Upon arrival in Whitehorse, you take the free shuttle to get to your hotel (right there when you exit the terminal). Note that we always try and book hotels which offers the free shuttle but in case there is no more availability, there are always taxis available to drive you downtown (count approximately $25 for a ride from the airport to your hotel). Depending on your arrival time, you will have time to explore Whitehorse and take a stroll on the Millennium Trail or check out the MacBride Museum.
A pre-trip meeting takes place in the lobby of your hotel at 5pm today with your guides. This is the perfect opportunity to ask any last-minute questions, do a gear check and meet your fellow adventurers!
Check our FAQ to know what date day 0 corresponds to.
Once we have signed up, we drive north to Kluane Lake, Yukon’s largest Lake, and set up camp for the night. We enjoy a hearty meal together and discuss the last details of our adventure to come.
As we near the end of the Burwash Uplands, we set up camp and spend our first night out in the wild.
Throughout the next 8 days, you experience true wilderness trekking and each day has its own challenge: we hike across the very uneven tundra, we go down steep and sometimes slippery scree slopes, contour around sometimes steep and always uneven mountain sides, bushwhack through willow or spruce forests, wade across fast flowing creeks and rivers… If you easily experience fear of heights, you may be uneasy in some sections. The most challenging aspect of it all is that we are constantly off trail, where every step is more costly than on a regular hiking trail, especially with a heavy pack on. By “off-trail”, we do not mean only off the beaten path, we actually mean that we never, or very rarely, hike on a trail! Even though it is difficult to compare, we like to say than on average 1 km off-trail is equivalent to at least 2km on a regular hiking trail, energy-wise. Your guide knows these areas and always makes sure to choose the safest route, even though it might not be the shortest!
We also encounter some easier terrain in some areas, like when we hike the flat gravelly river valley of the Donjek River or when we hike across grassy alpine slopes from which the views on Kluane National Park’s high peaks are magnificent!
As we carry all our gear and food with us, every guest should expect between 7 and 9kg of common gear and food per person, to go in your pack with your personal gear and tent.
All these efforts are worth it; every day we discover new splendid vistas of the mountains around us, the immense glacial valleys and obviously the Donjek Glacier itself. At some point, we even stand right in front of the toe of the glacier, only a hundred meters from the ice!
Being alone in these lands where it is not unusual to spot a moose, a bear or a caribou, looking at some of the highest mountains in North America is a feeling you will not soon forget!
Every night, we choose our camp wisely and appreciate gourmet meals before enjoying a well-deserved rest in our tents.
On average, you should expect between 5 and 7 hours of active hiking each day, with an average daily elevation gain of 300m (maximum around 1000m).
We also have one day ‘off’, on day 5, meaning that we can go explore the surroundings of the camp without our large backpacks. This day is also a buffer in case we face adverse weather conditions.
As we hike along (and many times across) one last small creek, we come across a dirt road and 5 kilometer further, the Alaska Highway! This is the end of our adventure, and a Terre Boréale driver comes to pick us up and drive us back to town.
We arrive in town in the early evening and drop you off at your hotel. Your guide will be happy to give some recommendations on which restaurant to go to for your last evening in town!
We transfer you to the airport or to your next Yukon adventure.
On this trip, we are proud to offer 100% home-made foods with home-made dehydrated meals and home-made snacks. This allows us to offer you only high quality and local food as well as to control our waste output. In fact, our trips are zero waste, we have banned plastic single-use bags and use only fabric bags to store our meals and snacks.
As we carry all our gear and food with us, you should expect between 7 and 9kg of common gear and food per person, to go in your pack with your personal gear and tent.
Terre Boréale respectfully acknowledges that this adventure takes place on the traditional territories of the Kluane First Nation and the White River First Nation.
- Meals as indicated in itinerary above
- Accommodations as indicated in itinerary above, based on double occupancy (+ $250 for single occupancy)
- Van transfers before and after the hike
- Bilingual guide French/English
- All gear for hiking in remote country (including tent and bear-spray, except sleeping bags and sleeping mats)
- Satellite communication device for emergencies
- Single occupancy supplement of $250
- Airport transfers
- Sleeping bags, sleeping mats, backpacks
- Alcoholic beverages
- Domestic & International flights
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Wow. My first time to the Yukon did not disappoint. The nature and scenery were everything I could have hoped for. The Donjek Route was probably the most difficult thing I have ever done, so much more difficult that I could have anticipated! The soft off trail terrain was even more difficult for me than big inclines. Our guides Dan and Ed were fantastic and kept me motivated and feeling safe along the way. The food was also excellent and we had a great variety of backpacking meals and snacks. Having a hot lunch every day was often appreciated, especially on a rainy day. We didn’t see as much wildlife as I had hoped, but seeing a few caribou pretty close was wonderful. Max was very helpful during the booking process and lead up to the trip, and was a great host!
“The Glacier is breathtaking. Being in a small group is a luxury. We travelled through a wide variety of landscapes, from toundra and rocky mountains, to canyons and a beautiful lake. Miléna is very kind and caring, and we did this trek with Max as our guide. Max is a very competent person. Kind, generous, caring, serious, knowledgeable and unforgettable. We crossed the path of seven grizzly bears, each situation being different, and he handled every one perfectly. He is also a great pedagogue and provided me training and a course on how to read a map and use a compass during a lot of his time. The food was delicious. Great meals that needed a long time and hard work to prepare. My favorite was Lasagna. Without Max we wouldn’t have noticed anything but the fauna was really present. We were that lucky to see a wolf, royal eagles, mountain sheeps, a mountain goat, a fox, a porcupine and much more. Be well prepared with your gear and health because this adventure is challenging. The kind of trip you don’t do just to add to your content of experiences. I went back home not with an identity of an adventurer or a warrior, popular on tv, but with the impression of being nothing, in the sense of simple, and not being separated from this nature.”
“Me and my partner spent a total of 14 days with Max, first a relaxing 4 day canoe trip in Snafu lake and then the main highlight – a 10 day wilderness backpacking hike along the Donjek unmarked trail, in Kloane national park, which I’ll focus on. The hike was amazing, easily one of the most beautiful and extraordinary we’ve ever done. Serene and pristine landscape, spectacular views filled with wild-life, away from it all (we saw a few people on the first day and that was pretty much it), truly a unique once in a lifetime kind of experience. The hike is considered very difficult by Parks Canada – it is an unmarked route, and there were certainly quite a few technical hiking stretches (scree climbing and descending, river crossing, bushwhacking, rock cliffs, etc). We are both in our late 30s, and experienced hikers, but whenever needed Max did a great job at instructing us, and teaching us some good hiking skills. We felt very safe all the time from that aspect as well as bear safety, navigation etc. He did a great job on the logistical side – it was all very organized, the meals (that are home made and dehydrated by Terre Boreale) were varied and good for a trip like that where all has to be lightweight and carried on our backs. We even had cookies/treat for lunch and desert every night 🙂 . Max is a great naturalist and very familiar and knowledgeable of the flora and fauna. He also has super-human eyesight and spots wildlife everywhere all the time so we didn’t miss a thing. In the park we saw grizzlies, caribou, mountain sheep and goats, gophers, pikas, hares, many different raptors (golden eagles, bald eagles, goshawks, peregrines, northern harriers) and many other birds, we heard wolves, and we found lots of bones, tracks and scats he taught us to identify. In general he answered our many questions, we had fun and interesting conversations, and it was a very pleasurable experience from the social perspective (which isn’t something to take for granted on such a long hike!). If you like wilderness hiking, and looking for something amazing and different, I would highly recommend this trip with Terre Boreale and Max.”