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Wilderness rafting trip on the Tatshenshini River in the Yukon


Raft one of the wildest and most visually spectacular rivers in North America on this expedition rafting trip on the Tatshenshini River. The Tatshenshini River flows through the heart of the largest bio-preserve in the world.  Your guide will do most of the work on this exciting raft trip that crosses through two countries.  

Your raft trip begins in the Yukon, near Kluane National Park and as you follow the river south you will pass into British Columbia and eventually over the border into Alaska.  This trip is a great way to see this beautiful area of North America and the trip allows lots of time for hiking, photography and wildlife watching.  Truly an international journey of unparalleled beauty.

Recently protected by the establishment of Tatshenshini Provinicial Park, the river flows past tall mountains, vast glaciers and an iceberg dotted lake.  Bald eagles abound, grizzlies feed on spawning salmon and if you are lucky, you may catch a glimpse of the rare blue glacier bear.  

You raft from the Klukshu River, a Coast Range river at Dalton Post to Dry Bay, at the Gulf of Alaska along a 255-kilometre (160 mile) route with an elevation drop of 550 metres (1800 feet). Float through three wilderness parks, traverse Yukon, BC and cross the international boundary into Alaska, through the land that is called Tatshenshini wilderness.

STARTING AT
$6740.00 CAD
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TRIP DETAILS
DESTINATION
EQUIPMENT/CLOTHING
ACCOMMODATIONS
MEALS & DINING
DATES & PRICING
ITINERARY
TRIP TYPE
Expedition Raft Trips
SEASON

June to August

DIFFICULTY
Moderate
MAXIMUM GROUP SIZE
12
GUIDE INFORMATION

Your guides are licensed and very experienced and knowledgeable of the area.  The licensed guide/interpreters are among the best in the north. Because guides are the most significant variable in selecting a holiday, we maintain a 1:4 guide to guest ratio to ensure that you receive maximum benefit of their knowledge assistance and good nature. They strive for the most consistent level of knowledge of flora, fauna, geology, geomorphology and cultural human history.

RESTRICTIONS

None – beginners are welcome and paddling is optional most of the time since the guides navigate using oars. Experienced paddlers and beginners alike are welcome to participate by paddling anytime, however.

$193 CAD park fee applies to all trips.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Requirements: Proof of citizenship for US and Canadian customers, sleeping bag and pad, sunglasses, sunscreen, day pack, insect repellent, water bottle, pocketknife, matches, whistle.

TRANSPORTATION

Trips originate and end in Whitehorse, Yukon. Whitehorse is accessible by air from Vancouver, Calgary or Edmonton.

WEATHER

Average summer temperatures range between 10 and 20 degrees Celsius.

REGION
Southern Yukon
PROVIDED EQUIPMENT

Raft and equipment, group camping equipment, lifejackets.

SUGGESTED CLOTHING

Waterproof rain gear (not Goretex), long pants, sweater, warm jacket, windshell, shorts, long underwear, warm socks, hat, bathing suit, sneakers, hiking boots, neoprene booties. Full packing list will be provided upon booking.

SUGGESTED ITEMS

Camera (waterproof), fishing gear, binoculars, flashlight.

ACCOMMODATIONS

Accommodations while on the river are in tent campsites along the shore.  First and last night accommodations in a hotel in Whitehorse are necessary and not included in the price.

MEALS & DINING

MEALS & DINING

All meals while on the river are included. Creative variety and nutritious with ample snacks available during the day. With advance notice we cater to special dietary needs.  Meals during hotel stays are not included.

12 day tour, available June - August
$6740.00 / per person - CAD
June 21-July 3, July 5-17, July 19-31, August 2-14, August 16-28, 2018.
PAYMENT INFORMATION
Pricing does not include: 5.00% GST.

A 30% deposit is required to hold your reservation.

Balance of payment is due 90 days before trip commencement.
CANCELLATION POLICY & DETAILS
Your deposit is refundable less a $100 administration fee until 90 days prior to your trip departure date - then your final payment will be due, and all deposits become non-refundable. Trip Cancellation & Medical Evacuation Insurance is available, and highly recommended. Insurance is refundable until the 90 day non-refundable period.

12 day tour, available June - August

Day 1

Arrive in Whitehorse, Yukon the night before in time for the 8 pm orientation meeting. Arrange your own accommodations and meals.

