The Yukon River is Alaska’s largest river; a landscape of huge proportions. Canoeing the Yukon is a classic Alaska wilderness experience, full of striking scenery and rich with history. 2 weeks on the river is a timeless experience suitable for novice paddlers and seasoned explorers alike.
Last updated: August 11, 2018
What follows is a general flow of events. Expect the unexpected and prepare to be flexible.
Meet your guide at a pre-trip meeting at 4 pm at Arctic Wild headquarters in Fairbanks.
Drive northeast from Fairbanks to the riverside village of Circle, Alaska (population 100). It is a 5 hour drive and very scenic. One we load the boats we are off on our big adventure!
Circle to Fort Yukon- The Yukon is braided and fast as it heads north into the flats. Where the channels come together it boils and forms small whirlpools. They are harmless but they do get your attention! The passing of small bluffs marks our progress and we hone our paddling skills learning to stick in the fast current and always scanning the shore for wildlife. We can make a stop in Fort Yukon to meet some locals, buy a treat at the store and learn about modern life along the Yukon before returning to the peaceful routine of river life.
Fort Yukon to Steven’s Village – After crossing the Arctic Circle the Yukon swings west, aiming for the Bering Sea. Here is grows even larger gaining clear waters from the Brooks Range via the Porcupine and Chandalar Rivers. There are uncountable islands, some forested and tens of miles long, others just sand-bars shifting in the powerful current. We have lots of choices for routes. Do we stay with the main current? Or do we explore “crazy slough” which winds through the tundra in places not much wider than a canoe? Each day is unique and each camp more lovely than the last. If the fish are running we are sure to make friends with locals fishing along the way. The peace and tranquility of river life on the Yukon Flats is like no other.
Steven’s Village – We have a day to visit the village and talk with locals and old friends. It is likely that word will have spread that we are coming.
Paddle the final miles to the Dalton Highway Bridge where we meet the van for a 3 hour drive back to Fairbanks.
Such a joy to spend days where time was meaningless. A wonderful adventure and I would like to return next year for a longer, more challenging trip.
You mentioned to me in an email that you have terrific guides - you do indeed. Dave is a superb guide. He is personable, knowledgeable about the Arctic, and has excellent group management skills. I appreciated the time he spent teaching me to read the map, which is not easy without trails. He allowed Adrian and me to hike at our own pace and he encouraged all of us to explore the area surrounding our campsites. I know the others would concur in my praise.
Round-trip transportation from Fairbanks
Food while in the wilderness, stoves, cooking & eating utensils
Boats, paddles, life jackets, safety & repair gear
Professional guide service
Rental equipment is available through Arctic Wild
Lodging (except one night in Eagle)
Personal clothing and gear.
Fishing gear, and fishing license
Gratuity for guide(s)
See full equipment list.
Temperatures vary dramatically in the Far North. Temperatures will range from 90 to 40. We will get some good hot weather and some windy cool weather, but generally it should be warm (by Alaska standards) There could be mosquitoes in the woods but not likely on the gravel bars or river. Bring a mosquito head net and a small bottle DEET repellent for forays into the woods.