frequently asked questions

How long does the race take?

The fastest recorded time is just over 6 days, but it can take 10+ days; weather and river level dependent.

What route does the race follow?

Beginning in Canada at Whitehorse (60°42’54.3″N 135°02’45.2″W), the race crosses into Alaska and ends at Dalton Highway Bridge, in the Arctic Circle (60°42’54.3″N 135°02’45.2″W).

Map of Yukon 1000 canoe race route

How do I deal with bears?

Bring bear spray, the salmon are running this time of year.  You will see bears, but hopefully not in camp. Use sensible bear precautions: cook away from your tent, keep your food separate from your tent and away from your boat, etc.

Store your food and boat some distance from your tent, have bear bells attached to food storage for warning. Further guidance will be provided in the race entry information pack issued in March 2018 and at the pre race brief on the evening of the 21st June 2018.

How do I get to the Yukon?

The easiest way is to fly from Calgary or Vancouver with most International carriers, then onto Whitehorse with Air North.

There are daily flights from Vancouver on Air Canada and Air North.  There are also flights several times a week from Edmonton and Calgary on Air North, and during the summer, flights from Frankfurt on Conder Airlines.   You can also get here by car or bus up the Alaska Highway, which is not what it was back when: it is now a high class paved road.

Where does the race start?

The race starts in Whitehorse on the 22nd July 2018 at the North end of the Rotary Park on a small beach. Directions will be provided in the Race Registration pack.

Where can I rent a canoe or kayak?

Kanoepeople in Whitehorse are the best place to start; they know the right Canoe and Kayak for the race and can offer all pre requisite advice and kit.

Where can I buy paddling or camping gear?

Paddles, are something you want to research and train with before the race; common brands are ZRE paddles and Wearner paddles for the disciplines.

Camping gear is a thing of personal choice. Travel light, travel far.

What kit is mandatory ?

  • Canoe/Kayak Spray skirt
  • Life jacket with emergency items stowed within (listed below)
  • Emergency Grab bag items stowed within (listed below)
  • Satellite Phone
  • Spot tracker
  • Bear barrel for food (Can rent in Whitehorse)
  • 11 Days rations per person
  • Detailed guidance will be issued with the race entry information pack in March 2018. An outline is provided below:
  • Canoe/Kayak Spray skirt.  It is required that a team wear a full coverage spray-skirt deck with snaps or tie downs while traveling on the river from Whitehorse to Lower Laberge and Carmacks to Rink Rapids.  Lack of, or non-use of the spray-skirt on these sections will result in disqualification.
  • Life jacket – Each team member must carry a U.S. Coast Guard or Canadian Department of Transport approved Personal Flotation Device (PFD).
  • The life jacket must have the following items stowed in it:
  • 1 x Signal mirror
  • 1 x Whistle
  • 1 x pack of waterproofed windproof matches
  • 1 x Knife
  • $40 Dollars & $40 Canadian Dollars
  • 1 x Credit card per team (minimum $1000 limit in case of emergency medical costs)
  • 1 x USCG approved emergency strobe per team
  • One emergency space bivy sack per person.
  • The emergency grab bag must contain:
  • 1 x Bear Spray
  • Documentation for crossing the US border at Eagle
  • Waterproof jacket per person
  • Water resistant electric torch showing a white light + spare batteries
  • Warm jacket (not down)
  • Dry spare clothing
  • Sun Cream Factor 50 minimum
  • Cooking equipment
  • Water purification kit
  • Medical Kit(appropriate emergency first aid kit per team
  • Sleeping bag (rated –5)
  • 1 x tent
  • 2 x GPS

Detailed guidance will be issued with the race entry information pack in March 2018

How do I measure my own kayak, canoe or tandem sea kayak?

Kayak (K20) – This race is for recreation or expedition-style sea kayaks only, with closed cockpits.  Sit-on-tops or an outrigger type craft are not allowed.

Sea kayaks must have storage hatches capable of storing all the gear required for this race.  Kayaks must be paddled with the use of double-blade paddles only.

The Yukon 1000 Canoe and Kayak Race has adopted the same boat measuring scheme as the Yukon River Quest.  For Kayaks this includes a simple length to width ratio which is determined by dividing the total length of the kayak at the 4-inch waterline (excluding the rudder unless it is faired into the hull) by the midship width at the 4-inch waterline.  Do not rely on other published ratios.  In addition, there is a minimum overall width.  Measure according to directions in the How to Measure section of the FAQs.

Tandem Sea Kayak

Maximum 4 waterline length-width ratio: 10.2

Minimum overall width at the widest point: 26 in.

Canoe (C2 )- The tandem canoe (C2) class allows any boat meeting the USCA Competition Cruiser specification.  Note that this specification allows boats that are not necessarily the most suitable for the race.  Make sure your boat can carry the required gear and is stable when fully loaded.  Each canoe must start the race with an approved, full coverage spray skirt/deck.  Canoes must be paddled with the use of single blade paddles only, and must not be equipped with rudders or skegs.

See Images and Docs/USCA Main Calendar/USCACompRules2009.pdf section V.A for the full Competition Cruiser specification.

Tandem Canoe Max. Length – 18 feet, 6 inches, stem to stern

Tandem Canoe Min. Width – 14 3/8% of the length (.14375 times the length) at the 4 inch water line, measured within 12 inches fore and aft of the center of the canoe.

Tandem Canoe Center Gunnel Min. height: 11½ in.

Tandem Canoe Min. Height at Bow: 15½ in.

This rule allows: stock canoes such as the Clipper and Wenonah Jensen 18 models; and canoes such as the Clipper Whitewater II and Wenonah Minnesota II models.  However, all of the above listed boats must have their measurements listed on the application, and will be measured at the pre-race inspection to ensure they meet the specs above.

Where do I get a SPOT tracker from?

Spot trackers can be bought online; they must be registered upon purchase.

How do I use a SPOT tracker?

Detailed guidance will be issued with the race entry information pack in March 2018.

Where do I get mapping?

The Rourke map that should be familiar to people who have done the Yukon River Quest is good as far as Dawson.  There is another Rourke map that takes you as far as Circle.  Past Circle, there is a problem.

The river has never been mapped well, especially beyond Dawson city where the Gold Rush ended.  The suggested method is to pull mapping from Google earth; grid and scale using latitude & longitude; then print onto waterproof paper.

Navigation is not to be underestimated; the river level may not be the same as what appears on Google earth. The annual river thaw has significant effect on the landscape and river direction.

What waivers will I have to sign?

All waivers will be issued with the race entry information pack in March 2018, they will include:

  • Acceptance and signature of the 2018 Yukon1000 Safety Waiver.
  • Acceptance and signature of the Bear conflict avoidance and promise of Bear precautions to be taken.

What insurance do I need?

Individuals must ensure they have appropriate individual insurance for an extreme adventure race. You will need to provide a certificate of insurance to undertake the race.