Day 1: Whitehorse, Yukon. Hopefully you enjoyed your travels and have arrived safely in Whitehorse, the capital city, nestled among Yukon wilderness. Please arrive in Whitehorse in time for an orientation meeting at 8:30 pm the night before our departure. Guests are responsible for accommodation and meals while in Whitehorse. Whitehorse is a splendid little city and we recommend booking some additional time at either the beginning or the end of your trip to see Whitehorse. If you wish to fish on your trip but, have not had a chance to purchase a Yukon fishing license, you should do so this evening. Your guides will let you know where they can be purchased.
Note: Often our guests choose to come to the Yukon several days early, or too depart several days after their wilderness vacation. Therefore we don't include accommodation in Whitehorse in order to provide flexibility for our guests. If you prefer, we can easily arrange your hotel accommodations in Whitehorse and add these details to your itinerary.
Day 2: Tombstone Territorial Park. Our staff will pick you up from your hotel starting at 7:00 am. Participants need to have finished their breakfast (Not included) by this time. Any final details will be dealt with and we will depart by 8:00 am. We will travel north from Whitehorse along the Klondike Highway, named for the Gold Rush of 1898 that occurred in the Klondike River area near Dawson City. Along the way we will stop and see Lake Labarge, famed setting of Robert Services final scene in the poem, "The Cremation of Sam McGee". As we head towards today’s destination we will see the majestic Yukon River several times and stop to look at the famous Fiver Finger Rapids. After a picnic lunch we will turn north on the Dempster Highway. This is the northernmost reaching highway in all of Canada and is well known for its stunning wilderness and remote, lonely feeling.
As we travel up the Dempster we will climb into the Ogilvie Mountains and reach Tombstone Territorial Park campground. Here we will set a comfortable camp and then go on a tour of the Visitor Centre, learning about the area’s history, flora and fauna. A nice meal, a campfire or an optional after dinner drive farther north to see the Blackstone Uplands, will round out our first day. The Uplands are an area of treeless alpine tundra the stretches for miles, and affords visitors a dramatic sense of space and wilderness. Includes: (L, D).
Day 3: Alpine Hike and Fishing. After breakfast we will pack our day-packs and get ready for a hike into the alpine. Following the Grizzly Creek trail we will climb above the trees into the open country. Along the way we will likely see signs of the majestic animal for which the trail is named along with the potential to spot Dall sheep or mountain caribou once we clear the tree line. We will stop in the high country for lunch, relaxation and reflection before descending back to our vehicle in late afternoon. Back at the campground we will have a little time to relax before dinner. After dinner there will be fishing lessons for those interested and a chance to try to catch some arctic grayling for breakfast. These tasty fish are a favorite of Yukoners and are abundant in the North Klondike River, which flows through the valley. Includes: (B, L, D).
Note: A Yukon Anglers license is needed to fish in the Yukon. This should be purchased in Whitehorse before departure. Fishing gear is provided.
Day 4: Gold Dredge Tour. After breakfast we will say goodbye to Tombstone Territorial Park and head south again on the Dempster Highway. We will then turn north on to the Klondike Highway towards Dawson City. However, before we reach the town, we will see the land become transformed by the history of the gold mining days. Large piles, some 10 m (30 ft) high, of rocks and pebbles, formed in strange fan-shape formations appear along the highway. We will stop for a tour of the great mechanical beast that reshaped this frontier landscape a century ago. Gold Dredge No. 4 is a Parks Canada National Historic site. We will go on a fully guided tour of this ship-sized piece of equipment, lead by Parks Canada Staff. After our tour we will have a picnic lunch and then drive into Dawson City to check into our hotel. The remainder of the days is yours to explore Dawson City.
This community, that once stood at the center of the largest gold rush North America has ever seen, was home to 30,000 gold-grazed miners, business owners and adventure seekers. This town of just 1500 people today is easy to get around on foot and our guides will give you great advice on all the best things to see and do during your stay. No visit to Dawson would be complete without a visit to Diamond Tooth Gertie’s Casino and cabaret show, so clients have included in their package admission tickets to this great live cabaret performance. Dinner is not included this evening while in Dawson in order that guests can experience Dawson on their own schedule. There are several wonderful restaurants and cafés in Dawson City to choose from. Includes: (B, L).
