World’s Longest Canoe Race – Yukon River Quest

World’s Longest Canoe Race – Yukon River Quest


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yukon river quest
Yukon River Quest

Most people have heard about the Yukon Northern Lights. But few would know that the world’s longest canoe race chases midnight sun in the Yukon Territory. Attending this race is one of the fun things to do in the Yukon in summer. Paddlers from all over the world arrive in the Yukon to take part in the Yukon River Quest each June. It’s known as the ‘race to the midnight sun’. 

Each year, competitors from several countries race the gruelling 715km (by river) from Whitehorse to Dawson City in Canada’s north-western Yukon Territory, with just 55 hours to complete the task.

What is the Yukon River Quest?

It’s one of the most arduous marathon events on Earth.

The Yukon River Quest is the longest race of its kind, with just two mandatory rest stops along the way, and a sun that never sets.

This is due to Yukon’s position 60 degrees north of the Earth’s equator.

Competitors range from larger groups in voyageur canoes, to lone kayakers, each one prepared to paddle the river day and night.

The teams vie for a share in a race purse worth approximately $21,500 (CAD) and the personal satisfaction of a much-coveted YRQ Finisher Pin.

The Yukon River Quest is supported by more than 200 volunteers and is recognised as a premier paddling race throughout the paddling world.

Along the way, participants are treated to the magnificent scenery and unspoiled nature along the historic Yukon River, one of North America’s longest, and the primary transportation route during the development of the Yukon.

Today, the Yukon River is a popular route for paddlers and outdoor enthusiasts, whether racing to the finish or enjoying its stunning wilderness at a more relaxed pace.

Hundreds of spectators will line the river banks to watch the colourful boats set off and to support the competitors throughout the day and night.

How to see the Yukon River Quest

Air North and Air Canada fly to Whitehorse from various cities in Canada.

Follow the race and if you’d prefer to visit the Yukon in winter check out the Yukon Quest, which is a famous dog sled race between Whitehorse and Fairbanks (Alaska).

World’s Longest Canoe Race

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