Kayak Fun in the Yukon

Hi Guys.  It’s March..woo hoo! February is finally over. I’m not sure how your winter has been, but we’ve had an unusually cold winter in Ontario (but less snow, at least) so hopefully you’ve fared better than us. If you’re in Atlantic Canada/U.S–I’m sorry for all your snow. It’s been a crappy winter for everyone it seems, except for you lucky ducks out West wearing your shorts and golfing in February (Grrr!). I’m so glad spring is around the corner.

I have my first cold of the season, which isn’t too bad considering I usually get a couple of colds every winter.
I’m fairly susceptible to sore throats and laryngitis (which a couple of my friends seem to enjoy haha!) so I guess this is winter’s farewell present for me. Sigh….

It’s more of a sinus cold and it’s not too bad except for some not-so-much-fun ear/teeth pain. I waited a week before going to the clinic as I know there’s not much you can do for viruses, but after being in lots of pain I finally decided to get it checked. Sure enough I do have an ear/sinus infection so they gave me antibiotics (ug, I generally try to avoid these as much as I can). But I’m already feeling better so they worked pretty fast. 

Ok enough talk about winter and colds, and more about fun things… like travel. Especially if it involves Canada’s beautiful North.

A few of you said you enjoyed my latest post on the Yukon. Mostly my close friends who are forced excited to read my blog (ha ha! thanks guys). A lot of folks have told me they can’t wait to get to the Yukon, especially when they see how beautiful it is. That’s exactly why I started this blog–to share stories and (hopefully) inspire.

Not quite inspired to head North yet? Perhaps another Yukon story will do the trick!

A couple of summers ago I spent a few weeks in Whitehorse with my good friend Al and our gracious hosts: his parents. On our first Saturday there we woke up to a beautiful, sunny and hot morning. It was already 30 degrees C (90F) and it wasn’t even noon yet. It was gonna be a scorcher. (Hard to believe we’re in Northern Canada!

We decided it was the perfect day to spend on a lake. Since the sun is up until midnight at this time of year, the days can be insanely lonnnnnng and hot (see my recent post on the Midnight Sun).


So after a delicious breakfast, we got ready and strapped the canoe to the car. We were also going to stop at the Outdoors shop downtown to rent a kayak.

Al’s mom and I were pretty happy about going to the lake. I may have been a bit more excited than she was, it’s hard to tell.


Just a little side note about this picture, above. This is my friend Al and his wonderful father, Rene, who (sadly) passed away just a couple of months ago. Al’s mom travels a lot and she visits him often in Ontario, but Al didn’t see his dad much since moving away. So over the last few years he’s been going home (to Whitehorse) more often to see his dad. This was a wonderful trip and Al and his Dad got to spend a lot of time together.  RIP Rene, you are sorely missed!

After we got the canoe strapped onto the car, we headed downtown to get the kayak.



We were on our way to the lake. Al’s mom decided on Chadburn Lake which is only a 10-minute drive from downtown Whitehorse. So it’s totally doable if you’re in town and have access to a car (or, a friend who has one).

When we got to the lake area we hopped out of the car I was in complete awe of the scenery before me. It truly is one of the most gorgeous lakes I’d ever seen. 
Even if you’re not a huge canoe/kayak fan, you’ll want to go for a ride in this lake.

She’s a beauty.


It took a few minutes to get everything unhooked and we got the canoes and kayaks ready to roll, er I mean ride.


Al was all strapped in his life jacket and was finally ready to go.



Al also helped his mom get settled in the kayak and balanced enough to push her in. I mean, off. (ha ha)


Al and I took the canoe out first and took turns paddling. It was just amazing to be slowly cruising down the lake and admiring the scenery all around us. Of course, I had to put the paddle down every now and then to take a few pictures.


While we were in the canoe, Rene was getting his dingy ready. He loves this thing. No way he was getting into a canoe when he’s got a dingy (ha ha).

We watched him get the dingy into the water and then he tried to catch up to his wife who was already speeding around the lake in her kayak.




Another plus about kayaking here? It’s so quiet and peaceful compared to many of the lakes I’ve been at in Ontario. Many are so built up with cottages that there are always tons of motor boats and water skiing fanatics. Hard to kayak with all those around you, so this was a nice change.

Just look at the gorgeous brilliant blue colour of the water…


Here’s a closer shot of the water. It looked almost tropical.


This lake is a volcanic ash lake and the stunning turquoise color you see in the shallow areas is an illusion caused by white silt. Especially with the sun shining on it. It looked like we were in the Caribbean.

Being glacier fed, this water is also very cold. Even though it was insanely hot out,  there was no way I was jumping into this lake (without a wetsuit, anyway). Chillllly… (Al did threaten to throw me in but luckily he got distracted looking for trout).

After a while we exchanged the canoe for kayaks and Al tried to chase down his mom around the lake (it worked, she’s slightly slower than he is. But only barely).



Rene ‘parked’ his dingy and relaxed watching us race around in the kayaks. Something seemed a bit weird with his life jacket though, and we couldn’t quite figure out what it was.

Until we got closer and realized he was wearing it upside down! (and inside out?). We had a good laugh. I guess he wasn’t overly worried about his boat capsizing.

Al’s parents finally met in the middle of the lake. I wondered if they were going to exchange boats. I think she was trying to talk him into putting his life jacket on properly.



We enjoyed a few hours on the water and luckily we were all wearing sunscreen as we were getting completely baked under the blazing sun.

We slowly packed up the boats so we could head back into town. It was time for a post-canoe/kayak/dingy drink. I just wish we’d thought to bring some with us. This was thee perfect place to relax, sit back and sip on a delicious Yukon Brewery ale.


If you’re in Whitehorse and want to go Kayaking, I recommend this gorgeous lake, particularly since it’s so close to the city. Here is a map of the Chadburn lake area. You get there by taking Chadburn Lake Road, across the bridge from downtown Whitehorse.

You can rent a canoe or kayak at the Kanoe People in downtown Whitehorse. They also offer lessons and guided trips, which can be handy if you don’t have a vehicle or you’re a beginner and want to learn the basics.

Either way, you will absolutely love being in the outdoors up here. Happy Paddling!




One thought on “Kayak Fun in the Yukon

  1. Pingback: Snow-Capped Mountains, Gold Rush & Brothels…Oh my! | The Roadtrip Cowgirl

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