Road Scholar : Home
Adventurer's Alaska and Yukon

Program Number: 20504RJ
Start and End Dates:
7/22/2014 - 8/5/2014; 6/1/2016 - 6/15/2016; 7/26/2016 - 8/9/2016; 8/10/2016 - 8/24/2016;
Duration: 14 nights
Location: Whitehorse, Yukon
Price starting at: $5,599.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: On the Road; National Parks; Independent City Discoveries
Meals: 40; 14 Breakfasts, 13 Lunches, 13 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

At magnificent national parks and landmarks of Gold Rush history, experts regale our intimate small group with stories, history and culture. Experience unforgettable wildlife viewing — grizzlies, caribou, moose, bald eagles and more — as you adventure 60 miles into Denali National Park. Ferry in fjords, explore Native villages and add a little urban flair with excursions in Whitehorse, Anchorage and Fairbanks.


Pan for gold as you learn about the impact on the region of the Klondike Gold Rush.
Marvel at views of Denali and Kluane National Park.
Hear from Natives about the rhythms of life in the Yukon and drive the “Top of the World Highway.”

Activity Particulars

Walking up to three miles per day over varied terrain. Getting on/off coach. Elevations up to 4,127 feet.

Date Specific Information

7-22-2014, 6-1-2016, 7-26-2016, 8-10-2016

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.

Itinerary Summary

Whitehorse, Yukon, 2 nights; Haines Junction, 1 night; Tok, Alaska, 1 night; Valdez, 1 night; Seward, 1 night; Anchorage, 1 night; Healy (near Denali National Park), 2 nights; Fairbanks, 1 night; Dawson City, Yukon, 3 nights; Whitehorse, 1 night.

Coordinated by Road Scholar.


Named for the nearby rapids that resemble the mane of a white horse, the city of Whitehorse is both the capital and largest city of the Yukon. Its location near the northern range of the Rockies offers a mild climate and allows residents easy access to outdoor activities such as canoeing, kayaking and hiking.

Haines Junction

For many thousands of years, the area of present-day Haines Junction was home to seasonal hunting camps and was part of a trade route between the coastal Tlingit and Southern Tutchone people. The area’s days as a thoroughfare continue, as the current town is located at the junction of the Haines Highway and the Alaska Highway.


Tok is a small community in eastern Alaska that serves as the trade center for the surrounding Athabascan Native villages. It was created in 1942 as a camp for those who worked on the construction and maintenance of the Alaska Highway. Tok is a center of sled dog breeding, training and mushing and home to the annual Tok Race of Champions.


Situated between boreal forest, tundra, temperate rainforest and a marine environment, Anchorage was established when the Alaska Railroad was constructed to connect the interior with the coast. The area is home to almost half the state’s population. 

Denali National Park

Established in 1917, this 6 million-acre wilderness is home to 20,320 foot Mount McKinley, and wildlife such as moose, caribou, Dall sheep and grizzly bear, and is considered one of the most intact sub-arctic ecosystems in the world.


The indigenous Athabaskan tribe had fished in the local area for centuries before it was settled in 1903 as a trading post for riverboats and gold prospectors. Fairbanks today is an important player in interior Alaska’s oil fields and pipelines.

Dawson City

Dawson City, Yukon, was at the heart of the world-famous Klondike Gold Rush. Today this small town has been preserved to look much as it did when tens of thousands of pick-and-shovel miners and prospectors descended on the Yukon at the end of the 19th century. It was the wild scene on these streets that inspired the author Jack London.


Valdez is the northernmost ice-free port in the United States and provides superior access to the interior of the state, the Pacific Northwest and other remote trade routes. In addition to being the southern terminus of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline, Valdez is home to the Last Frontier Theatre Conference, attracting attendees from around the U.S..

