teslin-yukon rivers

Put-in: Johnson’s Crossing   Take-out: Dawson City The Teslin River was one of the routes used by the Klondike goldrushers of 1897-99 to reach the goldfields of Dawson. As such, there are historical reminders of a period that saw the movement of people and sternwheelers along banks once dotted with wood camps, mining works, and trading centers. Not only does it offer that connection to its goldrush days but it is also provides an excellent wilderness experience.

Having completed the Teslin, we will either return to Whitehorse for a well deserved shower or you can choose to stay in Carmacks at the Coal Mine Campground (showers also included!). Either way there will be two days between the Teslin and Yukon portions of the journey, during which the guides will prepare for the next section of the journey, old friends might leave us and new travelling companions will join us. We will then be transported back to Minto on the Yukon River. We have arranged this transfer to bypass some potentially hazardous water on the Yukon River and to also avoid the stretch of Yukon River that parallels the Klondike Highway. We feel that the stretch of river from Minto to Dawson City is the best opportunity to enjoy the Yukon wilderness while also experiencing the history of the Klondike goldrush. At Dawson City there will be time to visit many of the historical sites and enjoy some of the period entertainment. If you have the time to give to this river trip, you will come away relaxed and enthusiastic about the Yukon.
Difficulty: Class 1 Novice

Cost: Cdn: $3490 + 5% GST [Federal Tax]

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A non-refundable deposit of 30% of the trip fee is required to hold your reservation.The balance of the fee is due 60 days prior to commencement date of the trip. As a significant portion of our trip costs is already committed well in advance of each trip, there is no refund after 60 days. If payment is not received when due, Sea to Sky Expeditions reserves the right to treat the reservation as cancelled. Sea to Sky Expeditions will refund both deposit [less a small administrative fee] and full balance of payment, if we can replace your spot with another participant, less any non-refundable moneys from third party deposits. Cancellation notice must be received in writing. Please note that all tours in B.C and the Yukon. are subject to a 5% GST federal tax. No one may depart on a trip unless all payments and necessary documents (including medical and liability release forms) are received by Sea to Sky Expeditions. Due to the nature of operating in the wilderness and international destinations, prices are subject to change [rare]. Where necessary to change a price, we will try to provide as much notice as possible, and offer you the choice of another trip, or to cancel, with full refund. Our prices are quoted in Canadian dollars. If you choose to pay by credit card, we have to process the payment in Canadian funds. Your credit card company will automatically change it to your currency based on their exchange rate. If you paid your deposit in Canadian funds, please continue to make all further payments in Canadian funds to avoid any confusion in the daily changing exchange rate. Sea to Sky Expeditions reserves the right to alter itineraries or cancel any trip prior to departure for any reason whatsoever, including insufficient booking levels or logistical problems that may impede trip operations. A trip cancellation due to insufficient booking levels will generally occur at least 30 days prior to departure. Sea to Sky Expeditions is not responsible for expenses incurred by trip members in preparing for the trip (i.e. non refundable airline tickets, visa fees, equipment, etc.).


A complete itinerary along with maps, clothing and equipment list, will be issued upon registration. Included: 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 and 3 days in Whitehorse, meals/snacks/beverages on the expedition, tarps, major first aid supplies, emergency radio or satellite phone, and professional guides. Excluded: Transportation to point of origin, transfers, accommodation and food otherthan included in the itinerary, gratuities, and personal equipment. Meals: All meals while on the river. Day 0: Arrival in Whitehorse. This denotes the day or days spent in Whitehorse before the listed start date of the trip. Day 1 – 6: We will pick you up from your accommodation around 7:00 a.m. and head to our put-in at Johnsons Crossing. We are looking to cover about 40 km per day. Although this sounds like a significant distance, the current of the river makes this a reasonable goal. The river, in its initial stage, is wide and the current slow. At 100 Mile Creek the character of the river changes. The wide open river valley disappears, the river narrows, and the willow covered marshes give way to a shoreline of spruce trees and clay banks. The additional volume from the Boswell, Swift and Indian Rivers results in more gravel bars and islands appearing. The river valley widens and large clay banks with distinctive eroded features called hoodoos become more frequent. It is in this stretch of river that we will experience “Roaring Bull Rapids”. Other than a “rush”, the rapids are not technical or dangerous. We will arrive at Hootalinqua, where the the Teslin River joins the Yukon River. Hootalinqua was an important depot, with NWMP post. Although the permanent population was never more than about a dozen, a telegraph station and trading store was located here. A number of buildings still stand. Day 7- 9 : As the river widens out at Hootalinqua, it takes on a completely different character – calmer. At Shipyard Island we will stop to see the 130-foot Evelyn. She was built by the Bratnober Company in Seattle in 1908 – working for the Upper Tanana Trading Company and then the huge North American Trading & Transportation Company (NAT & T), she supplied the trading posts along the tributaries of the lower Yukon River until 1913. At the confluence of the Yukon and Big Salmon rivers is Big Salmon Village. It is the site of an ancient fishing village. During the goldrush a NWMP post, telegraph station, riverboat stop, and trading post was located here. Our paddle will continue to the confluence of Little Salmon and Yukon rivers. Little Salmon village is believed to be the oldest permanent Indian settlement on the upper Yukon. We will drive back to a hot shower in Whitehorse tonight. Days 10-11: Layover day in Whitehorse. Days 12 – 18 – We will be driven to our put in point at Minto and continue the voyage. It is not practical to give a day by day itinerary for this stretch of river. 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 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 stay at Fort Selkirk. 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. 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. Day 19-20: We will be staying at a Dawson City Hotel. 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.

Whitehorse Air Canada has daily flights to Whitehorse. Air North has scheduled flights from Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver to Whitehorse. Please check with your travel agent for details. Air Condor has one direct flight per week from Frankfurt, Germany.

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