the water and practice your strokes if you desire. In the evening, we enjoy our first meal around the fire!
Night in tent. L-D
Day 2-12 : This morning we begin our 12 day adventure paddling 600 km down stream to Dawson City along this historical river. After the discovery of placer gold on Bonanza creek by three prospectors in 1896, thousands of men and women travelled the Yukon River to try their luck “striking it rich” in the Dawson area. For the first few days, we paddle the wildest section of the river where we have the best odds of observing northern wildlife. There are numerous historical site along this stretch: abandoned woodyards and telegraph stations, remains of old steamboats, etc.
Each evening, we set up camp on one of the numerous camping spots along the shore of the river, and cook gourmet foods on the camp fire!
In September, in this remote land, far away from light pollution, we will have the opportunity to watch stars in the clear night skies and maybe even a show of northern lights!
Shortly after passing by Carmacks, we encounter the only rapids on the Yukon river between Whitehorse and Dawson, Five Finger Rapids. During the gold rush, these rapids were a major obstacle for the prospectors’ wooden rafts, but at the beginning of 20th century, a channel was blasted to allow passage for larger steamboats. Today, Five Finger Rapids are a rather small challenge on our way.
Further down stream, we visit of the most famous historical sites along the Yukon River: Fort Selkirk, a Hudson Bay Company trading post dating back to 1852.
Next the White River, a major tributary flowing from the southwest and heavily laden with glacial silts, joins the Yukon River. From this point on, the clarity of the Yukon River is dramatically changed and its flow quickens. Ten kilometres further downstream, the Stewart River flow in from the northeast. From here, we paddle straight north on the last stretch to our destination Dawson City.
Nights in tent. B-L-D (every day)
Day 13 : Finally, after 11 days on the river, we have arrived in Dawson City in the beginning of the afternoon. You will have the afternoon to discover the small city ! Tonight, we will check out Diamond Tooth Gertie’s Gambling Hall, the oldest casino in Canada! Complete with cancan girls, you will have the chance to relive the heady days of the Gold Rush.
Night in hotel. B-L
Day 14 : Today we drive along the Klondike Highway to Whitehorse where we should arrived in the evening. Your last night in Whitehorse will be free.
Night in hotel. L
Day 15 : Connection to the airport or to your next adventure.