Whitehorse: Renovated inn. Haines Junction, Tok, Healy: Comfortable motels. Valdez: Hotel with pool, spa. Seward: Comfortable inn. Anchorage: Inn by lake. Fairbanks: Boutique hotel. Dawson City: Renovated inn.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
David Neufeld

David Neufeld lives in Whitehorse, Yukon with his wife, Joy. For more than 25 years, he was the Yukon and western Arctic historian with Parks Canada, providing original historical research and cultural programming for Yukon national parks and historic sites. He continues academic research as an environmental historian and is regularly invited to present at conferences in Europe and New Zealand, as well across North America. His publications include numerous academic papers as well as two popular, best-selling Canadian history books on Klondike gold mining and the Chilkoot Trail. As an adjunct at Yukon College for over 20 years, Neufeld delivers classes in history and protected area management. Recently, he also contributed to the Yukon Arts Centre Gallery summer show with “The Landing,” a prize winning installation art piece investigating human relationships with place.
Meals and Lodgings
   High Country Inn
  Whitehorse, Yukon 2 nights
   Alcan Motor Inn
  Haines Junction, Yukon 1 night
   Young's Motel
  Tok, AK 1 night
   Mountain Sky Hotel
  Valdez, AK 1 night
   Breeze Inn
  Seward, AK 1 night
   The Coast International Inn
  Anchorage, AK 1 night
   Motel Nord Haven
  Healy, AK 2 nights
   Bridgewater Hotel
  Fairbanks, AK 1 night
   Westmark Inn Dawson City
  Dawson City, Yukon 3 nights
   High Country Inn
  Whitehorse, Yukon 1 night
 High Country Inn
Type: Inn
  Description: The High Country Inn is only a block away from one of the Yukon’s greatest attractions: the historic and mighty Yukon River as well as being the closest major hotel to the Yukon Territorial Government Offices and the Yukon Tourism Visitor Reception Centre. With incredible views from most rooms, you can gaze out to the flowing rapids and marvel at their white caps in the shape of a horse’s head - the origin of Whitehorse’s name. A few minutes walk away is the National Historic Site of the S.S. Klondike, one of the last surviving paddle-wheelers of the Klondike era – a must see! Along the river, you will find paved walking trails that lead over to another noteworthy site: the longest fish ladder in the world. Located near the damn, this site is a brief 30 minute walk away along some of the most tranquil areas of the river. Walking in the opposite direction, you will arrive in the historic downtown of Whitehorse near the shopping district of Main St. You are bound to come across the local paddlers in their kayaks, anglers, maybe an eagle, and watch the salmon swim by during their annual trek in late summer.
  Contact info: 4051-4th Ave
Whitehorse, YK Y1A 1H1 Canada
phone: 800-554-4471
  Room amenities: Each of the 81 hotel rooms include access to wireless high-speed Internet, cable television, telephones, fans, and complimentary tea or coffee. Non-smoking rooms on non-smoking floors.
  Facility amenities: The High Country Inn offers free high-speed wireless Internet, free airport shuttle, close to Yukon River and waterfront hiking trails, exercise facilities, ATM in lobby, 24-hour front desk service, guest laundry, same-day dry-cleaning service, full service restaurant and “The Deck” pub (the Yukon’s largest year round patio).
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Contact hotel for rate Group rate will not apply to pre and post night reservations. To reserve pre and post nights email Refer to Booking Code RSBOT1.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Contact hotel for rate Group rate will not apply to pre and post night reservations. To reserve pre and post nights email Refer to Booking Code RSBOT1.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM

