Teslin River: The Teslin River is a tributary of the Yukon River. We will canoe the Teslin River to its connection with the Yukon River at Hootalinqua, and then on to our takeout near Little Salmon River. Hence the reference we use, “Teslin-Yukon River”.
The Teslin-Yukon River route to the 1897-98 gold fields of Dawson was integral. Historical reminders of the movement of people and sternwheelers on the river are evident to this day. Three important stops that highlight this connection during our Teslin River canoeing trip will be Hootalinqua, a significant trading and sternwheeler depot during the gold rush, Shipyard Island with derelict remains of the steamship Evelyn, and the First Nations village at the Big Salmon River.
The Teslin-Yukon River will transport us deep into a remote landscape of steep sandy banks, rolling glaciated hills, spruce forests, wildlife sightings, and history’s reminders. We shall see few, if any people, but always constant reminders of First Nations fish and hunting camps used during seasonal periods.
Yukon River: Canoeing the Yukon River is connecting with history. It is synonymous with the 1898 Klondike Gold Rush. The Yukon River’s impact on the history of the Yukon and the people who lived it is profound. Nowhere during the canoe trip is this more evident than at Fort Selkirk, an important settlement from the gold rush period through to the 1940s. Restored buildings stand in stark recognition to the people who were the embodiment of pioneer spirit and the First Nations peoples who welcomed them into their territory.
Minto is the ideal put-in for our Yukon River canoeing adventure. It is here that the Yukon River leaves its parallel course with the RV and tour bus studded Klondike Highway, and enters the remoteness and serenity of Yukon’s wilderness. The fast current of the Yukon River will transport us deep into a glaciated landscape of low hills, granite rock, high sandy cliffs, and spruce forest. Along the route chances are very good that we will see an assortment of wildlife from Dall sheep, mountain goats to the occasional bear.
The days on the river help build the anticipation of reaching Dawson City, the center of the 1898 Klondike Gold Rush. The anticipation of the gold rushers must have been equally apparent. Finally we round a bend in the Yukon River and see Dawson City for the first time. That excitement was played out then, and now, for all Yukon River travelers.
We will spend time in Dawson City, exploring its rich history, visiting the original gold fields, and enjoying the period entertainment.
“For a moment we find ourselves in a time warp… It is a place you can’t see. You feel it. Here there is a wider sense of place – planted in our intellect by people we never met or knew and by events we never witnessed. On the Yukon River it takes hold of you as you drift around each corner and discover some new remnant of time.” John Firth/River Time
Origin:Whitehorse,Yukon Physical Rating: Novice – Class I
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