Rider and pack horses in Yukon, Canada

Wild Yukon

This amazing horseback trail journeys through Canada's last frontier before Alaska, through wild landscapes of great beauty; glacial valleys, volcanoes, rivers and lakes, forests and tundra. An unforgettable pack trip for small groups of adventurous riders.
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Pack Trip
13 days/ 10 days riding
From £2,700

From the horse’s mouth

  • Wild Yukon
    July 2022 Veronica aged 48
    This in the many rides I have done is definitely one of the best ever as it is actually not a ride but a pure adventurous expedition. The riding is a minor component of the whole life experience to be utterly and uncompromisingly into the Big Wild. You have to be willing and prepared to get lost in this immense wild... Read all
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Itinerary

Highlights

- An expedition using pack horses into a remote and unpopulated area.
- Enjoy the camp fire, fishing in the river and lake very far away from civilization.
- Follow the paths of wild animals like moose, caribou and wolves, in the footsteps of the last trappers.
- You are very likely to see elks, caribou, bighorn sheep, eagles, and beavers. Catch a glimpse of the occasional wolf, grizzly bear, or lynx!
  • Day 1 1: EUROPE - WHITEHORSE - SHINE VALLEY - No riding

    Cabine
    Fly to Whitehorse via an international hub city such as Vancouver. Flights are not included but we can assist with this on request

    Flights usually arrive into Whitehorse in the late evening. Pierre, your host for this expedition, will meet you and transfer you to the ranch in Shine Valley. This will be your first experience of the midnight sun in Yukon. Overnight in log cabins heated by a wood burning stove.
  • Day 2 2: SHINE VALLEY - WHITEHORSE - 1-2 hours riding

    Cabine
    Relax in the morning with a leisurely breakfast. It's a good opportunity to bond with your group and your guides! After breakfast, you are taken to the small town of White Horse - at the same time capital, larget and only city of Yukon! Time to immerse yourself in the history and do some shopping.

    After lunch, taken in town (and not included), it's time for a briefing from Pierre for the week ahead and to meet your horses. An introductory ride to get to know your horse takes you off into the surrounding countryside for a couple of hours before returning to base for a BBQ.

    Overnight once again in the log cabins.
  • Day 3 3: SHINE VALLEY - BONNEVILLE - 5-6 hours riding

    Canadian camp
    After a good nights sleep the morning is busy with horses and people alike offered a hearty breakfast. The final
    preparations and packing is completed (hopefully only a stray spoon or bottle of wine is left behind) before your departure into the wilderness. You are shown how to prepare your horse and pack, which is something you'll have to do every morning! Don't worry, your guides are always on hand to help you should you need it.

    The first days ride takes you through a mountainous landscape and the Bonneville area. Take in the stunning views and all that Yukon has to offer. Tonight is your first night at camp: you will be expected to put up your own tent before enjoying a warm meal and a relaxing evening around the bonfire.
  • Day 4 4: BONNEVILLE LAKE - IBEX LAKE - 5-6 hours riding

    Canadian camp
    After breakfast and packing up camp you head towards Ibex Lake and enter the foothills of the mountainous region of the Yukon, where snow still lingers on the high peaks. Which pass you take depends on the weather, either on the lake shores surrounded by pine forest or the 1800m high Marmot pass where there is the opportunity to encounter dall sheep.

    Today you will cover around 40kms (c. six hours in the saddle) before reaching Ibex Lake and setting up camp.
  • Day 5 5: IBEX LAKE - ROSE CREEK - 7 hours riding

    Canadian camp
    The morning ride takes you above the tree line towards Mud Lake, an ancient lake shaped by the glaciers. Finding some good grazing for the horses you will stop for lunch and a nap on the shores of Mud Lake. Back on the trail you can look for wolves’ dens as you make your way to Rose Creek for your overnight stop.

    After a long day in the saddle (six to seven hours) enjoy the evening around the camp fire overlooking the large pristine valley. The views are truely stunning and made better by the marshmallows you might roast over the bonfire...!
  • Day 6 6: ROSE CREEK - ROSE LAKE - 4 hours riding

    Canadian camp
    The landscape changes today, leaving the wolf dens behind and making your way through the alpine meadows along an old path overlooking a glacial valley. To the south east rise the mighty coastal mountains. The land is pocketed with lakes created by beaver dams.

    After lunch you descend to Rose Lake, arriving into camp after about five hours in the saddle.

