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  Yukon River Trip
  Posted by: iconart9 on Jul-27-12 12:23 AM (EST)

I am looking if somebody that has paddled the Yukon River from Whitehorse to the Bearing sea...I am going in 2013... Open to any advice...Anybody want to join?

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Messages in this Topic


  I just finished a book
  Posted by: kayamedic on Jul-27-12 2:10 AM (EST)
Reading the River by John Hillebrand. And I never want to paddle the whole length to the Bering Sea. If he had trouble with a canoe with motor in late took away any desire.

Go earlier..There are people over on who have done most of the Yukon.

I will in two weeks have done only five hundred miles. Except the river is moving so fast that the locals here guess we will do the Teslin/Yukon from Johnsons Crossing to Dawson in eight days.

Thats sixty miles a day. The river is cranking about ten mph in Whitehorse this evening. We will be on the river tomorrow.
  Posted by: iconart9 on Jul-27-12 10:22 AM (EST)
It is a good book...If you have the time read the "Paddling the Yukon River and its Tributaries" by Dan Maclean. Great source of information.
  Considered it...
  Posted by: yknpdlr on Jul-27-12 7:54 AM (EST)
I've canoed the Y1K twice, and also the YRQ. And I will be going back again. The Y1K ends at the Dalton Highway bridge, which is the last chance to exit with your boat via road. I'd like to continue all the way to the sea, several hundred more miles, though there are other logistics to consider, not the least of which is how to get your boat back home. Do you have a plan?

Be sure you understand the river, know how to read and predict currents, and have a current set of maps, especially in the Flats.
  Yukon Trip
  Posted by: iconart9 on Jul-27-12 10:28 AM (EST)
I was considering renting a car from the Emmonak and driving back home with my gear. Planning to leave from the Chicago area in late May early June weather permitting.
  Posted by: yknpdlr on Jul-27-12 4:51 PM (EST)
are kidding, right?
  Posted by: iconart9 on Jul-27-12 11:32 PM (EST)
I will rent or buy a cheap SUV or a car from Chicago and go as far as I can to Whitehorse....Leave it, sell it or donate it there, do not need it...After I paddle down the river to the Bearing Sea, I will purchase a cheap car...Rent one or go upstream until I am able to find a ride for my way back trip to Chicago... It is as simple as that.
  It may not be as simple as you think...
  Posted by: yknpdlr on Jul-28-12 8:41 AM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Jul-28-12 1:28 PM EST --

You might want to check out availability of rental cars in Emmonak before you make any further plans. Which highway might you be driving on to leave from there? A quick look at google maps will tell the story.

People who have done this trip have in the past either abandoned their boats, or if they are small enough, they strap them to the exterior of a bush plane to fly someplace where there actually is highway access to the rest of the world.

The last downstream road access in Alaska is at Yukon River Camp on the Dalton Highway, 160 miles north of Fairbanks, which is some 900+ miles upstream from Emmonak. The Yukon River flows 4-6+ miles per hour through much of its 2000+ mile length, perhaps a bit less (but not much less) as it nears the sea. Paddling any distance at all upstream is quite a hefty workout.

Here are a couple of web sites you might want to check out for some further hints:

If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask, or to google. Help is available for you to do your homework and to make informed decisions on if you really want to do this.

  Great Info
  Posted by: iconart9 on Jul-28-12 11:32 PM (EST)
Great information,

Thanks for your time
  Posted by: iconart9 on Jul-28-12 11:43 PM (EST)
Just want it to add that I have a Sea 1 canoe and would like to very much to take it back with me home.
  Posted by: paddletothesea on Jul-28-12 1:16 PM (EST)
Population 740 People dont think they have a rental car place and sure there in no road out of there. Got friends whove done whole river, will get you their e-mail soon
  Posted by: iconart9 on Jul-28-12 11:35 PM (EST)
That will be very helpful
  An Idea
  Posted by: nanuk57 on Sep-01-12 5:51 PM (EST)
I too have contemplated this adventure and have read with interest the many responses. I have an idea that might work also, if your willing to dump a vehicle why not also get a disposable boat, such as an old pontoon type craft like old people and families use on lakes and such. You could carry so much more supplies and you and your crew could take turn standing watch and keep moving. It wouldn't be hard to make 80 miles a day just with the current. The motor would be reserved for avoiding troubled areas.
At the very end arrangements could be made to be flown out.
  Grant Air has service out of
  Posted by: kayamedic on Sep-01-12 6:40 PM (EST)

