“The wind is kicking up pretty good swells,” said Steve, gesturing toward the water. Deep in Interior Alaska, the great Yukon River strikes through bluffs and mountains of an ancient landscape to unmask rocks whose histories reach back a billion years to life's beginnings on Earth. We hadn’t tipped the canoe. Without even realizing it we had become one with the river, adapting to its rhythm, two more sojourners flowing downstream, harmonizing peacefully with the natural world. We were living one of our dreams, to follow the Klondike Gold Rush path from Alaska to the Yukon, re-tracing the steps of the hardy, or fool-hardy, Argonauts of the late 1800s. After eating a quick lunch of pita bread stuffed with canned chicken and cabbage we piled back in the canoe with renewed vigor, now appreciating the swift current that looked so ominous the first day. I couldn’t figure out why were spinning around–after so many days paddling together we had mastered synchronizing our strokes. We have completely re-designed our Northern Canoe offering for 2019. Like its â¦ We cocked our heads this way and that, listening closely. We weren’t moving fast, but the scenery was compelling, with dead quiet water and a high cliff dotted with swallows nests towering over us on the right. Centre Depth: 15" Steve took his turn with the binoculars and began paddling as well. The far northern reaches of the continent have long been a draw for me and Steve. Typically, we head out on the water in the early afternoon. I grabbed my paddle, preparing for I knew not what. “Have a good time, see you at the other end,” said the outfitter cheerily with a wave after wheeling our well-stocked canoe to the riverbank on a dolly. Learn how your comment data is processed. I stopped paddling and found myself looking upstream as the canoe found its own sweet spot, going backwards. Right away I could tell this was going to be a different kind of backcountry trip. Here in the Yukon no one asked us if we had any paddling skills, knew where we would be day to day, or what we were doing. Swift Canoe & Kayak is a leading manufacturer of high quality composite canoes and kayaks, built right here in Canada. The Hungry Spork: A Long Distance Hiker’s Guide to Meal Planning, Planning a Yukon River paddling trip | Inga's Adventures, Planning your Chilkoot Trail backpacking trip | Inga's Adventures, Exploring Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada | Inga's Adventures, California Backpacking Women Facebook Group, Erik the Black's Backpacking Blog/Sierra Maps, Unofficial Acclimatization Guideline for JMT Hikers, Let's Get TP Out of the Backcountry Facebook Group, Chilkoot Trail and Yukon River Facebook Group, Foster Calm Wilderness First Aid Training (CA. The long daylight hours give us lots of time to enjoy the vast scenery! Much later, in the late 1800’s, the first hardy gold seekers would have floated down this same stretch, seeing the granite domes of the hills and the island in the river, filled with a sense of wonder after leaving their domesticated farms and gritty cities in search of fortune and adventure. It is an excellent choice for every kind of paddling, from local white-water rivers to offshore coastal waters. Width: 37" The expedition travels â¦ By using this site, you are agreeing to the terms and conditions as described in this, Lady Evelyn River/Maple Mountain/Sugar Lake Loop, Opasatika/Missinaibi/Moose Rivers from Highway 11. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. The current in much of the Yukon is swift, but there are only 2 sets of rapids, and both are short, and not particularly difficult. However, in summer, as we were experiencing, the weather is mild and forgiving, allowing exploration in relative comfort. YUKON RIVER GUIDED CANOEING âThe Yukon River, our first choice for paddling into the past.â Canoe and Kayak Magazine. “It’s the sound of the glacial silt running under the fiberglass canoe,” I said. Use without permission is prohibited. Glacial fed rivers dumped their load of chocolate milk colored water, heavy with silt. “What?” I shouted incredulously. Then, he says, âWe gave the Cruiser more â¦ Whether it`s filled with kids for a day`s fun or with a couple of weeks worth of camping gear, the Yukon will get you there safely, comfortably and with surprising ease. It starts in Whitehorse and sees participants paddling day and night to reach â¦ A gentle rain during the night taught us a valuable lesson, filling the canoe with puddles of water, and after that we turned the canoe over each evening so the interior would stay dry. Like its smaller sister it has