From the Rockies to Alaska - Go WildCamping tour from Calgary to Whitehorse with hikes in the Rocky Mountains, flight to the Yukon, adventures and activities in the great north and Alaska.
Tour B, 22 days
Wild, rugged country, like you expect it would be. During this 22-day camping tour between Calgary and Whitehorse you travel through the most impressive landscapes of the Canadian west and northwest: Banff and Jasper National Parks in the spectacular Rocky Mountains, the Dempster Highway with endless Tundra stretching to the horizon after a hike to a summit of the Tombstone Mountain Range, North America’s most famous alpine road, Top of the World Highway, then Kluane Park with massive ice fields and the Coastal Mountains with waterfalls and giant trees. You experience these outstanding places not just from the window of your car but from up close while camping and hiking. As well there is insight into the history of the pioneers and gold seekers only 130 years ago and the ancient traditions of the coastal Natives and always the rich variety of wildlife in these huge protected nature preserves.
in 22 Days
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Minimum 3 persons
Price: CDN$ 3995.00/pers.
incl. 2.5% taxes
with 2 persons in hotels and tent.
Demands: Camping tour with moderate day hikes with light pack, always accompanied by your guide. Campgrounds are accessed by bus, you never have to carry your luggage very far.
Meeting time: 18:30
Arrival in Calgary, transfer to the hotel and pre-trip information during dinner with the guide.
Day 2: BANFF NATIONAL PARK
After breakfast at the hotel you head west into Banff National Park. On the campground (showers) in the forests of you pitch your tent for the next two days. Now it is time for the first hike along the shores of Minnewanka Lake or on one of the many mountain trails. Hiking time 2 – 3 hours.
Day 3: BANFF NATIONAL PARK
On a full day hike you explore passes above the tree line and alpine meadows. For example 7.5 km with 725 m gain (4.6 mi, 2414 ft) to a small lake and possibly 2 km further into the pass at 2470 m (8225 ft). This evening you sit be the camp fire or walk along the busy streets of Banff with its many stores and visitors from around the world. Hiking time 5 – 7 hours.
Day 4: YOHO NATIONAL PARK / LAKE LOUISE You would not want to miss the picture postcard scenery surrounding Lake Louise. The guide suggests the 3.5 km (2 mi) path with 400 m gain (1325 ft) to the historic tea house by an alpine lake. Here a network of easy to demanding trails is tempting you to go further and higher. For example the 15 km (9.3 mi) circuit into the Plain of Six Glaciers or a 2.5 km (1.6 mi) climb with 515 m (1705 ft) gain to a summit with exeptional views of nearby peaks and distant landscapes. Camp for today and tomorrow (showers) near the alpine village of Lake Louise. Hiking time 3 – 5 hours.
Day 5: YOHO NATIONAL PARK / LAKE LOUISE
There is an opportunity for a great white water rafting trip on the Kicking Horse River. It involves a side trip to Golden in B.C., headquarters for many outdoor adventures. Of course hiking is always an alternative. Among the choice of trails the guide would like to show you is an 18 km (11 mi) circuit trough two flower decorated passes at 1830 m and 2180 m (6093 ft and 7250 ft) and spectacular views of Emerald Lake. The Natural Bridge, Takakkaw Falls, Spiral Tunnel are other attractions of Yoho Park. Hiking time 6 hours.
Day 6: JASPER NATIONAL PARK
Frequent stops and short excursions along the Icefields Parkway on your way into the heart of the Rockies. Famous names like Peyto Lake and Bow Summit. At the Columbia Icefields huge glaciers spawn rivers, which eventually reach three different oceans. Saskatchewan Glacier is best viewed from far above after hiking 2.5 km (1.5 mi) to a windy ridge at 2260 m (7525 ft). Camp for the next two days is near the little holiday town of Jasper (showers). Hiking time 2 hours.
Day 7: JASPER NATIONAL PARK
So many possibilities, swimming and picnic at Pyramid Lake, mountain biking, trail rides, canoeing and more. Or join the guide for a side trip to Maligne Lake for a 8 km (5 mile) loop hike with 460 m gain (1532 ft) into the hills above tree line at 2150 m (7160 ft) elevation and possibly all the way to a 2790 m (9290 ft) peak overlooking this beautiful lake. Hiking time 2 – 6 hours.
Day 8: CALGARY
Mighty Athabasca Falls count among the attractions of this park. Trails near the Columbia Icefields start at tree line and are especially rewarding thanks to their magnificent views of the glaciers and surrounding ranges. Your farewell to the Rockies is the 8 km (5 mi) hike with 335 m (1155 ft) gain above the tree line into a pass at 2375 m (7980 ft). After lunch is transfer back to your hotel in Calgary (possibly in a large comfortable coach). Hiking time 2 – 3 hours.
Day 9: WHITEHORSE
Scheduled flight to Whitehorse, capital of the Yukon Territory. You start the second part of your adventure with new group equipment, new bus and guide. Hotel in downtown Whitehorse.
