Footsteps of Yukon Pioneers
The circular route exploring the modern and ancient cultures of the Yukon provides the perfect introduction to the region for travellers who wish to explore this rugged and historic region on their own schedule. From the echoes of the Gold Rush to the new world of eco-tourism, this northern wonderland offers something different for the inquisitive traveller on a circular route from Whitehorse to Whitehorse. A day in famous Dawson City give visitors a chance to perhaps pan for gold, while the wilds of Kluane National Park entice outdoor adventures to explore seldom seen trails, lakes and forests.
- Dawson City
- Haines Junction
Arrive in Whitehorse, the capital of the Yukon Territory. This northern city offers all the modern conveniences and amenities, as well as the historical and cultural remnants of the days of the Gold Rush.
Departing eastward along the Alaska Highway into the interior of the Yukon, pass through small towns and villages that have carved unique communities out of a rugged wilderness. Arriving in Watson Lake, take some time to visit the ‘signpost forest’ – a collection of over 10,000 signposts donated by visitors from around the world, or the World War II historical display at the airport.
Turning northward on to the Campbell Highway, follow the path of several rivers and long lakes, many only previously seen by the most avid outdoorsman. Arriving in Faro, this small town set under the gaze of the mountains invites travellers to visit the Campbell Region Interpretative Centre to learn about the history and geography of the surrounding area. Visitors may also enjoy a visit to the former lead-zinc mine – once the largest producer in the world.
Journeying farther northward, you embark on a day of discovery travelling through the wilderness of the Yukon heartland, home to large mammals such as moose, caribou and grizzly bears. Later in the day, arrive in the famous former prospector town of Dawson City. Perhaps visit one of the local eateries, serving up everything from hardy frontier fare, to tastes of the Far East.
Discover the excitement of the Gold Rush days gone by as the town comes alive with period actors on local walking tours and historical buildings. Interactive gold-panning station that gives visitors a taste of the past is included. The Bonanza Creek with Discovery Claim and Dredge 4 National Historic Site provides an in-depth look into the industry that made the town famous. The Midnight Dome offers dramatic views of the town at the confluence of the Yukon and Klondike Rivers.
Beginning with a short crossing of the Yukon River by ferry, today your journey takes you along a picturesque route following the Top of the World Highway and the Taylor Highway as it traverses the wilds of Yukon over the international border to Alaska, USA. The small crossroads town of Chicken provides the ideal midway point to stop and experience a slice of local life. Continue on as you loop back south back into Canada and arrive in the small town of Beaver Creek for the evening.
Today’s shorter driving distance back on the Alaska Highway allows time to independently explore natural wonders such as the shores of Lake Kluane, or the snow-capped mountains and glaciers of the St. Elias Mountains of spectacular Kluane National Park. Well-marked hiking trails and scenic viewpoints showcase some of the unique landscape of these protected parklands. Arrive later in Haines Junction and perhaps take some time to explore the First Nations Daku Cultural Centre, a highlight of this frontier town.
Perhaps pay a visit to the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations' Da K Cultural Centre, an interactive living museum that celebrates the history, culture and art of the Indigenous people of the area. Afterwards, perhaps drop by the St. Elias Convention Centre to see the permanent and rotating collection of art, reflecting the modern interpretations of local and recent artists.
A short drive to Whitehorse today leaves ample time to check into your hotel and independently explore this frontier town that has grown up into a northern hub city of commerce, industry and tourism.
Discover why Whitehorse has cultivated a name as the Yukon’s hub of local guided and independent sightseeing and local touring activities. We suggest taking a daytrip to remote Skagway, or to visit some of the local sites such as the SS Klondike, Beringia Centre, the Transportation Museum or the MacBride Museum.
- International flights from London (please ask if regional airports are required)
- 10 nights’ accommodation and room tax
- Fully insured compact car hire (larger vehicles are available)
- A detailed and comprehensive travel pack with driving instructions and maps
Daily departures from May to September.