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Thread: Yukon River - Full Source to Sea Descent

  1. #1

    Default Yukon River - Full Source to Sea Descent

    Hi everyone. I've been lurking on here for almost three years, and this is my first post.
    Some buddies and I are planning a full descent of the Yukon River from source to sea.

    Most people who have run the Yukon River start 160 miles downriver at Whitehorse, YT and paddle from there to the mouth just west of Emmonak. I assume they start at Whitehorse, and paddle rather than motor down due to logistical issues. Does anyone know if a full descent has ever been documented using a motorized canoe or boat starting at the Llewellyn Glacier in British Columbia?

  2. #2
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    A couple of tears ago one person did a yak trip all the way to Anchorage I think could be wrong , he did a video along the way, I think
    did a real good job on it , SID

  3. #3

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    Hi Sid, thanks for the reply. I believe you may be referring to Beav's adventure posted over on the Boundary Waters forum. That was truly an epic trip. Hereís a link; https://bwca.com/index.cfm?fuseactio...ID=12&confID=1
    Iíve gotta warn you though. Once you start watching, itís hard to stop. I binge watched all 14 episodes. In my book, nothing on cable TV comes even close to being as good.

    But, Beavís trip doesnít fit the criteria of what Iím asking because;
    A. He portaged over the Chilkoot (an amazing feat) and put in at Lake Bennett, but that is not the furthest upstream source of the Yukon River.
    B. Beav also paddled the whole trip.

    I have also seen a few instances of other paddlers documenting full descents from the Llewellyn Glacier, but nothing motorized.

    Back in 2017 there were two guys in a motorized pontoon boat who ran from Whitehorse to the Bering Sea, but they started 160 miles downriver from the source. Hereís a link to their trip; https://www.yukonarctic.com/

    Why do I want to do a motorized full descent of the Yukon? Because I can find no evidence online or in books of anyone ever doing it. A motorized descent would not only likely be a first; it would also be the fastest full descent ever recorded (because it wouldnít be hard to beat the speed of the few paddlers whoíve done it).

  4. #4
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    I don't know of anyone that has gone from the glacier on Atlin Lake to the Bering Sea and documented it but there are certainly numerous documentations of Yukon River journeys. The prospectors started on Lake Bennett after crossing the Chilkoot Pass over a century ago and many of those exited The Yukon and Alaska by eventually going down stream.

    I've just returned from The Southern Lakes Region [Atlin, Tagish, Bennett, Tutshi, Marsh Lakes] where I've canoed and traveled for decades. This is by far my favorite part of the Yukon drainage. Leaving Whitehorse on the Yukon/Lewes River will give you a nice canoe trip with many other canoeists. A couple weeks will get you to Circle, Alaska from where the river becomes quite Ho Hum IMO.

    Good luck in your venture!

  5. #5

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    Thanks for the input VernAK.
    I passed through Tagish and Carcross a few years back. I never got on the water around there, but it definitely put the itch in me to go back. After seeing it, I understand how one could reach the conclusion that the headwaters of the Yukon drainage are the most beautiful.
    Iíve spent a little time on the water in the middle section, but have never seen the lower parts. I do look forward to visiting the villages of the lower section. One thing is certain, itís a big river, with lots of varying terrain and peoples, so it will be a trip to remember.
    Iím leaving this Saturday with boats and gear on the 8000 mike round trip from Florida to Atlin. Itís gonna be a long haul!

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    Let us know how the Atlin River went for you.

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    Swamp Runner a person was going to do a trip like yours a few years back , but decided not to do it for his safety down there, crossing the gulf
    to many people want your stuff , as he put it , I think he changed his mine an went to Texas an called it quits , could be wrong but that is what I remember , Sid

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