 Alcan Motor Inn
Type: Inn
  Description: Panoramic views of the majestic St. Elias Mountains & beautiful Kluane National Park.
  Contact info: Junction of the Alaska & Haines Highway
Haines Junction, YK Y0B 1L0 Canada
phone: 867-634-2371
  Room amenities: All 23 rooms include fridges, hair dryers, microwaves, irons, in-room coffee and Satellite T.V.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Young's Motel
Type: Motel
  Contact info: 1313 Alaska Hwy
Tok, AK 99780 USA
phone: 907-883-4411
  Room amenities: Satelite T.V., free wifi.
  Facility amenities: Free high-speed Internet and onsite restaurant.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Mountain Sky Hotel
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: At the head of the Azure waters of the Prince William Sound, nestled beneath the Chugach Mountains.
  Contact info: 100 Meals Ave
P.O. Box 1297
Valdez, AK 99686 USA
phone: 907-835-4445
  Room amenities: 103 spacious rooms and suites include cable TV, free high speed wireless Internet, microwave, refrigerator, alarm clock, coffee maker, hair dryer and iron.
  Facility amenities: Downtown location, spa, indoor pool and cardio center, guest laundry and complimentary business / computer center.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Breeze Inn
Type: Inn
  Description: Breeze Inn is also in the heart of Seward’s busy small boat harbor on Resurrection Bay, within walking distance of most of the activities of this beautiful coastal town.
  Contact info: 303 North Harbor Drive
Seward, AK 99664 USA
phone: 907-224-5237
  Room amenities: All rooms have cable TVs, refrigerators, coffee makers and complimentary wifi.
  Facility amenities: Meeting space, onsite restaurant and lounge.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 The Coast International Inn
Type: Inn
  Description: Overlooking scenic Lake Hood, the Coast International Inn Anchorage is the closest hotel to Ted Stevens International Airport, and is located minutes from business centers, shopping, entertainment and downtown Anchorage, Alaska.
  Contact info: 3450 Aviation Avenue
Anchorage, AK 99502 USA
phone: 907-243-2233
  Room amenities: All rooms include voice mail and modem access, desk, coffee maker with complimentary coffee and tea, hair dryer, iron and ironing board, cable television with pay per view movies and individual climate control.
  Facility amenities: Onsite restaurant and lounge, complimentary airport shuttle service, exercise room (including sauna, bike, stair master, treadmill, rowing machine and universal gym), business center, ice and vending machines on each floor and guest laundry facility.
  Smoking allowed: Yes

 Motel Nord Haven
Type: Motel
  Description: Located 12 miles from entrance to Denali National Park and Preserve.
  Contact info: 249 George Parks Highway
Healy, AK 99743 USA
phone: 907-683-4500
  Room amenities: All 28 non-smoking rooms are decorated with Alaskan art and include a phone, TV and wireless DSL.
  Facility amenities: A comfortable sitting room is furnished with a library of books about Alaska, natural history, and Denali National Park. A computer is available for guest use.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Bridgewater Hotel
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: The Bridgewater Hotel overlooks the Chena River where you can watch canoes and kayaks meander down the slow moving water. Or enjoy the outdoor flower gardens and sitting area while relaxing in the warmth of the midnight sun. The quaint lobby is decorated with Alaskan art and a gift kiosk displays Native arts and crafts. Bridgewater Hotel is within easy walking distance of the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center and numerous restaurants, Alaskan gift shops, and museums.
  Contact info: 723 1st Ave
Fairbanks, AK 99701 USA
phone: 800-528-4916
  Room amenities: Air conditioning, cable TV, complimentary tea and coffee with coffeemaker, hair dryer, iron and ironing board (upon request).
  Facility amenities: Complimentary wireless Internet access, Internet kiosk in the lobby, complimentary shuttle service is provided between the airport and Alaska Railroad depot and complimentary trolley service to all hotel guests during the summer season. The trolley follows an around-town route with scheduled stops at Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum, University of Alaska Museum of the North, Pioneer Park, and downtown.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Westmark Inn Dawson City
Type: Inn
  Description: The newly renovated Westmark Inn Dawson City provides visitors with spacious and comfortable accommodations in the heart of this lively gold rush community. The inn is in the heart of downtown, just blocks from the legendary Diamond Tooth Gertie's gambling hall.
  Contact info: Fifth and Harper Streets
Dawson City, YK Y0B 1G0 Canada
phone: 867-993-5542
  Room amenities: TV, phone, hair dryers and coffee makers.
  Facility amenities: Free Internet access in lobby, guest computer, full service dining room, lounge, outdoor deck / courtyard, coin operated guest laundry, and gift shop.
  Smoking allowed: No

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Hotel check in begins at 3:00 PM. Orientation begins at 4:00 PM. You will be staying at High Country Inn that night.
  End of Program:
10:00 AM after breakfast. Hotel check out by 11:00 AM. You will be staying at High Country Inn the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. We've included a copy of the "Agreement of Terms of Participation" for you to review in advance of the program. You will be required to sign this agreement onsite before participating in the program activities. This is required by Ruby Range Adventure's insurance carrier to obtain signed liability release waivers from all participants due to the activities on this program.
  Parking availability:
Parking is available at the airport for $1.50 per day at the Erik Nielsen Whitehorse International Airport.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Whitehorse, Yukon
  From End of Program
  Location: Whitehorse, Yukon
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details

Whitehorse, YK





Commercial Van/Shuttle


Air Canada (888-247-2262; serves Vancouver and Whitehorse. Whitehorse-based Air North (800-661-0407; serves Dawson City, Old Crow, Inuvik in the NWT, Fairbanks in Alaska, and Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary. Whitehorse airport (YXY; 867-667-8440; is five minutes west of downtown off the Alaska Hwy.


