Discover the Colors of Alaska and the Yukon’s Golden Circle
Color your Alaskan-Yukon learning adventure in autumn's gold as you raft a bald eagle reserve, learn about the Tlingit people and stargaze in the land of the Northern Lights.
Rating (5)
Program No. 22260RJ
9 days
Starts at
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9 days
8 nights
22 meals
8 B 6 L 8 D
Check-in, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Juneau, AK
Prospector Hotel

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, and other important information. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in.

Dinner: In our private meeting space at the hotel, enjoy a buffet meal featuring fresh and locally produced foods with a choice of entrée, side, vegetable, dessert, plus coffee, tea, water.

Evening: Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone with a warm welcome and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures including contact numbers for key staff, and answer any questions you may have. This program will be led by the Group Leader and local experts unless specified otherwise. Scheduled free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration. Please be aware that program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Alaska State Museum, Ferry Ride to Haines
Haines, AK
Hotel Halsingland

Activity note: Walk up to 1/3 mile on paved roads in Juneau.

Breakfast: Our breakfast buffet in the hotel meeting space includes items such as fruit, muffins, pastries, coffee cakes, bagels, scrambled eggs, meats, potatoes, plus coffee, tea, and juice.

Morning: Following breakfast we'll check out of our hotel and store our luggage for departure later this afternoon. We'll begin our exploration of Juneau with a walk next door to the Alaska State Museum to have some time to explore on our own. Afterwards, our group leader will lead us on a short walk, pointing out the Governor's mansion and other local sites before returning to our hotel for lunch.

Lunch: Enjoy lunch at the hotel in our private meeting space.

Afternoon: Following lunch we'll have some time for independent exploration in Juneau before reconvening at the hotel to meet our transfer for our fast ferry to Haines. North America’s longest and deepest glacial fjord, the Lynn Canal is surrounded by majestic mountains and abounds with wildlife. As we pass between hanging glaciers, keep an eye out for seabirds and eagles. Upon arrival in Haines, our guides for tomorrow's excursion will accompany us on our transfer to the hotel and will give us a short orientation on our adventures tomorrow. We'll check in to our hotel and enjoy a late dinner.

Dinner: At the hotel restaurant, enjoy a plated meal featuring creative and unique entrées prepared from locally caught and grown ingredients, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

Bald Eagle Preserve, Klukwan Village, Chilkat Bear Drive
Haines, AK
Hotel Halsingland

Activity note: The float today will be in rafts on gentle waters maneuvered by experienced guides. You will need to climb into and "roll" out of the rafts. Assistance will be provided.

Breakfast: At the hotel, enjoy an early plated breakfast at the hotel including eggs, breakfast meats, english muffin, fruit, plus coffee and juice.

Morning: Today we will be picked up by Alaska Mountain Guides experienced naturalists. They will go over a safety talk prior to boarding 16 foot oar rafts and heading out on the Chilkat River. The Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve was created by the State of Alaska in June of 1982 to protect the world’s largest concentration of Bald Eagles and their critical habitat. The Preserve consists of 48,000 acres of river bottom land formed by the intersection of three rivers and is home to Klukwan, the mother village of the Tlingit Nation.

Lunch: After disembarking, we will have a sack lunch of sandwiches, fruit, cookies and water at the community center.

Afternoon: Klukwan is a small, ancient, Alaska Native village positioned on the banks of the Chilkat River. The name Klukwan is taken from the Tlingit phrase "Tlakw Aan" which means "Eternal Village." Local oral history tells us that Klukwan was originally settled many years ago by a group of Gaanaxteidi (Raven Clan) men and their Kaagwaantaan (Eagle Clan) wives. Tribal Elders will meet us and provide us with a cultural show and skill demonstrations. This will include a visit to their long house for a tribal dance followed by discussions of canoe or totem carving or fish filleting.

Dinner: Back at our hotel, we'll enjoy a plated meal.

Evening: After dinner, we'll depart for an evening scenic drive with an expert naturalist. We'll experience the incredible natural beauty and wildlife along the Chilkoot river looking for feeding bears along these shores.

Kathleen Lake, Kluane National Park Visitors Center, Hike
Whitehorse, Yukon
Best Western Gold Rush Inn

Activity note: Coach ride is approximately 5 hours throughout the day. Hike at Kathleen Lake will be up to ½ mile on a boardwalk along the lake. Afternoon hike will be 2 miles on a well-maintained trail, elevation gain of 50 feet.

Breakfast: Plated breakfast in hotel lounge.

Morning: We'll check out of our hotel and depart for White Horse as we begin our travels along the Golden Triangle via motorcoach. We'll cross into Canada, pass through Tatshenshini-Alsek Park and stop at Kathleen Lake in Kluane National Park for a walk along the Kokanee trail, a boardwalk lined trail following the shores of the lake.

Lunch: We'll enjoy a boxed lunch en route.

