Raft or canoe the McNeil River on this camping expedition into this remote region of the Yukon. The McNeil is a 'gem'! If you had to design an ideal Northern wilderness river trip, the McNeil would be it - moose ponds, quiet lakes, excellent fishing, great hiking, some exciting whitewater and varied scenery. Overall the river is 115 kilometres long.
The McNeil starts at McNeil Lake in the St. Cyr Range, which is located about 30 miles north east of Quiet Lake. In low water you can put in at Lower Moss Lake. You begin your paddle in moose pond country, an area with plenty of wildlife, great fishing, a panoramic view of the mountains and ideal hiking.
At the end of the Moss Lake the river enters a busy 5 kilometre long Grade II canyon, with sharp corners and beautiful canyon walls. Below the canyon the McNeil flows into the Nisutlin River, doubles in size and slows down to a gentle pace until you enter the Nisutlin Canyon. There you are in for 5 kilometres of continuous Grade III whitewater. This section is great fun - clear water, well defined chutes and wave trains, and big eddies where you can pull over to stop and enjoy the scenery.
Below the Nisutlin Canyon the river is fast moving but without the busy action of the upper section. The valley widens and you float through one of the highest moose populations in the Yukon. The McNeil is a fly in trip. You are driven to Quiet Lake located on the South Canol Road and then use a float plane to get to the put-in. The take out is located at the Nisutlin River Campground on the South Canol Road.