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‘Race to the Midnight Sun:’ Yukon River Quest registration begins Nov. 15

2024 paddle race from Whitehorse to Dawson will begin June 26
Yukon River Quest teams begin their journey up the Yukon River from Whitehorse to Dawson City in the 2022 River Quest. Yukon News file photo

The countdown is on.

Paddlers planning to enter the 2024 Yukon River Quest can begin registering at 2 p.m. on Nov. 15.

The 715-kilometre race will begin June 26, 2024, with paddlers navigating waters from Whitehorse to Dawson.

“The race passes through the traditional lands of five Yukon First Nations and honours the cultures of those who have lived off the river and nurtured it for centuries,” organizers said in the announcement. “Annually, the River Quest’s continued success depends on more than 125 dedicated volunteers who bring great skills and enthusiasm to the event.”

Highlighted as the “Race to the Midnight Sun,” the River Quest sees teams paddle around the clock. Aside from a 10-hour mandatory layover, teams can paddle non-stop to reach Dawson.

READ MORE: Yukon paddlers prepare for 715-kilometre ‘Race to the Midnight Sun’

Since the first River Quest in 1999, paddlers from 36 nations have been represented, with more than 100 teams registering in recent years. A total of 125 teams can enter the race.

In 2023, the River Quest was moved to early July to avoid higher water levels.

The 54 teams and 134 paddlers from 10 countries experienced record high temperatures of 30°C and lower water levels that prevented any records from being broken, organizers said.

In setting the June 26 start date for 2024, River Quest officials noted the anticipated snowpack this winter has been forecast to be low due to El Nino. They said they also heard from racers and volunteers that they are keen to return to the longstanding race start date on the first Wednesday after the summer solstice.

READ MORE: 3 Wild Yukon excursions for your dog sled bucket list

The River Quest is also now a qualifier race for the Yukon 1000, which runs from Whitehorse to the Dalton Highway Bridge in Alaska beginning July 11.

Learn more at

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Stephanie Waddell

About the Author: Stephanie Waddell

I joined Black Press in 2019 as a reporter for the Yukon News, becoming editor in February 2023.
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