High Country Inn, Whitehorse, YK


From Airport




Hotel Shuttle
phone: 867-667-4471


Per Person/One Way:


Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


10 minutes 




3.5 miles


The High Country Inn shuttle greets every commercial flight that lands in Whitehorse. The shuttle will be right in front of the terminal. It is marked Gold Rush Inn / High Country Inn.


High Country Inn, Whitehorse, YK


From Bus Terminal




Hotel Shuttle
phone: 867-667-4471


Per Person/One Way:


Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


5 minutes 




0.5 mile


Alaska Direct Bus Line (867-668-4833;; 501 Ogilvie St) and Greyhound Canada (867-667-2223, 800-661-8747;; 2191 2nd Ave) have scheduled stops in Whitehorse. White Pass & Yukon Route (Whitehorse ticket office, Front St) offers a delightful rail and bus connection to / from Skagway (one daily, May to mid-September). The transfer point is Fraser, BC. Yukon Alaska Tourist Tours (867-668-4414;; 102 Lambert St). Call the hotel upon arrival.

Driving Directions
  High Country Inn in Whitehorse from the south If you are driving across Canada, you must get to Yukon 1 also known as Alaska Highway, via the southern junction of Yukon 1 and Highway 37 also known as Stewart-Cassiar Highway and Dease Lake Highway, which comes from further south in British Columbia, connecting with Interstate 5 out of Washington.
Elevation Note: Elevation up to 4127 feet at the Top of the World Highway

Equipment Requirements: No special equipment is needed but sturdy walking shoes, a day pack and an umbrella are strongly encouraged.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Welcome to the Yukon!/Orientation/Get Acquainted
(Tuesday, July 22)
 Arrive To: Whitehorse
 Afternoon: Welcome to an adventure of a lifetime! Alaska and Yukon wonders all await you in your upcoming exploration!

At 4:00 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.
Accommodations: High Country Inn
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Whitehorse City Tour/SS Klondike/Yukon Wildlife Preserve/Presentation: Yukon & Alaska National Parks
(Wednesday, July 23)
 Breakfast: At hotel
 Morning: Begin the day with a city field trip, learning the history of Whitehorse and its role in present day politics as the capitol of the Yukon.

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 Whitehorse
 Afternoon: Our afternoon will feature educational walks through our outdoor classroom: the Yukon Wildlife Preserve, where we will view and learn about Yukon mammals and their environments up close from a wildlife expert at the park. We will be sure to enjoy watching the muskox herd, which is a species that once roamed the Yukon’s ancient grasslands with woolly mammoths. We will also see woodland caribou, moose, and Dall’s sheep, among many other species.

Presentation: Northern Wildlife

Presentation: Great Parks of the Yukon and Alaska: What Lies Ahead!

 Dinner: Gather back together for dinner at the hotel.
 Evening: Enjoy free time this evening to explore the city at your leisure before we head out tomorrow.
Accommodations: High Country Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Whitehorse to Haines Junction: Kluane National Park Visitor's Center/Alcan Highway/Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre
(Thursday, July 24)

Note: Expect to travel 100 miles, approximately 2 hours via the passenger van/mini-shuttle from Whitehorse to Haines Junction.

 Breakfast: At hotel
 Morning: Prior to departing Whitehorse, we will stop at the Yukon Beringia Interpretive Center, which focuses on the dry, treeless, unglaciated grasslands spanning Siberia, across the land bridge to Alaska, reaching the Yukon during the Ice Ages. This was home to enormous mammals such as the mammoth, short-faced bear, the steppe bison, and the scimitar cat. We’ll explore fossils, interactive natural history exhibits, and original works of art.

Our first day on the Alaska Highway will give you a good indication of the incredible scenic beauty you will encounter day-by-day throughout your travels. Several stops will be made at scenic and historic locations, including a broad view of the 7,000-9,000-ft. peaks of the Kluane Frontal Range as we near Haines Junction, a small community which borders Kluane National Park.