unprecedented white-water capability plus confidence building open water performance. Copyright © 2007-2020 CCR Inc. All rights reserved. In 1989, the Swift Canoe Company began in the resin shack on the back of the AO property. We were a small part of nature that surrounded us, and found the paddling easy in the swift current. I leaned against the upside-down canoe with our last glass of wine and watched the river flow past, careless to the activity I knew we would find in Dawson City tomorrow. Trips on the Yukon are usually done by canoe rather than rafting. The boat started feeling precarious and visions of bodies and clothing scattering across the river propelled me to dig harder. Floating the Yukon - by raft, canoe, or powerboat - is a popular way to experience the grandeur of the river, rich with history. One good thing about the largely roadless Yukon is that we couldn’t get lost on the river. A happy ending to Canoe week! This leg of the trip involved paddling 460 miles down the Yukon River in northern Canada, just the two of us. Most trails begin with a welcoming sign followed by a lengthy list of what not to do. We spun around one more time, then straightened up the canoe and laughed about our different approaches, reflecting our personalities, Steve, ever advancing toward danger, while I tried to establish a small margin of safety. I leaped confidently out of the canoe as we angled onto the beach, grabbed the bow line and hauled the canoe in. After a tumultuous blur of barked instructions, paddling this way and that. Prior to this our sole paddling experience had been a two-hour guided tour in inflatable kayaks on the Dart River in New Zealand and some quiet afternoons canoeing on Green Lake in Whistler. Handles whitewater and tripping conditions well. As much as we tried to control the forces of nature, our puny efforts were no match. Price: $1,649-$1,999. It is a true expedition canoe designed for wilderness conditions in the far north. One evening we were greeted by a great spray of water from a beaver tail as we pulled onto a sandbar and were serenaded by the sound of tails slapping long into the night. Over the last 31 years, Swift and AO have tested the latest in canoe technology using the AO rental fleet and â¦ No menacing signs, orientation sessions, forms, permits or imperatives got in our way. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. We had no electronic gear with us. The mist lifted to display the remains of the SS Evelyn, one of the 250 sternwheelers that used to ply these waters, and we eagerly beached the canoe to explore the area. I gazed at the swift current in the middle of the broad river, which suddenly seemed to be moving faster than it had before, then at the towering clay riverbank topped with stunted spruce trees on the other side, and wondered what I was getting myself into. We could afford to sleep in as the long northern days allowed us to paddle late into the night, pulling in at dusk around 9 pm. “What’s that sound?” I asked, hearing the hiss of white noise. I contemplated the number of people that might be between me and the North Pole—not many based on the official count of 0.17 persons per square mile. The Yukon has the capacity to be a good family canoe and is also suited for wilderness tripping. Now we were in sync, as I gained confidence and we learned to work together, and with the river. Off we went, full of energy, and perhaps some trepidation, as we embarked on a journey into the wilderness—true untamed wilderness. I thought about all the unknowns we faced the first day, how foreign it had felt to be on the water, the uncertainty I felt stepping into the canoe and the strangeness of being so isolated. I looked back at Steve and said, “What are you doing?”, He said, “I’m trying to get a closer look.”. As signs of civilization receded we noticed fewer houses, then finally none at all. I slid into a reverie, warmed by the sun. Wilderness Adventures in British Columbia & Yukon since 1988 . With the sun hanging low in the sky Steve stared across the river to the shore wistfully and casually said, “What about the Teslin River?” and I knew it wasn’t over–we would be back one day. Youâll spend the long, relaxed days of summer paddling, camping in tents and eating by the campfire under the midnight sun. One lay on his back, paws up in the air, while the other batted mischievously at him and nuzzled his playmate, just like my housecats at home. We spoke in hushed tones, our voices sounding unnaturally amplified, as we unconsciously became part of the quiet land. I quashed any concerns about not feeling