THE SEA TO SKY ADVANTAGE
- 25 years of quality guided wilderness adventures.
- Certified guides with Wilderness First Aid.
- Diversified, tasty menu with meals prepared by our guides.
- Top of the line equipment including Clipper canoes and tents.
- Special hotel rate in Whitehorse.
- Conditioning program to assist preparation.
- Comprehensive equipment/clothing information package.
- On going preparation support from our office.
- Large dry bags to transport clothing/equipment.
YUKON RIVER ITINERARY
A complete itinerary along with maps, clothing and equipment list, will
be issued upon registration.
Transportation from the point of origin and
return, camping fees, cooking gear, camp stoves, tents, meal preparations,
canoes, canoe carts, paddles, life jackets, canoe dry bags, two night's
hotel in Dawson City, meals/snacks/beverages on the expedition, tarps,
major first aid supplies, emergency radio or satellite phone, and professional
Transportation to point of origin, transfers,
accommodation and food other than included in the itinerary, gratuities,
and personal equipment.
All meals while on the river.
Arrival in Whitehorse. This denotes the day or days
spent in Whitehorse before the listed start date of the trip.
After breakfast, we will be picked up by our driver and taken to our destination,
Minto, about 3 hours from Whitehorse. Here we will load canoes, review
paddling safety and technique, and begin our paddle to historic Dawson.
: It is not practical to give a day by day itinerary.
We will paddle approximately 50 km/31 mi per day. Our plan is establish
camp on the many islands and sandbars which characterize this stretch
of river. This will lessen the remote possibility of bear encounters as
well as reduce our contact with those pesky mosquitoes. The following,
highlight some of the more interesting features of this stretch of river:
The sight of Fort Selkirk (125 km from Carmacks) on a high bank remains
one of the trip's highlights. The Hudson's Bay Company established it
in 1848. Only accessible by water, Fort Selkirk includes a campsite with
well water, tent sites, kitchen shelter with cook stove, bear-proof garbage
containers, and a warming cabin. Our trip down the Yukon River normally
includes an overnight and layover day at Fort Selkirk.
Fort Selkirk has long been a gathering place for First Nation peoples.
Stone tools discovered near this site have been dated to 10,000 years
old. In 1848, John Campbell descended the Pelly River to establish a Hudson
Bay Company trading post at the junction of the Yukon and Pelly River.
In 1852 the coastal Chilkats, who had previously maintained a monopoly
on trade with the local First Nation peoples, reacted to this challenge
by looting and then burning the trading post. Campbell fled for his life
and it was thirty years before white men returned to the region. In 1889,
Arthur Harper re-established a trading post here, calling it Harper's
In 1894 Bishop Bompass erected a mission house and school. In 1899 the
North West Mounted Police built a station here and a post office was opened.
With the opening of the Klondike Highway, and the subsequent demise of
riverboat traffic, Fort Selkirk was abandoned in the 1950. Today the Canadian
Heritage Branch has restored the settlement with the Taylor & Drury store,
Mounted Police building, Protestant and Catholic Churches, and schoolhouse
among the more than 30 buildings that are open to the public.
Once past Fort Selkirk, the surrounding country is at least as impressive
as ever. Certainly there is no shortage of historic sites along the banks.
The White River (120 km from Dawson) sees a dramatic difference in the
colour (and the sound) of the Yukon River. The colour is the result of
a combination of glacial silt, and ash from a volcanic eruption about
1,250 years ago. The ash layer now makes a convenient dating tool for
archeologists at sites throughout most of the south and central Yukon.
At Stewart City (100 km from Dawson) the river is slowly reclaiming the
site. The Stewart River, which joins the Yukon near Stewart City, was
one of the earliest of the Yukon's placer mining areas. Prospectors were
probably working on the river by 1880, and in 1885, several fairly rich
bars were discovered. Arthur Harper soon set up a post at the mouth of
the river to serve these miners. However, when much richer deposits of
gold were discovered near Fortymile in 1886, everybody moved there. The
Stewart didn't attract much attention again until the Klondike rush; a
fair-sized town was built, with a sternwheeler dock, a NWMP post, a large
warehouse, two hotels, a large number of cabins, and an even larger number
of tents. The population may have reached 1,000 over the winter of 1898-1899.
Although the boom ended, the island maintained a population of between
25 and 50 into the late 1930s. Several buildings have been moved back
from the river's edge in recent years.
As we get closer to Dawson, a number of old woodcamps and homesteads have
been taken over by new owners and new cabins have been built to replace
the old ones. The relatively fertile islands were particularly popular
spots for combined wood-cutting/farming operations. Little or nothing
remains at most of these sites. Some have been lost to river erosion,
or were moved to new locations when the original site was no longer viable.
The anticipation heightens with each bend in the river as we near Dawson
City. This same thrill and anticipation must have been present with the
Klondike goldrushers after their long journey. Finally the Dome, Dawson's
well-known landmark, can be seen in the distance. One more bend and we
We have scheduled at least one complete day
in Dawson to allow you time on your own to visit the sites that are of
most interest to you. We will also drive to visit the original goldfileds
and the lookout [Dome].
We will leave Dawson after breakfast on the last day and return to Whitehorse,
arriving late afternoon. Along the way we will stop at Braeburn Lodge,
a.k.a. Cinnamon Bun Airstrip, for the largest, and best, cinnamon bun
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