    The rest of the day is spent around camp, fishing in the magnificent lake and awaiting the arrival of the airplane carrying supplies (and the spoon and bottle of wine that were left behind at the ranch!)
  • Day 7 7: ROSE LAKE - No riding

    Canadian camp
    Today is a rest day. Fishing, hiking and swimming if it is warm enough. A good opportunity to admire the rich diversity of wildlife and flora. You'll spot many birds: eagles, ducks, geese, trumpeter swans and many other migratory birds.
  • Day 8 8: ROSE LAKE - BIG BEN - 5-6 hours riding

    Refreshed and ready to continue, camp is dismantled and the day's five to six hour ride takes you up again through the forest to the meadows. After lunch, time is allowed for a siesta while the horses graze nearby. Leaving the alpine country, you follow the Watson river into the deep forest, with the opportunity to see many beaver dams.

    Overnight and dinner will be spent at Camp overlooking the coastal mountains and a small lake. Pierre will describe the Yukon's trapping tradition.
  • Day 9 9: BIG BEN - WATSON TRAIL - 4 hours riding

    Canadian camp
    After a good rest and breakfast, you will head off to the old Watson Trail that takes you mainly through the open forests. You saddle up once again and ride for another 20kms (about four hours in the saddle today) to your campsite for the night in an open forest in the wilderness along the Watson River. After dinner, roast marshmallows over the campfire as the sun sets for the night.
  • Day 10 10: WATSON TRAIL - ALLIGATOR LAKE - 6 hours riding

    Canadian camp
    Today you will have about six hours in the saddle. A long ascent to the alpine meadows for a panoramic view towards the Alaskan glaciers, with some steep up and down riding. You cross a large plateau and then descend to the glacial valley and the sandy banks of Alligator Lake, where you set up camp for the night.

    In times past, the First Nations people used to meet in this place for the last hunt of the season, and it became known as 'All Together Lake'. When the first maps were drafted, the name was mis-translated as Alligator Lake.
  • Day 11 11 : ALLIGATOR LAKE - FISH LAKE - 7 hours riding

    Another long day today as the land opens up into generous open spaces. You follow the trail to a high panoramic camp overlooking Fish lake.

    Camp is set up on the lake shore before settling down around the campfire for a last evening in the wilderness.
  • Day 12 12: FISH LAKE - 2 hours riding

    After camp is taken down and packed away, the final stretch takes you back to the ranch on time for a late lunch, after two hours in the saddle. Your equestrian journey has brought you full circle.

    After a relaxing shower, you can choose to enjoy the city or take a scenic light aircraft flight from Whitehorse (payable locally), following the route you have ridden. Your group meets again in town for a well-deserved shower organised at the local sports club and dinner (to your own account) before heading back to the ranch and your last night around the campfire.
  • Day 13 13: WHITEHORSE - EUROPE

    After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your flight home.

    Your flight to Europe will likely go via a major international hub such as Vancouver, and because of time differences you may not arrive home until the following morning.

Dates & prices

Price details

- International flights are not included but are bookable upon request.

- Groups are comprised of 3 to 8 international riders

- Transfers from Whitehorse are included

- There is no single accommodation option so you must be prepared to share the cabin accommodation on arrival/departure. Single tents can be given to solo riders.

- Please note that you can rent a sleeping bag and mattress: this is €65/£60/$70 per person, and must be booked in advance!

- It is possible to book a scenic light aircraft flight from Whitehorse on the last day (payable locally), following the route you have ridden. This is around €220/£200/$230 per person.

- Possibility of extra activities before or after the ride like seaplane, canoe on the river. Please feel free to ask us for more detailed information.
Please Note
The itinerary may be modified at anytime for security reasons, meteorological or events beyond our control such as blocked roads, rivers in flood, drought, strikes and local holidays. Equus Journeys, our local partners and their local guides will always strive to find the best solution and will alter the itinerary as needed.
The names of the hotels and accommodation are given for information only and depending on availability, they may be modified without notice and replaced by another of a similar standard.

Price includes

Support Team

1 Canadian tour leader and horse guide

Logistic

1 horse equipped with saddle and bridle per rider
1 packhorse for 2 riders

Inland transports

Transfers from Whitehorse

Accommodation

2 person tents
Wooden Huts on D1, D2, D12

Meals

Full board from the breakfast on D2 to lunch on D13 - except for free lunch on D2 and dinner on D12 in Whitehorse (payable locally)

Price doesn't include

Meals

Beverage and personal extra
Meals in Whitehorse

Transports

International flights
Visa fees

Insurance

Cancellation and travel insurances are not included. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend to take out an insurance policy as soon as your travel is booked in case of cancellation.

