Frances Lake Wilderness Lodge
Frances Lake Wilderness Lodge

Wild Yukon: Canoeing and Hiking Experience






Have you ever dreamed of canoeing and hiking in pristine wilderness? Have you ever considered spending unforgettable days at a remote wilderness lodge in the Canadian North? If you have, then you'll want to be part of this unique experience! Spend your days under the open sky on a lake as smooth as glass. Hike, fish and canoe at your leisure with evenings spent around a cozy campfire. Enjoy paddling the waters of an untouched river. Hike above the treeline in the Logan Mountains, where you may encounter caribou, goats and eagles in their natural habitats. Learn about wildlife and plants. Back at the lodge, enjoy the comfort of a rustic life style: comfortable beds, shower, sauna and great meals are a welcome change from your days out in the bush.

Requirements for the 4½-day canoe trip:
  • Easy river trip over gentle moving water (WW-Class 1+) with some flat water lake sections.
  • No prior canoeing or wilderness experience necessary, as an introduction to various skills will be part of the tour.
  • Up to 6 hours of paddling per day.

Requirements for the 4-day hiking trip:
  • Mountain hiking along narrow trails and in trackless country (alpine meadows and boulder fields).
  • You'll need to be agile and in good physical condition for day trips of up to 6 hours and an 800-metre elevation gain.
  • On the first hiking day, you must be able to carry your own backpack with tent, food, sleeping bag and personal gear for about 3½ hours; the following days we'll be hiking with light day packs.


ITINERARY

Day 1: Your hotel in Whitehorse is conveniently located downtown nearby the mighty Yukon River. Spend the day as you please: go for a relaxing stroll through the charming city or take the opportunity to go shopping for gear for your upcoming trip.

Day 2: In the morning we will pick you up from the hotel and drive east along the legendary Alaska Highway. We'll make some stops at interesting spots including the Wildlife Museum in Teslin, the Rancheria Falls and the famous Sign Post Forest in Watson Lake. After that, we'll continue on the Campbell Highway, a well-maintained gravel road, north to Frances Lake. Finally, a 30-minute boat ride brings you to our wilderness lodge where you'll be shown to your cozy, private log cabin. After a hearty dinner in the main lodge, you can relax in our comfortable living room or enjoy the lovely view from your cabin's front porch, looking out across the lake and into the Logan Mountains.

Day 3: Relax at the lodge or participate in guided excursions, go fishing, paddle around the sheltered bay or stroll along the lake's beach. A visit to the abandoned Hudson's Bay Company trading post will carry you away into past times. Take your time to fully enjoy your waterfront log cabin and let yourself be spoiled by our kitchen's delicious creations.

Days 4 – 5: Early in the morning we will pack up and prepare for the exciting 30-minute flight by floatplane to McPherson Lake. Here, we will camp for two nights on a sandy beach and enjoy the simple life in harmony with nature. There will be plenty of time to explore your surroundings and practice the paddling strokes you will need for the following days on the river. On excursions on the lake, we can often observe moose, trumpeter swans and bald eagles, and in the evenings we can be seduced by the quietness and calm. This is campfire romance at its best!

Days 6 – 7: By now, you'll be well versed in the use of your canoe and we'll begin our trip down the Yusezyu River. This river is both lovely and exciting, but without the dangers of a large and fast flowing river. However, we'll have to look out for sweepers, rocks and shallow spots, so stay alert! On a gravel bar along the river we'll pitch our tents for the night and try our luck landing a trout. The river becomes more gentle in the lower section, which is also home to moose, beavers, otters and waterfowl. On our last night, we'll camp on a nice sandy beach at the north end of Frances Lake.

Day 8: A short paddle down the northernmost part of the lake will bring us to our prearranged meeting point with the boat, then it's a one-hour ride back to the lodge. Enjoy the comforts of your cabin and take advantage of a hot shower and a soft bed — not to mention our great home-cooked meals!

