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BEGINS IN: WHITEHORSE, YUKON

Canoeing the Yukon: Pristine Nature and Gold Rush History

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Road Scholar
Program #20537RJ
10 Days | 9 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Challenging
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Equipment Requirements
Sleeping bag (good to freezing and below), sleeping pad (preferably "Therm-a-rest"), rain jacket with hood, rain pants, rubber boots, neoprene booties, 1 liter water bottle (no glass). If you are bringing photography equipment, bring a dry bag for ease of access.

Itinerary for Aug 11 — Aug 20, 2013

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Type: Inn

Description: Canada's Best Value Inn Whitehorse is a centrally located 2 story hotel that offers spacious guest rooms with either a mountain or river view, conveniently located in downtown Whitehorse, Yukon

Contact info:
102 Wood Street
Whitehorse, YT Y1A2E3 Canada
phone: 867-667-7801
web: www.americasbestvalueinn.com/bestv.cfm?idp=1285

Facility amenities: The comfortable guest rooms feature free wireless high-speed Internet access, microwave, mini-fridge, cable TV, coffeemaker, hairdryer, radio, and wake-up service. An iron and ironing board are available in the guest laundromat. This is the only hotel in Whitehorse that provides heated underground parking. The hotel also offers a business center with fax/copy service and a 24-hour multilingual front desk.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights before: Call or email hotel
Participants can book pre and post night stays with Adam. His email is info@riverviewhotel.ca

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day One: Sunday, August 11 - Welcome/ Orientation
Note: The canoe skill level rating is "beginner" with no canoeing or camping experience necessary. However, the overall trip is strenuous with a norm of 6 to 8 hours of paddling per day (could be more or less) as well as hauling canoes in and out of water, camp set up and tear down, meal preparation, etc.

Arrive To: Whitehorse, Yukon

Afternoon: Welcome to a grand adventure on the mighty Yukon River! Whether you are skilled or a beginner makes no difference as our expert guide will provide instruction and tips for all levels, and the Yukon is the perfect river for a sensational canoeing experience.

At our afternoon orientation, get acquainted with your fellow adventurers. The group size is small (no more than 12) to provide the most intimate canoeing experience in the pristine wilderness of the Yukon River.

We’ll review your gear and you’ll have a chance to pick-up any missing items late this afternoon.

Dinner: At the hotel

Evening: Presentation: The Mighty Yukon

Lodging: Canada's Best Value Inn River View Hotel

Meals Included: Dinner

Type: Tents

Description: Each night the group will be camping at a different location. See itinerary for additional information.

Contact info:
Yukon River
Yukon River, YK Canada
phone: 999-999-9999
Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Bathroom: Shared bathrooms while camping.


Day Two: Monday, August 12 - The Mighty Yukon River/ Lake Laberge
Breakfast: At the hotel

Morning: Our canoe trip starts with a transfer to the legendary Yukon River. “Yukon” means “great river” and is aptly named! It travels more than 1850 miles (3000km) from its source lakes south of Whitehorse, to the Bering Sea. During the next seven wonderful days, we’ll paddle over 180 miles (300km) on this great river to roam the Yukon wilderness.

Lunch: Pull out for a tasty lunch.

Afternoon: On our first day of paddling, we’ll travel the Yukon as it widens into Lake Laberge. We’ll do some shoreline paddling on this first 30-mile section of the river, a narrow, winding stretch, and be rewarded with some great scenery.

Lake Laberge has left its mark in history due to the famous poem by Robert W. Service “The Cremation of Sam McGee,” and two books by Jack London where the lake is mentioned: Grit of Women and The Call of the Wild. With the backdrop of this rugged and scenic area, both author’s writings take on new meaning.

Dinner: Join your other adventurers to prepare a delicious dinner, much deserved after our first delightful day on the River.

Evening: Relax and discuss as your guide shares the history of this area. Each evening will vary, but topics may include: Gold Rush history and lore, First Nation culture, history and lore, magnificent wildlife of the Yukon, climatic effects on the region and its wildlife. The best of all though are the spontaneous discussions provoked by our daily adventures!

