Antarctica & Arctic
Explore some of the most scenic and remote corners of Yukon on this dedicated walking trip.
a Destinations d > Western Canada > Yukon & Alaska Walk
12 nights camping and one night hotel accommodation, meals as indicated, activities and transport as specified and services of two Grand American Adventures tour leaders.
23 Jun; 21 Jul; 18 Aug '18
The Yukon is North America's largest remaining wild land, and a place where the unexpected occurs. Explore this remote territory in-depth on this active walking trip that includes several full days in Kluane National Park and Tombstone Territorial Park.
Back to Western Canada Tours
Traverse the 'Top of the World' Highway
Wildlife in Kluane National Park
Explore Haines, Alaska's adventure capital
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Your tour begins in the Yukon Territory city of Whitehorse. Surrounded by pristine lakes, mountains and the Yukon River, there's no surprise Whitehorse is known as the 'Wilderness City'. With a vibrant urban lifestyle, this Yukon city offers the best of both worlds to anyone who ventures this far. A welcome meeting will be held at 18:00 hrs where you'll meet your guides and fellow travellers. This evening is free to explore as you wish.
This morning you enjoy a walking tour of Dawson City, the Klondike's most famous town, located along the 64th of latitude, 154 miles within the Polar Circle. This city was once called 'the Paris of the North' for its bustling activity. Each spring, hundreds of gold diggers still flood the town in search of the precious stone, but we will be experiencing a different kind of treasure - its ancient mines, its hot springs, its saloons' cold beer, the midnight sun and the Jack London interpretation centre.
Dawson City's crowning glory is the spectacular panorama that can only be seen atop the Midnight Dome. Standing like a sentinel over the city, Midnight Dome has provided the backdrop for one of the wildest migrations in history... the Klondike Gold Rush. Between 1897 and 1899, roughly 50,000 people descended on the area around Dawson City to stake claims in the Klondike Gold Fields. So be sure that your camera batteries are charged and there is room on you memory card, because you don't want to miss an opportunity to capture this enchanting vista. Once you have recovered from the breathtaking view, make your way to Canada's first (and friendliest) gambling hall, Diamond Tooth Gerties. Be entertained by Gertie's powerhouse vocals and her high-kicking 'Gold Rush Girls'. (B)(L)(D)
After a two hour transfer, the next three days are going to be spent exploring the Tombstone range, a hiking paradise. This specific region is the spirit of the Yukon territory: virgin nature, Grizzlies and solitude.
Today you'll enjoy a half day hiking option on the Angelcomb Peak, which is a nice easy going trail, before you venture deeper into the park. The trail itself is shorter and offers great views up the East Blackstone River, as well as the peaks and valleys to the east of the Dempster Highway. This area is an important sheep habitat. (B)(L)(D)
Enjoy a day hike to Alpine Lakes Viewpoint. This route follows one of the many ridges that lead up to an open alpine plateau and a rocky ridge above two picturesque alpine lakes. There are often caribou on the plateau, and you get amazing views all the way up the ridge. (B)(L)(D)
Enjoy a day hike to Grizzly Ridge, which is one of the most popular trails in Tombstone Territorial Park, and for good reason. Within about an hour you get a view of Mount Monolith at the end of Grizzly Valley. The trail is well established, and you can continue along the ridge towards Grizzly Lake for as long as you like. (B)(L)(D)
Today is your final day in Canada's Yukon but your adventure is not yet over. Today is mainly a drive day, which gives you the perfect chance to sit back and watch what the Yukon does effortlessly without even trying; offering perfect postcard views. It is also a great day for wildlife spotting so be prepared to stop along the way at viewpoints and as wildlife ambles throughout the area. You'll finish your tour back in Whitehorse around 17:00. If you're not flying out tonight, it's the perfect opportunity for a farewell dinner and a Canadian brew. (B)(L)
This morning you set off for Skagway (3 hours drive), Alaska, a famous gold rush town set at the northern end of a fjord, amongst high snowy peaks (no hiking today!) and along the popular Inside Passage cruise route. It is now preserved as part of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. Upon arrival, you'll notice the streets are lined with wooden boardwalks and restored buildings, which appear as though they haven't changed much in the past 100 years. Skagway's history and spectacular natural setting offer unparalleled vistas, but the town also has an array of museums and shops where local artists display their work. A portion of the Skagway downtown area has been designated as the Skagway Unit of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park; and is the embarkation point for the famous Chilkoot and White Pass trails. (L)(D)
Today you board the ferry for Haines, another coastal town in the Alaskan fjord with a fascinating history and culture, not to mention breathtaking scenery. Our first visit is the ancient Tinglit Indian village of Klukwan, which is nestled along the banks of the Chilkat River. Local history reveals that Klukwan was originally settled many years ago by a group of Gaanaxteidi (Raven Clan) men and their Kaagwaantaan (Eagle Clan) wives. The village site was chosen because of the rich natural environment found here. A wander around the village with local information helps paint the picture of the area's history.