I know a couple who has done this with a PakCanoe. Folds into a duffle bag albeit large one.
  yukon r
  Posted by: ppine on Sep-08-12 12:35 PM (EST)
The Yukon is big, fast and cold. It gets windy often and can be really wet. I have thought of doing a trip on it for years. The wilderness character is compromised in many areas because of the amount of commerce, people moving stuff, natives fishing, etc.

I though of a large canoe at first, but then thought of a drift boat with an outboard would be ideal. Maybe two canoes lashed together with poles and covers and a small outboard, native style.
  Big fast cold and gravel bars
  Posted by: kayamedic on Sep-10-12 8:51 AM (EST)
Thats the possible kink in the outboard idea. Shores show rafts abandoned after the trip so a pure float is doable.

Natives use outboards. They know the river much better than I do ( I just did it this summer) and know where not to take them. That said paddling gets you into the backwater where wildlife is. Too shallow for a motor.

River speed is generally from six to eight mph..and not much whitewater. The Flats are different..taking the wrong channel and having to backtrack miles might leave one wishing for a motor.

Over two weeks we saw two outboards, the Minto and Dawson Ferries and two barges. I would not call that excessive commercial traffic.
  Yukon R
  Posted by: ppine on Oct-11-12 2:58 PM (EST)
For a long trip it is an advantage to have some people around, more cultural interaction, safety, company,etc. I didn't say it was bad, just less wilderness character than many other rivers. I have always read about the Natives fishing on shore, and that often they will wave you in for a cup of tea. That would be a nice break especially on a rainy day to step into a wall tent with the stove going and talk with a family of local people making a subsistence living by fishing.
  Friendly First Nation
  Posted by: yknpdlr on Oct-11-12 5:06 PM (EST)
During the Yukon 1000 mile race, it was a warm day in the middle of the broad expanse of the Flats and we were paddling our voyageur canoe toward our next waypoint. A couple of guys were tending their fish wheel attached to a small island in the middle of nowhere. As we approached, one of them hopped in his small motorboat and quickly headed directly toward us.

We were a bit apprehensive, not knowing what to expect when he cut his outboard and stood up, holding his hands out about 3 feet apart. He says "you want king salmon"... offering two huge salmon to us for free. It hurt so bad to have to turn him down, as we were in race mode and had neither the time nor the means to prepare the fish for consumption. I am not sure if he understood as we tried to explain with a hearty thank-you.
  I still have to write my TR
  Posted by: kayamedic on Oct-11-12 8:56 PM (EST)
We had good interactions with FN.. one group was checking on spirit houses and invited us to visit. They explained what the burial area meant. This year was a horrid salmon run. I would have loved to have some fresh salmon. The water was insanely high in July.

We also had some thievery on another FN area. But I think it was done by an bored nine year old kid visiting from Outside.
  Yukon River Trip
  Posted by: H2OAddict on Sep-09-12 3:05 PM (EST)
Take a look on our website for "Epic Yukon River Journey" at

It's the serialized story of Ray Zvirbulis' paddle from the headwaters of the river to the sea. Ray has made the complete trip once and most of it twice more.

He also wrote a book called "Paddle 'Til Dark" on his first attempt, that's available on Amazon. He's a really amazing person.

If you want more info, contact me at -


  Gene Cantin
  Posted by: DUUJ on Sep-25-12 5:48 PM (EST)
Wrote a book called "Yukon Summer" about his trip in a fol-bot back in the 70's. You might find it interesting.
Safe journey.
  Posted by: DianaKayak on Apr-03-13 1:45 PM (EST)
I'm very interested please let me know if you're still looking for kayaking buddies....


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