Teslin dancers to welcome teams; no parking on roadway above Takhini River bridge

The 19th annual Yukon River Quest begins at noon on Wednesday, June 28 when the horn sounds at Rotary Peace Park in Whitehorse and teams run to their canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards and start their journey to Dawson City.
Before the start, teams will be welcomed by a youth drum and dance group from the Teslin Tlingit First Nation, and a variety of dignitaries as we celebrate Canada 150.

There also will be a Facebook live video feed from CKRW of the start of the race.
For those wanting to see the paddlers, the best vantage point is along the Yukon River downtown, just downriver from the starting area. Further down the river on the first day, places to the see the paddlers are limited along the N. Klondike Highway:

  • Takhini River. – Due to congestion and safety concerns, Yukon Highways will no longer allow vehicles to park along the highway above the Takhini River bridge. There will be barricades and traffic control persons. If anyone wishes to see teams go by the confluence, they will need to turn into the parking lot before the bridge, by the boat launch. From there, spectators may walk to the confluence, observing private property signs.
  • Burma Road – A better alternative! Turn right on Burma Road about 12 km. up the highway and drive down to the river. Parking is limited but it’s a great spot to see teams go by starting about 1.5 hours after the race start.
  • Policeman’s Point Road (13 km up highway)– Recommended only if you have a 4WD vehicle with high clearance and it’s not raining. The last part of this road has deep ruts and is very challenging. Parking is also limited but it is a great spot to see teams go by the first checkpoint before heading out on Lake Laberge.
  • Carmacks/Campbell Hwy. (June 29) – Slow down and watch for traffic control in vicinity of the Coal Mine Campground checkpoint and intersection with Campbell Hwy (good views along the Campbell for a few kilometres before the checkpoint).
    Following the race is a lot of fun, whether you are watching from alongside the river or sitting at home. All teams are required to have activated SPOT or InReach tracking devices, which greatly aid those following the race on their computers or mobile devices. Just follow the Race Tracker link and also watch for updates and photos on the race’s Facebook and Instagram pages. You can even replay the race when it’s all over.

Except for two mandatory rest stops totaling 10 hours (7 hours at Carmacks, 3 hours at Coffee Creek), paddlers race non-stop over the 715 kilometers (444 miles) to Dawson City in “Race to the Midnight Sun.” The first finishers are expected Friday afternoon or evening.


YRQ Media Director Jeff Brady: wjbradyak@me.com , 907-973-2354