The Yukon River. Rich with history and legendary amongst the tales of Robert Service, Jack London, and others. The extreme season of winter is the time when many of the stories and tales were made. A time where travel is by dogteam, warmth is by down jackets and fur ruffs, and light is by the moon and Aurora Borealis.
Bring skis, fatbikes, snowshoes, dogs, or snowmachines to explore the winter landscape, where travel in any direction is made possible by snow and ice that blanket the land and water. While the main trail in the area is on and along the Yukon River, exploration in other places is only limited by your method of travel and own desire for adventure, plus ability to survive in this harsh winter climate.
Conditions in Interior Alaska during winter can be bitterly cold, with temperatures down to -60ºF, while winds can howl to 50+mph! Although weather is normally much more hospitable, everyone must be prepared for adverse conditions and skilled in survival.
Jumble ice often composes the majority of the Yukon River and is aptly named. As massive flows of ice come downriver from the mountains in the Yukon Territory of Canada, they push and break the ice ahead, then eventually come to a stop as temperatures drop. Winter trails on the river often jump back and forth from one bank to the other as travel is limited in areas by the jumbled, broken ice. It is the formation of the jumble ice that also creates the open water amongst it. Be watchful for open leads in the river ice, as conditions can change frequently and swiftly. Travel is recommended only on established winter trails by skis, fatbike, snowmachine, or dogteam. Learn more about dog mushing in the preserve and hiring a local mushing guide if you are not comfortable with planning your own self-supported adventure to Yukon-Charley Rivers in the winter.
The public use cabins along the Yukon River are always open, even in the depth of winter, and stocked with firewood. Please replace the firewood you use and take only your memories (and garbage!) with you.
Standard public use cabin policies apply. Learn more about our Public Use Cabins.