Before You Go

Alsek River Rafting Adventure

Overview

Trip Snapshot

We pride ourselves in running a relaxed and flexible schedule. Every trip is different depending upon the group, other trips on the water, and sometimes the weather. Please refer to your confirmation letter for the exact dates of your trip.

MEETING PLACE:Best Western, 411 Main St., Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada
MEETING TIME:6 PM, the evening before your trip
RIVER RATING:Class III-IV
RIVER MILES:160
PUT-IN:Dezadeash River
TAKE-OUT:Dry Bay
TRIP LENGTH:12 days/11 nights
BOAT OPTIONS:Oar raft


Itinerary at a Glance


The Day Before Your Trip

Arrive in Whitehorse in time for an 6 PM orientation meeting with your trip leader. This is a chance to ask any last-minute questions about gear or packing, as well as meet your fellow travelers. The meeting location is the conference room at the Best Western Gold Rush Inn.

Day 1

Our expedition begins this morning with a scenic 1.5-hour drive to Haines Junction where we’ll stop to visit the Kluane National Park Interpretive Center. The drive continues over scenic Haines Pass to the Pleasant Camp Border Crossing in Haines, AK where we’ll need to clear U.S. Customs.

Later in the afternoon, we arrive at the edge of Kluane National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site where we transfer to a 4×4 vehicle for the final 12.5 miles along a rugged trail to our waiting rafts and crew. After a thorough safety talk, we’ll make final adjustments to our packs and begin our journey. 

Days 2 – 11 

Travel downriver. Refer to the trip page for a more detailed sample itinerary. 

Day 12

On the final leg of this unforgettable journey, we make our way to Dry Bay on the Gulf of Alaska. At the Dry Bay airstrip, an aircraft will pick us up for the scenic return flight through the Coast and St. Elias ranges to Whitehorse, where we’ll clear Canadian Customs upon landing. After unloading gear, you’ll be transported to your hotel.

The group may want to gather at a local restaurant (not included). Whitehorse is a lively town and it will not be difficult to find a way to enjoy the evening!

Travel Day

You’re welcome to depart at any time today. Please be aware that a delayed return to Whitehorse is possible due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. OARS is not able to change or cancel flights on your behalf. We highly recommend having flexibility in your post-trip plans or obligations. Additional nights in Whitehorse are an option.

Included in Your Trip Cost

  • Skilled, professional guide service 
  • All meals from lunch on day 1 through lunch on day 12
  • 11 nights catered camping 
  • Expedition equipment, including high-quality rafts, 2-person shared tent, sleep kit, PFD, rain jacket and pants to be worn while rafting, drysuit, helmet, waterproof bags, camp chair, as well as eating utensils, plates, and cups
  • Van transfer from Whitehorse to the river and flight from Dry Bay back to Whitehorse

Not Included in Your Trip Cost

  • Transportation to and from Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada
  • Pre- and post-trip accommodations and meals
  • All park fees and necessary permits
  • Sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and rubber boots (available for rent)
  • Alcoholic beverages (guests can bring their own or order alcohol in advance)
  • Insurance of any kind, including a travel protection plan or mandatory emergency medical & evacuation coverage
  • Fishing gear and license
  • Gratuities
  • U.S. and/or Canadian tourist visa (as required per citizenship)

Optional Rentals:

  • Rubber boots – $25
  • Sleep kit – $85; $165 for double sleeping bag system for couples
  • Hiking poles – $15
  • Pelican professional waterproof camera case – $30

Getting Ready


Pre-Trip Checklist

Purchase Travel Protection: In order to take part in this trip, each participant must have a minimum of Emergency Medical Evacuation coverage in place for the dates of the trip. This can be purchased as stand-alone coverage, independent of a comprehensive travel protection plan. You can learn more about the plan we highly recommend and get a quote for this type of policy by entering a Trip Cost amount of $0.

Please note: By entering a Trip Cost amount of $0, the plan will not include Trip Cancellation coverage and you may not be eligible for Emergency Medical Expense benefits relating to any pre-existing conditions.

Trip Forms: Each participant will need to complete the required trip forms within two weeks of making a booking. Refer to your confirmation email for the link to the online forms. If you prefer to fill out paper forms, please let us know right away. If you are reserving within 90 days of departure, your forms must be completed immediately to ensure we can properly plan for your trip.

