Call of the Wild: A Yukon Adventure
Explore the Canadian wilderness in on this tailor-made Yukon adventure. From the beautiful cityscape of Vancouver to the vastness of the Yukon and the hidden gems of Whitehorse and Dawson City, fall in love with every inch of this mesmerizing ancient land, that time forgot.
Itinerary at a Glance:
- Eat your way around foodie Vancouver
- Paddle along the Yukon River
- Explore the history of Whitehorse and Dawson City
- Pan for gold in the shallows of the great Klondike River, following the footsteps of frontier men
- Spot grizzly bears
- Hike in the golden-hued mountains of Tombstone Territorial Park
- Soar over Kluane National Park's glaciers, on a flightseeing trip
- Marvel at the dancing Northern Lights
Why Book with Original Travel?
When To Travel
All of the holidays we create are completely tailor-made to you
Day 1: International Flight
Pack your bags because your Yukon adventure begins today. Whizz through security with our fast-track service, before settling into the lounge and enjoying a glass of celebratory champagne and then boarding your flight.
Touchdown in Vancouver in the evening - Canada-time, where your private transfer will whisk you to your hotel in downtown Vancouver. Enjoy a delicious dinner before retreating to bed for an early night after your long journey.
Day 2: Fabulous Foodie Vancouver
Seeing as Vancouver is famed for its foodie scene, what better way to enjoy your first day in Vancouver than with an early morning guided food tour around the amazing Granville Island?
You might want to make sure you don't have a big breakfast -so you have space for the delicious treats that will be waiting for you in the food market.
The highlight of Granville Island has to be the covered Public Market - a multi-sensory smorgasbord of cheese, fruit and bakery good (plus lots more). Pick up all the ingredients you need for lunch because close by is Vanier Park - which is the perfect spot for a picnic. The market isn't just about food, there are lots of other stalls selling everything from arts and crafts to jewellery and knitted woollen hats.
After your picnic lunch, it's time to stretch your legs. Downtown Vancouver is home to the Stanley Park Seawall Bike Trail, snaking all the way around this famous 1,000-acre urban park framed by Vancouver Harbour. The loop is around five-and-a-half-miles long and takes about an hour to cycle (depending on how many stops you make).
After a busy day exploring Vancouver, it's time to head back to your hotel to freshen up before heading out for dinner in the city. Our local Concierge has a wealth of knowledge and will be able to recommend (and book a table) at the best place in town.
- For children we can add in fun foodie tours
- For adults why not a fun tour around Gastown and the ever-expanding micro-brewery scene!
Day 3: Travelling north to The Yukon
Your Yukon adventure begins in earnest today as you leave Vancouver behind and head north. After a short two-hour flight up the coast of British Colombia, you'll touch down in the capital of The Yukon; Whitehorse. Home to only 30,000 people, it may be small but it has fun cosmopolitan buzz.
After landing, collect your 4WD SUV vehicle at Whitehorse and take the short drive to your hotel where you will drop your bags before heading out for an afternoon visit to the McBride Museum. The Museum is a great starting point for finding out about the history of the Yukon. Delve into the past, learning about the area's gold mining and oil drilling heritage, as well as The First Nations of the region and the fur trade.
If a museum visit isn't your thing, pull on your trainers for a walk around Miles Canyon, which is a short drive out of town. Alternatively, you might want to head to the river to see the SS Klondike - the vintage sternwheeler steamship, dating from 1929. The historic site houses the riverboat that once carried freight along the Yukon River, between Whitehorse and Dawson City.
Come nightfall, its time for a delicious dinner in town, before bed.
