|Banks Island Paddle Trip
June 7 to July 15, 2008
We drove to Inuvik using the BC Ferry and the Alaska Ferry to Skagway. From Skagway we drove to Whitehorse,
Dawson City, Eagle Plains, and Inuvik. The last 450 miles on the Dempster Highway was a gravel road and there is
only one gas station in the middle. From Inuvik it was a three hour, 500 hundred mile, bush plane ride to Banks
Below is our itinerary to Banks Island.
June 7 Saturday, leave Port Angeles, 8:20 a.m., Coho Ferry to Victoria. Drive to Port Hardy, 310 miles, 6 hours.
June 7, 8 Saturday, Sunday, Orange Tabby B&B in Port Hardy. 250-949-8510. Outstanding B&B. Fantastic breakfast.
June 9 Monday, BC Ferry, Port Hardy to Prince Rupert 7:30 a.m to 10:30 p.m., Coast Prince Rupert Hotel 1-800-716-6199.
An OK place. Value for the money.
June 10 Tuesday (6 p.m.) to June 12, Thursday, 8:00 a.m. Prince Rupert to Skagway, M/V Matanuska pictured below.
Ketchikan 11:15 p.m 4:15 a.m 5 hours
Wrangle 10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. 1 hour
Petersburg 2:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. 1 hour
Juneau 11:15 p.m. to 1:15 a.m. 2 hour
Haines 5:45 a.m to 7:15 a.m. 1 ½ hour
June 12, Thursday, 8:00 a.m. Skagway, Alaska
Mile Zero Bed & Breakfast, (907) 983-3045 firstname.lastname@example.org More like a motel but nice facilities and so-so breakfast.
June 13, 14, Fr and Sat, Whitehorse, Yukon 110 miles, 2 hours 28 mns, Four Seasons (867) 667-2161. Wooden fish ladder,
museums, canoe Yukon. Friendly host. Inexpensive. Good breakfast.
June 15, 16, 17, Sun, Mon, Tues, Dawson, Yukon 332 miles, Time: 6 hrs 37 min, Dawson City Bed and Breakfast, (867)
993-5649. Midnight Dome, Confluence of Yukon and Klondike Rivers. Outstanding B&B. Incredible gourmet breakfast.
June 18, Wednesday, Eagle Plains, Yukon, Eagle Plains Hotel, (867) 993-2453, 4ll kilometers (247 miles), 7 or 8 hours
Eagle Plains is the mid-point on the gravel Dempster Highway with the only motel and gasoline service on the highway. Much
better than expected. Reasonable meal prices. Only option on the Dempster. Make reservations.
June 19, 20, 21, 22. Th, Fr, Sat, Sun, Inuvik, Northwest Territories, 399 km (240 miles). Inuvik is furthest point north one can
drive in Canada in the summer. Arctic Chalet, Olav and Judi Falsnes, 867-777-3535
Banks Island, June 23 to July 6
June 23, Monday, We board a chartered Twin Otter aircraft for the three hour flight to our drop off spot on the shore of the
upper Thomsen River which is in Aulavik National Park, Canada's second largest park. There are no facilities of any kind.
Besides being home to half the world's population of muskoxen, the park has lots of other wildlife including being home to
Peary caribou. The Banks Island population of Peary caribou was classified as endangered in 1991 due to a dramatic decline
in numbers. Recent findings suggest that while the population is low, it is considered stable and potentially recovering. Current
research, led by the Government of the Northwest Territories, is looking at population levels, seasonal habitat use, range
conditions, and predation, in order to better understand the population decline.
A variety of other mammals are found in Aulavik including arctic foxes, arctic wolves, ermines, arctic hares, and both brown
and collared lemmings. Marine mammals along the north coast include polar bears, ringed seals, bearded seals, beluga
whales and bowhead whales. Over forty-three species of birds make seasonal use of Aulavik, though only ptarmigan and
ravens are considered permanent residents. More information on Aulavik National Park.
June 24, Tuesday. After a trip orientation meeting, the group began the task of preparing the folding kayaks and fitting
everything into them prior to heading out onto the Thomsen River.
June 25 to July 5 We kayak from our drop-off site downriver to another airstrip approximately 150 kilometres away. Our travel
each day was governed by the weather.
July 6. Sunday. The group was picked up by Twin Otter for the return flight into Inuvik. Upon arrival in Inuvik, we will return to
the Arctic Chalet, 867-777-3535.
July 7, Monday, drive to Eagle Plains, Eagle Plains Hotel, (867) 993-2453, 399 km (240 miles)
July 8, Tuesday, to Dawson City, 4ll kilometers (247 miles)
Dawson City Bed and Breakfast, (867) 993-5649
July 9, Wed, to Teslin, Yukon, 709 km or 425 miles – about 9 hours
Yukon Motel, Teslin (867) 390-2575 (867) 390-2443.
July 10, 11, 12, Th, Fr, Sat, to Muncho Lake 370 km 230 miles – about 4 hours 17 min
The Lodge. Nice lodge on a spectacular laker. 800-663-5269 or 250-776-3481. One day flight to Nahanni National Park.
July 13, Sun, to Chetwynd, 747 km – about 9 hours
Stagecoach Inn, (250) 788-9666. Basic but adequate and friendly.
July 14, Mon, Cache Creek 744 km – about 9 hours
Good Knight Inn, 250-457-9500 1-800-736-5588. Nice motel and friendly check in clerk.
July 15, Tues, home. 506 km (304 miles), 7 1/2 hours