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Self-Drive: The Highlights of Yukon and Alaska

15 days from £1936 per person

Plough through the remotest parts of Yukon, the most North-western reaches of Canada, and dip into the main flavours of Alaska as you awaken your inner explorer by venturing off the beaten track and into the spectacular and unspoilt scenery of these untouched areas. With easy to drive and easy to follow roads, this itinerary is ideal for first time visitors to the area, as much as true pioneers looking to delve into the wilderness and switch off from day to day normalities. Take in amazing views of rugged peaks, shimmering emerald lakes and evergreen forests as you follow in the footsteps of the First Nations and those who once chased gold rush dreams. You’ll drive along beautiful highways, visit iconic gold rush towns, spend nights in rustic accommodation and have the opportunity to take part in a variety of activities that range from wildlife spotting, trailblazing or taking flight over glacier peaks. Due to the unpredictable winter weather, we advise embarking on this journey between the months of May and October.

Route: Whitehorse – Mayo – Dawson City – Tok – Kluane National Park – Haines – Skagway – Whitehorse

Itinerary Highlights

Mayo is a peaceful retreat that makes you feel instantly warm and welcome; head out to explore a handful of the hundreds of surrounding lakes that are perfect for swimming and boating.

In Dawson City, the former gold-rush town, enjoy uncovering the feats many people endured whilst chasing their golden dreams and pan for gold yourself at the nearby Klondike Gold Fields.

Superb for thrill seekers, swap your hire car for a plane and soar high above the mighty panorama of rock, ice and snow in Kluane National Park.

