dates :June 2015
Group size :2 to 6
duration :15 days
difficulty :moderate
Price :$ 4960 CAD (including tax)
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Yukon and Alaska - The grand mountains of the North

Description

A 15 day trip, during which you will drive 3000km in the Yukon and Alaska experiencing the high mountains of Kluane National Park, the great open spaces of central Alaska, the famous Into the Wild bus and Dawson City of the Klondike Gold Rush days.

Day after day

Day 0: You will be met at the Whitehorse airport and shuttled to your accommodation. You will have time to explore some of Whitehorse’s historic sites before meeting with your guide and fellow travellers to review last minute details of your Terre Boréale experience.

Day 1: Today we head West on the Alaska Highway towards Haines Junction, a two hour drive from Whitehorse. Half way there, we see the high mountains of Kluane National Park, where Mount Logan the highest summit in Canada is situated. In 1994, Kluane and the neighbouring parks (two in Alaska and one in British Columbia) were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In Haines Junction, we visit the Da Ku Cultural Centre where you can explore the permanent exhibit on the Aishihik and Champagne First Nations. In the afternoon we will enjoy our first hike in Kluane which will lead us to a lake surrounded by mountains. At the end of the day we head towards Kluane Lake, Yukon's largest lake, where we will find our cabins for the next two nights.

Day 2: We hike into Kluane National Park, on a rather steep trail that climbs up the southern slope of Tachäl Dhäl. From the summit you get spectacular views of the southern part of Kluane Lake, the Slim's River and the toe of Kaskawulsh glacier in the distance. If you feel like it, you can hike all the way to the top of a nearby mountain to gain the amazing view on the rest of Kluane Lake. Along the trail you will look for signs of bears, moose, lynx and Dall sheep, which this area is renowned for. These white sheep love to graze on the steep slopes of the mountains of Kluane National Park! We get back to the cabins in the late afternoon and spend a relaxing evening recounting the sights of the day.

Day 3: We drive along the western shore of Kluane Lake on the Alaska highway and enter the US after a few hours on the road. During the course of the day, we travel through a wide variety of landscapes: such as the mountains, lakes, rivers, plains and swamps... They all are great opportunities to observe and photograph northern wildlife. We spend the night in a B&B in Tok.

Day 4: Last stretch to Fairbanks. While taking our time to enjoy the beauty of Alaskan landscapes, we get to Fairbanks in the late afternoon. You will check into your B&B, and drop off your gear and then we head to the home of an Alaskan family where you will experience legendary northern hospitality!

Day 5: We drive to Healy and Eight Mile Lake, where we put on our hiking boots and take our first steps on the Stampede Trail towards the Magic Bus. This bus is famous because a young man, Christopher McCandless alias Alexander Supertramp, tried to get a real taste of the wilderness and died in the bus in 1992. Sean Penn's movie Into the Wild made his story popular, along with the bus!
Just south of Eight Mile Lake is the Denali National Park which includes the Mount MacKinley, the highest mountain in North America. We hike along the trail for about 16 km until we get to the Teklanika River, where we will camp for the night.

Day 6: We hit the trail early because of the Teklanika River crossing. This is the toughest section of the trek, so we will take our time choosing the safest crossing location. Once on the other side of the river, we continue another 16 km in a westerly direction on the Stampede Trail, until we reach the bus. We will set up our camp by the bus and appreciate the special atmosphere that surrounds this place and try to understand what Alexander Supertramp came looking for in this wild place. The endless daylight experienced at high latitudes are perfect for enjoying long evenings around the camp fire!

Day 7 and 8: We head back on the Stampede Trail and do what Supertramp would never do : get back to civilization! On day 9, we spend the night in a B&B or a lodge in Healy.

Day 9: We get back on the road and head south first and then east on the Denali Highway. This road is only open in summer and offers astonishing views of the Alaska range for more than 200 km. Because so few people travel this road, the opportunities for day hikes and wildlife watching are great. Once we pass the Clearwater Mountains, we see the Alphabet Hills and the boreal forest as far as the eye can see. We stop at the MacLaren Summit, and go for a short hike to admire the view of the MacLaren River and the high peaks that surrounds us. A good opportunity to try out the awkward tundra walk! At the end of the Denali Highway we head south on the Richardson Highway towards Gakona where we will spend the night.

Day 10: We finish our adventure in Alaska and head to Tok on the Glenn Highway. This section of the highway is renowned for its beautiful boreal and mountain landscapes. From Tok, we drive North on the Taylor Highway which, after the Canadian border becomes the Top of the World Highway. It is one of the northernmost highways in North America and it runs on the ridge line of the mountains it crosses... The views to the north and south are amazing!
We get to Dawson City in the late afternoon. This little town founded in 1897 is full of history from the days of the Klondike Gold Rush. We explore the unique atmosphere of Dawson and visit the oldest Casino in Canada, Diamond Tooth Gerties.
We spend the night in a B&B or hotel in town.

Day 11: We have a historical day ahead of us, visiting: the House of Jack London, Gold Rush and First nations museums, etc. At the end of the day we head off to the lodge where we will be spending the next two nights. It is the only lodge on the first section of the Dempster and the atmosphere there is very typical of the life in the woods! You will meet Gérard, our host for our stay. He always has interesting stories to tell about the north!

Day 12 and 13: Two days to enjoy Tombstone Territorial Park, each day we will go for a day hike which will give you a chance to experience unparalleled views of the rugged mountains and the tundra. Maybe we will have the chance to observe the bears, wolves and caribou that roam the park. We spend the two nights in the lodge.

Day 14: We take the morning off to enjoy the lodge and its surroundings before getting back on the Klondike Highway for our drive south arriving in Whitehorse in the late afternoon. Once checked into your B&B you can enjoy your last evening in Whitehorse, the Wilderness City!

Day 15: Connection to the airport or to your next adventure.

 

* Each participant must be sure to have all the required documents to cross the US/Canada border.

Map

Included

  • Ground transportation for the whole duration of the trip
  • Airport transfers
  • Nights in tent from day 5 to day 7, based on double occupancy (+ $ 100 CAD for single occupancy)
  • All nights in B&B or lodge, except on day 5, 6 and 7,  based on double occupancy (+ $ 900 CAD for single occupancy)
  • Meals from lunch of day 1 to dinner of day 14
  • The following equipment : tent, bear spray
  • Bilingual guide French/English
  • Satellite phone for emergencies

not included

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Meals on day 0 and 15 and breakfast on day 1
  • Activities in Dawson City
  • International flights

photos