RSSK01 Alaska Dream Tour - Rail & Drive Tour from Skagway

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There is no better way to explore Alaska and the Yukon Territory then on a well organised rail and driving itinerary. This 9-day vacation is ideal to be combined with the arrival by the Alaska Ferry in Skagway or by cruiseship. Alaska’s Inside Passage, a route once plied by Klondike gold rushers, spans 500 miles of shoreline from Prince Rupert to Skagway, jam-packed with some of the world’s most amazing landscapes and abundant wildlife. Pick up your rental car in Skagway, travel on the historic gold-rush trail, visit Whitehorse and the gold-rush town of Dawson City. You soon will be admiring the vast untamed wilderness and majestic mountain scenery of the Yukon Territory. The scenic Top of the World Highway takes visitors via the historic Fortymile gold mining district to Alaska. You then explore the great northern arctic region from Fairbanks and may cross the Arctic Circle. Board in Fairbanks the last full-service railroad in North America and choose between the “Adventure Class” seating in the one-storey railway car or the “Deluxe Dome Railcar” on board the Alaska Railroad or with one of the privately operated trains. All train cars feature large panorama windows ensuring unobstructed views around every bend of the majestic beauty of the glaciers, mountains and Alaskan wildlife. Spend two days at Denali National Park which is the natural habitat for many types of wildlife including caribou, moose, wolves, Dall sheep, bald eagles, and the mighty grizzly bears. The name ''Denali'' means ''The Great One'' in the native Athabascan language. At 20,310 feet above sea level Denali is the highest peak in North America and is surrounded by one of the world's most spectacular wildlife sanctuaries. The leisure train ride to Anchorage provides many spectacular vistas of the Alaska Range. The finale to this tour is Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city and brimming with activities for the outdoorsy and adventurous. Please read our itinerary to have more detailed day-to-day experience. On  request, this trip can be customized and can be organized in reverse order.

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Itinerary

Skagway | Start Self Drive Tour ( Overnight: Skagway )

Arrive in Skagway by Alaska Ferry or cruiseship. Pick up your rental car during hte day. The famous goldrush town Skagway is home of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park. Skagway has a historical district of about 100 buildings from the gold rush era. You have the opportunity to board the historic narrow-gauge White Pass and Yukon Railway and ride along the White Pass Trail to the White Pass Summit. The entire distance between Skagway and the summit was completed in only two years in 1900's. The steamer pulls the train a couple of miles, then diesels take the cars - some of them originals more than 100 years old - up steep tracks that were chipped out of the side of the mountains. In the afternoon walk around the historic townsite and check out the old buildings.

Skagway – Whitehorse ( Driving Distance: 110 miles | Overnight: Whitehorse )

This morning leave Skagway and continue your journey on the South Klondike Highway. Near the summit of the Klondike Highway Pass you'll encounter a scene that resembles a moonscape more than any earthly vista. Ancient, twisted trees cling to rocks polished smooth by prehistoric glaciers, or crumbled by years of erosion. Myriad waterfalls, several glaciers and glimpses of the White Pass Railroad and White Pass Trail are among the highlights of the drive to the summit. After crossing the Canadian border, you'll travel past the ruins of the Venus Mine on Windy Arm of Tagish Lake, visit the historic community of Carcross before arriving in Whitehorse. This afternoon visit the sights of Whitehorse: SS Klondike sternwheeler, the Yukon Beringia Center and go for a stroll at Miles Canyon.

Whitehorse – Dawson City ( Driving Distance: 270 miles | Overnight: Dawson City )

The Klondike Highway often parallels the Yukon River as it winds its way to Dawson City. Water in the Yukon River travels more than 3,000 km from headwaters near the Chilkoot Pass to the mouth at the Bering Sea. As you travel you will leave country that has been glaciated many times to visit an environment, known as Beringia, which was ice free during the last major ice age. Steppe bison and woolly mammoths inhabited this cool, ice-free land that once connected the continents of North America and Asia. The highway passes through three communities on the way to Dawson City - and there is plenty to see along the way. Drive along Lake Laberge to Carmacks, a trading post and stopover at the 5-Finger Rapids – a navigational hazard for many stampeder on their way to the gold claims.

