RSS Feed

Related Articles

Related Categories

Paddle your way through the Yukon

14th August 2017 Print

Journeys on the Yukon's rivers are frequently included in “best of” lists around the world. And with good reason. This is a paddler's paradise offering world class canoeing, kayaking and whitewater rafting on pristine wilderness rivers.

The Yukon is home to an unusually high number of Canadian Heritage Rivers. The Thirty-Mile rushes through the scenic and historic stretch of the Yukon River below Lake Laberge. The Alsek and Tatshenshini rivers course through Yukon's Kluane National Park and B.C.'s Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Park past calving glaciers and inspiring mountain scenery. The Bonnet Plume is loved by canoeists from around the world for its challenging whitewater and outstanding wilderness setting.

Yukon River - 1,980 miles and the fifth longest river in North America, the mighty Yukon River flows from Tagish Lake on the BC/Yukon border through Yukon and Alaska to finally drain into the Bering Sea. Rich in cultural history ranging from its first human use by First Nations people centuries ago, to the Klondike gold rush of 1898 – the biggest rush for gold the world has ever seen, Yukon provides modern day adventurers one of the ultimate river trips on the planet. (Class II)

“The Tat” - Located in the southwestern corner of Yukon where the borders of British Columbia, Alaska and Yukon meet, the Tatshenshini River flows through the St Elias Mountain range with peaks nearly 5000 m high. Flowing through the largest protected area on the planet, this is one of North America's wildest rivers with exhilarating rapids, canyons, soaring mountains, and unequalled opportunities to view big game. (Class III – IV)

“The Alsek” - Flowing amid the highest mountains in Canada, past the world's largest and longest mountain glaciers, under the gaze of grizzly bears, the Alsek rises in the mountains of Kluane National Park Reserve – a World Heritage Site. Its braided upper reaches nestle in a broad valley, providing an oasis for mountain goats, Dall's sheep and other wildlife. Downstream, rivers of ice flow into the Alsek's silt-laden waters, calving huge icebergs into the river. The Alsek's remoteness, beauty, and wild rapids tug at the heartstrings of adventurous river travellers.  (Class IV, plus some V – VI)

“The Snake” - Located in northeastern Yukon, the Snake River descends 2,500m from the arctic tundra of the Wernerke Mountains to join a vast wilderness watershed that flows north to Mackenzie River and the Beaufort Sea. The Snake is a wild river that flows through untouched wilderness. Also offering outstanding wilderness hiking and wildlife viewing opportunities. (Class II – III)

Bonnet Plume - The Bonnet Plume River descends from the rugged Wernecke Mountains carving out a magnificent, wide valley and crossing a lowland plain, heading west and north towards its confluence with the Peel River. The diversity of wildlife, vegetation and scenery of this expansive and beautiful region provides an exceptional opportunity for visitors to appreciate the character of Yukon wilderness. The Bonnet Plume River stands out as one of the premier whitewater wilderness canoe rivers in Canada. It is technically challenging with frequent Class II and III rapids as well as isolated locations of Class IV and V. The river also offers excellent camping locations and opportunities for scenic day-hikes, particularly in the alpine areas, which are readily accessible from the river. 

Firth River - The Firth River is a world class whitewater river of exceptional beauty flowing through the heart of Ivvavik National Park, which is located in the far north of Yukon. The river is a remote Class IV wilderness river with cold water, strong eddy lines and 28 miles of canyon. There are numerous Class III and Class IV rapids along the river. 

If your paddling life list includes a true wilderness river, you've come to the right place. Each of our 70 wild Yukon rivers is unique and offers canoeing adventures which include a diversity of wildlife, landscapes, geology and history. However, there's one trait all Yukon rivers share and that's nature at its most untouched and unspoiled.

Artisan Travel offer a 10-day “Canoe Adventure on the Yukon River" package. For more information, visit

Wildlife Worldwide offer a 8-day “Canoeing the Yukon River" package to the Yukon. For more information, visit

More Photos - Click to Enlarge