Reserve flights, shuttles, and lodging: Verify with your adventure consultant that your trip has met minimum numbers prior to booking flights and/or reserving overnight lodging for the night before and after your trip, if applicable. It is important to make reservations early as rooms may be limited during peak travel periods.

Whitewater Orientation: To increase your safety, we expect everyone to watch our Whitewater Orientation video before joining us. 

Physical Requirements: Your outdoor adventure will be an active participatory trip. Please inform us of any physical limitations you may have as soon as possible. If you exceed 260 pounds, please give us a call. Make sure you are exercising frequently in the months leading up to your trip and can meet our Essential Eligibility Criteria.

Payments: Final payment is due in our office 90 days prior to your trip (refer to your invoice for final payment date). Please let us know if you would like us to automatically charge your credit card on file when final payment is due.

River Runners’ Responsibility Code

1. Read the pre-trip literature and arrive at the meeting place on time.

2. Understand the risks: your safety is ultimately your responsibility.

3. Treat your fellow guests and guides with respect and courtesy; harassment of any kind will not be tolerated.

4. Wear clothing and personal protective equipment suitable for the current conditions.

5. Listen to and follow the guides’ instructions.

6. Abide by the managing agency’s rules.

7. No drugs or alcohol prior to or during your trip; alcohol is allowed in moderation in camp on overnight trips.

8. Minimize your impact on the environment.

9. Wear the OARS-issued and properly-fitted Personal Flotation Device (PFD) at all times when in the boats or swimming. Wear a helmet when required.

10. Your children are your responsibility!


Essential Travel Documents


Passports

If you don’t have a passport, apply for one immediately because the process can be lengthy. If you do have a passport, find it and check the expiration date. Make a photocopy of the photo page of your passport and carry it separately from your passport. It is also a good idea to leave a copy with your emergency contact at home. We also request that you send us a copy to keep on file for emergencies during your trip. If your passport is lost or stolen, a photocopy will help the local consulate speed up authorization for replacement. Also, check your passport for blank pages. If you do not have at least two blank pages in your passport, we recommend that you apply to have extra pages added.

Do not pack your passport in your check-in luggage or leave it in Whitehorse. You may be asked for your papers not only upon departure but at various times during your travel. If you are carrying a customs form, please keep it in a safe place at all times, perhaps with your other valuables. We recommend you pack these in a plastic zip-lock that you can store in the bottom of your large dry bag while on the river.

Visas

This trip takes place in both Canada and the United States (the second half of the river trip is in Alaska).

A visa for Canada is not required for U.S. citizens. Non-U.S. citizens should check with the consulate of Canada, the United States, and/or their home country to determine the need for a visa and arrange one or both accordingly.

Because the trip crosses an international border while rafting, we must register every traveler with U.S. customs prior to the rafting trip. This is done on our way to the put-in.


Travel Arrangements

GETTING TO WHITEHORSE, YUKON TERRITORY, CANADA

Flights arrive at the Erik Nielsen Whitehorse International Airport (YXY). Air Canada and WestJet offer direct flights from Vancouver. Air North offers direct flights from Vancouver and Edmonton.

Plan to arrange a taxi, about a ten-minute ride to town. Hotels may offer a shuttle service.

Let us know if you’d like assistance with arranging your international flight logistics. Our partners at Exito Travel specialize in international destinations, and we’d be happy to obtain a quote from them on your behalf.

Please do not purchase airfare until your departure has been confirmed by the minimum number of required guests.

Pre- and Post-Trip Accommodations

We recommend that you make reservations well in advance in order to guarantee lodging. (Pre- and post-trip lodging is not included in the trip cost). Here are some recommended lodging options in Whitehorse:


Useful Information


Time ZoneS

Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada follows U.S. Mountain Standard Time year-round.

Money Matters

The Canadian monetary unit is the Canadian dollar (CDN). Like U.S. currency, coins are the penny, nickel, quarter, and the dollar, or “Loonie” piece. A two-dollar coin has come into circulation to replace two-dollar bills. Credit cards are widely accepted. Establishments may accept U.S. dollars but at a high exchange rate. You’re better off using a credit card or withdrawing cash from an ATM, which are readily available.

