The following is a tentative agenda and has been designed with much thought to capitalize on the most scenic and exciting parts of the river, while making time on other sections. Your guides will adjust the schedule to make the best use of river and weather conditions.
Trip length: 12 river days
Breakfast = B | Lunch = L | Dinner = D
Day 0 – ARRIVE IN WHITEHORSE
Your journey north from your home will be a refreshing departure. You will fly over the largest expanse of wilderness in the world with stunning views on cloudless days, pass through quieter and friendlier airports, meet friendlier and less harried service personnel and generally begin to immerse yourself in the wilderness experience that is about to unfold.
This is the travel day. Please be in Whitehorse in time for an orientation meeting at the High Country Inn at 8 p.m. Participants are responsible for hotel accommodation and meals while in Whitehorse.
Whitehorse is a great place to spend a few extra days. We will send you a visitor’s booklet.
Day 1 (L/D) MOUNTAIN FLIGHT
We will meet in the hotel lobby at 7:30 am. Following breakfast (not covered), and discuss final details before our departure. Traveling by van we will make the scenic 5 hour drive to the “end of the road” at Mayo. Here we will transfer to float plane and fly the spectacular and remote 135 miles into Duo Lakes. This is truly a stunning region of the Yukon wilderness! Have your camera and plenty of film handy for the flight.
Day 2 (B/L/D) UPPER CANYONS
The current is swift. As we pass through the upper canyons we will encounter sharp bends and small rapids. Camp will be in the vicinity of Reptile Creek. The canoeists make the 500m portage from Duo Lakes to the river. In this region the Snake is a broad braided fan and we may have to do some lining and dragging over gravel and rocks. Neoprene booties with tough soles or combined with sneakers will pay off here.
Day 3 (B/L/D) MOUNTAIN HIKING
From our base camp at the beautiful creek confluence we will hike up the local ridges for spectacular views of the surrounding ranges and four drainage basins. Here the red ridges and peaks offer unusual and enticing opportunities for exploration.
Day 4 (B/L/D) BONNET PLUME RANGE
Back on the river we will be treated to expanses of fireweed and mini canyons. The Bonnet Plume Range dominates the horizon with a good possibility of spotting Dall sheep, caribou and grizzly. After an exhilarating day of continuous Class II water, we will camp in view of the limestone peaks of Mount MacDonald. Glaciers dominate these peaks, and impressive panoramas are easily obtained from short hikes in the area.
Day 5 (B/L/D) MORE WHITEWATER
The canyon and more Class II rapids await.
Day 6 (B/L/D) ALPINE VALLEYS
Today we change river valleys! The Snake cuts through the mountain range in a fast, fun slalom ride. Camp is in our “new” valley.
Day 7 (B/L/D) MIDDLE CANYON
Here the river cuts through a short narrow canyon. At most water levels this is a class II run. A short portage is an option.
Day 8 (B/L/D) ALPINE HIKE
Conditions permitting, we’ll plan another hike in the dramatic range overlooking the valley.
Day 9 (B/L/D) LOWER CANYONS
Today we bid adieu to the mountains and enter an extended braided region of “Splits” as well as the lower canyons of the Snake. Moose, bear, wolves and peregrine falcon are possible here. The current remains fast and picking our channel in the “Snake Maze” is our main challenge.
Day 10 (B/L/D) PEREGRINE FALCONS
The Splits finally come together and the Snake starts to meander a bit. Higher cliffs cut by numerous small creeks provide numerous wildlife corridors.
Day 11 (B/L/D) PEEL RIVER
We will leave the Snake and the final big bends from which it earns its name. Here we enter the larger and faster Peel River with high clay cliffs and aspen islands. Camp will be on the Peel.
Day 12 (B/L) ANOTHER DRAMATIC FLIGHT
In the morning we will be met by the aircraft that will ferry us back to Mayo. There we will be met by our van and travel the Klondike Highway back to Whitehorse. Depending on timing the group may decide to stop for supper at a diner along the way or upon arrival in Whitehorse (supper and hotel not included). Camp will be in your hotel room in Whitehorse (your responsibility). If you have not eaten on the road, the group will likely want to gather at a local eatery (not included) to celebrate the return and recount tales of the adventure!
Day 13 HOMEWARD BOUND
After goodbyes and a last look around Whitehorse we will head home with a cargo of fond and spectacular memories.