Coal River: Pike Lake to Liard River (7 days / 120 km)

Trip Report - Coal River - Nice Beach Camp in small canyon

The Coal River is a Yukon gem that is not often travelled. This river has some of the beautiful features along the way, making every day exciting. We flew into Pike Lake and covered the 120 km or so in 7 days to the Alaska Highway just before the Coal River enters the Liard River.

We were a group of 6 with 2 dogs in three canoes with spraydecks. The canoes we used were an Esquif Miramichi 18, a Nova Craft Prospector 17 and a Nova Craft Moisie. There have been a few large forest fires along this route within the last 15 years or so, which has changed the scenery slightly as well as made the portage and lining from Pike Lake to the river a little more challenging.

Trip Completed: July 2020

Trip Summary

Starting Point: Pike Lake

Ending Point: Alaska Highway

Total Distance: 120 km

Duration: 7 days

Difficulty: Advanced

Location: Southeast Yukon, Watson Lake being the nearest town.

Traditional Territory: This route takes place on the traditional territory of the Kaska Dena First Nations.

Maps & Resources

Guidebook: Paddling in the Yukon Guidebook

Map: I use the Canada Topo app for all my river trips, which is a free app (on iPhones) which uses the original topographic maps of Canada. You download the maps of your route before departing, and you can use them on your phone (or iPad) while out on your trip just like you would use a regular GPS.

Permits & Reservations

Campsite Reservations: No reservations

Permits: No permits required

Know Before You Go

Season: July to Early September

Cell Reception: No

Water: The river is clear the whole way.

Wildlife: I would not consider any wildlife to be a problem on this trip, there are black and grizzly bears in the region.

Waste: This is a remote route with no facilities

Outfitters & Shuttles

Outfitter: We did not use an outfitter for this trip as we live in the Yukon and used all our personal gear.

Shuttle: The shuttle logistics ...

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