ready and reached for my paddle—it was too late for a panic attack. The weak Northern sun almost felt warm on my face and I dozed. The clear, swift water and the superb scenery of the coast mountains compete for your attention. I put in a little more effort to straighten us out but to my dismay we still went in circles. Our eagle count dropped from dozens in a day to one or two per day, but the venerable raven, held in great esteem by northern aboriginal people, was ubiquitous. I twisted and turned to get a look at Steve. Our wildlife count for the day stood at wolf-1, beaver-2, mountain goat-30, human-0. Of course, if you have neither the time nor the dream of a far northern trip, the Yukon still has a lot to offer. Check out our new to us "Swift" canoe! Length: 17`-6" For dessert we enjoyed a crunchy, sweet apple and a piece of rich, dark chocolate. The Yukon is one of a very few places where one can experience boundless wilderness. […] Read a first-hand account of Canoeing the Yukon River. We bent down closer to the canoe and marveled at the sound miniscule grains of sand could produce. A wide clearing provided ample room for our tent. Swift Canoe & Kayak is a leading manufacturer of high quality composite canoes and kayaks, built right here in Canada. My thoughts wandered from the confines of the boat down the placid river and on to the Arctic Circle. The water whipped up tiny whitecaps that in the Pacific would be negligible, but seemed to take on considerable significance for our tiny craft. Weight: 79 lb. The Yukon River Quest is the worldâs longest annual canoe, kayak and stand-up paddleboard race. From the narrow confines of the “30 Mile”, the river broadened to become braided with sandbars and tree covered islands. Back in the early 1970s I wrote a monthly outdoors column for an Ontario outdoors magazine. We even came to enjoy it, those times when we’d lose our edge and spin around in a circle like a teacup ride at the fair. Exploring Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada, Planning your Chilkoot Trail backpacking trip, A Northern Wilderness Adventure-Chilkoot Trail, The Hungry Spork: A Long Distance Hiker’s Guide to Meal Planning (book). Day 6: Begin canoe trip on Yukon. You’re a real river woman now,” said Steve with a smile. I stepped resolutely into the bow of the canoe making sure not to tip it, glancing back at my husband, Steve, who looked gleeful and carefree as we pushed off from the muddy beach in the middle of the small town of Whitehorse, a town bisected by the Yukon River. Day 5 -16: The canoe trip down the Yukon â¦ SHOP SWIFT. We progressed down the river. “What?” I asked, “I’m trying to get away from him!” I had been attempting to turn the canoe in one direction, while Steve had been turning it the other, resulting in our merry-go-round. We practically flew down the “30 Mile” section, said to be the most beautiful part of the entire river, with crystal clear blue-green water magnifying the pebbles below, fat grayling and arctic char swimming evasively under the boat, and thick stands of spruce lining the banks along the narrowed waterway, so close we could easily cross from bank to bank with a couple of strong paddles. (Royalite) On the Thirty Mile River section, we will be introduced to the wonderful world of swift water with an extensive introduction and/or review of swift water techniques and safety. That evening we found an obvious campsite with little trouble and feasted on our fresh food, starting with appetizers of sharp cheese and peppery salami, then supplemented our reconstituted freeze dried meal of Beef Stroganoff with a salad of cabbage, crisp carrots and piquant radishes smothered with ranch dressing, and washed it all down with a glass of Pinot Noir. With a slight rocker (see "Canoes, Deconstructed"), this canoe is beginner-friendly, slipping gracefully in and out of eddies and proving stable even with a light load. Choose from our selection of Canadian made lightweight Canoes, Kayaks and Pack Boats. seaeagle.com. Frequent visitors to our campsites included chattering red squirrels and squawking gray jays looking for a handout. We were alone. Overview This trip encompasses some of the most remote and beautiful landscapes on Earth. As long as we stayed far enough from shore that we didn’t get entangled with brush and downed trees we were safe from danger. Meet up with your guides in the morning and gather gear to begin the canoeing portion of our trip. Neither of us paddled. I waited for last minute instructions about government regulations or life-saving tips but the outfitter had turned away