- Part of the world’s largest bio-preserve.
- Flows through the Yukon, British Columbia and Alaska
- Bald Eagles and grizzlies abound
- First Nations Interpretive Opportunities
- Paddling Trip
- Whitewater Class III
- North America
- 11 Days
- Wilderness Camping
High Country Inn
Highlights of the Tashenshini include a section of Class III whitewater, spotting wildlife while meandering through lush meadows and thick foliage, the excitement of swift water through a glacially carved valley beneath the St. Elias Range and the vast glaciers at the confluence with the Alsek.
At 8 a.m. and will embark on our journey the Alaska Highway. Along the way we will visit Kwaday Dan Kenji (translated: Long Ago Peoples Place). Here we will meet First Nation elders and see examples of native shelters and traditional living skills used by Tuchone and Tlingit people for 10,000 years.
This is the most continuous whitewater of the trip. As we pass through the narrow gorge of the Tatshenshini and out into the broader valley, we will be paddling out of the Yukon and entering British Columbia.
Today, in contrast to the swift rapids we have descended, the river meanders quietly but surely through the broad valley dotted with oxbow lakes. This region is home to moose, beaver, bald eagles, osprey and many species of waterfowl. Here we are treated to our first view of the dramatic Alsek Range
Weather permitting, this is a hiking day. We will spend the time exploring the local area. A hike up to an open ridge offers everyone the chance to overlook the river and surrounding area. A further hike along this ridge offers an alpine meadow hosting an endless variety of wild flowers.
We float past the Carmine peaks and the O’Connor River with great views of the far off St. Elias Range. Here we see signs of recent glacial action. The river picks up speed and becomes braided after an exciting rapid called Monkey Wrench. Moose, grizzly bears and bald eagles frequent the river side.
Today we begin to see the many glaciers of the area. From our camp at Melt Creek, near the confluence of the Alsek River, we can count 27 different glaciers. Glorious views can be seen in all directions.
Now, as we speed along with the current, the voluminous Alsek River joins us from the north. So large is the confluence that it is difficult to know exactly where our route lies. The Noisy Range overlooks the confluence where the Tatshenshini disappears in the shadow of the looming Pentice Ice Cap.
Back on the river after Cat-in-the- Washing Machine rapid we float past more beautiful glaciers including the Novatak, nearly six miles wide where it sprawls towards the river.
As Mount Fairweather (15,300 feet) appears around the bend, dwarfing the surrounding 7,000 feet peaks, a narrow sliver of a peninsula separates the river from Alsek Lake. Here the Alsek and Grand Plateau Glaciers occupy several miles of shoreline where they “calve” huge slabs of ice into the lake.
The Alsek now passes through a transition from the tallest peaks on the continent to the broad flat Pacific coastline. In this valley we have a vertical distance of over 15,000 feet between us and the highest peaks, an overall elevation difference greater than that of the Himalayas.
What Guests Are Saying
‘After 11 days in the care of Canadian River Expeditions it became obvious to me that their primary purpose was to give customers the best possible service and experience on the Tatshenshini. Everything was well organized, of quality, and nothing was skimped on for the purposes of profit.- Marco I.