Lodging: Camping along the Yukon River

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Type: Tents

Description: Each night the group will be camping at a different location. See itinerary for additional information.

Contact info:
Yukon River
Yukon River, YK Canada
phone: 999-999-9999
Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Bathroom: Shared bathrooms while camping.


Day Three: Tuesday, August 13 - Pristine Wilderness
Breakfast: At our campsite

Morning: Each day will be an adventure determined by the River, your interests and opportunities to be taken as they arise such as wildlife viewing, fishing, etc. Our campsites per night are thus open-ended as is our daily goal paddling distance although we will typically paddle about 6-8 hours a day (*note: This can vary!).

We will experience all the delights listed in the following days, but be aware that the day and the delight may vary from the day listed in order to allow us the freedom of adventure.

Lunch: Pull out for a relaxing lunch.

Afternoon: Far from the tourist routes, you’ll start to really experience the pristine wilderness as we travel on this afternoon, following in the trail of rugged miners and prospectors.

Dinner: Another delightful concoction of our own doing to enjoy this evening.

Evening: Gather around the fire for stories of about historic events and travelers on this river.

Lodging: Camping along the Yukon River

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Type: Tents

Description: Each night the group will be camping at a different location. See itinerary for additional information.

Contact info:
Yukon River
Yukon River, YK Canada
phone: 999-999-9999
Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Bathroom: Shared bathrooms while camping.


Day Four: Wednesday, August 14 - 17 Mile Camp/ Watch for Bears
Breakfast: At our campsite

Morning: Enjoy the far reaches of the Yukon as we paddle onward today, passing many relics of the historic Gold Rush of 1898.

As the riverboats plyed the Yukon in days gone by, there were over 100 wood camps set up along the River, each producing 200-300 cords of wood to supply the riverboats with fuel. The woodyards were spaced at intervals along the River so the paddleboats could stop and get their fuel for the next leg of the trip.

Step back in time to what “used to be,” as you stop at 17 Mile Wood Camp, and wander amongst these remnants of history….the remains of a two-room cabin and remnants of others. Standing in the steps of a bygone era….is for many people, an awesome experience.

Lunch: picnic lunch

Afternoon: Back on the River, keep an eye out on the shore for the ever-present bears and other wildlife foraging.

The Yukon River is a delightful river to paddle and explore due to it’s consistently swift current, yet lack of technical water. There are no rapids on the River nor portages. The rapids were dynamited years ago by the Canadian Government to accommodate the sternwheelers and paddleboats traveling from Whitehorse to Dawson City.

Dinner: Another welcome culinary creation

Evening: Gather ‘round to learn about Early Native American lore and history.

Lodging: Camping along the Yukon River

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Type: Tents

Description: Each night the group will be camping at a different location. See itinerary for additional information.

Contact info:
Yukon River
Yukon River, YK Canada
phone: 999-999-9999
Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Bathroom: Shared bathrooms while camping.


Day Five: Thursday, August 15 - Gold Rush Days
Breakfast: At our campsite

Morning: Gold! As we paddle along this area of the River, we are following in the exact trail once frequented by stampeders finding their way to the Klondike gold fields. A prospector named George Holt found gold nuggets on gravel bars in the Hootalinqua (Teslin) river in the 1870s. The news drew southern prospectors to the north long before the world heard of Klondike riches.



Lunch: Picnic lunch

Afternoon: Explore the abandoned settlement of Hootalinqua, where once about 100 miners lived. This settlement became a supply point, and a N.W.M.P post was built here. You could even find a telegraph office and a Taylor and Drury store here, and the roadhouse and telegraph office remain yet today along with remnants of other buildings.



Dinner: What’s up tonight for dinner? A yummy delight of our making!

Evening: Maybe tonight’s the night for a little fishing, or maybe just to relax with your feet in the river!

Lodging: Camping along the Yukon River

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Type: Tents

Description: Each night the group will be camping at a different location. See itinerary for additional information.

Contact info:
Yukon River
Yukon River, YK Canada
phone: 999-999-9999
Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Bathroom: Shared bathrooms while camping.


Day Six: Friday, August 16 - First Nation Peoples/ Fish/Hike/Relax
Breakfast: At our campsite.