Dawson City ( Overnight: Dawson City )

A full day to explore the goldrush town Dawson City and the gold fields: Visit the historical buildings, Jack London and Robert Service cabins and old stores that were the pulse of the gold rush capital in its hey-days. As you walk through the heart of Dawson City, your imagination will run to the likes of Klondike Kate, Arizona Charlie Meadows and Diamond Tooth Gertie strolling down Dawson's boardwalks. Their spirit is as alive today as it was in 1898. From the one-time capital of the Yukon you'll follow history up Bonanza Creek (pan for gold) to Discovery Claim and Grand Forks once boasted a population of 10,000 where the Eldorado Creek and Upper Bonanza come together. Take a guided tour of the Gold Dredge #4 and visit the Diamond Tooth Gertie's Gambling Hall for evening entertainment.

Dawson City – Fairbanks | End of Self Drive Tour ( Driving Distance: 380 miles | Overnight: Fairbanks )

Cross the Yukon River by ferry (no charge) after leaving Dawson City and enjoy a scenic drive on the Top of the World Highway offering endless views into spectacular alpine valleys. Stopover in Chicken - a former mining camp and trading post on the banks of the Fortymile River. Explore some old remnants of the old frontier Alaska such as: the mercantile emporium, Chicken Creek Saloon and the historic Tisha's Schoolhouse. Continue your journey on the famous Alaska Highway #1 and drive via Tok towards Fairbanks. Stopover at Santa Clause House in North Pole where Christmas is celebrated year round. Enjoy a dinner at the Pump House on the banks of the Chena River. and drop off your rental car. Please Note: We can add an overnight in Tok if you wish to drive the distance in two days.

Fairbanks – Denali National Park | Rail Tour ( Overnight: Denali Village )

Enjoy the scenic ride onboard the Alaska Railroad to Denali National Park. Choose between the standard rail car or the glass-dome compartments with large panorama windows ensuring unobstructed views of snowcapped mountain ranges, pristine scenery and abundant wildlife. The train passes through the small community of Nenana, known for the Nenana Ice Classic Lottery. Just north of the Denali park, the train winds along Healy Canyon, following the curves of the Nenana River below. Arrive at Denali Village at noon. Transfer to your hotel and check into your room. Once you settled take a stroll through Denali Village, join a flightseeing tour, wildwater rafting trip or visit Jeff King’s Husky Homestead Kennel for a personal tour with four-time Iditarod champion Jeff King and his sled dogs.

Denali National Park ( Overnight: Denali Village )

Denali National Park offers excellent wildlife viewing and spectacular sceneries. Pick up your tickets, board the bus and watch out for grizzly bears, moose, caribou, wolf and fox moving along the ridges and river beds. Your driver informs about the history of Denali National Park, its diverse wildlife and flora. Once an animal has been spotted the bus will stop that everyone can watch and take pictures. The bus turns around at Eielson Visitor Center - 66 miles one way/8 hours round trip. You can get off the bus anytime to go for a hike. Return to the Denali Park entrance anytime during the day. Optional: We can extend the transit bus tour to Wonder Lake or exchange to the Tundra Wilderness Tour, Kantishna Wilderness Trails or Backcountry Lodge Tour. Included: Denali Transit Bus to Eielson Center

Denali National Park – Anchorage | Rail Tour ( Overnight: Anchorage )

Board the Alaska Railroad and relax in your comfortable reclining seats, have a delicious lunch onboard or listen to the commentaries from an onboard interpreter. Just south of Denali you'll enter Broad Pass, offering majestic views of the Alaska Range in all directions. Your rail tour continues via Wasilla and crosses the Knik River with the Chugach Mountains as a backdrop before arriving in Anchorage, Alaska's largest city. Nestled along the Chugach Mountains, the coastal city is brimming with activities for the outdoorsy and adventurous, as well as the more relaxed. Visit the Log Cabin Visitor Center and its Crossroad, Ship Creek Viewpoint overlooking Cook Inlet and the Resolution Park with its Captain Cook Monument. Try out one of the popular seafood restaurants this evening.

Anchorage

Time for your favourite activity - join a bear viewing day tour to Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park or to Silver Salmon Creek in Lake Clark, take a scenic glacier & wildlife cruise deep into Prince William Sound or explore the local attractions. A picture-perfect flightseeing trip takes you over Cook Inlet to Katmai Coast. Watch bears digging for clams, wandering the sedge grass, or nursing their young. Another option is the day trip to iconic Brooks Falls in the middle of Katmai, famous for bears swatting at Salmon making their way upstream. The Prince William Sound is one of the few places left in the world where a concentration of glaciers can be found in such abundance. View majestic alpine and tidewater glaciers covered with ancient ice and observe a large variety of marine wildlife.