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.
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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 4:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration: 5:00 p.m. 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 name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, and other important information. If your arrival is delayed, please ask for your packet when you check in.

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

Evening: Orientation: The Group Leaders will greet you with a warm welcome and introduce everyone. We will review the up-to-date daily program schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. We will then provide an overview of the program. Take the rest of the evening to settle in and get a good night’s sleep for the full day tomorrow.

To Haines, Alaska Marine Highway, Alaska State Museum
Haines, AK
Halsingland Hotel

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

Breakfast: At the hotel in our private meeting space.

Morning: Following Breakfast we will begin to explore Juneau. Our staff will lead us through Juneau, seeing the Alaska State Museum, the Governor's mansion, and other local sites. Following lunch we will transfer to the local Bay and load Alaksa Fjord Lines for our transfer to Haines. North America’s longest and deepest glacial fjord, the Lynn Canal is surrounded by majestic mountains and abound with wildlife. As we pass between hanging glaciers, keep an eye out for seabirds and eagles. Upon our arrival, we will transfer and check into the hotel.

Lunch: At the hotel.

Afternoon: We will be met by Alaska Mountain Guides who will accompany us on our transfer to the hotel. Following checking in to our hotel, we will get a brief safety lesson about the float we will be going on the next day.

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 to rest and relax or take a walk into town.

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

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: In the hotel dining room, enjoy a plated breakfast from the hotel.

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 form 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 tables 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: Hotel plated meal.

Evening: Following dinner we will head to the shores of Chilkoot Lake whose waters treat the bears of the area to feasts of salmon. We'll look for feeding bears along these shores.

Kathleen Lake, Visitors Center, Kluane Lake Research Station
Whitehorse, Yukon
Best Western Gold Rush Inn

Activity note: Ride is approximately 3 hours. Hike at Kathleen Lake will be up to ½ mile on a boardwalk along the lake.

Breakfast: Hotel catered buffet.

Morning: This morning we will 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 will enjoy a box lunch en route.

Afternoon: A stop at the Kluane National Park Visitor's Center will allow us to learn about the 20,000 square kilometer park on your own along with the study leader. Understand the topography of the park through its 3D topographic map display and explore the center's digital touch screens, photography, artifacts, interactive games, and hands-on exhibits. We'll then head to the Kluane Lake Research Center for a discussion of its scientific research and history by staff at the research center. This station, a hub of northern science, has hosted over 3,000 scientists studying geology, glaciology, botany, climatology and many other areas of science. If a graduate student is available, we'll have them discuss a bit about their project.Folowing our visit to the visit to the research center, we will take a hike at Soldier Summit. This hike takes us to the site of the official opening of the Alaska Highway in 1942, offering great views of Sheep Mountain across from the viewpoint. Keep your eyes peeled for Dall sheep on the lower slops of the mountain Continue to the hotel and check in.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: Following dinner, we will have a discussion with our Alaskan instructors and staff. Known as the Alaskan Panhandle, southeastern Alaska is a temperate rain forest rich in history, culture, and biodiversity.

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: At a restaurant located by the hotel.

Morning: This morning we will meet our local expert and participate in a hike through Miles Canyon. We will then become acquainted with historic Whitehorse by taking a short walk through the city. Afterwards, stop at the Beringia Museum, housing fossils and artifacts from Beringia. The land bridge that once connected Alaska and the Yukon to Siberia, Beringia allowed humans to migrate to North America.

Lunch: At a local restaurant en route.

Afternoon: Following lunch, we will visit the MacBride Museum with a docent. This museum is focused on the natural history of the Yukon, gold rush history and the culture and history of the Yukon First Nations. Our docent will continue with us from the museum to the S.S. Klondike, the largest sternwheeler in the fleet that travelled between Dawson and Whitehorse in the 1920's. We will learn the history of the ship and its impact on gold rush history. From the S.S. Klondike, we will check into the hotel.

Dinner: At the local restaurant.

Evening: Following dinner we'll rest up for our midnight adventure. At 10:30 p.m. we will depart via motorcoach for a special Northern Lights viewing camp sponsored by Arctic Range. A chemical light reaction caused when solar energy interacts with the Earth’s atmosphere, producing dramatic, dancing waves of green light from one horizon to another also known as the Aurora Borealis, has always been a fascination. The Northern Lights have inspired many native legends. We will head far from the lights of the city, so you can experience the Northern Lights at their best. The views will be dependent on weather and cloud cover.

Morning Walk, Yukon Wildlife Preserve
Whitehorse, Yukon
Best Western Gold Rush Inn

Activity note: Walking up to 1/2 of a mile.

Breakfast: At the hotel, enjoy a buffet featuring eggs, breakfast meats, potatoes, cereal, muffins, toast, and sliced bread, plus coffee, tea, water.

Morning: We will take some time to rest this morning after a long and eventful day. Our staff will provide opportunities for participants to see the rich and diverse ecology of White horse.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Afternoon: Visit the Yukon Wildlife Preserve with preserve staff, whose grounds hold large natural habitats for moose, bison, caribou, arctic fox, lynx and muskoxen allowing us to see the wildlife present in the wilds of the Yukon.

Dinner: Hotel plated meal.

Evening: At leisure. Take this evening to catch up on our sleep!

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

Activity note: Walking up to 1 mile on city blocks.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will meet the Yukon Conservation Society this morning for a short walk in the area. Following our walk we will depart for the town of Carcross, where we'll board the White Pass and Yukon Railway for the mountainous decent down to Skagway. This historic railway follows the route that individuals took on their way to the gold fields in Dawson City. It provides magnificent scenery and a chance to see the beauty of the area from a different perspective.

Lunch: Aboard the train.

Afternoon: We will arrive in Skagway late afternoon and will check into our hotel.

Dinner: At the hotel restaurant, enjoy a plated meal with an entrée and dessert, plus coffee, tea, water.

Evening: At the hotel, we will have a presentation on the history and culture of the area.

Skagway History Walk, Skagway Museum, Ferry to Juneau
Juneau, AK
Prospector Hotel

Activity note: Walking up to 1/2 mile.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: This morning following breakfast we will transfer to the local Bay and load Alaksa Fjord Lines for our transfer to Juneau. One of North America’s longest and deepest glacial fjord, the Lynn Canal is surrounded by majestic mountains and abound with wildlife. As we pass between hanging glaciers, keep an eye out for seabirds and eagles. Upon our arrival, we will transfer and check into the hotel.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Following lunch at we will make our way to Mount Roberts Tramway. Mount Roberts tramway is the only aerial tramway in Southeast Alaska, and provides an amazing view of Juneau. Once at the top you can enjoy snacks and refreshments at the local cottage. The tramway will provide you with a ride to the top and bottom at your leisure. Following our visit to Mount Roberts Tramway you will have the opportunity for some free time to explore downtown Juneau.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: We will have a farewell meeting with our new Road Scholar friends.

Wrap-up Session, Program Concludes
Juneau, AK

Activity note: Hotel Check out by 12:00 Noon.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet. During our meal, we will have a wrap up session and say our good byes. This concludes our program.

Morning: We'll have a wrap up session during breakfast to say our good byes and discuss the fun times we've had along the Golden Circle. 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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