Wind River Itinerary
Wilderness Adventures in British Columbia & Yukon since 1988
Backgrounder The Wind River lies in the northern half of the Yukon Territory, Canada just south of the Arctic Circle. It is located in the beautiful Peel Watershed, a collection of 6 rivers that flow north into the Peel River and later into the Mackenzie River that flows into the Beaufort Sea. The Wind is probably the most popular river in the Peel region due to its beauty and friendly whitewater.
Weather Weather conditions in northern environments range widely between extremes. The only fact you can bet on with the weather is that it can change instantly. This means that although we may enjoy fine weather, we must also be prepared for changes. On any given day you may experience sunny, hot, dry weather that is interrupted by periods of rain or, on rare occasions – even snow. In general, the weather is moderate with average temperatures of 16oC (62F) in July, and 14oC (56F) in August. When packing, please be prepared for heat waves and cold spells.
Travel Distance With a favourable current of between 6-15 kph, we will cover, on average, 50 km per day. There are no portages. On most days we begin paddling at 9am, take breaks, lazy lunches (weather permitting), and look to get into camp around 4-5 in the afternoon. To protect the environment, we practice No Trace Camping.
Level of Difficulty The river is made up of long sets of Class I and Class II rapids, with virtually no flat water. In some parts the channel is very wide and braided, and occasionally very shallow. For paddling, the river is not too technical, but it does have long stretches of Class II rapids and areas where lining is required. The experienced paddler will find the trip to be satisfying on many levels. The trip is open to people of all abilities; however, it requires physical endurance to paddle. Participants should prepare by executing an exercise program coupled with some walking or running or cycling. Our guides will give instruction to novices to make them feel comfortable and able with paddling requirements. If at all possible, it is worthwhile to take a moving water canoe course from a local canoe club. At least, visit Youtube and watch paddling skills episodes to gain a fundamental understanding of technique and principles of paddling.
Group Size The maximum group size is 12, two of which are guides. Guides are licensed by the Yukon Government and carry Wilderness First Aid credentials. Each group consists of people of various ages, backgrounds, and abilities. People come by themselves or with family/friends. The youngest can be in their teens (between 13-18 must be accompanied by adult family member) and the oldest in their 70s.
Guides Our guides are exceptionally qualified. Each principal guide has an extensive outdoor background, formal training, and leadership experience. On this trip, there will be an assistant guide. The guides are always ready to provide coaching and helpful advice on any aspect of the trip and will attempt to maximize the spirit of adventure for each individual. Your safety is their prime concern and your guide will make decisions with this in mind.
Accommodations This is a camping trip. At night you will sleep in a top of the line tent. Typically, tenting is double occupancy and partners are arranged by gender. You are welcome to bring your own tent but you should contact our office to ascertain the suitability of your tent to this environment. Bathroom facilities will adopt wilderness sanitation practices.
Meals Canoeing affords us the opportunity to be far more creative with our menu. The food we bring is plentiful, nutritious, and primarily vegetarian (because this keeps better than meat). You can expect meals to be varied and delicious: burritos, rice, pasta, and vegetable stir-fry for dinner; bagels and sandwiches for lunch; pancakes, french toast, oatmeal, fruit, and granola for breakfast. Beverages include herbal and regular tea, coffee, hot chocolate, cider. We can handle most dietary restrictions or preferences.
Equipment and Clothing We will supply you with a list of outdoor clothing and articles you will need. We supply large and small dry bags to store personal gear during the trip. We also take care of all the group equipment including tents, kitchen and weather cover. All you need to provide is your personal gear, such as clothing and a sleeping bag/pad. A detailed equipment list will be sent to you upon confirmation of your participation. We do rent packs, sleeping bags/pads for a nominal charge (cleaning).
Fishing The river is abundant with Arctic Grayling. A fishing license is required.
Mosquitoes Mosquito populations vary according to temperature, rainfall, and wind. Be prepared with mosquito repellent and a head net if mosquitoes annoy you.
ITINERARY WIND RIVER – MAYO/McCLUSKY LAKE to TACO BAR/PEEL RIVER
- Food: All meals while on the river, including snacks and beverages.
- Arrival in Departure City: You should be here at least one day before Day 1.
- Distance Paddled: 285 km – 177 mi
Day 0: Arrival in Whitehorse. Pre trip briefing night before first day of trip. Time and location TBA.
Day 1: Whitehorse to Mayo, Charter Flight to McCluskey Lake to begin Wind River
Day 2: McCluskey Lake – Skills clinic – paddling strokes, maneuvers and safety procedures
Day 3: McCluskey Lake to Wind River. Shallow water usually results in lining canoes until we reach Wind River.
Day 4-11: Wind River to Peel River
Incredible scenery, days set aside as layover to hike surrounding ridges. Class I – II whitewater. As we get closer to Peel River current continues with more whitewater challenges caused by gravel bars, meandering waters, and cliff walls.
Day 12-13: Peel River to Take Out
Navigate the geographically stunning Peel River Canyon. Last camping night just past the confluence of Peel and Snake Rivers.
Day 14: Charter Flight to Mayo, Drive to Whitehorse. Flights home next morning
What is included in cost
• excellent trail meals and snacks
• paddles, pfds, canoes, dry bags
• tents – free standing custom expedition dome tents – 2 per tent
• ‘kitchen’ – tarp, cooking stoves, utensils, dishes, etc
• group equipment
• first aid, safety, river rescue, and repair kits
• communications equipment (satellite phone)
• ground transfer between Whitehorse and Mayo .
• charter float plane flight from Mayo to start of the trip at McCluskey Lake
• charter float plane flight from the take out on the Peel River to Mayo
• transportation back to Whitehorse
What is excluded in the cost
• Personal clothing and gear
• Travel to rendezvous and airport transfers
• Any hotel accommodation
• Any restaurant meals in Whitehorse
• Any additional expenses or costs incurred caused by factors
beyond our control – i.e. wind, unsafe flying conditions, forest fire etc.
• Any costs associated with your emergency evacuation from the trip