Morning: Many First Nation families hunted, fished and trapped in this area and the name Hootalinqua comes a Northern Tutchone word. Hootalinqua was a popular gathering site for trade and visiting among many of the First Nation peoples. As you paddle, you can well imagine their gatherings here.



Lunch: Pull out for a picnic lunch.

Afternoon: Maybe this afternoon is the time for a break and some fishing. Or maybe you want to troll with a streamer behind your canoe as you paddle. Either way, it’s a great adventure to capture a Yukon pike.

Set up camp on the gravel and sand banks of the mighty River, and enjoy a refreshing bath in the Yukon.

Dinner: Enjoy a relaxing dinner after a refreshing day.

Evening: Time to share some tales from the Tutchone and other First Nations Peoples.

Lodging: Camping along the Yukon River

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Type: Tents

Description: Each night the group will be camping at a different location. See itinerary for additional information.

Contact info:
Yukon River
Yukon River, YK Canada
phone: 999-999-9999
Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Bathroom: Shared bathrooms while camping.


Day Seven: Saturday, August 17 - Bald Eagles and Trappers Cabins
Breakfast: At the campsite

Morning: Lots of wildlife viewing as we travel. Black bears are common in the Yukon Valley. Watch the ridges or the cliffs along the river to spot busy mammals.

Moose are numerous in the forested foothills and bald eagles nest along the river banks. Beavers are busy getting their winter supplies in. Several times we have seen grizzly bears strolling the shoreline.

Lunch: Picnic lunch

Afternoon: Other relics along the way…. fascinating remains of trappers cabins and wood camps, and then there is….Shipyard Island, where standing in the middle of nowhere, are the remains of the steamer “Evelyn.”

As we paddle on, we’ll “experience” the confluence of the Teslin and the Salmon Rivers from our unique River vantage point.



Dinner: Hungry again after a refreshing day, enjoy dining in the great outdoors.

Evening: Gather around to learn more about survival methods during the harsh winters and dramatic climate changes in this far North Country. How does one acclimatize to 20 hours of darkness and only 4 hours of light a day?

Lodging: Camping along the Yukon River

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Type: Tents

Description: Each night the group will be camping at a different location. See itinerary for additional information.

Contact info:
Yukon River
Yukon River, YK Canada
phone: 999-999-9999
Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Bathroom: Shared bathrooms while camping.


Day Eight: Sunday, August 18 - Cyr’s Dredge and Yukon Lore
Breakfast: At our campsite

Morning: With the compass needle north, we paddle onwards learning about the plentiful plant, animal and aquatic life from our guide.

Look at the ridges, the hills, the river banks, and consider….could this valley of the Yukon really have been as many anthropologists believe, the main immigration route for North America’s first human inhabitants…. traveling across a now-submerged isthmus joining present-day Alaska with Russia’ Siberia?

Lunch: Picnic lunch

Afternoon: The history of the River unveils another of its treasures - Cyrs Gold Dredge, which was floated down the river for some summer gold mining. It was ingeniously made from a stripped-down caterpillar tractor, a car motor and various home-made parts. Although the partners mined 72 ounces of gold from the river bars in 20 days, they did not return and the dredge remains as another remnant of the River’s lore.

Dinner: Another great concoction by our team!

Evening: One more night under the beautiful Northern skies. Enjoy the peace or spend some time with our guide learning about the Northern Lights.

Lodging: Camping along the Yukon River

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Type: Inn

Description: Canada's Best Value Inn Whitehorse is a centrally located 2 story hotel that offers spacious guest rooms with either a mountain or river view, conveniently located in downtown Whitehorse, Yukon

Contact info:
102 Wood Street
Whitehorse, YT Y1A2E3 Canada
phone: 867-667-7801
web: www.americasbestvalueinn.com/bestv.cfm?idp=1285

Facility amenities: The comfortable guest rooms feature free wireless high-speed Internet access, microwave, mini-fridge, cable TV, coffeemaker, hairdryer, radio, and wake-up service. An iron and ironing board are available in the guest laundromat. This is the only hotel in Whitehorse that provides heated underground parking. The hotel also offers a business center with fax/copy service and a 24-hour multilingual front desk.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights before: Call or email hotel
Participants can book pre and post night stays with Adam. His email is info@riverviewhotel.ca

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Nine: Monday, August 19 - Carmacks/ Whitehorse
Breakfast: At our campsite

Morning: After a week on the river with very few signs of civilization, we arrive at the small native village of Carmacks, which was founded by Klondike Gold Rush co-discoverer, George Carmack.

