Demands: The guide accompanies the group on easy to moderate mountain hikes with light day pack. All campgrounds can be reached by the bus.
This routing is also done as oneway from Whitehorse to Calgary (please see dates to the right).
Day 1: Calgary, Alberta
Arrival in Calgary, transfer to the hotel and pre trip information with the guide.
Day 2: Banff National Park
After breakfast in the hotel you board the bus for the drive into Banff National Park. On the forested campground you pitch your tent for the next two nights. This afternoon your guide takes you for a hike on one of the many trails near Banff. Walking time 2 – 3 hours.
Day 3: Banff National Park
A longer hike on one of the many trails in this national park is on today’s menu. Your guide knows the best destination for each season, fir example an easy forested trail into an alpine meadow with wide angle vies in all directions, ideal for further explorations. Maximum height at 2300 m with 655 m gain. Later you might want to relax in the warm sulphur pool and browse the many stores and boutiques of the little town. Walking time up to 7 hours.
Day 4: Jasper National Park
Lake Louise in picture postcard alpine scenery and the Icefields Parkway, among the worlds most spectacular roads, to the glaciers of the immense Columbia Icefields. Now you are in Jasper National Park with your campground for the next two nights near the holiday town of Jasper.
Day 5: Jasper National Park
Along Maligne Canyon the river is roaring up to 50 m below you. Half hour uphill drive to picturesque Maligne Lake for a hike into the flower covered hills at 2300 m. You can follow the open ridge for many more miles, always with stunning views of the surrounding peaks.
Walking time 4 hours.
Day 6: Fort St. James
West of the Rockies you get into the Cariboo Mountains, dominated by densely forested valleys and high serrated peaks and glaciers, featuring attractive lakes and lush wetlands. You follow the Frazer River to the logging town of Prince George. Now a side trip to Fort St.James National Park. The former fur trading post with it’s old buildings is today an open air museum. Camping on the shores of Stuart Lake.
Day 7: Fort St. James
Unless you prefer to relax by the lake you can join the guide on a 12 km loop hike with 790 m gain for a grandiose panorama view of the lake and into the distant plateau.
Walking time 4 – 6 hours.
Day 8: New Hazelton
Burns Lake, Houston, Smithers and a few smaller towns on your north-west route through this vast country of forests and mountains. Moricetown Falls is a narrow canyon where migrating salmon can be seen during the summer months. Campground at Ksan where Native guides explain totem poles and longhouses of an ancient culture.
Day 9: Stewart
The oldest standing totem poles can be found near Kitwanga and Kitwancool. Stewart and Hyder are reached via the spectacular Bear Pass which cuts through the coastal mountain range with over twenty fantastic blue tinted hanging glaciers visible from the road. After setting up camp by a lake, there is time this evening for an excursion into Bear Pass. Walking time 3 hours.
Day 10: Stewart
A short visit of Alaska. Only 3 km and an international border apart but what contrasts. Tidy, typical Canadian Stewart has the school and the bank, end-of-the-road Hyder is purely Alaskan. The plan here is an excursion past old silver and gold mines and a hike to Salmon Glacier. Walking time 3 hours.
Day 11: Cassiar Highway
Only a few hundred souls live along this rarely travelled northern route. The scenery of the high plateau, framed by rugged peaks of the Coastal and Cassiar Ranges leaves a powerful impression of vastness and solitude. Camping by a lake.
Day 12: Cassiar Highway
Continuing your journey north you reach a lake where you can rent a canoe to go fishing, find a beaver house, bring your journal up to date, or follow the guide to the summit of one of the surrounding mountains. Walking time 3 – 5 hours
Day 13: Lake Laberge
At Watson Lake with it’s curious “Sign Forest” you meet the much romanticised lifeline to the north, the Alaska Highway. Along the way you visit historic settlements which still today accommodate and assist travellers on their way to the Yukon and Alaska. Campground at Lake Laberge.
Day 14: Dawson City
Infamous Five Finger Rapids of the Yukon River. A short descend to the spot where years ago many a paddle wheeler met it’s doom. Tonight you reach Dawson City and the campground on the banks of the Yukon. Don’t miss the town’s nightlife with gambling casinos and Can-Can girls.
Walking time 1 hour.
Day 15: Dawson City / Dempster Highway
After a visit of Bonanza Creek, in 1896 the site of the biggest gold rush of all times, you leave the Klondike gold fields. One of the world's unique driving routes, the Dempster is famous for its colourful alpine tundra landscapes, wildlife, scenic vistas and memorable driving adventures. With 730 km of gravel, it is the only road connection to the arctic ocean. Camp for the next two nights at the base of the Tombstone Mountains.
Day 16: Tombstone Mountains
Now you have choices of easy to very demanding trails in this incredible but haunting mountain range. For example easy 4 km to a viewpoint and from there another three difficult very rewarding km to a ridge where you can go on further explorations. In all 10 km with 550 m gain. The black basalt mountains have a moonscape appearance but are the home of caribous which can be spotted in small groups down in the valleys. Each season has it’s own rewards but the burst of the tundra’s colours with dwarf birch and willow in late summer are an extraordinary sight. Walking time 5 – 7 hours.
Day 17: Rock River / Arctic Circle
The road climbs to a viewpoint of the Tombstones, crosses North Fork Pass and levels out into sub-arctic tundra. There are plenty of pullouts and natural diversions. Peaks with alluring names like Goldensides, Angelcomb, Pilot’s Peak and Sapper Hill beckon, offering easy day hikes. Your road takes you along more spectacular ridges, reminiscent of the Great Wall of China and you cross the Continental Divide again through the Ogilvie Mountains into Beringia, a region untouched by ice age glaciations. At 66° 33’ north latitude you have reached the Arctic Circle, an imaginary line around our planet. It marks the southern limits of the Arctic, Land of the Midnight Sun. On June 21 you would not see the sun set. Two nights camping just north of the arctic circle. Walking time 1 – 3 hours.
Day 18: Rock River / Arctic Circle
Since ancient times the Porcupine Caribou herd, numbering in the thousands, migrates through this treeless tundra and provides a subsistence lifestyle that has endured, as the Gwich'in say, "forever". The north-central Yukon was able to support a larger human population than the much warmer south because the caribou supplied food, clothing, shelter and tools. Walking time 1 – 4 hours.
Day 19: Moose Creek
On the way back south you visit places out of the northern gold-rush history. Did you hear about the Mad Trapper? In the depth of winter of 1932 he was the target of one of the most desperate manhunts in the history of the north. His true identity remains a mystery to this day.
Day 20: Whitehorse
The capital of the Yukon. Recommended visits in Whitehorse are Miles Canyon and the world’s longest fish ladder. You should also make time for the McBride- and the Beringia Museum as well as the S.S.Klondike paddle wheeler. Hotel and final get-together for tonight.
Day 21: Departure
Transfer to the airport. If you are really gripped by the spirit of adventure you might want to consider a 7-day guided Yukon River canoe trip. (Itnerary like Yukon River (8 Days) ).
Also see tour packages in:
Canada Alberta British Columbia Yukon Outdoor: Land Rambler Hiking & Trekking Wildlife Viewing
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