At 6:00 PM, we'll gather for brief introductions before dinner.Dinner: At the hotel.Evening: Get ready for the trip as your guide details highlights of your upcoming journey and provides an orientation to the program.Lodging: High Country InnMeals Included: Dinner
Each day your study leader will enhance your travels as he explores the geology and the natural and cultural history of each specific area you visit. Discussions abound, anecdotes flow and he will make sure to capitalize on whatever fun event presents itself!
Travel to the restored sternwheeler SS Klondike,which sits on the banks of the Yukon River. It is a perfect representative of the city as it reflects an age when Whitehorse served as a major transportation hub for this entire region, and a large fleet of sternwheelers carried miners, traders, and many other people, including tourists, to the Klondike and other mining areas along the Yukon River and its tributaries.Lunch: In WhitehorseAfternoon: Enjoy free time this afternoon to explore the city at your leisure before we head out tomorrow. An option might include a boat trip through Miles Canyon, a dramatic, basalt-walled canyon through which the Yukon River flows.Dinner: Gather back together for dinner in at the hotel.Evening: Presentation: Great Parks of the Yukon and Alaska; What Lies Ahead!
Days of presentations may vary.Lodging: High Country InnMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Dinner: In Haines JunctionEvening: There will be free time for optional activities, such as a flight on a bush plane to the impressive glaciers within the park or a helicopter flight to deserted areas.Lodging: Alcan Motor InnMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
From there, we drive along the scenic shore of vast Kluane Lake, with its spectacular mountain views. Stunning snowy peaks rise on one side, with lower mountains world famous for big game animals on the other. Kluane Park contains 10 of the 20 highest peaks in Canada and, combined with Alaska's Wrangell-St. Elias Park, is the largest internationally-protected area in the world.
The region around Kluane Lake is rich in First Nation history and culture. We'll stop at the tiny Native community of Burwash Landing to visit the Kluane Museum of Natural History. Here you'll find an excellent wildlife exhibit, with dioramas displaying over 70 animals, birds and fish native to the Yukon, as well as displays of Southern Tutchone First Nation clothing, tools and other artifacts.Lunch: At White River LodgeAfternoon: Cross the border into Alaska, as you travel northwest to the small community of Tok. Local Native arts and crafts can be found readily here, and we'll stop for the night.
Dinner: In TokEvening: Presentation: Alaska Highway and World War IILodging: Young's MotelMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
We thread our winding way through dramatic mountains throughout the morning, with breathtaking views along countless rivers, lakes, glaciers and finally the majestic Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Four major mountain ranges meet here, and in this high country, land is snow-covered year around resulting in extensive ice fields and glaciers.Lunch: Picnic lunchAfternoon: Ready for a little hike? Worthington Glacier is one of the most accessible glaciers in Alaska, passing within a few feet of the parking lot and viewing shelter right off the Richardson Highway. Hike the one-mile Moraine Trail to get up-close to the blue ice. Explore the cracks and pools at the glacier terminus. Climb the Ridge Trail to explore the alpine tundra and drink in a spectacular view of the grand valley.
A few minutes after leaving the Worthington Glacier, we go through Thompson Pass, the snowiest place in Alaska, recording 551.5 inches of snow a year on average. We'll make a stop there for the incredible views, then again in narrow Keystone Canyon at the bottom of the long hill - the waterfalls in the canyon are justifiably famous.
Arrive at Valdez, in its mesmerizing setting, enframed by mountain peaks and nestled along the sea coast. It's also the terminus for the famous Trans Alaska Pipeline. The massive oil tanker loading facilities across the bay from the community are almost as impressive as the peaks that tower above.Dinner: Restaurant in ValdezEvening: Presentation: Effects of Climate Change on Wildlife PopulationsLodging: Mountain Sky HotelMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
We'll then drive along Turnagain Arm to Anchorage. When the tides are right, tidal bores here can reach 6-10 feet in height. Dall sheep are often seen on the cliffs, and beluga whales are occasionally seen as well.