In the afternoon, we visit the world-famous Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve which boasts the largest gathering of Bald Eagles anywhere in the world. Your adventure begins with an 18 mile drive on the Haines Highway to find excellent eagle viewing areas. Pull-outs along the highway are provided for eagle watchers and photographers. (B)(L)(D)
Today is all about peaks, with your goal being the summit of Mt Ripinski. You'll encounter many different Alaskan ecosystems along the way including lush forest, subalpine stunted trees, alpine meadow and rocky summit. You begin your ascent through the forest, passing blueberries that the bears come to raid to fatten up in late August. The climb through the forest lasts several hours before reaching subalpine space, where you walk beside a small creek and alpine tundra dotted with wildflowers, including the white bell-shaped flowers of mountain heather. Views from the top are simply amazing in every direction, including the emerald blue Chilkoot Lake and Lutak Inlet, Haines town, Cathedral Peaks, the Chilkat River drainages and Takshanuk Mountains. (B)(L)(D)
You leave Haines for our next stop, Kluane National Park (3.5 hours drive) stopping off en route to hike the Three Guardsmen Trail. You will set up camp in Haines Junction Village for three nights and visit the ancient town. A nearby reserve offers the perfect hiking opportunity, the Tatshenshini-Alsek Wilderness Park, as well as a river rafting experience for those who seek higher thrills (optional activity). Kluane Park is located in Yukon's southwest, which is dominated by North America's highest mountain range, the Saint-Elias range. There, Mount Logan peaks at 5959m. Amidst these giants sleeps the world's largest non-polar ice field from which entire seas originate, the Kaskawulsh Glacier. This heritage site is as challenging as it is fascinating: crossing vast ice steppes on which silence reigns, dwarfed by immense mountains, steering clear of Grizzlies and camping out underneath the Yukon sky. (B)(L)(D)
Kluane National Park and Preserve is pure wilderness, so today you'll have a local guide to lead you on the King's Throne Trail. This is a truly majestic hike and although it looks as though you need to be a mountaineer to climb it, the reality is not so difficult. Bears have been commonly spotted on this trail and your local guide will be equipped with bear spray. Regardless of how much sweat you break, views of the surrounding valleys and Kathleen Lake more than compensate. Valleys, rivers, lakes and mountains seem to continue without end and on a clear day you can see the large massif of Mount Alverstone, Mount Hubbard and Mount Kennedy.
Worth noting: The steep scree and rock slopes encountered on this trail can be unstable and make hiking difficult in patches, weather can also be a factor with strong gusts occurring on exposed ridges. (B)(L)(D)
Another day, another trail - but they just keep getting more beautiful! Today you'll hike the Auriol Trail which does not go above tree level. It was originally an old wagon trail used by cross country skiers until the land became part of the Kluane National Park and Reserve. The Auriol Trail is a loop trail, crossing over creeks and passing through aspen and spruce tree forests. There are footbridges to cross and switchbacks with plenty of elevation hiking. The Auriol Trail is in the heart of `Bear Country', so chances are you will have a good chance of spotting these boisterous animals. Your tour leaders and specialist local guide will have bear spray, but typically noise and talking is enough for bears to turn and head in the opposite direction. (B)(L)(D)
Today you transfer from Kluane to Tok, stopping to admire beautiful landscapes, virgin territory and typical Klondike villages along the way. You will be travelling for approximately 5.5 hours, not including stops. Tok is an outdoorsperson's paradise teeming with birds, mammals and fish. The world famous Forty Mile Country, which inspired the likes of Jack London, lie to the north; while the Mentasta and Wrangell mountains lie to the south. Residents are forced to embrace the true frontier lifestyle, and there's plenty of bird watching, camping, hiking, fishing, float trips and other exploring to be done in the area. In town, attractions include gold panning, museums and horse riding. (B)(L)(D)
Transfer from Tok for Dawson City, crossing yet another American border only to head back into Canada a few hours later. We will go through old western style villages, both alive and deserted -`ghostly', some might say. You'll see ancient mines and appreciate outstanding panoramas across the Kluane range. After approximately 5.5 hours, you reach Dawson City, by way of the `Top of the World Highway'. A lot of travelling will be done today but it is decidedly more than worth it as we visit the depths of Yukon and its people. Tonight, you'll camp near the banks of the Yukon River at a campsite which offers a free gold panning activity. Please note that whilst your campsite has all the expected facilities, it is more basic in nature due to its location. (B)(L)(D)
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