 Lunch: In Haines Junction in early afternoon
 Afternoon: Start the afternoon with an introduction to Kluane National Park at the Parks Canada Visitor Center. Kluane NP is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Still largely unexplored and pristine, it hosts a phenomenal variety of wildlife. Kluane NP is not only Canada's biggest national park, but is also home to the largest ice fields outside the Polar ice caps.

Presentation: Alaska Highway and WWII

 Dinner: At the hotel in Haines Junction
 Evening: Free time on your own for optional activities. Arrangements can be made here in Haines Junction for a flightseeing trip on a bush plane or helicopter to the impressive glaciers within the park. Vistas include Mt. Logan and often Mt. Kennedy and Mt. St. Elias.
Accommodations: Alcan Motor Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Haines Junction to Tok: Sheep Mountain/Solder's Summit/Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge
(Friday, July 25)

Note: Expect to travel 280 miles, approximately 5.5 hours via the passenger van/mini-shuttle from Haines Junction to Tok.

 Breakfast: At the hotel
 Morning: We'll travel to Sheep Mountain, home to one of the highest concentration of wild sheep in the Yukon, where you might get a glimpse of Dall Sheep on the lower slopes.

After visiting the Tachal Dhal Interpretive Center you'll stretch your legs as we take off on a short, very scenic hike to Soldier's Summit, where the Alaska Highway was dedicated in 1942.

 Lunch: At a restaurant in Beaver Creek.
 Afternoon: Cross the border into Alaska. Alaska Department of Fish and Game will host us and give us a presentation at the Interpretive Center to the ecologically diverse 700,000 acres of wetlands, mountains, tundra, and forests of the Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge.

We will continue to 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 Tok
 Evening: We’ll take a Tok Bridge excursion to enjoy some scenery this evening.
Accommodations: Young's Motel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Tok to Valdez: Ranger Interpretive Walk/Wrangell-St. Elias National Park/Worthington Glacier/Thompson Pass
(Saturday, July 26)

Note: Expect to travel 250 miles, approximately 5 hours via the passenger van/mini-shuttle from Tok to Valdez.

 Breakfast: At hotel
 Morning: Everything is big in Alaska!

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, where we will take an interpretive walk with a Ranger. 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 lunch
 Afternoon: 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, framed 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 Valdez
 Evening: Presentation: Effects of Climate Change on Wildlife Populations
Accommodations: Mountain Sky Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Valdez to Seward: Ferry in Prince William Sound/ Portage Glacier
(Sunday, July 27)

Note: Expect to travel 90 miles, approximately 2 hours via the passenger van/mini-shuttle from Valdez to Seward, via Whittier.

 Breakfast: On the ferry.
 Morning: Head out early today to catch our ferry on the Alaska Marine Highway, traveling through Prince William Sound. Without a doubt, this is a highlight among the scenic beauties of Alaska. The route passes many glaciers, the Columbia Glacier being the largest. Odds are you will spot a variety of wildlife. With a little luck you will be able to take pictures not only of otters and puffins, but also of sea lions and whales.
 Lunch: In Whittier
 Afternoon: Travel through a series of tunnels beginning in Whittier, a photographer's paradise. The next stop is Portage, where we will view Portage Glacier.
 Dinner: In Seward.
 Evening: Relax and refresh at the hotel
Accommodations: Breeze Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Seward to Anchorage: Kenai Fjords
(Monday, July 28)

Note: Expect to travel 125 miles, approximately 2.5 hours via the passenger van/mini-shuttle from Seward to Anchorage.

 Breakfast: At the hotel
 Morning: We’ll stroll at Exit Glacier this morning, where the trails provide a perfect opportunity to take photos from various vantage points. Then, we’ll head out on a boat tour to view Kenai Fjords National Park. With its protected marine environment, you'll see an abundance of wildlife and marine birds and animals. Seals, sea lions, sea otters, Dall porpoises, and perhaps an Orca humpback whale, may all be seen. Along the shore, you'll see deer, bald eagles and their huge nests, black bears, as well as a wide variety of marine waterfowl, including murres, puffins, kittiwakes and cormorants. Our vessel offers us an excellent view as it noses right into the rookeries.
 Lunch: On the boat
 Afternoon: We'll 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.
 Dinner: Summit Lake Lodge, a log lodge with beautiful views of the mountains and lake
 Evening: Rest and refresh!
Accommodations: The Coast International Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Anchorage to Denali National Park: Matanuska Valley/Iditarod Musher Martin Buser
(Tuesday, July 29)

Note: Expect to travel 245 miles, approximately 5 hours via the passenger van/mini-shuttle from Anchorage to Denali NP.