- Go to see the SS Klondike
- Walk around Miles Canyon
- Southern Lakes
- Carcross Desert
- Emerald Lake
Day 4: Row, Row, Row your Boat: Paddling down the Yukon River
Your Yukon adventure continues today as you head to the river, to enjoy some seriously scenic canoeing. The river freezes over completely in the winter months, so under the summer sun, grabbing a paddle and canoe is a favourite past time of locals
You will be kitted out with all the gear you need for paddling on the river, with or without a guide, and depending on your preference for time spent on the river you could spent three hours or more canoeing. Drifting along you'll be able to enjoy the extraordinary views of steep riverbanks, fringed with fir trees. Keep an eye and ear out for rustling leaves and movement on the banks - lots of wildlife calls this area home. Stop for photos and a spot of tea from a flask.
After your day on the river you might want to take it easy this evening. After relaxing back at your hotel, head out for dinner before getting an early night.
- You will canoe through Miles Canyon into the reservoir where if you are lucky you will get to see floatplanes take off and land nearby.
Day 5: Drive to Dawson City
Check out of your hotel this morning and make sure the car is well stocked with lots of snacks, as you drive six hours along the Klondike Highway to the town of Dawson City.
The spectacular scenery more than makes up for the lack of towns along the highway. Gaze out of your window at mountain peaks that kiss the clouds, lakes that glitter in the sunlight and an open expanse of some of Mother Nature's best work. There might not be many towns but there are a few roadside pitstops, including one which famously sells the world's largest cinnamon buns.
Once you arrive, check into your hotel, which will be your base for the next three days. Tonight, start your Dawson experience with a night out at Diamond Tooth Gerties Can Can show, for a raucous night of period-style fun, complete with nostalgic tunes.
Day 6: Panning for Gold
This morning, your Yukon adventure continues as you are picked up from your hotel, with a small group or privately guided - whichever you prefer - and driven around an hour out of town.
You are heading to the area where a glint of gold was first seen along Bonanza Creek in August 1896. This discovery sparked the Klondike Gold Rush - a mass migration of 100,00 prospectors to the region, all trying to find their fortune. See what was once the largest rig and visit the exact spot that gold was first found before grabbing your own pan and having a go yourself. You might not want to quit the day job just yet, but you'll get an idea of what it was like for the people looking to win the river's golden prize.
Head back to town for the afternoon, which is yours to spend as you wish. You might decide to take it easy with a walking tour of downtown Dawson City, or maybe you would prefer to walk or drive (depending on how active you feel), to the top of the Midnight Dome. The Dome is an incredible vantage point, from which you can take in panoramic views of the area. Breathe in the fresh air, as puffy white clouds float in the sky above you, and a soft breeze ripples through the tops of the trees that skirt the edges of the rocky dome. Take plenty of photos while you're here, enjoying the panoramic views of the Yukon River and Klondike Valleys, and glimpse the Ogilvie Mountain Range in the distance.
This evening stroll along the boardwalks of Dawson City before a bite to eat under the magnificent, Arctic, midnight sun (depending on the time of year you visit). Sitting above the Arctic Circle, during the June solstice, the sun doesn't set on Dawson City. Enjoy the energising light of the 24-hour sun during your Yukon adventure.
- Downtown Tour
- Visit West Dawson
- The Midnight Dome
- Aurora Viewing
Day 7: Guided Hikes in Tombstone Territorial Park
You will want to gear up this morning, so pull on your boots - its hiking time. After breakfast you'll be picked up from your hotel and be driven three hours down the Dempster Highway to the Tombstone Territorial Park.
We recommend starting off at the visitors centre to get more of an idea about the history of the region and to learn about the flora and fauna that call the park home. Once your brains are full of info, it's time to meet your guide and set off on a guided hike, which is tailored to your ability.
Explore the beauty of this remote wilderness, shades of green and charcoal paint the park's wide valleys, while it's steep ridges are peppered with small glaciers and alpine lakes. Summer here may be short, but come July, a carpet of purple wildflowers burst to life, while August brings the best of the fall colours. The trees turn rich reds and golden hues in a glorious Autumnal display.
Clamber into the car for the drive back to Dawson City for a well-deserved dinner.
