Upper Liard River

July 20th to August 1st 2023 – 5 spots left

A hidden gem in the remote wilderness of eastern Yukon, the Upper Liard River is a perfect adventure for the experienced paddlers looking for truly wild canoeing expedition.

Itinerary

Upon arrival in Whitehorse, you take the free shuttle to get to your hotel (right there when you exit the terminal). Note that we always try and book hotels which offers the free shuttle but in case there is no more availability, there are always taxis available to drive you downtown (count approximately $25 for a ride from the airport to your hotel). Depending on your arrival time, you will have time to explore Whitehorse and take a stroll on the Millennium Trail or check out the MacBride Museum.

A pre-trip meeting takes place in the lobby of your hotel at 5pm today with your guides. This is the perfect opportunity to ask any last-minute questions, do a gear check and meet your fellow adventurers!

Check our FAQ to know what date day 0 corresponds to.

Night in a hotel in Whitehorse

We meet at your hotel shortly after breakfast and together we drive to Teslin, about 2 hours to the east of Whitehorse. There, we pack our gear and boats into floatplanes and fly out into the wilderness. The 25-minute flight takes us to the Caribou Lakes, a network of small lakes, far from civilization. Because multiple flights are necessary, we spend the day on the lake to regroup and explore.  

We set up our first camp on the lake shore and get to know each other around a fire and a delicious meal cooked on the open flames.

Lunch and dinner

Night in a tent

Our first day on the water is dedicated to exploring the Caribous Lakes, where we take the time to practice our paddle strokes and maneuvers on flat water, without any pressure. The Caribou Lakes are a great spot to cast a line and try to reel in northern pikes. In the next few days, in the Liard River or its tributaries, you can also try your luck at catching arctic grayling and Dolly Varden. Because we pack all the necessary food for the trip and we limit our impact on the land, we practice catch and release only.

While exploring the lakes, we search for moose, beavers, otters and many more mammals and birds who live in the area, like the trumpeter swan, bald eagle and many waterfowl and songbirds.

On day 3, The adventure starts as we paddle down Caribou Creek to the Liard River. This very narrow section flows through the open meadows and marshes of central Yukon and offers great opportunities for wildlife viewing, especially moose and birds.

Our goal on this tour is not to cover the distance as fast as possible but rather to enjoy every bit of this river. Therefore, we take our time on the water to contemplate the beauty of the land and the wildlife that inhabits it. On average, we paddle for 4 to 6 hours and about 30 km each day, and every night we set up our camp on shore and enjoy the evenings and gourmet meals around our campfire. Throughout the trip we practice and share our knowledge of leave-no-trace travel and enjoy delicious food that we bought following a buy-local and zero waste philosophy.

Soon after meeting with the Liard River we start encountering log jams and sweepers. We take our time here to scout the river ahead and move safely past these obstacles.

On day 4, we trade our paddles for our hiking boots and hike up to the alpine to get a stunning view on the whole Liard River valley and the mountains of the Cyr and Simpson Ranges. This hike is not mandatory as staying and relaxing in camp is a possibility. This hike is off trail, through bushes and tree at first and then up the alpine slope to the top. Elevation gain is shy of 800m for about 5 to 6km return.

Day after day the river grows as it picks up water from all the tributaries and in a few days the small four-meter-wide river from day one turns into the 200-meter-wide Liard River on day 11. This evolution of the river allows for diverse landscape and great opportunities for observing wildlife. 

Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Night in a tent

After paddling for 9 days, we meet with the Alaska Highway as it crosses the Liard River in Southeast Yukon. This is also where we meet with our Terre Boréale shuttle which takes us back to Whitehorse. We arrive in town in the late afternoon or early evening, and you can enjoy the rest of the day freely.

Breakfast and lunch

Night in a hotel in Whitehorse

Connection to the airport or to your next adventure.

Terre Boréale respectfully acknowledges that this adventure takes place on the traditional territories of the Teslin Tlingit Council, Kaska Dena Council, Kwanlin Dün First Nation, and Ta’an Kwäch’än Council.

  • Transportation from Whitehorse to Caribou Lakes and from Upper Liard to Whitehorse
  • Meals as indicated in itinerary above
  • Accommodations as indicated in itinerary above, based on double occupancy (+ $250 for single occupancy)
  • The following equipment: tent, canoe, paddles, Personal Flotation Device, dry bag, bear spray, fishing gear
  • Bilingual guide French/English
  • Satellite phone for emergencies
  • Single occupancy supplement of $250
  • Airport transfers
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Gratuities
  • Fishing license
  • Domestic & International flights

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