 Breakfast: At the hotel
 Morning: We head north today, from Cook Inlet to Denali National Park. We'll skirt by the Matanuska Valley, famous for the gigantic vegetables that can be grown in glacial soil warmed by the midnight sun.

Stop at Willow to learn about life frontier-style from four-time Iditarod champion musher Martin Buser and spend 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!"

We depart for our lunch destination of Talkeetna, where you will have an opportunity on your own to arrange for a bush plane flight toward Denali if you choose.

 Lunch: Restaurant in the quaint village of Talkeetna
 Afternoon: The afternoon will bring you to the Visitors Center at Denali National Park and then to your hotel.
 Dinner: At the hotel
 Evening: Rest and refresh!
Accommodations: Motel Nord Haven
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Denali National Park/ Incredible Wildlife Field Trip
(Wednesday, July 30)
 Breakfast: At the hotel
 Morning: Without a doubt this is another highlight of your tour . . . one of the most scenic landscapes in North America. In the morning, head 84 miles into the park on a National Park Service bus - drivers are all extremely knowledgeable about the natural and cultural history of the park and conduct excellent tours.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch at Eielson Visitor Center, where on a low pass you get a glimpse of 40-50 miles of Denali National Park.
 Afternoon: Get an amazing view of majestic Mount McKinley, 20,320 feet high, the highest mountain in North America (weather permitting). It's also not uncommon to see wildlife on the surrounding hillsides at Eielson, particularly caribou.

Denali National Park has an 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 hotel
 Evening: On own to relax, explore, refresh
Accommodations: Motel Nord Haven
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Denali National Park to Fairbanks: Authentic Train Station/Historic Log Church
(Thursday, July 31)

Note: Expect to travel 130 miles, approximately 2.5 hours via the passenger van/mini-shuttle from Denali NP to Fairbanks.

 Breakfast: At the hotel
 Morning: Back on the George Parks Highway, stop in Nenana, where the last spike of the Alaska Railroad was driven in 1932. We'll visit the restored train station, visited by President Harding in the 1920’s, which is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. After that, we will visit interior Alaska’s oldest Log church, still active today.

Fairbanks will be reached early in the afternoon.

 Lunch: In Fairbanks
 Afternoon: Explore Fairbanks, about 198 miles south of the Arctic Circle and our farthest point north on this itinerary! The city has survived many cycles of boom-and-bust, including settlement as a trading post, a stampede for gold in 1902, a fire that destroyed downtown in 1906, a flood in 1967, which brought wealth in its wake in the form of federal aid for rebuilding, and more recently the development of logging and petroleum resources.

Explore the magnificent Museum of the North at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, with its research collections containing 1.4 million artifacts and specimens, representing millions of years of biological diversity and thousands of years of cultural traditions in the North.

"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.

Presentation: Northern Lights

 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!
Accommodations: Bridgewater Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 11: Fairbanks to Dawson City: Chicken, Alaska/Spectacular Top of the World Highway/Yukon River Ferry to Dawson City
(Friday, August 1)

Note: Expect to travel approximately 400 miles, about 9 hours via the passenger van/mini-shuttle from Fairbanks to Dawson City.

 Breakfast: En route
 Morning: It's going to be an exciting day scenery-wise! We have an early start and plan to take in many vistas on the route from Fairbanks to Dawson City. We’ll keep our eyes peeled for wildlife, and especially hope for bear and caribou sightings. In the morning, we will travel south, passing innumerable lakes and rivers in this beautiful landscape. We’ll make a stop at the impressive bridge that carries the Trans Alaska Pipeline across Tanana River.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch
 Afternoon: The journey takes us east through the unique town of Chicken, where we will take a break to explore before we continue via the Top of the World Highway. We’ll snake along rolling mountain domes with a road, much of it unpaved, built on top of them. You've come to the real "frontier of Alaska!"

