Porcupine/Yukon River: Old Crow to Dalton Highway (13 days / 650 km)

Trip Report - Porcupine Yukon Rivers (3)

The Porcupine River is a fairly slow, meandering river with its headwaters along the Dempster Highway in North Yukon and flows generally straight West above the Arctic Circle. This 650 km trip takes you through a variety of landscapes, from wide open valleys to steep canyons also known as ramparts, opening up in the Yukon flats where is enters the Yukon River, and the river valley is several kilometers wide, to end where the Yukon narrows down again and crosses the Dalton Highway in North Central Alaska.

We paddled the Porcupine and Yukon Rivers in August 2013, as the final two weeks of a longer expedition that started in the Peel Watershed in central Yukon. (See reports from the Hart/Peel, and Rat/Bell/Porcupine for the other sections) Although this section of the trip was the easiest white-water wise, we still loved every bit of it. 

We were a group of 6 paddlers with 2 dogs in 3 different canoes: 2 Nova Craft Prospector 18 Royalex and one Nova Craft Prospector 17 Royalex, all with spraydecks. (Although spraydecks are not necessary for this trip, they are always nice to have when the weather goes sidewise, as they help keep you warm and dry.) 

The water on the Porcupine was slightly murky, and since the river is shallow, meandry and slow moving, it was quite warm at the start, but also became cold very fast as the temperature dropped.

Trip Completed: August 2013

Trip Summary

Starting PointOld Crow, YTEnding PointDalton Highway, AlaskaDuration13 days / 12 nightsDifficultyIntermediateTotal Distance650 kmTotal Portaging Distance0 mNumber of Portages0

Location: Yukon, Alaska

Traditional Territory: This route takes place on the traditional territory of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nations and the Gwich’in Nành First Nations.

Maps & Resources

Guidebook: A Guide to Paddling in the Yukon covers parts of this trip.

Map: I use the Canada Topo app for all my river trips, which is a free app (on iPhone) which uses the o...

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