Tatshenshini, British Columbia, CA/Yukon Territory, CA
|Usual Difficulty||III (for normal flows)|
Season: June through September with highest flows in June and July.
This run is either a long day trip, an overnight, or an alternate put-in for a multi-day adventure on the Tatshenshini/Alsek that adds a bit more whitewater. Convenient access off Haines Road makes this one of the most popular runs for intermediate and advanced whitewater paddlers in the Yukon. Most of this section is class II/III, but higher flows can easily push it to class IV, and the canyon section below the Blanchard River confluence always presents a challenge.
The canyon section below the Blanchard contains three significant named rapids: Rock Garden, Big C, and Twin Holes. There are other rapids, but these are the main ones.
Once you leave the canyon, the rapids taper off and the river becomes braided in a couple spots. Be alert for log hazards and keep your eyes open for brown bears that frequent the river during the late summer and fall salmon runs.
The take-out is at Dalton Post, a short distance north of the BC border: 104 miles north of Haines, AK and 46 miles south of Haines Junction, Yukon. The 4 mile road down to Dalton Post turns off Haines Road (Hwy 3) to the west; look for this turn just north of the Haines Road bridge across the Takhanne River. The take-out is just usptream of the Klukshu River confluence with the Tatshenshini. Visitors using the access at Dalton Post (aka Shäwshe) are reminded that they are on lands legally owned by the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations. Please respect their land use regulations and requirements.
To reach the put-in, return to Haines Road, and head south. After you cross the Yukon/BC border you will soon reach the bridge across the Blanchard River. This is another alternative put-in for this run. To reach the put-in for the Upper Tatshenshini, continue another 5 miles south where a dirt road heads west down toward the river.