American dollars are accepted in most establishments. If you intend to convert U.S. to Canadian dollars, you’ll get the most favorable rates at banks. Most banks are open from 9 AM to 4 PM Monday to Friday; some branches stay open later and on Saturday mornings.

Canada’s Goods & Services Tax (GST)

Canada has a Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 5%. For non-residents of Canada, a portion of the GST taxes (including those paid for your river trip) can be recuperated. Be sure to keep receipts and ask customs officials on your departure from the country for the necessary forms and information.

Health & Medical Info

Although we do not require any immunizations to participate in this trip, it is important that you be up-to-date on several standard immunizations and that you check with your physician prior to departure. The CDC is a good resource for recommendations pertaining to international travel immunizations.

CPAP Machine

If you require the use of a CPAP machine and intend to bring one with you, be sure to alert your OARS Adventure Consultant prior to your trip to let us know the dimensions of the machine, description of battery(s), and any protective case(s). Travel-sized CPAPs are readily available and often come with a battery kit. You must assess the power needs of your CPAP and bring the battery(s) needed to operate it for each night of your travels. We’re typically able to accommodate the transportation of your machine and accessories on the trip; however, please understand that despite efforts to protect your equipment, we can’t guarantee your machine and accessories won’t suffer water or impact damage, and we, therefore, recommend an additional protective case(s) for your machine and accessories.

DIETARY RESTRICTIONS

Beyond our standard menu, we can provide options for vegetarian, vegan, and many allergy-restricted diets. However, we cannot always provide the same diversity or sophistication for restricted diets as we do for our regular menu, and there may be a fee for certain dietary preferences. Similarly, certain allergen-free snack foods are difficult or impossible to source in our locations, so feel free to bring your own favorite snacks to supplement our provisions. Please let your Adventure Consultant know if you intend to do so.

BEVERAGES/WATER

You are welcome to bring your own favorite beverages, alcoholic or non-alcoholic, in non-glass containers. Alcohol may also be ordered in advance through local liquor stores and will be ready for you upon arrival. For your safety and the safety of others, alcoholic beverages are limited to camp.

Our drinking water comes from the river and is filtered through a purification system we provide. We store the purified water in large containers that are accessible in camp, at lunchtime, and before hikes for filling personal water bottles.

BATHING

Bathing is allowed in the river, however, the water is cold (some say very). On occasion, though, after a long hike or on a warm day, some of our guests have been moved to take a dip. We also bring a rudimentary shower that can be set up on layover days and filled with heated water—ask your guide if you’re interested. 

We recommend using a liquid, eco-friendly soap such as Campsuds or Dr. Bronner’s, which can be purchased in most stores that have a camping section and can also be used to wash clothes (although drying clothes can be a challenge). Bathing wipes and pre-moistened disposable towels (preferably biodegradable) are also good alternatives to submersion in the river and are especially convenient during cooler weather trips.

THE PORTABLE TOILET

The toilet in every campsite is established in a private location and well away from the camp and any water. In the “Arctic” where there are no trees, we set up a tent that works both to keep you out of the bugs and to provide you with the necessary privacy. Relax! There is a seat, just like at home.

Do you get up in the middle of the night? No problem. You may opt to bring a small container to use as a “chamber pot” near your tent (we don’t recommend using it in your tent). A wide-mouthed container and lid, such as a yogurt container works well.

Cameras

Please bring a small bag or carrying case, preferably waterproof, to hold your camera and other items you might want during each day. To further protect your camera, you may wish to place it in a zip-loc plastic bag or a special waterproof camera case. We also recommend padding it with a towel or clothing. Sand can be a problem, so clean your camera every night with tissue, a brush, and lens paper. We also strongly recommend you take out a rider on your homeowner’s policy to cover your camera, especially if it’s fine equipment. If you are planning on bringing a digital camera, make sure to bring additional memory cards, batteries, and any other extras you will need.

Electronics & Technology

The use of electronic devices, especially music players and flying drones, on your trip may represent an intrusion into the wilderness experience of your fellow guests. We ask that you please be mindful of the impacts on others and respect the wilderness nature of the trip. Please bring headphones if you intend to listen to music during the trip and leave your drone at home.