You cannot get much farther from civilization 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 elevation border crossing between the two countries.

 Dinner: Café
 Evening: With 18-20 hours of sunlight per day, we’ll have plenty of scenery to view and photographs to take after dinner. We’ll culminate our drive with a short ferry ride 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.

Accommodations: Westmark Inn Dawson City
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Dawson City: Klondike Spirit Paddlewheeler/Dawson City Elder Dinner
(Saturday, August 2)
 Breakfast: At the hotel
 Morning: Experience Dawson City history by way of the Yukon River! The Klondike Spirit Paddlewheeler has side-wheel propulsion and a steel hull. Interpreters dressed in period costume will enhance the feeling of authentic Gold Rush era travel and also our understanding of the river’s historical significance to the Yukon Territory.
 Lunch: Aboard the Klondike Spirit Paddlewheeler
 Afternoon: Presentation: Culture and History of Native Peoples
 Dinner: At the hotel. We’ll be joined by a Dawson City elder with cultural ties to the area. Topics and guests may vary, but we’ll listen to personal stories and have a chance to ask questions over dinner in an intimate setting.
 Evening: 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!
Accommodations: Westmark Inn Dawson City
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Dawson City: Dawson City Museum/ Bonanza Creek/ Jack London's Cabin/ Diamond Tooth Gerties
(Sunday, August 3)
 Breakfast: At the hotel
 Morning: Enjoy a full day in Dawson City. Begin with a field trip exploring the city?s history, gold fields and dredge operation. Explorations of Bonanza Creek and the Jack London cabin are on the agenda.
 Lunch: Restaurant in Dawson City
 Afternoon: Visiting the remarkable Dawson City Museum is a "must". Afterwards you may want to stroll around town with its lovely buildings, some of them still original, some affectionately restored.
 Dinner: At the hotel
 Evening: "Diamond Tooth Gerties Casino and Cancan" dance girls are on your entertainment card for the evening.
Accommodations: Westmark Inn Dawson City
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Dawson City to Whitehorse: Mighty Yukon River/ Five Finger Rapids
(Monday, August 4)