and was walking toward the street, whistling happily. Bow / Stern Height: 23" / 20" Fortunately we possessed a great deal of wilderness experience and an abundance of enthusiasm as we set off to explore the relatively uninhabited Yukon. Flotation chambers in both the bow and stern add buoyancy to ensure the Yukon â¦ Weâve been to Alaska and the Yukon to hike, backpack, canoe and sightsee so many times that Iâve lost â¦ “I see the outlet of the lake,” I cried out excitedly, sitting up straighter on my diminutive bench. Has a very good glide and is easy to keep up at cruising speed. I run a canoe â¦ I thought about the hundreds of miles more that the river still must course before it spread out into countless braids of water streaming into the Bering Sea, free, yet confined to its banks, and what a small speck we were in this vast land. Letting go of my fears allowed me to embrace the ebb and flow of each day, fully absorbing each experience. Prior to this our sole paddling experience had been a two-hour guided tour in inflatable kayaks on â¦ This slough might have looked similar when they first saw it for this land was fairly temperate, even in the last ice age. One evening, after a day spent hunting moose, we pulled the canoe up on the sandy shore of an island â¦ I don't think â¦ Eagles stood in trees in twos and threes, finding easy meals with the plentiful fish. The Charley River demands more advanced skills, but â¦ Weight: 62 lb. Other operators can give you advice, provide information and rent you the appropriate equipment for a clean and simple self-guided excursion. I grabbed the binoculars and the bulky blond bear came into sharp focus. I thought of the early explorers, the ones who came across the Bering land bridge. Not in the sense of ownership, but that, for the moment, we were an integral part of it. During the winter of 1897â1898 the Klondike gold rushers crossed the Chilkoot Pass and reached the frozen lakes of the upper Yukon â¦ Wishing we could ‘pause’ the unrelenting flow of the river we watched two lynx frolicking on the shore in the warm afternoon sun. Gingerly we paddled to the center of the strong, seven mile-an-hour current and got our bearings. As we proceeded over the next few days a few rivers joined the Yukon and the character of the river changed. Both found the freedom of an unpopulated or later, sparsely populated land, and found much to celebrate and curse, for the ample natural resources of the land is tempered, not by excessive regulation, but by harsh living conditions in the long, dark winters. Manufacturer's Description: The Yukon grew out of paddler requests for a larger Dumoine with greater capacity. A wolf danced on the beach with his fresh kill, a large herd of mountain goats somehow clung to high, barren cliffs and a fisher stealthily swam to shore off in the distance. Canoeing the Yukon A 16-foot canoe loaded with food, 500 miles of wilderness ahead of us, camping on islands under the stars: paddling down the Yukon River remains one of my favourite adventures. We fussed over the canoe, tying everything down and making sure everything was there– life jackets, sponge, bucket and paddles. Swift Canoe & Kayak. Darkness fell at 11 pm, though not complete darkness, for a faint shadowy light backlit the low hills for a few hours until dawn broke, around 2 am. I lay back on the soft dry-bag filled with my gear and gazed up at the clearing sky, wispy clouds fading to blue. The next day, after a filling breakfast of instant oatmeal, a cup of hot tea, orange-flavored Tang, and a slice of salami, we paddled north, toward the Arctic Circle. For a truly classic Yukon journey, join a canoe or kayak trip on the Yukon River. The river began a series of tight “S” curves, challenging us to find the sweet spot, that place where wind, water and paddle align to propel us forward smoothly. “Did we see anyone today?” I asked quietly, not wanting to disturb the peaceful scene, but realizing that we hadn’t seen anyone for quite awhile. This massive freighter canoe is sufficient to push two hunters, two bull moose, and a heavy camp against rivers like the Yukon. (Expedition Kevlar) Excelling in Fibreglass, Kevlar, Carbon. We paddled in a straight line. For awhile we could hear comforting sounds of trucks from town trundling in the background, reminding us that civilization was near. Putting all our learnings to use that day we stopped at a side creek to get clear water, collected our beaver wood from a log jam, paddled expertly from side to side to catch the fastest current, and were rewarded with one of the best campsites of the entire