After the discovery of placer gold on Bonanza creek by three prospectors in 1896, thousands of men and women traveled the Yukon River to try their luck “striking it rich” in the Dawson area. During 12 days you'll follow their route from Lake Laberge to Dawson city.
For the first few days, you'll paddle the wildest section of the river where you have the best opportunities of observing northern wildlife. There are numerous historical site along this stretch: abandoned wood yards and telegraph stations, remains of old steamboats, etc. Shortly after passing by Carmacks, you encounter the only rapids on the Yukon river between Whitehorse and Dawson, Five Finger Rapids. During the gold rush, these rapids were a major obstacle for the prospectors’ wooden rafts, but at the beginning of 20th century, a channel was blasted to allow passage for larger steamboats. Today, Five Finger Rapids are a rather small challenge on the way.
Further down stream, you'll visit one of the most famous historical sites along the Yukon River: Fort Selkirk, a Hudson Bay Company trading post dating back to 1852.
Next is the White River, a major tributary flowing from the southwest and heavily laden with glacial silts, joins the Yukon River. From this point on, the clarity of the Yukon River is dramatically changed and its flow quickens. Ten kilometres further downstream, the Stewart River flow in from the northeast. From here, you'll paddle straight north on the last stretch to your destination, Dawson City. Each evening, you'll set up camp on one of the numerous camping spots along the shore of the river, and cook gourmet foods on the camp fire! On average, you paddle 4 to 6 hrs (60kms) per day. In September, in this remote land, far away from light pollution, you will have the opportunity to watch stars in the clear night skies and maybe even northern lights!