Days 9 – 10: Enjoy relaxing days at the lodge. Participate in guided excursions or explore the neighbourhood yourself on foot and by canoe. Observe bald eagles raising their young or beavers gathering food. With a little luck, you can spot water birds, moose, caribou, wolves or even bears! Shower and sauna are available anytime — with cool-off in the lake...

Day 11: After breakfast, we'll leave the lodge and take a pleasant boat ride up the East Arm of Frances Lake. At the trailhead, we'll tie up the boat, shoulder our packs and start climbing up to the treeline. We will be walking on an old hunting trail that follows along a small burbling creek. It will take about 3 – 4 hours to reach the campsite, which will be our home for the next 3 nights.

Days 12 – 13: Day hikes across open tundra will introduce us to a wonderful world of mountains, lakes and creeks. If we are lucky, we'll see caribou, mountain goats and pikas, as well as a wide range of beautiful flowers. Our itineraries are driven by the capabilities and preferences of the group, and there are many possibilities for discovering high ridges, plateaus and summits. We will be hiking mostly in trackless country, but our efforts will be well rewarded by incredible views across fascinating and endless wilderness.

Day 14: After enjoying our final day camping, we'll take down our tents, walk down to the lake and by boat we'll cruise back to comforts of the lodge.

Days 15 – 16: The last days at the lodge are yours to enjoy at your leisure. You may participate in a guided excursion or simply relax at the lodge and go fishing, hiking, swimming and paddling.

Day 17: It's time to leave this wonderful place. By boat and car we will bring you back to Whitehorse, where you'll spend the night in a comfortable hotel.

Day 18: Individual continuation of your journey or flight back home.


THINGS TO KNOW

  • All tours are personally guided by lodge owners Andrea & Martin Laternser.
  • We are experienced, licensed wilderness guides and First Aid-certified.
  • We only take small groups with a maximum of 7 participants.
  • Check out Equipment List Lodge and Equipment List Tours for all you'll need to bring.
  • Any luggage you don't need on the canoe or hiking trip can be left at the lodge.
  • This trip can be split into 2 parts: canoe trip only (Yusezyu River) or hiking trip only (Mount Hunt).
  • Normally we pick up our guests in Whitehorse or Watson Lake and bring them to the lodge by car and boat. However, if you would like to see the Yukon from the air, you can fly in by floatplane — a spectacular alternative! Ask us for more information about rates.
  • Canadian legislation requires you to sign a release of liability and waiver of claims form prior to the beginning of your visit.
  • Frances Lake Wilderness Lodge & Tours is a licensed business under the Yukon Wilderness Tourism Licensing Act and member of the Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon (TIA) and the Yukon Wilderness Tourism Association (WTAY).

DATES AND RATES

Duration: 18 days from/to Whitehorse
Dates: July 13 – 30, 2017 (or by reservation)
Rates: for 3 – 7 guests $4565 CAD + GST per person (double occupancy)
  for 2 guests $5610 CAD + GST per person (double occupancy)
  Single occupancy surcharge $600 CAD + GST
  Fly-in from Whitehorse or Watson Lake Rates available on request

Terms of Participation

RATES INCLUDE

  • All accommodation (8 nights at lodge, 7 nights camping, 2 nights in hotel)
  • All meals during excursions and at the lodge
  • Return transport from Whitehorse to the lodge
  • Flight from the lodge  to McPherson Lake by floatplane
  • All necessary equipment for canoe and hiking trips (except sleeping bags and pads)
  • Guided day trips at the lodge
  • Use of lodge amenities including sauna, library, canoes, kayaks and angling gear
  • Professional guide service by licensed wilderness guides

NOT INCLUDED

  • Meals in Whitehorse
  • Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks (the lodge is licensed and has a selection in stock)
  • Angling licence (can be purchased at the lodge)
  • Sleeping bag and sleeping pad
  • Personal insurance (trip cancellation, medical insurance). We strongly recommend our guests arrange for sufficient insurance coverage before the beginning of their trip.