In the Athapaskan language, the word Yukon means the great river or big river.
A land of Waterways Just waiting to be Paddled
If your paddling life list includes a true wilderness river, you’ve come to the right place. Each of our 70 wild Yukon rivers is unique and offers canoeing adventures which include a diversity of wildlife, landscapes, geology and history. However, there’s one trait all Yukon rivers share and that’s nature at its most untouched and unspoiled.
3,185 km and the fifth longest river in North America, the mighty Yukon River flows from Tagish Lake on the BC/Yukon border through Yukon and Alaska to finally drain into the Bering Sea. Rich in cultural history ranging from its first human use by First Nations people centuries ago, to the Klondike gold rush of 1898 – the biggest rush for gold the world has ever seen, Yukon provides modern day adventurers one of the ultimate river trips on the planet.
Class III – IV
Located in the southwestern corner of Yukon where the borders of British Columbia, Alaska and Yukon meet, the Tatshenshini River flows through the St Elias Mountain range with peaks nearly 5000 m high. Flowing through the largest protected area on the planet, this is one of North America’s wildest rivers with exhilarating rapids, canyons, soaring mountains, and unequalled opportunities to view big game.
Class IV, plus some V – VI
Flowing amid the highest mountains in Canada, past the world’s largest and longest mountain glaciers, under the gaze of grizzly bears, the Alsek rises in the mountains of Kluane National Park Reserve – a World Heritage Site. Its braided upper reaches nestle in a broad valley, providing an oasis for mountain goats, Dall’s sheep and other wildlife. Downstream, rivers of ice flow into the Alsek’s silt-laden waters, calving huge icebergs into the river. The Alsek’s remoteness, beauty, and wild rapids tug at the heartstrings of adventurous river travellers. But be prepared to portage Turnback Canyon!
Class II – III
Located in northeastern Yukon, the Snake River descends 2,500m from the arctic tundra of the Wernerke Mountains to join a vast wilderness watershed that flows north to Mackenzie River and the Beaufort Sea. The Snake is a wild river that flows through untouched wilderness. Also offering outstanding wilderness hiking and wildlife viewing opportunities.
Class III, plus two Class V rapids
The Bonnet Plume River descends from the rugged Wernecke Mountains carving out a magnificent, wide valley and crossing a lowland plain, heading west and north towards its confluence with the Peel River. The diversity of wildlife, vegetation and scenery of this expansive and beautiful region provides an exceptional opportunity for visitors to appreciate the character of Yukon wilderness. The Bonnet Plume River stands out as one of the premier whitewater wilderness canoe rivers in Canada. It is technically challenging with frequent Class II and III rapids as well as isolated locations of Class IV and V. The river also offers excellent camping locations and opportunities for scenic day-hikes, particularly in the alpine areas, which are readily accessible from the river.
The Firth River is a world class whitewater river of exceptional beauty flowing through the heart of Ivvavik National Park, which is located in the far north of Yukon. The river is a remote Class IV wilderness river with cold water, strong eddy lines and 45 kilometres of canyon. There are numerous Class III and Class IV rapids along the river. Find out more…
Yukon is world renowned as a legendary land imbued with gold rush history, frontier spirit and first nation culture. Listen to what fellow media travellers have to say about Yukon.