Discover the culture underlying this ancient village.

Lunch: Picnic lunch

Afternoon: There are only 4 bridges that cross the Yukon River in its length of 430 miles. At Carmacks, we find one of those bridges, and part from our canoes here.

Travel the Klondike Highway back to Whitehorse by charter van, a journey of just under 3 hours and transfer to our hotel.

Dinner: Our celebratory dinner of our journey.... at the hotel.

Evening: Time to relax after our adventure and to share stories with your new friends.

Lodging: Canada's Best Value Inn River View Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day Ten: Tuesday, August 20 - Farewells and Departures
Depart From: Whitehorse

Breakfast: At the hotel

Morning: Independent departures

Meals Included: Breakfast


Free Time Opportunities


Whitehorse, Yukon
Copperbelt Railway and Mining MuseumRide into history on a genuine mining locomotive. Discover the pivotal role of copper and rail in Whitehorse history. Open daily June to Sept. Covered picnic and play area. Location: 91928 Alaska Highway, Whitehorse Y1A 5B7 Phone: 1 (867) 667-6198
For additional information, visit: www.yukonrails.com
MacBride Museum of Yukon HistoryYukon adventure starts here! From gold rush fever to the birth of Whitehorse, the MacBride Museum offers a complete view of the people and events that built Canada’s Yukon. Gold panning! Family Fun! Open all year. Location: 1124 First Avenue Whitehorse Y1A 1A4 Phone: 1 (867) 667-2709
For additional information, visit: www.macbridemuseum.com
Old Log Church MuseumExperience Yukon’s spirited history within one of the oldest buildings in Whitehorse. Carry away a sense of the passion of the early pioneers and missionaries who helped shape Yukon’s history. Location: Third Avenue and Elliott Street Whitehorse Y1A 6K8 Phone: 867-668-2555
For additional information, visit: www.oldlogchurchmuseum.ca
Waterfront TrolleyRolling alongside the Yukon River on our 1925 trolley is a delightful way to hear the fascinating stories of Whitehorse and the Yukon River. Open June to September. Location: 1127 First Avenue Whitehorse, YT Y1A 0G5 Phone: (867) 667-6355
For additional information, visit: www.yukonrails.com
Yukon Beringia Interpretive CentreExplore the Ice Age history of the Yukon. Meet Woolly Mammoths and other large extinct animals. Hunt in our spear-throwing range. Enjoy our two films. Guided tours. Open daily May to September. Location: Km 1423 Alaska Highway Whitehorse Y1A 1H2 Phone: 1 (867) 667-8855
For additional information, visit: www.beringia.com
Yukon Transportation MuseumA Moving Experience. True Yukon stories live here. Come and experience big, impressive modes of transportation—dramatic, authentic, and personal stories of Yukon ingenuity and self-sufficiency. Location: Beside the Whitehorse Airport, 30 Electra Crescent Whitehorse Y1A 6E6 Phone: (867) 668-4792
For additional information, visit: www.goytm.ca
Yukon Wildlife PreserveThe Yukon Wildlife Preserve, located 25 minutes north of Whitehorse, offers visitors self-guided walking and skiing tours, as well as interpretive bus tours, while viewing 10 major species of northern animals in their natural habitat. Location: Km 8 (Mile 5) Takhini Hotsprings Road Whitehorse Y1A 7A2 Phone: 1 (867) 456-7300
For additional information, visit: www.yukonwildlife.ca

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.
Currently selected:Prices Starting At:
Aug 11 — Aug 20, 2013 waitlist only  

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
9 nights of accommodations
26 meals: 9 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 9 dinners
9 Expert-led lectures
2 Field trips
12 Hands-on experiences

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4.7
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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