Afternoon: A stop at the Kluane National Park Visitor's Center will allow us to experience the 20,000 square kilometer park with our study leader. Learn about the topography of the park through its 3D topographic map display and explore the center's digital touch screens, photographic displays, artifacts, interactive games, and hands-on exhibits. Afterwards, we'll stretch our legs on a hike through wetlands, meadows, and forest, keeping our eyes peeled for Dall sheep that live in this area. Following our hike, we'll continue to Whitehorse and check in to our hotel.

Dinner: At the hotel, enjoy a plated meal.

Evening: Following dinner, our study leader will lead an educational lecture on a topic related to the program theme.

Hike, MacBride Museum, S.S. Klondike, Northern Lights
Whitehorse, Yukon
Best Western Gold Rush Inn

Activity note: Hiking 1 mile round trip on a wide, gravel path with an elevation gain of 300 feet. Viewing the NORTHERN LIGHTS IS DEPENDENT ON WEATHER AND CLOUD COVERAGE.

Breakfast: The buffet breakfast at our hotel includes items such as pancakes, fruit, scrambled eggs, hash browns, sausage, bacon, plus coffee, tea, and juice.

Morning: This morning we will meet our local expert for a short hike through Miles Canyon. Afterwards, we'll head to the Beringia Interpretive Center to see an impressive collection of fossils and artifacts from the land bridge that once connected Alaska and the Yukon to Siberia, allowing humans to migrate to North America.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Following lunch, we'll have a docent-led exploration of the MacBride Museum, which highlights the natural history of the Yukon, gold rush, and cultural history of the Yukon First Nations. We'll then continue to the S.S. Klondike, the largest sternwheeler in the fleet that traveled between Dawson and Whitehorse in the 1920's. We'll learn the history of the ship and its impact on gold rush history.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: Following dinner we'll rest up for our midnight adventure. At 11:30 p.m. we will depart via motorcoach for a special Northern Lights viewing camp. Also known as the Aurora Borealis, this fascinating chemical light reaction is caused when solar energy interacts with the Earth’s atmosphere, producing dramatic, dancing waves of green light from one horizon to another. The Northern Lights have inspired many native legends. We'll drive away from the lights of the city so you can experience the Northern Lights at their best. Please keep in mind that the views will be dependent on weather and cloud cover, and seeing the Northern Lights is not guaranteed.

Morning at Leisure, Yukon Wildlife Preserve
Whitehorse, Yukon
Best Western Gold Rush Inn

Activity note: At the Preserve, hopping on/off the motorcoach to see exhibits.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at our hotel.

Morning: We will take some time to rest this morning after our midnight field trip. Spend some time relaxing or exploring Whitehorse on your own. Your group leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like.

Afternoon: We'll meet back at the hotel at a predetermined time to visit the Yukon Wildlife Preserve, whose grounds hold large natural habitats for moose, bison, caribou, arctic fox, lynx and muskoxen. We'll visit the various animal habitats with a local guide, allowing us to get a glimpse of the diverse wildlife present in the Yukon.

Dinner: We'll enjoy a plated meal at our hotel.

Evening: We'll have another opportunity to hear a fascinating lecture to give us further insight into the area we're exploring.

Carcross, Yukon & White Pass Railway, Gold Rush History
Skagway, AK
Westmark Inn Skagway

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel.

Morning: We'll check out of our hotel and depart for the town of Carcross, where we'll board the White Pass and Yukon Railway for the mountainous descent into Skagway. This historic railway follows the route that prospectors took on their way to the gold fields in Dawson City, and provides magnificent scenery along the way.

Lunch: Boxed lunch onboard the train.

Afternoon: We'll arrive in Skagway in the late afternoon and check into our hotel.

Dinner: In the hotel dining room, enjoy a plated meal with an entrée and dessert, plus coffee, tea, water.

Evening: We'll enjoy another educational lecture from our study leader.

Fast Ferry to Juneau, Mt. Roberts Tramway
Juneau, AK
Prospector Hotel

Activity note: Walking up to two miles on city sidewalks.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We'll check out of our hotel and board our fast ferry to Juneau. We'll have another opportunity to enjoy this majestic scenery and look out for wildlife as we make our journey back to Juneau. Upon arrival, we'll check in to our hotel.

Lunch: Buffet lunch at our hotel.

Afternoon: Following lunch we'll walk with our study leader to downtown Juneau for our aerial tram ride. In operation since 1996, the Mt. Roberts tram makes a six-minute ascent of 3,819-foot Mount Roberts from the cruise ship docks to a height of about 1,800 feet. At the top, enjoy expansive views of Juneau and Gastineau Channel and have some time for exploration at the Mountain House, Chilkat Theater, and Raven Eagle Gifts & Gallery.

Dinner: In our hotel meeting space, enjoy a buffet dinner.

Evening: We'll wrap up our evening with a farewell meeting to share stories of our wonderful adventures in Alaska with our new Road Scholar friends.

Program Concludes
Juneau, AK

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 11:00 a.m.

Breakfast: In our hotel meeting space with a buffet to include choices such as fruit, muffins, pastries, bagels, scrambled eggs, breakfast meats, potatoes, plus coffee, tea, and water.

Morning: This concludes our program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!

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