Snake River Valley at Duo Lakes
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Rivers of the Peel Watershed

Featuring the navigable Wind, Snake, Bonnet Plume, Blackstone, Peel, Hart, and Ogilvie rivers, the Peel River watershed is a paddlers dream. This rugged landscape is larger than Scotland and one of the last intact mountain boreal ecosystems in the world. The deep canyons, plateaus, wetlands and rolling hills are home to moose, grizzly bears, Dall sheep, caribou, wolves and wolverine.


Paddling the Bonnet Plume River in the Yukon's Peel Watershed, by Wildnisabenteuer on YouTube

Yukon Wild operators offer group or customized multi-day adventures into this ecologically significant watershed. The natural beauty of the pristine landscape is coupled with a rich cultural heritage. A place where large woolly mammoths once meandered, First Nations lived off the land, prospectors and trappers passed through looking to make their mark.

Hart River Canyon
The awe-inspiring canyons and towers of the Hart River are unique among the Peel watershed tributaries. Photo by Juri Peepre, description by Peelwatershed

Driven to explore, but responsible in this quest, Yukon Wild companies will ensure that the only mark left from this experience is what remains in your heart. Your guided adventure will inspire and connect you to a place that is by nature, striking and pristine.

Peel River Watershed Facts

The Peel River Watershed is part of the winter range for the 100,000 strong Porcupine Caribou-Herd.

Most trips involve a fly-in and the option to fly-out gives you a beautiful preview on the way in and a way to spot any gear you may have forgotten on your way out

Learn more about the rivers of the Peel Watershed and their experts

The Peel River has six navigable tributaries that all present different challenges and highlights. We've outlined a few details here, but be sure to talk to your adventure experts linked below to figure out which river will suit you.

Hart River
The Hart River valley is ecologically diverse, with broad sweeps of boreal forest and many wetlands. It is perhaps one of the least known watersheds in the Peel region due to challenging access. Photo by Juri Peepre and description by Peelwatershed.

Hart River

The Hart River is one of the least travelled rivers in the Peel River watershed. That's saying a fair bit, since no one could classify any of Yukon's rivers as 'busy' by southern standards. This remote trip involves some class I and II rapids, spectacular hiking and beautiful Ogilvie Mountain scenery. Most trips end on the Peel River's "Taco Bar" with a flight to Mayo.

Be one of the few people to have paddled the Hart River and go with Cabin Fever Adventures.

Snake River

The Snake River is considered ideal for the intermediate canoeist with consistent class I and II rapids and the occasional class III section to provide a challenge. Your canoe will likely be outfitted with a spray skirt to keep the stray wave from breaking your rhythm. The river is also known for spectacular hiking.

Peel River Canyon
Canoeists paddle past the folded sedimentary rock layers of Peel River Canyon in the Yukon. Peregrine falcons nest in the canyon. Photo by Jill Pangman and description by Peelwatershed

Paddle Yukon's Snake River with these Adventures Experts:

Peel River

The Hart, Wind, Bonnet Plume and Snake rivers all terminate at the Peel. The first three rivers include the Peel Canyon to finish off a spectacular trip through the mountains. Most trips on the Peel's tributaries end at 'Taco Bar', a large gravel bar where people exchange stories while waiting for their float plane. The longer trips include a paddle out the Peel to Fort McPherson on the Dempster Highway. Your Yukon adventure expert will point out the memorial for the Lost Patrol along the way.

In order to paddle the Peel your best bet is to start on the Hart, Wind, Bonnet Plume or Snake rivers. Hover over the those rivers to see who offers trips in the area. When booking your trip, ask your adventure expert if you'll be flying out or paddling through to Fort McPherson.

Wind River

The Wind River is welcoming for entry-level paddlers and it offers all the same wildlife and hiking opportunities of the Wind's sisters, the Snake and Bonnet Plume. The wide valley is home to grizzlies, caribou and moose. The river ends on the Peel and most trips finish at 'Taco Bar' with a float plane ride back to Mayo.


The demanding Bonnet Plume River has numerous sets of Class III rapids. Peter Sandiford and Jane Isakson run a rocky narrow stretch in the upper river. Video by Juri Peepre.

The following adventure experts all offer the trips on the Wind River:

Bonnet Plume River

Of the three popular Peel watershed rivers – the Snake, Wind and Bonnet Plume – the Bonnet Plume is the most technical. You'll want to be fairly confident with class III+ rapids (with a loaded canoe, remember!) and the occasional class IV. You'll probably be fairly tired from navigating this challenging river, but if you can find the energy, the hiking is highly recommended.

Travel with the adventure experts at Ruby Range Adventure to experience the constant thrill of the Bonnet Plume River.

Blackstone River

Midsummer Evening on the Blackstone River
Midsummer Evening on the Blackstone River, by Juri Peepre on Flickr

The Blacksone River trips start off at the Dempster Highway north of Dawson City Yukon. Some trips include some hiking in the Tombstone Mountains prior to putting in the water. The Blackstone has mostly Class II water but when you get to the Peel River you can hit some Class III and IV. The chances of seeing caribou, sheep, and bears are pretty high on this little traveled river. Most trips end at Taco Bar on the Peel, but if you talk with your adventure expert you can likely arrange to continue paddling the Peel to Fort McPherson."

Travel with  Cabin Fever Adventures and experience the Blackstone River.