Get an overview of Alaska's largest city on a late afternoon tour of the city.
Dinner: In AnchorageEvening: Relax and refresh at the hotelLodging: The Coast International InnMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
As the day at Seward closes, you'll head to the toe of the Exit Glacier for a close up look. Then head back into Anchorage again for the evening.Dinner: En route to AnchorageEvening: Rest and refresh!Lodging: The Coast International InnMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Stop at Willow to learn about life frontier-style from an Iditarod musher and to get some one-on-one time with his 75 sled dogs. You'll gain greater insight into how a large kennel works and the sport of dog sledding, as well as have the chance to see him hook up a team. As the dogs take off, you'll understand clearly that they "live to run!"
Lunch: Restaurant in the quaint village of TalkeetnaAfternoon: The afternoon will bring you to the Visitors Center at Denali National Park and then to your hotel. With time on your own this afternoon, take advantage of any of many possible activities, from hiking and whitewater rafting to ATV tours and flightseeing to Mount McKinley.Dinner: At the hotelEvening: Rest and refresh!Lodging: Motel Nord HavenMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Denali National Park is probably the closest you'll get to an African Safari experience in North America, with the incredible variety of wildlife. With a little luck, you will see "The Big Five" - caribou, moose, grizzly bears, Dall sheep and wolves - as well as many of the other 34 species that live in the park.
We'll return to the hotel late afternoon for some time on your own for optional activities.
Dinner: At the hotelEvening: On own to relax, explore, refreshLodging: Motel Nord HavenMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Fairbanks, about 198 miles south of the Arctic Circle, will be reached early in the afternoon.
Lunch: In Fairbanks on the riverboat.Afternoon: On you go for a cruise on the Chena River via sternwheeler. Explore a native fishing village, and watch a float plane taking off.
Dinner: Dinner on own to explore local fare in Fairbanks.Evening: Evening on your own to explore Fairbanks. Perhaps you'd like to take a pleasant stroll along the Chena River!Lodging: Bridgewater HotelMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
"Must-sees" are the 2,000 year spectrum of Alaska art, from ancient ivory carvings to contemporary paintings and sculpture; the state?s largest public display of gold; and Blue Babe, a 36,000-year-old mummified steppe bison.
Then on your way southbound, pass innumerable lakes and rivers in this beautiful landscape. We'll make a stop at the impressive bridge that carries the Trans Alaska Pipeline across the Tanana River.
Lunch: At Rika’s Roadhouse, located on the banks of the Tanana River. You'll be transported back in time to "farm days," with the help of their living history impersonators.
Afternoon: In Delta Junction, we'll stop to see the monument that marks the end of the Alaska Highway, Mile 1422.
We then head east on the Alaska Highway to Tok, the "Sled Dog Capital of Alaska."Dinner: Café in TokEvening: Presentation: Native History and CultureLodging: Young's MotelMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
You cannot get much farther from civilisation than here between Tok and Dawson City. 100-mile views are a photographer's paradise from the Top of the World Highway.
Beyond the timberline, we will pass through beautiful tundra scenery and cross the border from Alaska back into the Yukon at Little Gold Creek. This is the highest crossing between the two coutries.Lunch: Picnic lunch en routeAfternoon: In the afternoon, ferry across the Yukon River and arrive in Dawson City, a community of 2,000 people which is also a national historic site. You've come to the heart of the 1898 Klondike Gold Rush.
You'll feel like you've taken a step back into history in Dawson City, as the amazing atmosphere of turn-of-the-century excitement of the gold rush remains. The last great adventure of the era took place here, where in a brief period of 6 years, 50,000 people arrived to seek their fortune.
Dinner: At the hotelEvening: At Midnight Dome, high above Dawson City, watch the midnight sun and the changing colors of the night sky. Remember 18-20 hours of sun will be normal during your travels!Lodging: Westmark Inn Dawson CityMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner