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Thread: has anybody canoed down the Yukon River

  1. #1
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    Arrow has anybody canoed down the Yukon River

    Hello folks, i was planning on floating down the Yukon R. this summer. Looking for information on how big the rapids are. I was maybe going start from the Alaskan boarder and end up in Tanana or Gallena. The other option was to make the trip longer and start from either dawson Canada, or from whitehorse canada. I was wondering if anybody could give me info on how the water is in early spring, knowing how big the rapids are if any. If there are any rapids are there any prtage around them?I have been in Alaska for about 4 years now and love the state. I grew up conoeing on a lake, the st. croix river in wisconson and the missippi in Minnesota. I realize the yukon is a big and fast current but that is the thrill of the adventure. Any info on this would be great thanks.
    Last edited by mati; 02-19-2008 at 14:42. Reason: chnage title

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    Default Circle to Ft Yukon

    I only know that it has been floated hundreds of times by canoeists, and the Girl Scouts used to float from Circle to Ft Yukon (summer). I have not seen much to worry about between the Dalton Hwy bridge and Stevens Village (early fall).... so I guess that only leaves about a million miles you better learn about. Have a great trip; apparently it is quite an adventure.

  3. #3

    Default Canoeing the Yukon

    In 1996 I did the Yukon from the Canadian border to the Bering sea and back to Fairbanks. The only thing close to rapids was near Rampart, but that is class II under the worst of conditions. I see a lot of canoes during my trips on the Yukon every summer. Your biggest concern is wind. It can come up quickly and last awhile. It seems to be worst in the afternoons and the river is BIG. Check out the Yukon River Guide by Gerri Dick and Dean Littlepage. The Alaska Wllderness Guide by the Milepost people is another good source of info. Get a good mapping GPS. It will help a lot, but some of the maps are outdated so look at the GPS and Google Earth, side by side, to verify the channels before you leave. I felt the most scenic part was from Eagle to Circle, but it's all great. Enjoy your trip.

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    Member moose-head's Avatar
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    Default

    I have a book written by a person who went the length of it in a canoe I'll look for it to find the title. I would imagine that there are more similar books out there.

  5. #5

    Default I paddled the Yukon from Whitehorse to

    Dawson City and spent 21 days on the river in 03 and will do it again in 09....Not much in the way of rapids..one set of maybe class 1+ just outside of Carrmacks depending on how high the river is running....Not to much of a challange...some years the river runs higher than others and during the high times many of the good camping spots are under water....I wouldn't start on the river before the Middle of June...break up lasts into late May some years...
    http://www.kayak.yk.ca/html/yckc/index.html try this web site for more info...good luck

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    Default Little red canoe..

    I heard of a book about someone who took a canoe down the Yukon. Think it was "Little Red Canoe" or similar. You may enjoy reading it and perhaps gain some insights that would help you decide if that is a trip you really want to take.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Default Two in a red canoe

    Written by Megan Baldino of Channel 2 Television in Anchorage.
    she and her husband paddled part of the Yukon river a few years back and she wrote about the trip.
    its a short read, but good
    Max
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

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    Default guidebooks

    Over the years, I've canoed in various sections from Carmacks to Circle and found it relatively easy going. Headwinds in the afternoon, a few hellacious thunderstorms, and misjudging the current speed when trying to get a group to the same spot have been minor issues.

    The books mentioned above are good. Another is by Archie Satterfield. Not sure if it's in print anymore, but it had good maps and advice about the upper river (maybe the lakes to Eagle?). It's been many, many years since we did that upper section.

    For the 150+ miles from Eagle to Circle, you might chat with or look over the website for Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve, www.nps.gov/yuch There are free public use cabins in a few locations on that stretch that are nice if you need to get out of the weather.

    If you have a chance to stop at Slaven's you should check out the Coal Creek dredge. Some interesting history of mining in that valley.

    Two other thoughts for put-in points. Dawson is a pretty fun little town and has surprisingly good prices on groceries. The restaurant in Eagle (I think there's only one) serves a welcome burger after a few days on the river or the road.

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    There are no real rapids between the Eagle and Tanana or Galena. However, the river gets quite wide and can be a little tricky. "Paddling the Yukon River and its Tributaries" by Dan Maclean is a guidebook to canoeing or kayaking the entire Yukon from Whitehorse to the Bering Sea. It will answer all your questions about the float. http://www.outdoorsdirectory.com/sto...roducts_id=105

  10. #10

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    The coal creek dredge is DEFINITELY worth checking out. There is another dredge up woodchopper creek but it is on private property. The park service cleaned up bunch of nasty stuff from coal creek. I'd worry about lead poising up woodchopper though.



    Sounds like a fun trip. I'd like to do it sometime.
    Last edited by makalutoo; 03-04-2008 at 22:41. Reason: add photo

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    Member Roger45's Avatar
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    I use to live in Ft. Yukon...one summer day in 1982 there was a knock at the door asking us if we wanted to buy a canoe. The couple standing there had two boys, age 6 and 9. Three years earlier they had gone on a trek from Vermont to Ft. Yukon via canoe and following the old trade routes and doing small portages. It took three years, with time off in the winter, to go the full distance. They said that most of the portages were less than 5 miles. What an education for the two boys (who were 3 and 6 at the start of the trip). The Yukon was by far the easiest part of the trip as it is a large and braided river that in the old days always had log rafts going down it. Your trip should be fun and educational, but not really *dangerous* if you know how to handle a canoe and don't overload it. You do need to watch out for the large cargo barges all summer long. Sounds like a blast.
    "...and then Jack chopped down the beanstock, adding murder and ecological vandalism to the theft, enticement and vandalism charges already mentioned, but he got away with it and lived happily ever after without so much as a guilty twinge about what he had done. Which proves that you can be excused just about anything if you're a hero, because no one asks the inconvenient questions." Terry Pratchett's The Hogfather

  12. #12
    Member faemystique's Avatar
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    Default Yukon Wild...

    Quote Originally Posted by jklingel View Post
    I only know that it has been floated hundreds of times by canoeists, and the Girl Scouts used to float from Circle to Ft Yukon (summer). I have not seen much to worry about between the Dalton Hwy bridge and Stevens Village (early fall).... so I guess that only leaves about a million miles you better learn about. Have a great trip; apparently it is quite an adventure.
    I think is the name of the book that put the bug in me, and I think there is another out there mentioned above that I haven't read yet. I bet libraries would have easy access to several. Yukon wild was the whole length of the river start to finish... its a beautiful river and clear as can be around Whitehorse... its my dream to one day do this trip too, money and time permitting... GOOD luck and would love to hear all about it!

  13. #13
    Member faemystique's Avatar
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    Question St Croix River????????

    Quote Originally Posted by mati View Post
    Hello folks, i was planning on floating down the Yukon R. this summer. Looking for information on how big the rapids are. I was maybe going start from the Alaskan boarder and end up in Tanana or Gallena. The other option was to make the trip longer and start from either dawson Canada, or from whitehorse canada. I was wondering if anybody could give me info on how the water is in early spring, knowing how big the rapids are if any. If there are any rapids are there any prtage around them?I have been in Alaska for about 4 years now and love the state. I grew up conoeing on a lake, the st. croix river in wisconson and the missippi in Minnesota. I realize the yukon is a big and fast current but that is the thrill of the adventure. Any info on this would be great thanks.
    HEY man, thats my old stomping grounds... my grandfathers ashes are in that river... where are you used to canoeing on it? I am from Burnett County, have made the mistake in my youth of listening to a boyfriend (who wouldn't listen to me) of putting in on Cty Rd M in spring, when the river was low as hell, needless to say the alum canoe we were in was beat to hell from rapids by the time we made it to Louise Park, or maybe Shone Park near Dairyland. Another I would do was the Namekogan, but maybe you are more familiar with the southern end of it by taylors falls/st. croix falls?

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