Many of our guests travel with their smartphones, although cell service may be limited once you leave Vancouver. On a trip like this, there is always the risk of water damage to smartphones and other electronic devices, even when they are stowed in a dry case. If you intend to take your phone or other electronic device with you on the water, consider investing in a small, waterproof case just for your phone.

Power Sources

We are not able to provide a power source for powering or recharging devices. To keep cameras, phones, GPS, a CPAP, and other devices working, you may need spare batteries or portable power. Options include compact portable solar panels that can recharge devices directly, portable power banks that store power, or a combo unit that can be charged before the trip and recharged with a built-in solar panel. Solar panels must be designed to withstand outdoor elements and fit in your dry bag (roll-up or no larger than 12” x 12”). Keep in mind direct sunlight in a river canyon may be limited and even non-existent at camp (mornings and evenings).

Communication

Once you are on the river, there is limited communication with the “outside world.” Cell phone service is not available for most of the trip. Our guides carry a satellite communication device for emergency use. If you have someone who needs to contact you about an emergency at home, they should call our office (800-346-6277). If possible, we will relay the message to you. Keep in mind that it could be several days or longer before the message actually reaches you. For your family at home, you should define for them what you consider an emergency and provide them with instructions to call our office in the event one occurs during your vacation.

Wildfires & Smoke

Fire activity can impact the air quality on our trips, and occasionally, wildfires may be present in the immediate vicinity of where we’re traveling. In general, we will not cancel a trip on account of smoky conditions, except in cases of clear danger to life or property. 

Learn more about rafting during wildfire season, including info about some of our protocols and travel protection recommendations.

Hiking

We plan to hike and walk as much as possible. Please let your trip leader know if you are an avid hiker, and remember to bring extra water bottles and good shoes. Remember, however, that all hikes are optional, and you can choose to stay at camp and relax instead.

Fishing

The Tatshenshini-Alsek is one of the North’s most prolific salmon habitats and commercial fisheries. It has massive sockeye salmon runs and is a spawning ground for spring and coho salmon. However, because of the glacial run-off from the world’s largest non-polar ice fields, the fishing is not great. If you plan on staying in the Yukon before or after your expedition, there are a number of wonderful char, grayling, and trout fisheries in the region. We suggest you bring a rod with a case and the smallest of tackle boxes with the appropriate lures or flies.

A non-resident of Canada only requires a basic non-resident angling license to fish these rivers, as neither the Tatshenshini nor Alsek Rivers are “classified.” Note that a conservation surcharge stamp for steelhead is required if the angler is targeting steelhead and a conservation surcharge stamp for salmon is required if the angler intends to keep salmon of any species. Angling licenses (including conservation surcharge stamps) may be purchased online or through a licensed vendor in the province.


Weather


There is no guarantee against a few days of overcast weather, rain, or even snow, so follow our recommended equipment list, as our experience suggests a multi-layering approach with a range of conditions and temperatures in mind. We recommend checking one week before your trip for an up-to-date weather forecast for Tatshenshini-Alsek Park, BC. Being properly prepared for weather variations is an important factor in fully enjoying your trip.

Average Air Temperatures & Rainfall

 High (°F)Low (°F)Days of Rain
June582310
July602810.4
August592512.7
September481716.5

Packing for Your Trip


For more helpful information about what to wear and how to pack for a river expedition or to view our packing video, please visit our packing essentials page.

We want you to be prepared and comfortable for your trip. Below, you’ll find some general tips for how to dress and what to pack and a comprehensive packing checklist. The need for warm weather or cold weather items should be based on a reliable weather forecast leading up to your trip.

All clothing (with a few exceptions) should be quick-drying and made of merino wool or synthetics. Warmth and comfort are the main objectives of this outline. Weather conditions can vary considerably in the north. It’s important to dress in layers so that you can maintain a comfortable body temperature no matter what Mother Nature may have in store. The inner base layer should move perspiration outside, where it can evaporate. The intermediate layer should insulate, while the outside layer should act as a barrier to wind and rain.

