Day 1: Arrival in Whitehorse
Welcome to Whitehorse! Your guide will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your downtown hotel. In the afternoon there will be time for an orientation, gear check, and a chance to pick up any last-minute supplies. (Overnight accommodation in Whitehorse)
Days 2 - 8: Whitehorse / Yukon River
Our expedition begins at the Takhini Bridge on the outskirts of Whitehorse. This first day of paddling brings us to 50km-long Lake Laberge, with excellent opportunities for fishing northern pike. Over the next two days we will paddle along the rocky eastern shore, camping near scenic promontories. The river picks up again through the narrow banks and clear water of the “Thirty Mile” section, designated a Canadian Heritage River, taking us to the former trading post of Hootalinqua at the confluence with the Teslin River. This is a great section of the river to fish for arctic grayling. We’ll paddle on past the confluences with the Big Salmon and Little Salmon River, past towering cut banks, bright fields of fireweed, and miles of wild black spruce forest to the town of Carmacks. (Overnight accommodation at wilderness campsites)
Day 8: Carmacks
Carmacks is a modern community with all amenities, and the last time our route will contact the highway before reaching Dawson City. This rest day is a chance to shop for any forgotten or lost items, grab a hot shower, and do laundry. (Overnight accommodation in Carmacks)
Days 9 - 17: Yukon River
Our first day out of Carmacks brings us through the Five Finger and Rink Rapids. These are the only real rapids on the river, and with the help of your guide you’ll have little trouble navigating the standing waves. High bluffs begin to dominate the scenery beyond as we enter the even quieter, less-travelled northern portion of the river. One highlight of this portion is Fort Selkirk. This former trading post is the oldest in the Territory, and is now a retreat and wilderness camp for citizens of the Selkirk First Nation. With its carefully maintained and restored historic buildings, this quiet village is as close as you can come to paddling back in time. (Overnight accommodation at wilderness campsites)
Day 17: Arrival in Dawson City
After more than two weeks on the river, we arrive in the colourful boomtown of Dawson City. The city grew up almost overnight during the Klondike Gold Rush, becoming the largest city west of Winnipeg and north of Seattle. A National Historic Site, many of the false-fronted buildings and historic homes have been restored, so that the town holds on to its turn-of-the-century flavour. During the long days of subarctic summer, Dawson is alive with festivals, live music, and contemporary art. We will spend two nights in a downtown hotel, giving you time to explore the town and surrounding historic sites. (Overnight accommodation in Dawson City)
Day 18: Dawson City
We have a full day to experience Dawson City today. Included in the program is a visit to Gold Bottom Mine. A tour of this working placer mine will introduce you to the history of Dawson’s famous gold fields, and show you how today’s family-run mines continue to search for the precious metal. You’ll have a chance to try your hand at panning your own pay-dirt, too. We may also pay a visit to Bonanza Creek, site of the great gold strike and home of restored Dredge #4. The rest of the day is free to explore the town itself. Depending on the time and the group’s interest, we may visit the cabins of Jack London and Robert Service, the Dawson City Museum, the Danoja Zho Cultural Centre, or take a walking tour of the town’s many historic sites. We will also take a drive to the top of the Midnight Dome, the mountain that dominates the town, where we can see Dawson City, the gold fields, the distant Ogilvie mountains, and the river we have just travelled spread out in an extraordinary panorama. We’ll cap it all off with a night on the town and a visit to Dawson’s famous gambling hall, Diamond Tooth Gertie’s Gambling Hall. (Overnight accommodation in Dawson City).
Day 19: Dawson City - Whitehorse
We will return to whitehorse by van, via the Klondike Highway, stopping to revisit the Five Finger Rapids at the scenic overview, before returning to Whitehorse for a last dinner together and another night in a comfortable hotel. (Overnight hotel accommodation in Whitehorse).
Day 20: Depart Whitehorse
Ruby Range will provide a transfer to the airport or to your next tour program. (End of tour services) (This is an expeditionary trip, and changes to the itinerary may be necessary due to weather or other conditions. Any changes are left to the discretion of the guide.)
Yukon River – The Classic (Lake Laberge to Dawson City)
A Canadian Signature Experience
Travel the length of Yukon’s most iconic river in a classic tandem canoe, retracing the route the thousands of gold- and adventure-seekers who rushed to Klondike in the famous spring of 1898. With a small group and experienced guide, you will paddle all of the 730 kilometres between Whitehorse and Dawson City, travelling more than two weeks through a wilderness of Yukon proportions.
Apart from a one-day layover to re-supply at the town of Carmacks, we will be camping on gravel bars and forest clearings along the river, sharing campfires and hot meals in our well-equipped wilderness camps. Our expedition visits historic ghost towns at Hootalinqua, Big Salmon, and Fort Selkirk, where members of the Selkirk First Nation generously share some of their knowledge and stories of the land. Our final destination is Dawson City, where a hotel room and two days of fun in gold rush capital are waiting.
Prior experience paddling open Canadian canoes is not required.
Double Room/Tent: CAD 2,985.00
Single Room/Tent: +CAD 565.00
All Rates per person (+ GST)
3 – 12 participants per date
A background in camping and paddling is an asset but not necessary. These programs are open to expert and novice paddlers alike.
Expert guidance on the entire trip
Canoes and camping equipment
2 person tents (15 nights)
2 nights hotel accommodation in Whitehorse
2 nights hotel accommodation in Dawson City
All meals on canoe trip
Historic tour in Dawson City
Airport Shuttle in Whitehorse
Meals in hotels