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Wilderness paddling adventure on a canoeing trip

| CA-RRA1501

Paddle the Big Salmon River in southern Yukon


The 315 kilometre tour (includes about 100 km on the Yukon River) through the solitude of the Big Salmon River is a favourite canoe adventure and it is especially suitable for the novice to intermediate canoeists. Your well-trained guides introduce the participants to the proper paddle techniques on this Class 1-2 river.


  • Big Salmon River
  • Quiet Lake
  • South Canal Road
  • Salmon Mountains
  • Yukon River
  • Yukon wildlife

The journey begins at Quiet Lake on the South Canal Road, from where the Big Salmon winds its way through the Salmon Mountains towards the confluence with the Yukon River. Wildlife encounters along the river are quite common, and one can expect to see moose, caribou, wolf, and eagle. During August and September, thousands of salmon spawn in the Big Salmon, and grizzly bears are often seen.

In the evenings you will set up camp along the river banks or on gravel bars. Meals are cooked on the open campfire, and fresh Arctic grayling, lake trout, salmon and northern pike may be added to the menu. Hiking trips into the mountains and creek valleys can round out an exciting river journey. The canoe tour ends in Carmacks on the Yukon River, from where you take the van back to Whitehorse.

  • Personal Experience
  • Trusted Tour Operator
  • Local Guides
  • Small group
Availability Jun - Sept
Duration 15 days
Departs From Whitehorse, YT
Difficulty Moderate
Group maximum 10
Meet on Location Yes
Pick Up No
Region Yukon Territory


2 263
  • Best Price Guarantee
  • International number: +1 778 348 1676

Availability (2024): $3090 CAD per person
Based on double occupancy
Single room/tent add $425

  • June 2-16
  • July 14-28
  • August 25-September 8

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What's Included

Find out what is included and what to bring.


  • Canoe
  • Camping equipment
  • All meals on the canoe portion of the trip are included in price. Meals in the hotel are not included.
  • Two nights hotel accommodation in Whitehorse
  • Remaining nights are in tent campsites along the river

Suggested Clothing

  • Warm jacket
  • Rain gear
  • Hiking boots
  • Sneakers
  • Gloves
  • Bathing suit
  • Towels
  • Personal clothing suited to variable temperatures

What to bring

  • Warm sleeping bag (rated up to -10 degrees Celsius) (required)
  • Sleeping pad (required)
  • Canvas duffel bag or backpack (required)
  • 1-2 small waterproof bags (required)
  • Fishing gear
  • Tackle and license
  • Camera
  • Binoculars
  • Insect repellent
  • Daypack
  • Sunglasses
  • Flashlights
  • Pocket knife

Contact us for more Information about this tour


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Find out more details about the tour and its highlights


Guide information: the Experienced guide will accompany you and instruct on basic paddling strokes.

Restrictions: Novice to intermediate. Best suited for those with a basic level of wilderness travel. You have been on a few camping trips before and have played around in a canoe or kayak.

Transportation: Trips originate and end in Whitehorse, Yukon. 

Weather: Summer temperatures average between 10-22 degrees Celsius.

town of whitehorse aerial view

Arrive Whitehorse
Individual arrival at Whitehorse Airport. Transfer to your hotel in downtown Whitehorse. You’ll have some time to explore the city before meeting your fellow travelers and your guide at the group meeting this afternoon. Following the tour, you’ll have some time for some last minute shopping and sightseeing. Overnight in Whitehorse.

a lake near big salmon river in canada

Transfer Whitehorse - Quiet Lake
We’ll depart Whitehorse southbound on the historic Alaska Highway, completed in under a year in 1942 to aid the Pacific Front during WWII. We’ll travel to Johnson’s Crossing, famous for its giant cinnamon buns, before turning north on the Canol Road. The “Canol” was also built during the war, to aid in the construction of an oil pipeline from Norman Wells, just across the NWT border. “Boneyards” of WWII era vehicles can be found at various points along the roadsides. More striking though is the wonderful scenery, particularly as we approach Quiet Lake. There, we’ll unload the canoes and set up camp for the night. Overnight: Quiet Lake Campground

canoes near big salmon river in canada

Big Salmon River Canoe Tour Begins!
This morning we’ll break camp, load the canoes and depart. The first leg of the journey takes us down Quiet Lake and Big Salmon Lake; the headwaters for the Big Salmon River. The Big Salmon is a narrow, swift-moving river (up to class 2) that requires some technical paddling.

The guide will offer some training in camp, and after the first of the rapids, you’ll be an expert in no time! One of our favorite Yukon rivers, the Big Salmon offers a thrilling wilderness paddle for even the most experienced canoeist as there is something new to discover around every bend in the river. The wildlife viewing in this remote, pristine region is excellent, and moose and black bears are often spotted along the river’s banks. In the evenings, your guide will take you on short hikes to good scenic vantage points over the river and the fishing along the clear, cold Big Salmon River is excellent, and you’ll have time in the evenings to try your hand at catching the Arctic grayling and northern pike that are found in the river. In fall, there is also the opportunity to catch a Chinook salmon as they travel up the river on their annual run to spawn.

moose crossing a river in canada

Carmacks - Whitehorse
The last leg of our tour is on the famous Yukon River. We’ll arrive in the native village of Carmacks after 2 weeks in the Yukon backcountry. Our transfer van will be waiting for us at the pullout and will take us back to Whitehorse along the Klondike Highway. We’ll stop in at Braeburn Lodge on the way back to town for some home baking. The lodge is famous for its massive cinnamon buns. Whitehorse feels like a metropolis after 2 weeks on the river and the hot shower and soft bed will be welcome. You’ll enjoy reminiscing about your adventures over a great dinner with your new friends this evening. Overnight in a hotel in Whitehorse.

 Transfer to the Whitehorse airport.

Payment Details

Deposit and Taxes
Pricing does not include: 5.00% GST.
A 10% deposit is required to hold your reservation.
Balance of payment is due 60 days before trip commencement.


Cancellation fees:

  • Anytime after confirmation: 10% of tour price

  • 60-30 days prior to arrival: 25% of tour price

  • 29-5 days prior to arrival: 60% of tour price

  • Within 5 days: 100% of tour price