In 1997 and 1998, a race was held recreating the goldrusher's stampede up the grueling Chilkoot Trail, across treacherous Lake Bennett and down  the Yukon River to Dawson City.   Parks Canada and the US Parks Service decided that the racers were impacting too heavily on the trail to allow the race to continue.

1999 brought the first annual Yukon River Quest.  Starting in Whitehorse,  the race to Dawson City takes racers across 460 miles of intense paddling.


Yukon River Quest registrations already at 35 teams
Fundraiser set for May 6; registration deadline May 26

Registrations for the seventh annual Yukon River Quest, the longest annual canoe and kayak race in the world, reached 35 teams on April 10, halfway to the new limit of 70 teams. The race begins on June 29 and the registration deadline is May 26.

Last year a record 51 teams began the 740-kilometer (460 miles) race from Whitehorse to Dawson City on the Yukon River, and organizers expect entries to top that mark this year. Already this year, there are paddlers registered from Canada (Yukon, BC, Ontario, Quebec, Alberta), the United States (Alaska, Washington, California, New York, Minnesota, Michigan, Texas, Utah, Florida, Idaho, and Guam), Austria, and the United Kingdom.

Interest in the race from the UK has been building since the airing of a BBC2 program that aired on a Sunday night in March. The 2004 race was featured in an episode of the “BBC Challenge”, in which the network followed a kayak team. Since the broadcast, race organizers have received more than a dozen queries from the UK.

Yukoners can view the program during a fund-raiser for the 2005 Yukon River Quest at the Backwater lounge in Whitehorse on Friday, May 6. Doors open at 7 p.m. In addition to the BBC video presentation, there will be live entertainment from Joe Bishop, Natasha Nettleton, and possibly others. There will be a cover charge and a silent auction of items donated from Yukon businesses. The popular YRQ Buff headwear and bib sponsorships will be available for purchase, and anyone who has not signed up for the race can register.

The race is organized by the Yukon River Marathon Paddling Association, based in Whitehorse. For more information, visit the race website: <>

MEDIA CONTACT: Dianne Villeseche, 867-333-0686 or [email protected]