We’ll meet in the hotel lobby at 8 a.m. following breakfast (not covered) and will embark on the Alaska Highway. Along the way we’ll visit Kwaday Dan Kenji (translated: Long Ago Peoples Place). Here we’ll see examples of native shelters and traditional living skills used by First Nations people in the region for 10,000 years. Further on we’ll visit the Kluane National Park and Reserve Interpretive Centre. (The bakery in town is legendary for its goodies – keep your wallet handy.)

We then head south into the Kluane Game Sanctuary. The next leg of our journey will take us through the stunning scenery of the Haines Pass. Our destination is Pleasant Camp, where we clear U.S. customs before the trip. You may be tempted to have an afternoon nap during the drive, but the scenery will keep you riveted! Later in the afternoon, we arrive at Dalton Post, now known as Shäwshe – reflecting its heritage with the Champagne Aishihik First Nations. Following a safety orientation we’ll load the rafts and push off. At this point the Tatshenshini is a narrow stream. Watched by Bald Eagles, we’ll travel a short distance before reaching the evening camp.

Day 2

Another safety briefing will prepare us for the day. Before long, as we float deeper into the St. Elias Mountains we’ll encounter Class II–IV whitewater jubilantly welcoming us into this land without roads. This is the most continuous whitewater of the trip. As we pass through the narrow gorge of the Tatshenshini and out into the broader valley, we’ll be paddling out of the Yukon and entering British Columbia. In camp we’ll relax and dry out after an exciting day in the rapids.

Day 3

Today, in contrast to the swift rapids we have descended, the river meanders quietly through the broad valley dotted with oxbow lakes. This region is home to moose, beaver, Bald Eagles, osprey and many species of waterfowl. Throughout the day the many tributaries of the Tatshenshini cause it to swell until it has doubled in volume from our previous campsite. Here we’re treated to our first view of the Alsek Range.

Day 4

Weather permitting, this will be a hiking day. We’ll spend the time exploring the local area. A hike up to an open ridge offers everyone the chance to overlook the river and surrounding area. A short distance along this ridge offers an alpine meadow hosting an endless variety of wild flowers. Those who are more adventurous can continue to climb another 1000 metres (3281 feet) to the top for a spectacular view of some of the glaciers of the Alsek Range. This area is known as Goat Ridge and often, if we’re lucky, we glimpse mountain goats feeding on the open tundra of the high plateau.

Day 5

Days 5-6: We float past the Carmine Peaks and the O’Connor River with great views of the far off St. Elias Range. Here we see signs of recent glacial action as the river picks up speed and becomes very braided. Moose, mountain goats, grizzly bears and Bald Eagles often frequent the wide gravel riverbanks.

Day 7

Today we begin to see the many glaciers of the area. From our camp at Melt Creek, near the confluence of the Alsek River, we can count 27 different glaciers. Glorious views can be seen in all directions.

Day 8

Now, as we speed along with the current, the voluminous Alsek River joins us from the north. The confluence is so large that it’s difficult to know exactly where our route lies. The Noisy Range overlooks the confluence where the Tatshenshini disappears in the shadow of the looming Pentice Ice Caps. The surrounding peaks become higher and increasingly majestic, robed in glaciers.

We stop at the base of Walker Glacier and its huge moraines. The hike onto the dramatic surface of the glacier is unforgettable. If you listen during the night you may hear ice falls – huge blocks roaring down from the heights where they’ve broken free.

Day 9

Back on the river we’ll pass the Novatak Glacier, nearly six miles wide where it sprawls towards the river.

As Mount Fairweather appears around the bend, dwarfing the surrounding peaks, a narrow sliver of a peninsula separates the river from Alsek Lake. Here the Alsek and Grand Plateau Glaciers occupy several miles of shoreline where they “calve” huge slabs of ice into the lake issuing a thundering roar. The iceberg-studded lake is an enchanting place to camp.

Day 10

On our layover day we’ll relax and enjoy a hike to overlook the icebergs on the lake. If conditions permit, we’ll paddle and row among drifting bergs, keeping a respectful distance as they crack and roll.

Day 11

The Alsek now passes through a transition from the tallest peaks on the continent to the broad flat Pacific coastline. In this valley we have a vertical distance of over 4572 metres (15000 feet) between us and the highest peaks, an overall elevation difference greater than that of the Himalayas.

In all but the worst weather, the bush plane will pick us up and fly us back through the Coast and St. Elias ranges to Whitehorse. Following showers, the group may want to gather at a local eating establishment (not included). Whitehorse is a lively city and it won’t be difficult to find a way to enjoy the evening!

Day 12

After goodbyes and a last look around Whitehorse, we will head for home with a cargo of spectacular memories.