Extra

Tips to local team

Optional

Extra

Seaplane flight over the glaciers of the Coast Mountains. Estimated cost $125-150 depending on the number of participants.
Canoe on the Yukon river (about 3 days).
  • Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    18/06/2023 30/06/2023 £2,700 €3,051 $3,348 Guaranteed departure Book now
  • Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    09/07/2023 21/07/2023 £2,700 €3,051 $3,348 Full
    16/08/2023 28/08/2023 £2,700 €3,051 $3,348 Full
  • Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    02/09/2023 14/09/2023 £2,700 €3,051 $3,348 Full

Equestrian info

Horses

The horses are working horses - robust, tough and sure-footed. You ride in American tack.

Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

You need to be comfortable riding in all paces over varied terrain. The landscape can be technically challenging with rough ground, dense vegetation and peatlands, which could unseat an unbalanced rider.

Pace

As you are accommpanied by pack horses the trail is mostly in walk although there are very occasional opportunities to trot and canter.

Tacking ability and participation

You will be expected to assist in all camp tasks - caring for and saddling the horses, collecting firewood, erecting and dismantling tents, cooking etc..

Guests are more then welcome to help and assist but all the horse are tacked by the guides and pack supervised by the guides to avoid any injuries to the horses.

Trip conditions and Requested experience

You need to be fit for 11 days camping in remote areas. There are occasions when you will need to dismount and lead your horse.
Previous experience of a long trail ride with camping would be useful but is not essential.

Equestrian equipment

You will be riding in a western saddle.
Saddlebags, cantle bag
We recommend our riders to wear a helmet to the correct standard and you should bring your own to ensure a proper fit.

Travel info

Comfort

Your base camp is made of small log cabins at 1600m high in the boreal forest (Fish Lake Vaylley). Please note that sleeping arrangements in the cabins are always on a shared basis and may be mixed sex. There is limited electricity supply (via generator only, not 24h). There is no running water but a bucket shower is possible, and a shower on the last day is organised in town.

Whilst out on the trail you will camp in two man tents - you need to bring your own sleeping bag and thermarest mattress. (Please note that you can rent a sleeping bag and mattress on-site, see dates and prices)

There is no signal on the trail - all communications with the outside world are done via the guide's satellite phone and reserved to emergencies only.

Meals

Expect hearty breakfasts with savory and sweet choices.
Picnic lunches during the trail are cold and consist of cold meat, cheese, bread, dry fruits, chocolate bars.
For dinners hot meal mainly is served as for ex. soup, BBQ meat or fish, pasta, rice, vegetables, salad and desert. Drinking water is provided.

Please ask for special diet. Menu can be adapted.
Alcohol is not included on the trail.

Climate

Yukon is under the midnight sun during the summer three months during which the sun hardly ever sets.
The Yukon has a subarctic semiarid climate. The summers are relatively hot and the winters very cold. In June the days are long and the sun does virtually not lie down at all (midnight sun). In August the days are shorter but still you can enjoy the day up to 21h30. In September and June the nights are cold. The weather is hard to predict in those parts and you should be prepared for major variations during the week (or even during the day!), with cold nights.

Guide and local team

Pierre is a trapper with some remarkable interpersonal and professional skills. At the age of 16, after having passed his Lumberjack degree, he left Quebec looking for wide open spaces. Some 15 years later he landed in the Yukon. His partner Veronica assists him with great kindness and good humor.

This riding expedition is always accompanied by two guides and an additional helper.

Tips

Tipping is expected in all restaurants (except on some snack meals and in self-service restaurants). It is customary to leave 10-15% of the bill as a tip. Giving a tip to Pierre and his team is a way of showing your appreciation of the trip and services provided.

Packing list

The riding team will provide a waterproof soft bag (80 l) for the riders to put their luggage in during the trail. Your belongings during the ride must fit in this bag - weight limit is 15 kgs (please remember your luggage is carried by pack horses!)

Head
- Helmets are mandatory. Equus Journeys strongly recommend that you wear a riding helmet and that you take your own to ensure a correct fit.
- Sunhat for when not riding
- Woolly hat in case it gets cold at camp or during the night
- Sunglasses - with a cord attached so they don't fly off when riding
- Buff or bandana

Upper body
- Long sleeved shirts provide protection from the sun
- T-shirts
- Thermal clothes
- Fleece, jumper or jacket - the evenings can be cold (at least two)
- Waterproof gear: good quality rain coat and waterproof trousers - the rains can be difficult to foresee and it's better to be prepared.
- Casual clothes for the evening

Legs
- Lightweight, comfortable riding trousers or jodhpurs - we recommend riding in them at home before taking them on holiday to ensure they don't rub
- Waterproof over trousers. Please don't bring ponchos instead as some of the horses may not be used to them.
- Warm leggings
- Casual clothes for the evening
- Swimsuit for bathing in the river or/and in the lake or just in case there is somewhere for a dip!