Itinerary: Self-Drive: The Highlights of Yukon and Alaska

Today you begin your journey by boarding your international flight to Whitehorse. On arrival you will collect your hire car and drive to your accommodation. The rest of the day is free for you to explore Whitehorse, Canada’s wilderness city, at your own leisure. (N)
Whitehorse is the capital city of the Yukon Territory, nestled in the crossroad of the great Alaska and Klondike highways. Gold prospectors declared it a frontier town in the 1940s when the Alaska Highway was built. The ideal location of Whitehorse has transformed the town into a transportation hub which sees many travellers passing through. With a jagged mountainous backdrop, the town today has a buzzing art scene, diverse range of eateries and offers a variety of cultural pursuits and outdoor activities. You might wish to visit the transportation museum, hike along the shores of the Yukon River or nip out of town to see the First Nation’s selection of art and totem poles. (N)
Accommodation in Whitehorse: Inn on the Lake-Whitehorse Marsh Lake (or similar)
You’ll hop in the car today and journey around five and a half hours north along the Silver Trail; take your time with the drive, soak up the spectacular scenery and visit the mining town of Elsa and historic Keno. Whilst in Keno, you might choose to hike to the signpost of Keno Hill from where you can admire the panoramic views across the town. Mayo is a small town that’s located in the heart of the Na-Cho Nyak Dun First Nation’s territory. With so many lakes in the surrounding area, it’s a peaceful retreat that’s great for boating and swimming or simply relaxing. (N)
Accommodation in Mayo: Bedrock Motel (or similar)
Today you’ll drive around four and a half hours along the Klondike Highway to the former gold-rush town of Dawson City. Enjoy turning back the pages of time as you explore the preserved sites and learn about the exhaustive feats the brave folk went through in 1898 as they chased their golden dreams. Dawson City Museum is a great place to start your discovery of the gold rush era! Make sure you swing by Diamond Tooth Gerties Casino later, Canada’s first legalised gambling hall. (N)
Accommodation in Dawson City: Westmark Inn Dawson City (or similar)
Today you’ll be able to continue to explore Dawson City’s charm at your own pace, a popular attraction is to tour the Klondike Gold Fields and try your luck at panning for gold. Gold Mines are still in operation here, and you’ll have the chance to learn all about the history of gold in the area and the process of finding, cleaning and selling gold. (N)
Accommodation in Dawson City: Westmark Inn Dawson City (or similar)
Spend today weaving through the ‘Top of the World Highway’, along the winding ridge-top and into Alaska. The journey takes around seven hours and provides an abundance of opportunities to admire the expansive views that surround you. When you reach Tok (pronounced ‘toke’) you’ll notice its small town vibe and remote feel. Enjoy exploring the quirks of Main Street or enjoy a husky dog sled demonstration, which is popular in the summer months. (N)
Accommodation in Tok: Youngs Motel (or similar)
You’ll travel around seven hours south along the Alaska Highway today, crossing the border back into Canada. Keep an eye out for herds of elk or the occasional black bear going for a casual stroll as you travel towards Haines Junction, the gateway to Kluane National Park. Located on the edge of a vast and rugged wilderness, Haines Junction offers a diverse range of outdoor experiences, such as river rafting, hiking and wildlife viewing. Check out the St. Elias Convention Centre to see the display of native art or enjoy a tasty bite in one of the local eateries. (N)
Accommodation in Kluane National Park: Mount Logan Lodge (or similar)
Today you might choose to swap the car for a plane and soar above the snowy world and glacial peaks of Kluane National Park. A fantastic way to experience the panorama of rock, ice and the might Mount Logan, Canada’s highest peak at 5,959m. Spend the rest of the day exploring the shimmering lakes and wild beauty of this unspoilt area or perhaps go for a spot of ice fishing or mountain climbing. (N)
Accommodation in Kluane National Park: Mount Logan Lodge (or similar)
You’ll cross the border back into Alaska today as you drive for around four hours along the scenically beautiful Haines Highway, passing by colossal mountains, dense green forests and spring-fed lakes. You’ll drive across the 975m high (3,200ft) Chilkat Pass in the Coastal Mountains and along the Alaskan Coast before reaching Haines. (N)
Accommodation in Haines: Captains Choice Motel (or similar)
Located on North America’s longest fjord, Haines has previously been voted one of the best places in the US to live. The picture perfect town is ideal for culture vultures and art admirers; enjoy digging a little deeper into the rich history and cultural ties of the area as you check out the museum scene and mingle with the locals. For something a little out of the ordinary, visit the Hammer Museum or watch the great Bald Eagles take flight and learn about local conservation efforts at the American Bald Eagle Foundation. There is an abundance of wildlife in the local area as well various hiking trails you can follow, such as the Skyline Trailhead of Mount Ripinsky. (N)
Accommodation in Haines: Captains Choice Motel (or similar)
Leaving Haines behind you today, you will take a ferry ride up the narrow scenic passage of Lynn Canal to Skagway. Enjoy the spectacular views of the coastal mountains that line the shores before you disembark your ferry and drive on to Skagway, the gateway to the Klondike Gold Rush. Spend today wandering through the quirky town, admiring the wooden boardwalks and restored buildings with false fronts that take you back in time to the gold rush days. (N)
Accommodation in Skagway: Westmark Inn Skagway (or similar)
Today is free for you to explore Skagway at a pace that suits you. Those looking for a little adventure might choose to take a shuttle to the head of the Chilkoot Trail and spend the day hiking just a small part of this treacherous route. Experience a snippet of the struggles the stampeders with golden dreams had, as they carried their lives on their backs over the ‘Golden Stairs’ in search of great riches. Alternatively you might want to enjoy views from the comfort of a vintage rail carriage onboard the ‘Railway built of Gold’ as you journey to the White Pass Summit. You’ll climb over 3000 feet in 20 miles, taking in steep gradients, cliff-hanging turns and breathtaking scenery. (N)
Accommodation in Skagway: Westmark Inn Skagway (or similar)
Today you’ll journey back to Whitehorse via the Klondike Highway. This scenic journey is the main event of today, so enjoy getting snap happy and stopping off to get a better look at decrepit buildings from the gold rush days, colourful totem poles carved by the First Nations and the gleaming Emerald Lake. Once you’ve woven and weaved your way back to Whitehorse, relax and reconnect or head into town for a bite to eat. (N)
Accommodation in Whitehorse: Inn on the Lake-Whitehorse Marsh Lake (or similar)
Squeeze in the last of your shopping or sightseeing this morning, before returning to Whitehorse International Airport where you will drop off your hire car and board your international flight back to the UK. (N)
Today you will arrive back into the UK, where you will continue your journey home. (N)
**KEY: N = No meals, B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

What To Do Next?

We design unique, tailor-made holiday itineraries to suit you, by combining your ideas with our knowledge and experience. Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, or if you require some advice, please call us or complete the enquiry form online for a quotation.

What's included

  • International flights from the UK
  • Hotel accommodation and taxes
  • Car hire as specified

What's not included

  • Cost of visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Expenses of a personal nature
  • Meals unless specified

Guide to Price

The above price is based on two people travelling together and sharing accommodation in low season. The price is only a guide and can vary according to selected airlines, hotels and date of travel. If you wish to travel with your family, friends or on your own we will be very happy to assist you with your arrangements.

Experts in Tailor-Made Holidays

For over 30 years, Pettitts Travel have led the way in creating authentic, tailor-made holidays. Our knowledgeable team have first-hand knowledge of our destinations and no two itineraries we prepare are the same.

Please call us for more information or complete the online enquiry form to request a quotation.

01892 515 966 Request a Quote

Head Office: 8-9 Orchard Business Centre, North Farm Road, Royal Tunbridge Wells Kent. TN2 3XF

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