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The Yukon River Canoe Expedition

The Yukon River Canoe Expedition


Course Location: Canada

Course Time:

Course Duration: 18 Days

Course size: 10 Persons max

Course Age Range: 18+

Call US: 01234 351006 (09:30-16:30 7 Days)

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The Yukon River Canoe Expedition

An incredible opportunity to join our highly experienced team on a wilderness canoe adventure of a lifetime.

Imagine gliding down the longest river in Yukon, and the third longest river in North America, nestled between the wide expanses of mountain ranges, taking the same routes as the old pioneers of the gold rush era. 

Some say that this valley was the main route of migration for the areas first human inhabitants, although other aboriginals state there origin is in the land itself, never the less, you cannot fail to be impressed with the stunning wilderness that is the Yukon River.

Everything is stowed in your Canadian canoe, you will be applying your existing paddling skills whilst learning further how to manoeuvre your craft on both moving and still water... take a deep breath as you soak up the incredible scenery journeying down the iconic- Yukon River.

We will progress along this historical route between Whitehorse and Dawson City, where over 30,000 "stampeders" headed to this remote frontier in their quest for gold. Many did not make it back, and many more didn't find gold.

No doubt you will be inspired by the pale waters that result from the glacial run off, and the moving water sections will challenge and inspire you, as indeed they did in the famous novel "The call of the Wild". Our aim is to cover as much of the river as possible within a 15-day period, along the route we will make wild camps and use existing campsites where they exist. Food will be cooked both on the open fire and on stoves, and you will hone your campcraft, navigation, star lore and water skills.

We will be paddling for 15 consecutive days and so a good level of physical fitness is essential, its time to start the exercise routine now if not!

To pull together expeditions such as this takes a huge amount of skill and logistics, you know by joining us you can experience this incredible opportunity with safety and expertise paramount.

Jason of Woodland Ways is renowned for his experience of leading adventurous expeditions across the globe, pulling on a wealth of experience from the boreal forests, through jungle, desert and arctic- here you are going to be led by a highly regarded bushcraft instructor who will provide you with the ultimate wilderness paddling experience.

Jason has teamed up again with his good friend, expeditioner, canoeist and all round good guy Rich.

Richard has paddled the Yukon River on numerous occasions, and has raced the Yukon River Quest Race, consisting of 444 miles of wilderness racing. Rich has led 7 expeditions to this part of the world including sea kayaking from Vancouver Island to Glacier Bay, canoeing from Whitehorse to Dawson City, and sea kayaking, hiking and pack rafting from Juneau down to Whitehorse via the Chilkoot Trail.

During our time you will have plenty of opportunity to improve your paddling skills with our qualified and experienced coaches eager to share their knowledge on this fast-moving water- as well as putting into practice the wilderness skills required for such a journey.
You can expect to see sign of bears, moose, and wolves if we are lucky, and Jason's experience of tracking these animals will provide a depth of knowledge to the fauna.

The cost of the trip includes:

  • All canoe equipment
  • Accommodation on arrival in Whitehorse and Dawson City (3 nights)
  • Professional instructors and coaching
  • Wild camping on the Yukon River and camp grounds
  • Transport and shuttle service back (excludes flights)
  • Food for expedition days (excludes meals in town locations)
  • Coaching on moving water
  • Includes free introduction to Moving Water day course with our coaches at Matlock- Derbyshire UK

The trip will include time to visit the Robin McBride Museum, Diamond Tooth Gerties and Jack London's Cabin- expenses for those clients interested will be borne by the client (entrance/food etc).

As people will travel to this expedition from all over the globe you will need to make your own travel arrangements to get to Whitehorse airport, we will collect you there. For those travelling from the UK we will make a flight recommendation for you.

Please Note your deposit is non refundable. You can pay in instalments please contact us on to set up a DD.

Join us on a wilderness bushcraft expedition of a lifetime.


The Yukon River is one of the most iconic paddling trips in the world with iconic history, stunning scenery and vistas as well as pioneering people and incredible wildlife. The Yukon became famous in 1898 with the Klondike Gold Rush sparking a huge stampede of prospectors to the region.

The Yukon Territories is 4 times the size of Britain with a population of 37,000 it is one of the last wilderness areas on the planet. There is plenty of gold rush history remaining on the river with old paddle steamers, frontier towns and cabins as well as Dawson City itself.

The Yukon River Expedition starts in Whitehorse, home to hot springs, Midnight Sun Coffee Roasters and the World's largest wind vane (an old Dakota Plane). There is the McBride Yukon Museum with incredible history and artefacts of the region which will help orientate you to this spiritual and delightful region in Canada.

We will visit Carmacks and camp at the small riverside town as well as Hootalinqua Heritage Site and Fort Selkirk before making Dawson City. There is plenty to see and do in Dawson City with Jack London's Cabin, Robert Service the Poet's home as well as Diamond Tooth Gerties!

Whitehorse to Dawson City

The river flows downstream from Whitehorse 430 miles to Dawson City falling the original canoe trail of the gold prospectors heading to the Klondike to find their fortune. The flow on the Yukon River ranges from 5 miles per hour up to 9 miles per hour in a large moving conveyor belt.

Often you don't realise the speed of the river until you watch it from the shore or miss your get out point. There are plenty of interesting points of interest on the river making it one of the most popular wilderness canoe trips on the planet. About 18 miles downstream of Whitehorse is Lake Labarge, a 32-mile-long stretch of open water that can be challenging in windy and stormy conditions. It is recommended to beach you canoe and wait for calmer weather. 

Downstream after Lake Labarge you re-join the 30 mile stretch of river and enjoy flow towards your destination once more with plenty of beavers and other wildlife on the banks. Further downstream you pass the fabled Ashes of Sam McGee and then reach the small outpost of Carmacks with its Coalmine Campground and burgers! Below Carmacks is the first of two rapids, the Five Finger Rapids where it is recommended you take the stream on river right. The channel on the right side of the river provides a bumpy manageable wave train. A few miles below this is the smoother green waves of Rink Rapid. Again the right bank is the easiest channel although it is possible to surf Rink Rapid.

The journey picks up speed with confluences of the White River and Stewart River. Pelly Crossing and Fort Selkirk are historic settlements with an interpretive centre at Fort Selkirk. By now you will in the swing of paddling this extraordinary river and are on the homeward leg to Dawson City.

Below Dawson City it is described as dropping off the world's edge with the river accelerating and even less people exploring. Rich and the Canoe Trail team paddled this stretch down to Circle in Alaska in 2011. The River crossed the border from the Yukon Territories to Alaska at Eagle, a beautiful river town and then passed through the Yukon Charlie Reserve with incredible geos and wildlife including rare indigenous species.

Please note the itinerary may begin or end one day either side depending on connecting flights, we will pinpoint specific flights in January of the year of the trip

This course can be purchased as an 18 month voucher, to book online choose "36 month voucher" from the options above and we will email the details over to you. Alternatively if you are purchasing this course as a gift we can post you a full colour gift presentation pack for just £4.25, just choose posted instead of emailed delivery option. Or contact us by phone to make the arrangements.

Call Us: 01234 351006 (09:30-16:30 7 Days)

We’re happy to take course bookings and payments over the phone. Simply give us a call and we’ll place the booking for you before emailing through confirmation. Alternatively, drop us an email at and we’ll call you back.

If your course booking is for a gift, no problem, just let us know at the time of booking and we’ll email you a personalised gift certificate or 18-month voucher to print at home. Or, for a small supplement, we’ll print out a gift pack and pop it in the post for you.