- Cycle in the Park
- Helicopter Tours
Day 8: Back to the Whitehorse Area
It's back into the car today, heading south towards the Whitehorse area. It's a five- or six-hour drive, so make sure you have plenty of snacks for the ride and that you pull over to make the most of the photo opportunities along the road - there are lot of them!
Today's destination, and your home for the next two days is a remote lodge, ideally placed for you to explore the Kluane National Park and the Southern Lakes. Depending on how many stops you make on your road trip, you'll arrive in the late afternoon, in time to check in. Staying in this area provides the best chance on the whole trip of seeing the Northern Lights - many lodges in the area specialise in this natural light-show from August onwards.
Day 9: Flying High Over the Kluane Glaciers
This trip has so many highlights, but today might just top them all. Jump into the car this morning to be driven to meet today's main mode of transportation. Swap the road for the sky, as you hop into a small four-seater plane for your 'flightseeing' trip over the Kluane National Park's glaciers.
The magnificent glaciers that you will be gliding over are the world's largest nonpolar icefields, found in a completely uninhabited area that very few people are ever lucky enough to see. Two-thirds of the park is covered in glaciers, while the rest of the landscape is dotted with valleys, glacial lakes, alpine forest, meadows and tundra. There is a calm, silence to the white landscape that lies below your plane, fluffy white clouds drifting past your window as you marvel at the vast stillness below. The foothills of the mountains are wrapped in a blanket of verdant green woodland where most of the region's wildlife lives. Keep an eye out for Dall sheep and the occasional bear, padding across the slopes below. If the conditions are clear, you will be able to see Mount Logan - the second highest peak in North America.
Once you have returned to terra firma, you have the afternoon to yourself. The hiking and biking in this area is superb, or you might want to go fishing - which we can arrange for you.
After the literal and emotional highs of today, enjoy a delicious evening meal, discussing the incredible sights of the day.
- Go to the First Nations Cultural Centre
Day 10: The Northern Lights
Today on your Yukon adventure is all about the Aurora Borealis, so enjoy spending the day as you wish. You might want to go back to Whitehorse for some more exploring, or to head into the wildness once more.
We would recommend going to Lake Kathleen for another dose of Yukon's wild-side. Tucked away in Kluane National Park, Lake Kathleen's mirror-like waters reflect the surrounding mountains and trees. Only the very brave might be tempted to dip their toes in her icy waters.
After a day of adventuring, the evening signals the day's main event - as you head out with a guide to spot the Northern Light or Aurora Borealis. Make sure you wrap up warm as the temperatures drop, and cosy around the campfire as you are cooked sausages for dinner alongside hot cocoa to drink. Look to the sky as you are taught about the stars and hear First Nations' tales from long ago. Your guide will also teach you how to take the best photos of the aurora. From an ethereal green glow that ripples across the sky to pulsating red streaks that stain the inky blackness above, the aurora has been capturing hearts and minds since the first humans looked skyward, to see nature's northern light display. If you are lucky enough to see it, it's not something you will ever forget.
Cheeks rosy from the cold and eyes bright with wonder, retreat into the warmth of your cabin and try to sleep after the evening's excitement.
- Visit Lake Kathleen
Day 11: Heading South
Today you will be swapping the rugged wildness of Yukon for the streets of Vancouver again. Following a relaxing morning, hop into the car for your drive back to Whitehorse. After dropping off the car, you will arrive in time to catch your afternoon flight.
The flight south to Vancouver is just over two hours, and make sure you peak out of the window as you glide over the beautiful coast of British Columbia. Landing in Vancouver in the early evening, you will be transferred to your hotel, before heading out to enjoy one last dinner in the city.
Day 12: Homeward Bound
Sadly today marks the end of your Yukon adventure, but not before your final day in Vancouver.
Exploring the city in your own time and stretching your legs before your evening flight.
Abigail is our expert for this itinerary and, as a seasoned traveller, has the inside track on the most memorable adventures.