The headwaters of this Canadian Heritage River originate in the Mackenzie Mountains along the Yukon/NWT border. The Bonnet Plume River flows north over 350 kilometres to the Peel River and ultimately the Mackenzie Delta and the Beaufort Sea.
The Bonnet Plume drainage supports large populations of birds, sheep, moose, grizzly bear and one of Yukon’s largest woodland caribou herds. The river is a sensitive and valuable habitat for Arctic grayling, whitefish and Dolly Varden. The geology of the region is complex and extends back to the Late Pre-Cambrian period. Some of the most extensive coal deposits in the Yukon are located here as well as rich deposits of iron, lead-zinc, copper and uranium.
The First Nation of Nacho Nyak Dun and the Tetlit Gwich’in have trapped, hunted and fished in this area for generations and important historic travel routes crisscross the region. The river is named for Andrew Flett Bonnetplume, a Gwich’in chief and Hudson’s Bay Company interpreter, who lived along the river and assisted many travellers in need of aid.