Hands and Feet
- Comfortable riding boots. We recommend short hiking boots with half chaps but you may wish to take long chaps to protect against thorns. Waterproof boots are recommended. We don't recommend taking your favourite long leather boots in case they get damaged
- Waterproof shoes/boots can be useful for abundant dew in the mornings or when it rains
- Sandals, flip-flops or trainers - something comfortable for the evenings
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun whilst riding and the evenings can be cold. It gets windy and cold in the mountains as well.

Nightwear
- Sleeping bag. You need at least a comfort factor down to minus 5 Celsius, but would recommend at least minus 8 or 10 Celsius.
- Sleeping bag liner - silk, cotton or fleece - adds an extra layer
- Inflatable mattress for your comfort sake. Mattresses are not provided.
- Pyjamas or tracksuits or thermals for sleeping in
(Please note that you can rent a sleeping bag and mattress on-site, see dates and prices)

Other useful items
- Mosquito net (to wear over your helmet)
- A good swiss army knife (please make sure to pack it in your checked luggage)
- Towels - camping ones will both dry and pack more easily
- Bumbag for carrying your camera and small items (passport, camera, sunscreen, lipbalm etc) whilst riding
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
- Headtorch or small torch for moving around camp at night - bring spare batteries and bulbs
- Water bottle (2 litres or 2 x 1 litre)
- Swiss army knife
- Field glasses
- Wet Wipes or equivalent (for when washing facilities aren't available)
- A lighter to burn your toilet paper
- Small plastic bags for rubbish
- Ear plugs (for light sleepers)

Medical kit
- Any medication you regularly take
- Sunscreen and lip balm - should be high factor
- Insect repellent, preferably containing deet
- Blister plasters in case of any rubs
- Antiseptic cream, plasters, aspirin, anti-histamine, insect-bite salve etc...
- Spare prescription glasses/contact lenses
- Eye drops
- Imodium or similar anti-diarrhoea medication
- Re-hydration sachets
- Water purification tablets
- Antiseptic wipes
- Handwash gel
- Biodegradable soap is a must as your guides.

Our Recommendations
- Hard sided suitcase are not not permitted on this ride as your luggage is carried by packhorses. The riding team will provide a waterproof soft bag (80 l) for the riders to put their luggage in during the trail. Your belongings during the ride must fit in this bag.
- Backpacks cannot be worn whilst riding. Saddlebags are provided and we recommend a small bumbag or a coat with pockets so that you can carry small items with you during the day (passport, camera, sunscreen, lipbalm etc)
- We recommend travelling in your riding boots and carrying your hat and some riding clothes in your hand luggage - then if your luggage goes astray you are still able to ride!

Miscellaneous
- We recommend taking a copy of your passport and insurance documents with you in case you lose your originals
- Please take your rubbish home with you. There are no recycling facilities in this area, so take your used batteries, aerosols etc back home and dispose of them appropriately. Try to leave excess packaging material at home before travelling.

In your hold luggage
- Any liquids, such as shampoo, moisturiser, deodorant unless they are less than 100ml and all bottles can fit in a small, clear, plastic ziplock bag. We recommend biodegradable washing products where possible.
- Swiss army knife (or equivalent)

In your hand luggage
- Any valuables, such as your camera, ipod, ipad etc.
- Travelling in your riding boots and carrying your hat and some riding clothes is highly recommended - then if your luggage goes astray you are still able to ride!




Did you know?

Did you know?

Yukon's capital, Whitehorse, is named after the historic rapids of the Yukon River which resembled the flowing manes of charging white horses. Even though Whitehorse is the largest city in northern Canada and was used as a transportation hub during the Klondike Gold Rush, more than 80 percent of Yukon is still wild. On this riding expedition, you will be able to explore with your equine companions majestic mountains, glaciers, rivers and even spot some exciting wildlife including caribou, grizzly bears and birds.

Customer reviews

Customer reviews

All of our reviews are real, honest opinions from riders who have recently travelled with us. Upon their return, our riders will receive an email inviting them to share their experiences from their trip. Good or bad, each review will be published on our website, provided that they respect our editorial guidelines.
  • Veronica aged 48 LONDON 9 trips
    July 2022
    This in the many rides I have done is definitely one of the best ever as it is actually not a ride but a pure adventurous expedition. The riding is a minor component of the whole life experience to be utterly and uncompromisingly into the Big Wild. You have to be willing and prepared to get lost in this immense wild... Read all
    • Horses
    • Programme
    • Accommodation
    • Local guide