Clothing

Boatwear—A personal flotation device (PFD) and rubber/PVC rain jacket and pants will be provided to wear on the boat. A drysuit is also included if the conditions require. Start with base layers for your torso and legs. Add additional layers of fleece or wool as necessary. As the day warms up, layers can be taken off and stored in your small waterproof bag (provided). 

In Camp—A dry set of long underwear is the perfect base layer under long pants and a fleece sweater. Bring additional waterproof outerwear to be worn at camp in case of rain and a synthetic or down puffy jacket.

Hiking Clothes—Choose lightweight fabrics that breathe well while walking. Base layers can be added or removed based on the weather. Whatever you choose, make sure you have comfortable freedom of movement, especially for uphill and downhill walking.

Footwear

Boatwear—Most of the time, you will want high-top rubber boots (such as those used for sailing or gardening) and warm socks. Rubber boots are available to rent, or you can bring your own. Bring a spare set of footbed insoles in case you “overstep” and your boots get wet. At times, an amphibious shoe or a comfortable pair of athletic shoes with good soles may be appropriate. Sandals will not provide the protection you want from the cold water. Your footwear will get wet getting in and out of the rafts, and the water is cold. Wool or fleece socks are recommended to help keep your feet warm while rafting.

In camp—The athletic shoes or light hikers you bring for hiking can double as your camp shoes. It’s nice to put on dry socks and shoes after a day on the water. Sandals or heavy-duty “slippers” with soles are OK for wearing in camp only. Find professional-grade options made by Chaco®, the official footwear sponsor of OARS guides.

Hiking—We plan for side hikes as much as possible. The importance of good footwear cannot be overstated. Given that the trails are often gravelly or sometimes muddy, you need a good walking shoe or light hiking boot with a firm sole, a degree of water resistance, and some ankle support. It’s easy to find a “hybrid” walking boot, which combines the lightweight, ventilated features of a shoe with the support and durability of a boot.

Socks—We recommend merino wool, as it will keep your feet warm if wet. It may be a good idea to bring along some additional items such as foot powder, cushioned pads, and/or bandage or 2nd Skin®, which provides cushioned comfort with an antiseptic for blistered and sore feet. Many people find a product called moleskin gives them great relief from blisters. It’s a good idea to change into clean, dry socks once you’re off the river at camp.

If you plan to buy footwear for the trip, allow time to break them in, and wear your footwear until it’s comfy.

Headwear

During the day—A wide-brimmed hat is a good choice for sun protection or a ball cap. In colder temps, a beanie-style hat is desirable.

In camp—When the weather is cold, you’ll want a beanie-style hat to wear in camp. They are the perfect remedy for bed-head as you rise from your sleeping bag to secure your morning cup of coffee or tea or for retaining warmth in the evening hours after the sun sets.

To Avoid Being Cold

Synthetic or merino wool long underwear is a must-have on river trips. It keeps you warm even if wet, dries quickly, and can be layered under your rain jacket and pants. Be aware that cotton items, once wet, do not insulate; only synthetic and wool materials will keep you warm if wet.

Pile or Fleece—This fabric is warm, dries quickly, and is lightweight. It can be found in many different styles and colors. Bring good fleece tops and bottoms, along with a warm hat and gloves. You’ll want to double up on your synthetic layers so that you’ll have a set to wear in the boat and a dry set for camp.

Rain Gear

It is one of the essential items that all passengers should have, no matter what time of year they are traveling. We provide a rubber/PVC rain jacket and bibs to be worn on the raft. For camp and hikes, you’ll want a dedicated jacket and pants, as well. Look for jackets and pants that are 100% waterproof, not just water resistant. A hooded jacket is recommended, with secure closures for your head, neck, and wrists. Pants should be large enough to accommodate several base layers underneath.

Sun Protection

Protecting yourself from the sun should be taken very seriously! In many cases, a long-sleeve shirt is the best method for preventing sunburn on your upper body. Lightweight, long pants may also be appropriate to protect your legs. A hat, sunscreen, lip balm, and sunglasses are also a must.

Bugs & Mosquitoes

Bugs and mosquitoes vary depending on location and time of year. It’s a good idea to come prepared with insect repellent. Long-sleeved shirts and pants may be desirable at times. It’s best to assume mosquitoes (and possibly other bugs) will be present and, therefore, be prepared for the worst!

