“Race to the Midnight Sun”
World’s Toughest and Alluring Marathon Paddling Race – 715 km / 444 miles from Whitehorse to Dawson City, YukonYukon River Quest 2024: June 26-29 • Registration opens in November
Photo: Mark Kelly Photography
Welcome to the official Yukon River Quest web site. The Yukon River Quest is an annual marathon paddling race. Paddlers come from around the world to test their endurance, racing day and night to the Klondike on one of North America’s great rivers. It is open to solo and tandem canoes and kayaks, solo stand-up paddle boards (SUPs, and bigger C4 and Voyageur canoes. Please fully explore our site for information on how to participate in this great event, whether as a racer, a member of a support crew, or as a volunteer. The Yukon River passes through Five First Nations on our race route: Kwanlin Dün, Ta’an Kwäch’än Council, Little Salmon Carmacks, Selkirk, and Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in. Our race honours their culture and those who have lived off the river and nurtured it for centuries. To learn more about First Nations heritage on the river, see this River History from Yukon Schools. And for an in-depth account of Yukon First Peoples, read this ECHO (Ethnographic, Cultural, Historical Overview) handbook.
YRQ24 RACE DATES ANNOUNCED: June 26-29, 2024. The 24th Yukon River Quest will start on Wednesday June 26 at 9:00 am, or as determined by race registration levels. Registration will open in November. Watch for further announcements.
RACE OVER, AWARDS TODAY (July 8) – Awards start at 10 am at Fort Herchmer. We had a successful race with 44 of 54 teams making it to the finish line in Dawson and one finishing the half race at Carmacks. Check out the RACE TRACKER for official results and our social media pages for updates and photos. We will have an Awards Press Release up late Sunday or Monday. Look for the Photo Gallery link from Mark Kelly Photography Monday night. Thanks to all our volunteers onshore and on the river who make this event shine year after year!
RACE ON! (July 4) – YRQ will start today with 54 teams – Join us at Rotary Park Tuesday for the exciting start of the 23rd Yukon River Quest. We lost just a couple teams prior to final registration, so we will see 54 teams and 134 paddlers hitting the river at 9 a.m. Once they are underway, follow the teams on our RACE TRACKER and watch for updates and photos on social media (logo links in top bar above – new Twitter link now active). Consult our RACE SCHEDULE for checkpoint openings and other things happening later this week in Dawson City.
June 10, 2023 – Field Set for 2023 YRQ – Registration is complete and this year’s Yukon River Quest has a pre-start list of 55 teams. Here’s the class breakdown: C4- 5 men’s teams; C1- 2 teams (1 man, 1 woman); K1- 17 teams (13 men, 4 women); SUP- 5 men; C2- 14 teams (8 men’s, 6 mixed); K2- 4 teams (2 men’s, 2 mixed); VC- 7 teams (1 men’s, 4 mixed, 2 women’s; Half Quest- 1 team (VC women’s). The 136 paddlers in the YRQ hail from 10 different countries: Australia, Belgium, Canada (6 provinces/territories), Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the USA (13 states). See Racer List on the website for paddler bios. The race begins at 9 am on July 4 in Whitehorse. Check out the June Newsletter.
November 1, 2022 – REGISTRATION OPEN mid-November 2022 to June 1, 2023– Registration opened on these dates at 14:00 Whitehorse Time for the following classes: Nov. 14 (voyageurs and C4 canoes), Nov. 21 (tandem canoe and kayaks), Nov. 28 (solo kayaks, canoes, SUP). The following limits have been set for the 2023 races: Main YRQ – 125 teams total, 15 voyageurs, 60 solos; YRQ 300 (half race to Carmacks) – 25 teams total. Click HERE to get to the Registration page. Closes June 1st. Reopens for 2024 race in November. Stay tuned for announcements.
BE PREPARED – THIS IS A TOUGH WILDERNESS PADDLING RACE! READ RULES & RACER GUIDE: Become familiar with the YRQ RULES (2023 now posted). Read the Preamble about what you will experience out there, and how to prepare for this tough wilderness race. Also check out the RACER GUIDE and various items under the RULES & PREPARATION drop-down menu above, such as following best practices on the river and while camping, how much food and fluids are needed to sustain you in a long river race, and other essential tips to help you finish; racer and support crew briefings; and our FAQs to learn more about navigation, insurance requirements, how to support your team at Carmacks, how to get back from Dawson, and more. Support crews need to become familiar with all of this information to help your team prepare and stay safe! Check out the SUPPORT CREWS link above.
CURRENT COVID HEALTH & TRAVEL MANDATES: YUKON: https://yukon.ca/en/covid-19-information CANADA: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html
VOLUNTEERS – LIFEBLOOD OF THE YRQ: This race does not happen without our great volunteers, nearly 200 of them! Want to get involved for the 2024 race? Sign up on our VOLUNTEER page. Here are the different jobs available: Volunteer Needs/Duties. It’s never too early or too late to volunteer, and it’s fun! If you do enough time with us, you will get a shirt, and see your name in our big THANK YOU AD (2023 now published) in the Whitehorse Star. And PLEASE THANK OUR VOLUNTEERS WHEN YOU SEE THEM. THEY ARE THERE TO HELP!
THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS – SUPPORT THE YRQ: We have a lot of great sponsors who help us immensely in making this a great race. Please view our SPONSOR PAGE for a list of everyone big and small, including this past year’s BIB SPONSORS! We have several sponsorship levels to show your support for the race. Our Sponsorship packet and provisions are currently under revision and should be available some time this winter.
BECOME A MEMBER OF YRMPA: Join the Yukon River Marathon Paddlers Association for just $20 a year (adults) or $10 a year (juniors 18 & under) by clicking on the Membership photo button above. Email the race office for details or attend our next AGM and consider joining the YRMPA Board to help us plan the race. Meetings are monthly most of the year on the 3rd Wednesday of the month, and more frequently the two months before the race.
See our current board & executive and read our Vision, Values and Mission statements on our ABOUT US page, including draft minutes and president’s report from our 2023 AGM which was held on Dec. 7, 2022.