Imagine yourself where only few people go, where the scenery leads into the remote northern wilderness and where you can prove your canoe skills on one of Yukon’s most exciting rivers – imagine yourself on the Yukon’s Hess River.
Far from the Yukon’s last outpost of civilization and surrounded by some of the highest mountains of the region, the challenging Hess River will sweep you far away from everything and closer to yourself. We will start the tour with a day of practice and training on the Wheaton River near Whitehorse where everyone can “dust-off” and set their mind on the exciting days lying ahead.
From Mayo we’ll fly by floatplane to Keele Lake, located on the slopes of the impressive Keele Mountain and part of the glaciated Selwyn Mountains (second highest range in the Yukon). The glaciated Keele Peak crowns the mountainous horizon with its knife edged ridges. Lichen, willow and shrub birch dominate elevations above the tree line where mountain caribou call home. The river valley is rich with moose, lynx, marten and beaver habitat. From the put-in the Hess River sparkles with whitewater almost the entire way down. This region is the traditional territory of the Kaska Dena and Nacho N’y’ak Dun First Nations. Just above Keele Creek, the river gains volume and gradient as it plunges into a continuous stretch of challenging whitewater. Great hiking possibilities abound in the Rogue Range where rugged, glaciated peaks give spectacular views before the Hess River leaves the mountains and enters the North Yukon Plateau. This section also features some great rapids and beautiful canyons. The current is very good all the way to the Stewart River, at which point it slows down. The trip ends at Mayo from where we drive back to Whitehorse and stay for 2 nights at a Hotel to enjoy the local history and culture, good cuisine and shopping.