MENSTRUAL CYCLE

Even if you aren’t anticipating your menstrual period, come prepared for it. We recommend you bring some sandwich-size Ziploc™ bags. These bags can store products during the day while you are on the river. Used pads or tampons can be disposed of in the trash at lunch or at camp. We provide some menstrual products on most trips for emergencies.

Sleeping Gear

A 3-person tent is provided for double occupancy. We recommend a sleeping bag with synthetic fill rated to 32°F or lower. An inflated sleeping pad underneath works best. Sleeping bags and pads are available to rent. There is a double-wide sleeping system (bag and pad) available for couples as well.

Packing List

Equipment and Personal Items

☐ Daypack for side hikes: it should be large enough to carry rain gear, jacket, camera, and water bottle
☐ Sleeping bag (rated to 32°F or lower), sleeping pad, and travel pillow
☐ 1-liter water bottle: durable and reusable
☐ Locking carabiner (for clipping a water bottle or personal dry bag into the raft)
☐ Headlamp or flashlight (consider bringing extra batteries)
☐ Polarized sunglasses with securing strap (consider bringing a spare)
☐ Quick-drying towel (such as those made by Rumpl); consider bringing two
Bathing wipes: pre-moistened disposable cleansing towels 
☐ Toiletries, including biodegradable soap
☐ Sunscreen and lip protection: waterproof & SPF 30 or higher (aerosol sprays not recommended)
☐ Moisturizing lotion or cream
☐ Insect repellent & bug jacket
☐ Personal first-aid kit (Band-aids, antibiotic ointment, ibuprofen, moleskin, eye drops, etc.)
☐ Spare pair of glasses and/or contacts
☐ Cash for gratuities and incidentals

Footwear

☐ High-top rubber boots; can be rented with advance notice (plan for thick or multiple socks when indicating your size)
☐ Lightweight hiking boots or shoes: 1 pair, comfortable and with good tread for hiking and in camp
☐ Sandals with a heel strap or flip-flops (such as those made by Chaco®)
☐ Socks: 3-6 pairs (merino wool is best)

Clothing

☐ Long-sleeved shirt: 2-3 quick drying (UPF-rated shirts are great)
☐ Long pants: 1-2 lightweight and quick-drying
☐ Shade hat or visor with securing strap
☐ Rain jacket & pants: waterproof (not water resistant). A hooded jacket with secure closures is recommended.
☐ Swimwear: tankinis and board shorts are a great option
☐ Underwear
☐ Shorts: 1-2 pair
☐ T-shirts/tops: 3-4
☐ Base layers/long underwear tops & bottoms: 3 sets, light to mid-weight synthetic or Merino wool
☐ Fleece pants (medium to expedition weight)
☐ Jacket: fleece and/or down/synthetic fill puffy (we suggest you bring 2-3)
☐ Camp clothes: comfortable and warm; able to accommodate thermal layers below
☐ Beanie-style hat and gloves: wool or fleece are ideal

Optional Items

☐ Lightweight, packable blanket (such as those made by Rumpl)
☐ Collapsible trekking poles (available for rent)
☐ Binoculars: small
☐ Camera and accessories
☐ Gloves for in the boat—often neoprene is best when wet
☐ Small bags: stuff sacks, zip locks, or similar for organizing items in your dry bag
☐ Large empty bag: laundry bag, pillow case, or similar for putting clothes into after your trip
☐ Lightweight cord and clothespins for drying clothes
☐ Sarong: useful for sun protection, evaporative cooling, changing clothes, etc.
☐ Sketchbook, notebook and pen, paperback book
☐ Fishing rod with a case and tackle (fishing license is required)
☐ Bandana
☐ Whiskbroom: small (no long handle) to sweep wet sand off the tent
Stand-up urination device

Packing Your Gear

At the pre-trip meeting, each person will receive a large, waterproof bag (approximate sealed size: 33” tall x 16” diameter; 6635 cu in; 110L). This bag will be for your sleep gear, clothing, and personal items and will be your “checked luggage” and accessible only in camp. Tents and boots/athletic shoes are stowed separately. We also provide a small waterproof bag for day use where you can keep items such as rain gear, camera, sunscreen, lip balm, etc. (approximate sealed size: 17” tall x 9” diameter), but you may want to bring your own. The bags are cylindrical and are packed from the top. At the end of the river trip, you will return to Whitehorse with your waterproof bag, where you will be able to unpack your gear before your trip home.

