The Hess in Canada's Yukon is a challenging river for rafters. The river sparkles with white water almost the entire way down.
The headwaters of the Hess lie in the glaciated Selwyn Mountains, the second highest range in the Yukon. Lichen, willow and shrub birch dominate elevations above the tree line where mountain caribou are common.
The river valley is rich with moose, lynx, marten and beaver habitat. There are gravelly chutes and braids while willowy slopes straddle the river, a brushy barrier to the good hiking on the ridges above. This is where glaciated Keele Peak crowns the mountainous horizon with its knife edged ridges.
Just above Keele Creek, the river gains volume and gradient as it plunges into a continuous stretch of challenging white water. The whitewater starts out as class II rapids and builds into a continuous class III boulder garden.
Great hiking possibilities abound in the Rogue Range where rugged, glaciated peaks give spectacular views before the Hess leaves the mountains and enters the North Yukon Plateau. This section also has some good rapids and beautiful canyons. The trip ends at the confluence of the Stewart River. This region is the traditional territory of the Kaska Dena and Nacho N’y’ak Dun First Nations.