Note: Expect to travel 325 miles, approximately 7.5 hours via the passenger van/mini-shuttle from Dawson City to Whitehourse.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Today, we’ll follow the mighty Yukon River, one of the longest waterways in North America at about 1,988 miles, back to Whitehorse via the Klondike Highway. Meander by Gold Rush-era villages, and stop at a quaint lodge for coffee.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch en route
 Afternoon: Stop at the infamous Five Finger Rapids, where 4 large towers of rock separate the river into fast-flowing channels, only one of which was reasonably safe for the early sternwheelers.
 Dinner: Final dinner in Whitehorse celebrating our adventure!
 Evening: Share your personal highlights of the trip, and think about where your next adventure will take you…back to other great sites in the wilds of Alaska or the Yukon we hope!
Accommodations: High Country Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Farewells/ Departure
(Tuesday, August 5)
 Breakfast: At the hotel
 Morning: Thanks for coming to the "Land of the Midnight Sun!"
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Fairbanks, AK Fairbanks Ice Museum
Certainly the most bemusing sight in the city's downtown - and by far the best place to chill out - is the Fairbanks Ice Museum. This hour-long experience takes place in the historic Lacey Street Theater. Call (907) 451-8222 for additional information.
  Gold Dredge No. 8 National Historic District
A visit to Gold Dredge No. 8 provides a look at large-scale mechanized gold mining. In operation from 1928 to 1958, the massive Gold Dredge No. 8 chewed up the riverbed and washed out the gold. A tour of the historic dredge site includes mining equipment and structures. For additional information, visit
  Riverboat Discovery
The Riverboat Discovery will take you down the Chena River to the Tanana River (and back). Much more than a scenic cruise, the Riverboat Discovery provides a 3.5-hour experience where you'll learn about the contemporary and traditional ways of life in Alaska. For additional information, visit
  Whitehorse, Yukon Copperbelt Railway and Mining Museum
Ride into history on a genuine mining locomotive. Discover the pivotal role of copper and rail in Whitehorse history. Open daily June to Sept. Covered picnic and play area. Location: 91928 Alaska Highway, Whitehorse Y1A 5B7 Phone: 1 (867) 667-6198 For additional information, visit
  MacBride Museum of Yukon History
Yukon adventure starts here! From gold rush fever to the birth of Whitehorse, the MacBride Museum offers a complete view of the people and events that built Canada’s Yukon. Gold panning! Family Fun! Open all year. Location: 1124 First Avenue Whitehorse Y1A 1A4 Phone: 1 (867) 667-2709 For additional information, visit
  Old Log Church Museum
Experience Yukon’s spirited history within one of the oldest buildings in Whitehorse. Carry away a sense of the passion of the early pioneers and missionaries who helped shape Yukon’s history. Location: Third Avenue and Elliott Street Whitehorse Y1A 6K8 Phone: 867-668-2555 For additional information, visit
  Waterfront Trolley
Rolling alongside the Yukon River on our 1925 trolley is a delightful way to hear the fascinating stories of Whitehorse and the Yukon River. Open June to September. Location: 1127 First Avenue Whitehorse, YT Y1A 0G5 Phone: (867) 667-6355 For additional information, visit
  Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre
Explore the Ice Age history of the Yukon. Meet Woolly Mammoths and other large extinct animals. Hunt in our spear-throwing range. Enjoy our two films. Guided tours. Open daily May to September. Location: Km 1423 Alaska Highway Whitehorse Y1A 1H2 Phone: 1 (867) 667-8855 For additional information, visit
  Yukon Transportation Museum
A Moving Experience. True Yukon stories live here. Come and experience big, impressive modes of transportation—dramatic, authentic, and personal stories of Yukon ingenuity and self-sufficiency. Location: Beside the Whitehorse Airport, 30 Electra Crescent Whitehorse Y1A 6E6 Phone: (867) 668-4792 For additional information, visit
  Yukon Wildlife Preserve
The Yukon Wildlife Preserve, located 25 minutes north of Whitehorse, offers visitors self-guided walking and skiing tours, as well as interpretive bus tours, while viewing 10 major species of northern animals in their natural habitat. Location: Km 8 (Mile 5) Takhini Hotsprings Road Whitehorse Y1A 7A2 Phone: 1 (867) 456-7300 For additional information, visit
  Anchorage, AK Alaska Native Heritage Center
Alaska's premier Alaska Native cultural center. The center shares the heritage of Alaska's 11 major cultures. Visitors experience Alaska Native cultures first-hand through stories, dance and more. Location: 8800 Heritage Center Dr. Anchorage, AK 99504-6100 Phone: 907-330-8000 For additional information, visit
  Anchorage Museum
A world-class museum in downtown Anchorage. The state's largest museum includes the Alaska History Gallery, Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center, science exhibits, shop and full-service restaurant. Location: 625 C St. Anchorage, AK 99501-3544 Phone: 907-929-9201 For additional information, visit
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

After the Ice Age: The Return of Life to Glaciated North America

Author: E. C. Pielou

Alaska Trees and Shrubs

Author: Les Viereck

Alaska's History: the People, Land and Events of the North Country

Author: Harry Ritter

Description: This is a small, easily readable "digest" of Alaska's history. It is great for a quick overview and it is a good size for tucking into a suitcase or reading on a plane.

Alaska: An American Colony

Author: Stephen Haycox

All That the Rain Promises and More: A Hip Pocket Guide to Western Mushrooms

Author: David Arora


All poetry by

Author: Robert Service

Call of the Wild

Author: Jack London

Gold Diggers: Striking it Rich in the Klondike

Author: Charlotte Gray

Guide to the Birds of Alaska

Author: Robert H. Armstrong

Klondike: The Last Great Goldrush

Author: Pierre Berton

The Alaska Native Reader: History, Culture, Politics

Author: Maria Sháa Tláa Williams (Editor)

The Boreal Herbal: Wild Food and Medicine Plants of the North

Author: Beverley Gray

Description: Available for purchase online at

The Nature of Gold: An Environmental History of the Klondike Gold Rush

Author: Kathryn Morse

The Yukon

Author: Pat & Baiba Morrow

Wildflowers Along the Alaska Highway

Author: Verna E. Pratt

Wildwood: Cooking from the Source in the Pacific Northwest

Author: Cory Schreiber

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