By Peter Mather
The rivers of the Peel watershed are some of the most beautiful places on our planet.
We are so lucky that they are in our backyard. This summer, my family and friends, did a 21-day canoe of the Snake River, which included a nine-day hike to attempt to circumnavigate the Mount MacDonald massive.
Mount MacDonald is a mountain every bit as beautiful and striking as the Tombstones, only less accessible.
I spent much of my professional life as a photographer exploring the watershed and using my photography to help protect the land.
In 2019, after 15 years of land use planning, consultations and court room battles, a large swath of the Peel, including Gyuu Dazoo Njik, was protected.
Thousands of northerners spent countless years on the fight to have the watershed protected, and in the end it was the First Nations whose efforts led the way, including the Na-cho Nyäk Dun, Tetlit Gwich’in, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, and the Vuntut Gwitchin, whose ancestral lands encompass the Peel Watershed.
Today, it is sanctuary for future generations.
If you get a chance, it is definitely worth visiting once in your lifetime. Like the hiking the Chilkoot Trail, swimming in Dawson City, or visiting Old Crow …. paddling one the tributaries, the Wind, Bonnet Plume, Hart or Snake Rivers is an iconic and defining Yukon adventure.
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