Extra Luggage

We recommend you take on the river only what’s absolutely necessary. Keeping gear to a minimum ensures it will fit into the waterproof bags we supply and reduces unnecessary packing and unpacking in camp. If you have extra items needing storage, you can store them at the warehouse in Whitehorse.

Valuables

We recommend that you leave your valuables at home. For necessary personal items such as a wallet, passports, etc., we recommend putting them in a zip-lock bag and at the bottom of your waterproof bag with your clothing.

  • Visit our Trip Resources page for more info on the use of drones, electronics, cannabis, CPAP Machines, firearms, and more.
  • Find all the gear you need for your trip online in the OARStore, and 15% of your purchase helps provide under-resourced youth with outdoor adventure experiences.

Reminders


GRATUITIES

Tipping is appreciated by our staff. If you are wondering how much to tip, you may consider that we operate in a service industry with a host of behind-the-scenes contributors in addition to the guides on your trip. Entirely discretionary, consider US$40/day, per guest as a starting point (ie. US$480/guest) to be split amongst the guide time. The best way to tip your guides is to tip in cash (Canadian or US Dollars are fine) or via E-transfer directly to the Trip Leader who will share with the guides and support staff.

SOMETHING VOLUNTARY

In reviewing your statement, you’ll note a $1 per person per day donation to the Alaska Wilderness League, a non-profit conservation organization leading the effort to preserve Alaska’s wilderness by engaging citizens, sharing resources and collaborating with other organizations, educating the public and providing a constant voice for Alaska in the nation’s capital. One hundred percent of these funds go directly to Alaska Wilderness League, and your contribution is tax-deductible. Please notify our office if you would prefer to delete the donation from your balance.


Terms & Conditions


Reservations and Deposits

A $2,575/person deposit is required at the time of booking. Deposits may be made by check, money order, or Visa/Mastercard (American Express and Discover incur a 3% processing fee). Prices are in US Dollars, and all payments must be made in US Dollars. Payment of the deposit establishes your acceptance of our complete Terms and Conditions. Individual departures and trip capacity are strictly limited by the managing agency.

Canceling your trip after your deposit is processed will incur cancellation fees because OARS has absorbed costs on your behalf and will turn others away who would like to book the spaces we’re holding for you. Final payment is due 90 days before departure. Accounts on which final payment has not been received 80 days before the departure date will be canceled without exception.

Cancellations and Refunds

Your deposit is fully refundable, less a 3% processing fee, for 7 days after you book when you submit a deposit 7 days or more prior to the final payment due date.

If you must cancel your reservation after the rescission period described above, your cancellation fee will be determined according to the schedule below. We regret we cannot make exceptions to the cancellation policy for any reason, including foul weather, poor air quality, wildfire activity, acts of terrorism, civil unrest, or personal emergencies. There is no refund for arriving late or leaving a trip early. For these reasons, we strongly urge you to consider purchasing a travel protection plan.

DATE OF CANCELLATIONCANCELLATION FEE
90 or more days before your trip$250/person
89 to 0 days before your trip100% of the trip price/person

Requests to transfer a date will be treated as a cancellation, per the terms above.

Canceled Trips

OARS International and the outfitter Nahanni Wilderness Adventures Ltd. reserve the right to cancel any trip due to insufficient registration or other factors that make the trip impractical to operate. Do not make nonrefundable travel arrangements unless you have spoken to your Adventure Consultant regarding the status of your trip.

If a trip must be canceled or postponed due to force majeure (factors outside the control of OARS), OARS will provide full credit for payments made toward future travel or a refund less a 5% service fee, plus any nonrefundable payments made on your behalf to 3rd-party suppliers. OARS will make good faith efforts to recover deposits made on your behalf to 3rd-party suppliers, however, we can’t guarantee recovery of any or all of the advance payments made. OARS is not responsible for expenses incurred by participants in preparation for a canceled trip.

