The Hess River Expediton > Detailed Itinerary
The Hess River is a truly wild Yukon canoeing expedition filled with whitewater paddling , mountains, wildlife and adventure on a remote river that sees far fewer paddlers than the Wind or Snake Rivers. From its headwaters tucked up against the Northwest Territories border, the river flows west from the stunning glacial-blue waters of Keele Lake. It is the perfect choice for a canoeist with intermediate or advanced whitewater skills who wants a long canoeing expedition offering great value.
Note: All meals included in this itinerary are listed as: ( B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner )
Day 0: Whitehorse, Yukon
Hopefully you enjoyed your travels and have arrived safely in Whitehorse, the Yukon’s capital city, nestled among the wilderness.
Please arrive in Whitehorse in time for an orientation meeting at 8:30 pm the night before our departure. Guests are responsible for accommodation and meals while in Whitehorse. Whitehorse is a splendid little city and we recommend booking some additional time at either the beginning or the end of your trip to see Whitehorse. If you wish to fish on your trip but, have not had a chance to purchase a Yukon fishing license, you should do so this evening. Your guides will let you know where they can be purchased.
Please Note: Often our guests choose to come to the Yukon several days early, or to depart several days after their wilderness vacation. Therefore we don't include accommodation in Whitehorse in order to provide flexibility for our guests. If you prefer, we can easily arrange your hotel accommodations in Whitehorse and add these details to your itinerary.
Day 1: Transfer to Lapie River: Training Runs: ( L, D )
Cabin Fever Adventures staff will pick you up from your hotels starting at 7:00 am. Participants need to have finished their breakfast (not included) by this time. Any final details will be dealt with and we will depart by 8:00 am for a scenic 5-hour drive north and then east to the Lapie River Valley. After setting our camp by the river, we will enjoy an afternoon run on the Lapie River to refresh our paddling skills.
Day 2: Full Day on Lapie River (B, L, D)
We will spend today on the Lapie River with a focus on refining our boat control and a refresher of whitewater rescue techniques as well. After dinner we will depart the Lapie River Valley and drive to Carmacks. There we will camp for the night, so we are closer to the float plane base for the morning.
Day 3: Float Plane Flight : ( B, L, D)
By noon we will reach the town of Mayo. Here we will load our canoes, gear and paddlers into a turbo otter aircraft. Once in the air, we will fly 274 km (170 miles) over remote and rugged Yukon wilderness landing at the glacial-blue waters of Keele Lake. The scenic flight is just a taste of the beauty that will unfold over the course of our expedition. Towering directly to the south of Keele Lake is Keele Peak, which at 2972 meters ( 9751 ft ) is the tallest summit of the MacKenzie Mountains. We will camp that evening on the shores of scenic Keele Lake.
Day 4: Keele Lake Glacier Viewing Hike (B, L, D)
Today we will stretch our legs and go for a hike in the mountains surrounding Keele Lake so we can fully absorb the beauty of this seldom-visited lake surrounded by pristine Canadian wilderness. We can also try our luck fishing on Keele Lake. Camping again this night is on Keele Lake.
Day 5 - 16: Whitewater on the Hess (B, L, D)
Today we begin our descent with a full day on the fast flowing Keele Creek, which will afford ample opportunity to perfect our lining skills. When we reach the Hess the volume of the river will increase substantially and we will be on our way with near constant whitewater for the first several days and then intermittent rapids sprinkled over the second half of the Hess which keeps the excitement flowing.
Day 17 - 20: Stewart River (B, L, D )
One great aspect of the Hess River Expedition is that even when the Hess joins the larger Stewart River in the final leg of the trip, the white water fun continues. Two more substantial rapids and a waterfall still await us during our travels on the Stewart River before we reach the town of Mayo. Our journey comes to and end in Mayo around noon on Day 20. ( Dinner and your hotel room on Day 20 are not included ) Often the group enjoys going out to dinner together one last time in Whitehorse.
This trip operates in an expedition format and due to the variables of
weather, and the needs and safety of the participants, Cabin Fever Adventures can not guarantee that the itinerary will proceed as listed above. The itinerary may be modified at the discretion of the guide.
Cabin Fever Adventures expressly suggests that participants book at least one additional day in the Yukon at the end of their trip to avoid problems associated with delays such as, but not limited to:
- Delayed air charters (inclement weather, wild-fire smoke)
- Delayed transportation (mechanical breakdown, unsafe road conditions or closures)
- Delay of wilderness itinerary (inclement weather, wind-bound, injury, illness)
Cabin Fever Adventures
can not be held responsible for any expenses you may incur associated
with delays of our wilderness trips. Delays could be several days
in length under severe circumstances.
What if this itinerary doesn’t quite fit your needs? Cabin Fever Adventures is more than willing to modify an itinerary to fit your needs. We can:
- Add time to the trip for greater leisure, fishing opportunities, photography etc.
- Some trips can be safely shortened in length of time, assuming clients are willing to expend more effort paddling, hiking or cycling as required by the itinerary.
- Some routes can be shortened in terms of distance.
- Combine this trip with other Yukon attractions and or wilderness activities. View Yukon-Wide Slideshow
- Book your hotel rooms (at a discount) for the night before and after you Cabin Fever Adventures vacation and add this to your bill.