Yukon, Alaska and the Gold Rush
Day 1: Rendezvous at the group hotel in Whitehorse. A single timed transfer is provided. KE Land Only packge services begin with the overnight stay at the group hotel.
Day 2: We spend the morning sightseeing in Whitehorse, originally a camp for goldrush prospectors and now Yukon's largest city. After lunch, drive (2.5 hours) to Skagway in Alaska crossing the US border near the famous Klondike trail's Chilkoot pass. We set up camp in a campground in Skagway.
Day 3: We hike steeply uphill to Lower Dewy Lake and then beside waterfalls and on a switch back trail to reach the upper lake with great views along the way of Mount Harding, the Taiya Inlet and Skagway city. Afterwards, we return to the campground. 6 hours. 10 km. Elevation gain 930m.
Day 4: After a short (15 minute) transfer we begin today's hike at Dyea, climbing just over a mile to the 'Lost Lake' where we enjoy some level walking along the eastern shore. 3-4 hours hiking, +/- 535m. Later in the afternoon we board a ferry for the 45 minute journey across North America's longest fjord to the town of Haines, where we stay at the campground.
Day 5: One of the finest hikes in the area is the traverse of Mount Ripinsky by the '7 Mile Saddle' and Takshanuk Mountain ridge. A long day of spectacular hiking with sea views on all sides. 7-9 hours. +/- 1400m.
Day 6: A shorter hike today as we ascend Mount Riley, the best viewpoint over the Chilkat Peninsula. At the top we have a 360 view on Haines, the Lynn Canal, the fjords and all the mountains of the peninsula. 4-5 hours, 13 km roundtrip, +/- 720m.
Day 7: We drive back into Canada crossing a corner of BC to reach Haines Junction in the Yukon. (150 miles - 3 hours). Haines Junction is the gateway to Kluane National Park where Canada's highest peak, Mount Logan is located. This afternoon we stretch our legs for 4 - 6 hours on the relatively easy Auriol loop trail. 15km, +/- 535m. Overnight in campground at Haines Junction.
Day 8: Starting at Kathleen Lake we follow a steep trail up to a spectacular cirque - the 'seat' of the King's Throne. Weather permitting, we then enjoy a sensational traverse of the ridgeline before returning to the campground. 7-8 hours. +/- 1230m.
Day 9: Today we have a challenging hike to the top of Mount Decoeli (2300m) overlooking Kluane National Park. From the summit there are distant views of mount Logan and the Icefields. 8hours . 18km round trip. +/- 1340m. After the climb we drive approximately 1 hour to Kluane Lake where we stay at Cottonwood Park campground.
Day 10: There are several hiking possibilities around and above Kluane Lake from our base at Cottonwood campground. Over the next two days we will make day hikes of 6 - 8 hours and up to 1000m. of ascent. The hikes will be determined by our guides who will take into account weather and local conditions to ensure we get the best out of the area. Overnight at the campground.
Day 11: One possibility during our stay at Kluane Lake is to hike to the summit of 'Sheep Mountain' so named because the area is home to a large population of Dall sheep. Overnight at Cottonwood campground.
Day 12: We have a long but spectacular day of driving as we head north west on the Alaskan Highway through Beaver Creek where we cross into Alaska. At Tetlin Junction we turn east, stopping at the picturesque gold miners town of Chicken before crossing back into Canada. Finally, a ferry ride across the Yukon River brings us to Dawson City. Approx. 12 hours driving. Overnight at a campground.
Day 13: Dawson city is synonymous with the 1898 Klondike Gold Rush and today we will have the opportunity to learn more about this fascinating period in American history. We can even try our hand at panning for gold. In the afternoon we will drive to Midnight Dome for a view over the city and the Yukon River. Overnight at the campground.
Day 14: We drive (1.5 hours) to North Fork Pass, in the middle of the Ogilvie Mountains on the Demptser Highway. Here we hike through Lil Creek canyon: 14km roundtrip. 6 hours. We stay overnight at another campground in Tombstone Park.
Day 15: Today's hike takes us through a subarctic tundra landscape of black granite peaks and alpine lakes as we make an ascent of Outrider Mountain (1320m). 6 - 7 hours hiking. +/- 740m. Overnight at the Tombstone campground.
Day 16: The 'must-do' in Tombstone Park is the walk through Grizzly Valley. Here we climb a ridge with wonderful views to Monolith mountain and over Grizzly Lake. 6 hours, 13 km roundtrip. +/- 850m. Overnight at the Tombstone Park campground.
Day 17: In the morning we make a short hike to 'Two Moose Lake' where we may be lucky enough to see caribou. In the afternoon we have another spectacular drive (400km. 5 - 6 hours) following the Klondike highway to Carmack. Overnight at a campground in Carmack.
Day 18: Leaving Carmack, we make the 200km return drive to Whitehorse. We will stop en route at the view point of the Five Finger Rapids. Depending on time available, it may also be possible to stop for swimming at Takhini Hot Springs. Arriving in Whitehorse we check into the group hotel.
Day 19: KE Land Only package services end after breakfast. A single timed airport transfer is provided.