Donjek River, Kluane National Park

Hi all,

Here are some details on packrafting the Donjek River in Kluane National Park.

We’ve paddled this river twice now, from the Donjek Glacier south to the highway. Both times were in early fall and the water level was great. It is a fun braided river with fast flowing currents and only a few class II rapids. There may be a few larger rapids, but you can avoid them if you want to. The water is cold, but there are tons of areas to pull out and camp and build a fire.

What is best about this river is that it can turn an excellent backpacking trip into an awesome adventure. Our first trip we hiked from the Burwash Uplands over Hodge Pass and down to the river. Our second trip we went up Bock’s Creek, to the Duke River, paddled to Black Valley, then hiked up Black Valley Pass, then down to the Donjek. There are dozens of different options available for however ambitious you want to be. The river near the face of the Donjek Glacker is pretty intense rapids and undercuts the glacier. We walked this section and put in at Hodge Creek.

The beautiful scenery of the area and great combination of hiking and paddling makes this a wonderful trip.

Here are photos of the Burwash Uplands version of the trip:

Rob Cadmus and Kate Glover

Amazing pictures. I’d love to get on the Donjek sometime. I was up in Kluane this summer (hiking the 80km Cottonwood Trail) but fall sure looks like the time to go. To be honest, the Cottonwood Trail isn’t that great because it’s 75% old logging roads winding through brush that makes you feel like you’re going to surprise a grizzly around every bend. A few parts were awesome, but next time I’ll head for the Donjek with my raft.

Awesome, I’m from the Yukon but haven’t done the Donjek yet and am thinking of doing it with pack rafts this fall. How many days did you take?

Thanks for the photos!

Hi, nice pictures.
How did you deal with the different channels? I would imagine it is not too obvious to pick the best one, depending on what you want to tackle. Since the river is quite breaded I am wondering what is the best strategy from your experience, just keeping to the outer channel if possible?
Any logs and sweepers on the outer channels from what you saw?


Trip report from the Duke and Donjek:

More pictures from the Duke and Donjek, same trip as the post above.