Medical

Under most circumstances, if you are of an adventurous spirit and in reasonably good health, you should have no problem enjoying an OARS International trip. People with medical conditions, including pregnancy, should have a physician’s approval before taking an adventure travel trip.

Travel Protection

Because there are costs that you will incur if you cancel the spaces on this trip that we’re now holding for you, or in the event you need to be evacuated during the trip due to an unforeseen illness or injury, we strongly encourage our guests to purchase an optional travel protection plan. A travel protection plan may help reimburse the cost of your pre-paid, non-refundable payments in the event you are prevented from taking your trip for a covered reason. Trip participants must understand that in the event of an illness or injury on a wilderness trip, evacuation can be prolonged, difficult, and expensive. Learn more about the plan we recommend.

Please note: To be eligible for coverage for pre-existing medical conditions, you must purchase the plan within 21 days of your initial trip payment and you must be medically fit to travel at the time you pay for the plan.

In order to take part in this trip, each participant must have a minimum of Emergency Medical Evacuation coverage in place for the dates of the trip. This can be purchased as stand-alone coverage, independent of a comprehensive travel protection plan. You can get a quote for this type of policy by entering a Trip Cost amount of $0 when getting a quote.

Please note: By entering a Trip Cost amount of $0, the plan will not include Trip Cancellation coverage and you may not be eligible for Emergency Medical Expense benefits relating to any pre-existing conditions.

Liability Release / Assumption of Risk

Everyone is required to sign a standard liability release/assumption of risk form before the trip, confirming awareness that there are inherent risks associated with the trip. Due to the nature of the activities, a condition of your participation is that you will sign this form and return it to our office before the trip begins. Anyone who refuses to sign the form will not be allowed to participate, and consistent with OARS International’s cancellation policy, there will be no refund of the trip fees at that time.

Responsibility – An Important Notice

O.A.R.S. International, Inc., Nahanni Wilderness Adventures Ltd., and cooperating agencies act only in the capacity of agent for the participants in all matters relating to transportation and/or all other related travel services and assume no responsibility, however caused for injury, loss or damage to person or property in connection with any service, including but not limited to that resulting directly or indirectly from acts of God, detention, annoyance, delays and expenses arising from quarantine, pandemics, strikes, theft, pilferage, force majeure, failure of any means of conveyance to arrive or depart as scheduled, civil disturbances, government restrictions or regulations, and discrepancies or change in transit over which it has no control. Reasonable changes in the itinerary may be made where deemed advisable for the comfort and well-being of the participants, including cancellation due to water fluctuation, insufficient bookings (this trip requires a minimum of 6 guests), and other factors. There is risk in whitewater rafting, particularly during high-water conditions. Rafts, dories, and kayaks do capsize. You could be swept overboard. Your guide will make every attempt to assist, but you must be strong and agile enough to “self-help” and “float-it-out” without further endangering yourself or others. We reserve the right not to accept passengers weighing more than 260 pounds or with a waist/chest size exceeding 56 inches. We may decide, at any time, to exclude any person or group for any reason we feel is related to the safety of our trips. We are experienced in accommodating people with various disabilities. Please give us an opportunity to make you feel welcome. We need to discuss any special requirements ahead of time.

OARS trips occur in areas where unpredictable environmental conditions are to be expected. To moderate dangerous situations for our guests and guides, all travelers must obey the rules and regulations, as determined by the managing agencies and the Trip Leader, and demonstrate reasonable consideration for other guests and OARS employees. We reserve the right to remove any guest from a trip if, in our opinion, that guest’s actions or behaviors pose a threat to the safety of her/himself or others or if those actions or behaviors compromise the enjoyment of the trip for others. Should a guest be asked to leave a trip, there will be no refund for the unused portion, nor will OARS be responsible for additional expenses incurred by the guest for accommodations, return transport, change fees, etc. Prices subject to change without notice. Upon advancement of the deposit, the depositor agrees to be bound by the above-recited terms and conditions. OARS is an equal opportunity provider.

Nahanni Wilderness Adventures Ltd.

Nahanni Wilderness Adventures Ltd., a travel partner of OARS International, is the operator of this trip. A representative will escort you throughout the program. These staff members are the very best and will strive to ensure your complete satisfaction.

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