Hiking the Yukon River Trail East at Whitehorse

On Saturday, our hiking group met at Chadburn Lake to hike the Yukon River Trail East, a loop running from Chadburn Lake to Canyon City and back.

By about 11:20, eight people and six dogs were on the trail. The loop actually starts on the Log Trail, which was apparently a woodcutter’s road – wood for the sternwheelers, I expect.

Log Trail at Whitehorse, Yukon
The Log Trail wanders around through the forest but soon opens up to some wonderful views as it loops around on what appears to be a very old river channel bench.

Log Trail at Whitehorse, Yukon
One of Yukoners’ favourite flowers is the first one to appear in the Spring, the Prairie crocus (Pulsatilla patens). It was actually adopted as the Yukon’s official flower in 1954. Unfortunately, Manitoba had also claimed it, so 3 years later, fireweed became our official flower. Anyway, there were lots of crocuses on the dry, south-facing slopes.

Prairie crocus on the Yukon River Trail East at Whitehorse, Yukon
In about 40 minutes, we reached the spectacular views over the Yukon River. It was great to see a voyageur canoe crew out practising for the Yukon River Quest race to Dawson coming up on June 26th.

Yukon River Trail East at Whitehorse, Yukon
That wonderful spot on the trail was cause for a snack break. Kevin immediately became all the dogs’ best friend when his dog-cookies appeared 🙂

Dogs on the Yukon River Trail East at Whitehorse, Yukon
The actual Yukon River Trail East follows the ridge high above the river all the way to the site of Canyon City. It is absolutely superb.

Yukon River Trail East at Whitehorse, Yukon

Yukon River Trail East at Whitehorse, Yukon

Yukon River Trail East at Whitehorse, Yukon

It was a difficult day to dress for. Although the sun was very warm, the actual temperature was only 6°C (43°F) and the wind had a real bite to it.

Yukon River Trail East at Whitehorse, Yukon
Looking down at “the American laundry”, a facility built by the US Army during the Alaska Highway construction. The huge construction base at McRae was right above this location.

Yukon River Trail East at Whitehorse, Yukon
Many of the slopes down to the river are quite steep. We met a few cyclists along the trail.

Yukon River Trail East at Whitehorse, Yukon
Dropping down to Canyon City. During the Klondike Gold Rush, the North West Mounted established a post above the treacherous waters of Miles Canyon, and all boats were stopped there, at what became known as Canyon City, for inspection. Only boats and people who the police felt could get through the canyon safely were allowed to continue – others had to put their gear on one of two wooden tramways that were built around the canyon.

Yukon River Trail East at Whitehorse, Yukon
Bella was the first one into the river, as usual. Caribou soon joined her, but Tucker got his drink with his feet still on the beach – he’s not a big fan of water.

Yukon River Trail East at Whitehorse, Yukon
All the dogs got their turn to get wet 🙂

Yukon River Trail East at Whitehorse, Yukon
There are several trails converging at Canyon City, and this sign helps get hikers and cyclists on the right one. From here, we climbed back up to the Chadburn Lake Road. There, most of the group went left to vehicles that had been parked nearby and shuttled to Chadburn Lake to get the rest of the vehicles. Kevin and I had chosen to walk the extra distance, but probably wouldn’t do it again – walking along the road just isn’t much fun, and Bella’s feet don’t like gravel.

Yukon River Trail East at Whitehorse, Yukon

Kevin and I were back at our vehicles by about 2:00 – it had been an excellent hike.




Comments

Hiking the Yukon River Trail East at Whitehorse — 5 Comments

  1. Thanks for the excellent story! Is the Yukon River Trail East a part of “The Great Trail” (TCT)? It’s a beautiful trail …

  2. What a beautiful looking trail – perfect for taking the dogs on. Love the view down the steep bank to the river. Trying to get my bearings. As you are walking along with the river to the left, is Whitehorse ahead of you?
    Where does the trail head actually start?

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