Freestyle Kayaking Destination: Whitehorse, Yukon Territory

This year I had the privilege of going to Whitehorse, YT to teach freestyle and river running skills to the YCKC (Yukon Canoe Kayak Club).

This was my first time here in Yukon Territory and I quickly fell in love with the place. Whitehorse is a beautiful outdoorsy city/town where the majority of the Yukon population lives, surrounded by mountains and with the Yukon river flowing through, its an outdoor adventurers dream. It’s stunning landscapes where a fresh reminder of my New Zealand home and helped me feel at home right away.

The people were beyond hospitable, amazingly friendly and stoked to have another paddler in the area. You will never be lost to find friendly faces, places to stay and adventure partners here.

There is a stretch of the Yukon river which gently flows through town from the dam. Perfect for pre/post work or lunch break kayaking, with an easy shuttle that only takes 5-10minutes to walk along a paved trail. In this short stretch there are multiple freestyle spots with great eddy access, big eddy’s for flat water tricks and a fun whirlpool eddy line to play with. The perfect stretch for beginners to learn the basics and intermediates and masters to hone their freestyle skills.

And the community is constantly pushing for improvements to build newer and even better features as their paddling community grows and strives to improve their freestyle skills.

It was unfortunate that we had low flows I was constantly told, however even at low flow, spin wave was the perfect spot to master the left side spins and the slalom site wave was ideal for learning how to carve, soul surf and loop. 

Also thanks to the amazing support and contacts with people behind the dam controls, we were able to increase the flow for short sessions which truely brought the river to life. Still safe for beginners to self rescue if they found themselves out of their boats, but also technical enough to keep the intermediate paddlers progressing. Spin wave becomes the best freestyle spot on the river with the higher flows. It becomes deeper, more retentive and opens up the possibility to throw any hole trick and with big air.

Surrounded by endless mountains to climb and world class mountain biking tracks. Only a few hours and you can find yourself in Alaska for a beautiful day trip or if you are wanting to push your river running/creeking skills you can hit up the Tutshi, an awesome grade 4 creek run. It starts off with cruisy class 2/3 and then finishes with a few easily portable class 4 rapids. 

All in all, Yukon in the summer is an all round outdoor recreational dream destination.

Comments on “Freestyle Kayaking Destination: Whitehorse, Yukon Territory”

  1. November 13, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    Fantastic to have you up here Courtney! Thanks for all your quality instruction. Please come again!

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