Trip No. YRG No 1 – Our favourite! This starts with a floatplane ride from Schwatka Lake located just outside the city core to the north end of Lake Laberge – about 96km downstream. During the flight you are treated to an enviable view of this famous body of water that our northern poet Robert Service immortalized in his rendition of “The Cremation of Sam McGee.”
Our camping equipment and supplies have been transferred by boat to the bottom of the lake and as your pilot sets up a landing at the abandoned Village of Lower Laberge, the colourful array of canoes and gear resting on the beach marks the starting point of your paddling adventure.
In its heyday Lower Laberge was a busy, bustling village that was a haven for winter trappers and summer river people. We change our mode of transport from the airplane to a canoe or kayak. Everything that you are dependant on for the next five days will have to be carried and we all get to share a part of the load.
The first two days are spent in the famous Thirty-Mile part of the Yukon River. The Thirty-Mile is a Yukon treasure and was declared a Canadian Heritage River in 1991. It is a wonderful introduction to a Yukon River paddling trip.
Magnificent wind-sculptured clay bluffs limit the width of the river and the confined current speeds up and directs your canoe almost effortlessly to its destination downstream. The scenic surroundings and the almost perpetual daylight will make the day seem everlasting and will take some time to get used to.
If fishing is your passion, now is the time to indulge. Catching the lively arctic grayling and the great northern pike is part of the experience. The guides are experts at cooking the catch and believe me, there is nothing better than a fresh-caught grayling at breakfast time. You’ll get a first hand look at a Bald Eagle’s nest and marvel at the large birds in flight. The antics of the swallows that nest in the clay cliffs along the river are also a continual source of entertainment. Have your camera ready, as wildlife likes this part of the river just as much as we do. The historic significance of the river becomes apparent with the occasional view of the dilapidated remains of a long-abandoned cabin and a visit to a once working shipyard, complete with a large derelict sternwheeler on the ways. Shipyard Island is found just downstream of the abandoned village of Hootalinqua at the confluence of the Teslin and Yukon Rivers.
As we drift further downstream, the river grows in volume and soon , the Big Salmon River, also a major waterway, adds its flow. At the confluence, a tour of the turn-of-the century native village and trading post provide an interesting insight into life on the river during the days when it was the highway to the Klondike gold fields.
In the afternoon of day six the river portion of your trip ends at Little Salmon Village, located at the confluence of the Little Salmon and Yukon Rivers. There is a large graveyard on the river bank almost hidden amongst the aspen trees, it is a sad memorial to the flu epidemic in 1917/1918.
Our mode of transport changes again and after loading the canoes and gear we travel the Campbell Highway to the Village of Carmacks. From there we take the North Klondike Highway back to Whitehorse and check in to our hotel in late afternoon. Dinner this evening is our treat.
For all of our Yukon River trips, except the trip marked with ** we provide – Airport service – Hotel accommodation on day 1 and day 6 – (double occupancy). Air flight from Schwatka Lake at Whitehorse to Lower Laberge (approximately 50mi/80km as the crow flies), all food, beverages, canoes or kayaks, tents (double occupancy) and equipment while on the river trip. All required road transport.
For the July 29th to August 4th trip our transfer to Lower Laberge is by boat. The boat also continues as a “mother ship” for the duration of the river trip to Little Salmon Village.
Meals in Whitehorse except where indicated. Personal sleeping bag and field mattress- (these may be rented from us), Alcoholic beverages although they are allowed. A list of recommended personal equipment is supplied well in advance of the scheduled departure date.
Cost $2,195.00 per person
6 person minimum
Single supplement – hotel & tent – $250.00
YRG No. 1 – Tour dates – 2017
July 15th (Sat) to Jul 21st (Fri) – not available
July 29th (Sat) to Aug 4th (Fri) **
August 5 (Sat) to August 11 (Fri) *
August 12 (Sat) to August 18th (Fri)
August 20 (Sun) to Aug 26th (Sat) *
** Boat transfer and escorted
*Japanese speaking guide on trip
To reserve this package tour please use our secure RESERVATION form.
Kanoe People Ltd – P.O. Box 31149, Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 5P7
Telephone: 867-668-4899 Toll free: (North America) 1-866-901-4880