Day 5: Travel From Dawson to Whitehorse. After breakfast at the hotel (included) we will have a few remaining hours to explore Dawson or get those last postcards mailed, before leaving by 10:00 am. We will point our vehicle south and return to Whitehorse by 5:30 pm and check into our hotel. We will stop for a picnic lunch along the way. Dinner is not included tonight. There is a vibrant live-music scene in Whitehorse and many nice restaurants for varied budgets. Includes: (B, L).
Day 6: Whitehorse Sight-Seeing and then Meet the Huskies! After breakfast at the hotel (included), there will be time to shop and sight-see in Whitehorse. We recommend taking a tour of the S.S. Klondike or visiting the MacBride Museum, both of which can easily be walked. Another fine choice would be to visiting the Beringia Interpretive Centre, (taxi required). We will rendez-vous at the hotel at 12:30 pm to depart the city. Next, we will travel west on the Alaska Highway a short 20-minute drive to partake in an educational tour of Muktuk Kennels, home of veteran Yukon musher and racer, Frank Turner. He will give a talk and demonstration on the equipment needed to race and survive in temperatures that regularly drop to -40 Celsius during the winter. There will be lots of time to visit with the huskies and then walk with them to the river, where they often like to go swimming.
After the tour there will be time to relax, photograph the huskies, and take in the ambience of a genuine Yukon mushing kennel. Settle in and enjoy northern hospitality because we will be staying for a “Taste of the Yukon” barbecue dinner. You’ll get a chance to sample, artic charr, caribou, bison and elk, along with more conventional options. After the feast and fine conversation, we will depart Muktuk Kennels by 7:30 pm on route to the beautiful mountain-lined Kusawa Lake, arriving by 9:00 pm. After setting camp we can relax around the campfire in this land of the midnight sun. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 7: Kusawa Lake Canoe Trip. If the lake is calm, after breakfast, we will get some introductory canoe lessons and go on a canoe trip. There will be opportunity to fish for lake trout and arctic grayling, during the trip. In the afternoon those that are interested can hike towards the alpine on the Kusawa Ridge Hiking Trail. Camp tonight will once again be on the shores of this magnificent mountain lake. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 8: Haines Junction, Kluane National Park, Glacier Flight. After breakfast we will pack down our camp and say goodbye to the beautiful Kusawa Lake. We will head west along the Alaska Highway, towards the town of Haines Junction. As we travel the Coastal Mountain will be to our south, the Ruby Range Mountains to the north, and the St. Elias mountains to the west. The St. Elias Mountains, as you will see, are unlike any other mountains in the Yukon. They are North America’s youngest and tallest mountain range and are in fact still growing. They loom impressively over the town of Haines Junction, gateway to Kluane National Park. We will stop at a local bakery and cafe that has a fine selection of sandwiches, desserts, and beverages. Lunch is not included.
After relaxing on the café deck we travel to the local airport to embark on what will likely be one of the highlights of your Yukon experience. Here we will meet our pilot and then embark on a one-hour-and-20-minute flight over the world’s largest sub-polar ice-field. We will soar over fields of ice the size of cities, scouring their way towards the river valleys that flow from their edges. You will loose your breath as we soar among numerous 14,000 ft peaks and coast over agua-blue glacial lakes. The cost of your flight is included in the tour. If for some reason the weather does not allow us to fly you will be issued a full refund of $200 Canadian. We will spend camp that night at a local private campground, with access to showers once again. Includes: (B, D).