Day 10: TOMBSTONE MOUNTAINS
North via Carmacks on the Klondike Highway with a stop and short hike to the “Five Finger Rapids” which sent many a paddle wheeler of early times to her doom. A few hundred kilometers father the turn off to the famous Dempster Highway, 730 KM (456 mi) of gravel road linking the interior of the Yukon with Inuvik by the Arctic Ocean. You camp at a delightful campground at the base of Tombstone Mountains.
Day 11: TOMBSTONE MOUNTAINS
Planned is an unforgettable day of hiking in this remarkable landscape of tundra and mountains, a moon scape with black towering peaks. Each season has its own charm, especially early fall with its brilliant colours. The Tombstone Mountains` unique features provided an unmistakable landmark for early explorers, trappers and police patrols.
Day 12: DAWSON CITY
By late afternoon you are in historic Dawson City at the confluence of the Klondike and Yukon Rivers, a place of many legends and desperately desired destination during the 1896 gold rush. Even today gold is mined in the area. The nightlife of Dawson should not be missed: Diamond Tooth Gertie’s Saloon and Gambling Hall with poker games and Cancan-Dance-Girls is the place to be and to be seen.
Day 13: DAWSON CITY
You visit Bonanza Creek where the first legendary nuggets were discovered . You can try your luck finding your fortune by washing a pan of dirt in a real gold mine. A visit to the cabins of Jack London and Robert Service cabins and a side trip to the top of Midnight Dome overlooking Dawson and the Gold Rush Museum fill out the day. The small town itself has many pretty original or restored buildings.
Day 14: TOP OF THE WORLD HIGHWAY, ALASKA
The adventure continues: after crossing the Yukon River by ferry you find yourself on the Top of the World Highway, one of the most beautiful and striking alpine roads, through plateaus and rolling hills, boreal forests and sub-arctic tundra above timberline. You reach the US-border at Little Gold Creek and pass through uniquely named settlements like Chicken, Action Jackson or Jack Wade.
Day 15: KLUANE, SHEEP MOUNTAIN
The Alaska Highway along the picturesque shores of Kluane Lake takes you to Kluane National Park. Depending on the weather you can book a bush plane or helicopter flight to the glacier field deep inside the park. At Sheep Mountain and the surrounding slopes you have excellent chances to spot the rare and shy dall sheep, snowy white against the grassy hill sides.
Day 16: HAYNES JUNCTION
Kluane National Park is not only Canada’s largest park, it also protects a rich variety of wildlife and (except for the polar ice fields) the world’s largest connected glacier field. Still today the park is mostly untouched and undeveloped. Camp for the next two nights near the small town of Haines Junction at the edge of the park.
Day 17: HAYNES JUNCTION
The enchanting area beckons to be explored. A hiking trip into one of the park's high alpine valleys gives you another chance to spot wildlife such as dall sheep, moose, caribou and grizzly bear. Haines Junction is base for a variety of adventure options, highly recommended are sightseeing flights by bush plane into this outdoor wonderland.
Day 18: TATSHENSHINI RIVER
A short drive to the start of your next highlight: white water rafting on the legendary Tatshenshini River, a few hours of tumultuous, wet and wild thrills and action. All necessary equipment is supplied. After this fun adventure you set up camp near Million Dollar Falls.
Day 19: HAINES, ALASKA
Drive south via the Haines Road to Haines on the coast of the Pacific Ocean to Haines, Alaska. Crossing the Coastal Mountains through the Valley of the Bald Eagles you find yourself in a totally different climatic zone and an enchanting coastal landscape with the backdrop of the massive Chilkat Mountain Range. Haines is known as an important center of the Native Tlingit culture. You can watch Totem pole carvers at work as well as visit the local theater with shows of traditional ceremonial dances. Recommended as well is a visit of the old Victorian style captain’s residences.
Day 20: SKAGWAY
The only way to Skagway is by ferry through the bizarre world of Lynn Fjord, among the world’s longest and deepest fjords, 140 km (87 mi) long and 610 m (2000 ft) deep. With some luck you see the cute puffins, sea otters, sea lions, bald eagles, even whales and the giant Alaska brown bears. End of the trip is Skagway, once starting point of the arduous trek into notorious Chilkoot Pass and the largest gold rush of all times. Most of the gold seekers from the south started their land journey from this small harbour town. The entire town (including its 800 inhabitants??) is designated as historic site, many well preserved relics bear witness to its colourful past. Relive the old times and get a taste of gold rush atmosphere in one of the historic bars, for example the „Red Onion Saloon“ once a brothel.
Day 21: WHITEHORSE
A stroll through historic Skagway with many original relics and a visit of the cemetery with graves of Soapy Smith and other infamous characters from those lawless times. Then keep your camera ready for the drive through always changing scenery back to Whitehorse with stops at Carcross Desert – the wolds smallest- and Emerald Lake. Highly recommended is the optional and hair raising ride with the famous Whitepass & Yukon Railroad. The track runs almost parallel to the murderous Chilkoot Trail through White Pass; steep slopes on one side, towering cliffs on the other, wooden bridges over dizzying canyons. The bus is waiting in Fraser for last leg to the Whitehorse hotel.
Transfer to the airport.