two week trip at Ogilvie Island. “Dig in!” Steve said. I carefully and quietly dipped my paddle into the water with the intention of putting some distance between us and him. Capacity: 440-640 lb. Scores of eagles soared overhead, their white heads contrasting with the jet-black ravens that competed for airspace. Moose tracks criss-crossed the sandy beach. The 8-day canoe trip down the Yukon from Whitehorse to Carmacks is specially tailored for visitors who like to travel far away from tourist routes, following the trail of the old history. (Royalex) “Yeah, there you go. The Yukon grew out of paddler requests for a larger Dumoine with greater capacity. Travel Canoe from Sea Eagle. We stuffed our clothing and supplies into large dry bags, and pushed our freeze dried food, fresh fruits and vegetables, and bottles of wine (all too few) into the food barrel. In many visits to the North we had seen black bears but never a grizzly (also known as the brown bear). The water moved silently and unceasingly, careless to the activity of our preparations on the shore. The radius of the area is estimated to be about 22.71 kilometres â¦ Swift Canoe & Kayak owner Bill Swift says the genesis for the Cruiserâs shape started with one of Yostâs earlier marathon racing canoes, the Sawyer Shockwave. We poked around the first of many abandoned cabins we would discover along the way, marveling at the small size and rough interior, though outfitted with glass window panes to allow light to penetrate. By now we were in sync with the river. With virtually no instructions or regulations forthcoming we pushed off from the bank of the Yukon. […]. Swift canoe, Dumoine in Royalex plastic, 16' 8" long.New this was a $1600 boat- Swift still makes this, but not in the plastic.Asking $800, open to offers.From online; asymetrical design, can â¦ Originally published as Rolling Down the River-How the Yukon Can Transform a Traveller, p. 16 in Coast and Kayak Magazine (Fall 2012). The fine grains of rock resulting from the grinding action of the glaciers obscured the clarity of the river. Once we learned to let the boat turn with the force of the wind, we found we could easily right ourselves a little later. So far so good. They, like most other wildlife we saw, never noticed our silent canoe freely slipping by—we were just part of the landscape. Steve, spotter extraordinaire, made the sighting, again on the right bank. We test it out on a very narrow river. It was that early struggle with the river that windy afternoon that taught us the most about the river. Suddenly I remembered a passage from an explorer’s account of the Yukon. The Yukon integrates a remarkable balance of performance characteristics to suit northern paddling conditions. Licensed guides from Yukon Wild operators will reveal Yukonâs secret places to you over the course of a multi-day adventure. Enjoy sweeping panoramas of mountains, plateaus, and river valleys as you search for grizzlies, caribou, â¦ We had a healthy respect for the unpredictable nature of these bruins but half-hoped we’d see one, preferably from a safe distance. That still gave us enough time to set up camp, fire up the camp stove to boil water for our hot chocolate and re-hydrate our freeze-dried meals. We saw no one and heard nothing but our own voices, the water dripping off our oars and the cries of the eagles. © 2016 Inga's Adventures. One afternoon the sun was out and we were drawn into a side slough, the main current far away on the other side of an island. Tripping canoes I have been contemplating a new tripping canoe. Wonderful all around canoe. On our last full day we pulled in earlier than usual to avoid civilization for one more night and savor our last evening on the river. Over the last 15 years Steve and I developed a fascination with the history of Northern settlers, from the ancient crossing of the Bering land bridge that landed the first aboriginal people 20,000 years ago, to the gold seekers a century ago. “It would have been bad,” he said in his dry, laconic style. Broad wings flapped mightily, whipping the still morning air, shrill cries filling the sound waves. I saw the bow angle toward the right bank and paddled harder to correct the course, to no avail. Swift River is a settlement in the Canadian territory of Yukon, primarily a service stop on the Alaska Highway at historical mile 733. At the end of that day, you should be able to steer a canoe on moving water, keep a straight course or get â¦ Hauled the canoe as we were in sync, as we were in different places, he jovial and,... 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