Frances Lake Wilderness Lodge
Frances Lake Wilderness Lodge

Paddling Yusezyu River

Have you ever dreamed of canoeing in pristine wilderness? Have you ever considered spending unforgettable days at a remote wilderness lodge in the Canadian North? If you have, then you'll want to be part of this unique experience! Spend your days under the open sky on a lake as smooth as glass. Enjoy paddling the waters of an untouched river which flows into Frances Lake. Enjoy the comfort of a rustic but cozy wilderness lodge: comfortable beds, shower, sauna and great meals are a welcome change from your days out in the bush.

Requirements for the 4-day canoe trip:
  • Easy river trip over gentle moving water (WW-Class 1+) with some flat water lake sections.
  • No prior canoeing or wilderness experience necessary, as an introduction to various skills will be part of the tour.
  • Up to 6 hours of paddling per day.


Day 1: Make your own journey to Frances Lake. Our meeting point is at the boat ramp, where we will pick you up by motorboat. From there, it's a leisurely 30-minute ride to our wilderness lodge, where you'll be shown to your private, cozy log cabin. After a hearty dinner in the main lodge, you can relax in our comfortable living room or enjoy the lovely view from your cabin's front porch, looking out across the lake and into the Logan Mountains.

Days 2 – 3: Early in the morning we will pack up and prepare for the exciting 30-minute flight by floatplane to McPherson Lake. Here, we will camp for 2 nights on a sandy beach and enjoy the simple life in harmony with nature. There will be plenty of time to explore your surroundings and practice the paddling strokes you will need for the following days on the river. On excursions on the lake, we can often observe moose, trumpeter swans and bald eagles, and in the evenings we can be seduced by the quietness and calm. This is campfire romance at its best!

Days 4 – 5: By now, you'll be well versed in the use of your canoe and we'll begin our trip down the Yusezyu River. This river is both lovely and exciting, but without the dangers of a large and fast flowing river. However, we'll have to look out for sweepers, rocks and shallow spots, so stay alert! On a gravel bar along the river we'll pitch our tents for the night and try our luck landing a trout. The river becomes more gentle in the lower section, which is also home to moose, beaver, otter and waterfowl. On our last night, we'll camp on a nice sandy beach at the north end of Frances Lake.

Day 6: A short paddle down the northernmost part of the lake will bring us to our prearranged meeting point with the boat, then it's a 1-hour ride back to the lodge. Enjoy the comforts of your cabin and take advantage of a hot shower and a soft bed — not to mention our great home-cooked meals!

Day 7: Relax at the lodge or participate in guided excursions, go fishing, paddle around the sheltered bay or stroll along the lake's beach. A visit to the abandoned Hudson's Bay Company trading post will carry you away into past times. Take your time to fully enjoy your waterfront log cabin and let yourself be spoiled by our kitchen's delicious creations.

Day 8: After breakfast, we will bring you back to the boat ramp and to your vehicle.


  • All tours are personally guided by lodge owners Andrea & Martin Laternser.
  • We are experienced, licensed wilderness guides and First Aid-certified.
  • We only take small groups with a maximum of 7 participants.
  • Check out Equipment List Lodge and Equipment List Tours for all you'll need to bring.
  • Any luggage you don't need on the canoe trip can be left at the lodge.
  • This trip is part of the Wild Yukon program (a combined canoe and hiking tour).
  • Upon request and for a surcharge we'll come to pick you up in Whitehorse or Watson Lake or you can fly in by floatplane. We will gladly help you organise your travels. Ask us for more information about rates.
  • Canadian legislation requires you to sign a release of liability and waiver of claims form prior to the beginning of your visit.
  • Frances Lake Wilderness Lodge & Tours is a licensed business under the Yukon Wilderness Tourism Licensing Act and member of the Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon (TIA) and the Yukon Wilderness Tourism Association (WTAY).


Duration: 8 days from/to Frances Lake
Dates: July 11 – 18, 2020 (or by reservation)
Rates: for 3 – 7 guests $2670 CAD + GST per person (double occupancy)
  for 2 guests $3290 CAD + GST per person (double occupancy)
  Single occupancy surcharge $200 CAD + GST
  Pick-up or fly-in from Whitehorse or Watson Lake Rates available on request
  Extra lodge day(s) Rates available on request

Terms of Participation


  • All accommodation (3 nights at lodge, 4 nights camping)
  • All meals
  • Boat transfer from Frances Lake boat ramp to the lodge and back
  • Flight from the lodge to McPherson Lake by floatplane
  • Equipment: canoe, paddles, life vests, waterproof bags/containers, camping gear (except sleeping bags and pads)
  • Guided day trips at the lodge
  • Use of lodge amenities including sauna, library, canoes, kayaks and angling equipment
  • Professional guide service by licensed wilderness guide


  • Transportation to Frances Lake
  • Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks (the lodge is licensed and has a selection in stock)
  • Angling licence (can be purchased at lodge)
  • Sleeping bag and sleeping pad
  • Personal insurance (trip cancellation, medical insurance). We strongly recommend our guests arrange for sufficient insurance coverage before the beginning of their trip.