Day 9: Rafting Trip on the Tatshenshini River, Journey to Haines Alaska. After an early breakfast over the fire, we will drive south from Haines Junction, following the very edge of Kluane National Park. Eat a good breakfast, because today will be one of our most adventurous of the trip. After an hour-and-a-half drive we will reach our hosts at Tatshenshini Expediting, Yukon oldest and most trusted rafting company. We will raft through stunning wilderness, surrounded by mountain views, rock cliffs, and racing glacial water. We will stop halfway through the run to have lunch and be back at our vehicle: warm, dry, safe and invigorated by mid-afternoon. Note: Participants need to have basic swimming skills to participate in this tour contact us to make alternative arrangements if you are a non-swimmer.
After our rafting adventure we continue south into British Columbia, over a high scenic high mountain pass and then descend into the lush rainforest of the Alaskan Pacific Northwest Coast. As we drop in elevation the trees grow in size and the vegetation become dense and impenetrable. Passports are required for the border crossing, so don’t forget! We will check into our hotel in Haines Alaska and take a walk around this highly scenic coastal community. The smell of the salt air and the rumble of fishing boats coming and going from port will make you fall in love with the sea, if you aren’t already. Dinner this evening is not included in your tour. There are several nice restaurants close to the hotel to choose from, with of course excellent sea food selections. If you are on the August tour we will likely go for a bear-viewing drive after dinner, to observe first-hand grizzlies bears feeding on the local salmon run in the Chilkoot River. Includes: (B, L).
Day 10: Day in Haines Alaska/ Ferry Ride on the Inside Passage. After breakfast we will go on our next adventure, a sea kayaking paddle on the gorgeous Chilkoot Lake. In our tandem kayaks we will take a guided paddle on this scenic mountain lake, just minutes from town. We will linger over a picnic lunch on its shores, and contemplate the beauty. Returning to Haines, you will have the remainder of the day to do as you wish. There is so much to choose from: looking at the local artisan shops, relaxing in cafes, renting a mountain bike and cycling along the sea, sightseeing flights over Glacier Bay National Park, day-hiking up a local peak, are all available from town. We have provided a link to Haines Alaska’s web-page so you can plan your afternoon time there.
After our day of activities we will return to Chilkoot Lake for a barbecue dinner before catching our 8:30 pm sailing to Skagway on the famed Inside Passage of Alaska. Our ferry will travel north on the Lynn Canal, a massive mountain fjord surrounded by 2000 m (6000 ft) mountains capped in snow with numerous waterfalls crashing down into the ocean below. Our trip is just over an hour in length. We will arrive in Skagway and check into our hotel for a deserved sleep after such a busy day of exploration. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 11: Historic White Pass and Yukon Railway Tour. After an early breakfast in the hotel (included), we will grab our cameras and get to the train station, where we will partake in a trip through time, traveling on vintage passenger coaches owned by the White Pass and Yukon Route Railway Line. This trip climbs more than 2800 ft from sea level, up to the White Pass, situated at the Canada/USA border. This railway line is an International Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. After clearing the Canadian Border, the train descends to historic Bennett Lake. Here in the spring of 1899, thousands of stampeders built camps, harvested trees, constructed boats and waited out the brutal Yukon winter, preparing for the ice to melt and the down-river journey to Dawson City to begin. Once home to 20,000 souls, with hotels, banks and more, now only one original building remains in Bennett: St. Andrews Church.
You will have and hour or so to enjoy a provided picnic lunch on the shores of Bennett Lake and to absorb this history-drenched location. Next our train will depart heading north again along the eastern short of Bennett Lake, the tracks tucked tight to the base of Montana Mountain, with the water and waves mere feet away from the tracks for most of the journey into Carcross. In Carcross, you will meet up with your M19346 guide again. In this sleepy little hamlet you can enjoy a visit to Matheson’s General Store for souvenirs, coffee or ice cream. A short one-hour drive takes us back to your hotel in Whitehorse for the end of our tour, having truly experienced a slice of the Northwest at its best! Hotel and dinner in Whitehorse not included. Includes: (B, L).
- Custom Dates for groups of 5 or more
- Skill Level: Beginner Level Day-trips of Hiking, Canoeing and Sea Kayaking
- Fishing Opportunities: Excellent (grayling, trout, northern pike, whitefish).
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