SDWH03 The Great Outdoors – Road Trip from Whitehorse to Anchorage

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Whitehorse is the capital of northwest Canada’s Yukon territory. To the south are the basalt cliffs of Miles Canyon, site of a former gold rush town. From the canyon, the Yukon River Loop Trail winds north past the Whitehorse Fishway fish ladder toward the S.S. Klondike, a restored sternwheeler that once plied the Yukon River. North, the Takhini Hot Pools’ mineral springs offer views of the northern lights in winter.

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Itinerary

Whitehorse ( Overnight: Whitehorse )

Arrive in Whitehorse and transfer to your hotel in downtown. A day to explore the sights of Whitehorse: The McBride Museum - Covering half a city block, this log-cabin museum is crammed with relics from the gold-rush era and has a large display of Yukon wildlife and minerals, all lovingly arranged by a nonprofit society. Within the museum compound you'll find Sam McGee's Cabin (read Robert Service's poem on the cremation of same) and the old Whitehorse Telegraph Office. The SS Klondike - Take a tour of the largest of the 250 riverboats that chugged up and down the Yukon River between 1929 and 1955. Actually, the one on view was built in 1936 to replace the first Klondike, which ran aground. The SS Klondike is now permanently dry-docked beside the river and is a designated National Historic Site.

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

Board a motorcoach at the White Pass Depot in Whitehorse for a trip along the scenic South Klondike Highway to Fraser, BC, where you will connect with the world famous narrow gauge White Pass & Yukon Route Railway. Your 28-mile rail excursion will descend over the White Pass Summit and into Skagway. The entire distance between the gold-rush community of 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. Check into your hotel. Walk around the historic townsite and check out the old buildings. Included: White Pass & Yukon Railway & Motorcoach Transfer

Skagway ( Overnight: Skagway )

Skagway, home of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park, has a historical district of about 100 buildings from the gold rush era. Walk around the historic townsite and check out the old buildings. In the goldrush years of 1897 and 1898, Skagway and its ghost-town twin city of Dyea were the logical places to get off the boat to head off on the trek to the gold fields near the new city of Dawson City. Skagway instantly grew from a single homestead to a population of between 15,000 and 25,000. This was a wide-open boomtown, a true Wild West outpost that in its biggest years was completely without law other than the survival of the meanest. Then, almost as quickly as it started, the rush ended and the town deflated. Visit the grave of "Soapy Smith" and walk part of the famous Chilkoot Trail.

Skagway – Alaska Ferry to Haines - Haines Junction ( Driving Distance: 170 miles | Overnight: Haines Junction )

Spend your morning in Skagway at leisure. Take the afternoon Alaska Ferry to Haines. It is a spectacularly scenic and relaxing ferry ride along the Lynn Canal, a fjord that is as beautiful and pristine as any in the world. Arrive in Haines, located in the Valley of the Eagles and pick up your rental car. The Haines Highway winds from Haines over the Chilkat Pass - the highest summit on this highway. You pass Klukshu, a native summer fishing camp offering great photo opportunities. Arrive in Haines Junction, gateway to Kluane National Park. The Kluane area covers the largest non-polar icefields in the world. Visit the sheep mountain visitor center with its interpretive programs about the flora and fauna. Viewing telescopes are available where you can spot dall sheep on the mountain slopes.

Haines Junction - Tok ( Driving Distance: 290 miles | Overnight: Tok )

This morning go on a short hiking trip before driving north along the shores of beautiful Kluane Lake. Stopover at Sheep Mountain and look out for dall sheep gracing alongside the mountain slopes. Your journey continues on the famous Alaska Highway through endless wilderness areas with occasional wildlife spotting on the way. Feel free to stop at the designated photo stops to enjoy more panoramic views. Cross the Canadian/US border and arrive in Tok, often referred to as the "Dog Mushing Capital of Alaska". Tok was born as a construction station on the highway. With its location at the intersection of the Alaska Highway and the Glenn Highway to Anchorage and Prince William Sound, the town has built an economy of gas stations, gift stores, cafes, and hotels to serve highway travelers.

Tok – Fairbanks ( Driving Distance: 200 miles| Overnight: Fairbanks )

Travel north on the Alaska Highway #1 to Delta Junction - a telegraph station established in 1904. The intersection, marked by an oversized white milepost for Mile 1422 of the Alaska - and Richardson Highway, is known as the Triangle. Delta Junction is also home to the 90,000-acre Delta Bison Sanctuary, which was created to contain a free-roaming herd of more than 500 animals. The area features spectacular views of the Alaska Range and the Delta River. On clear days the panoramas of Mount Hayes, Mount Moffit and other peaks are stunning. Stopover at Santa Clause House in North Pole where Christmas is celebrated year round. Arrive in Fairbanks, the gateway Alaska's Arctic northern region. In the evening enjoy a dinner at the Pump House on the banks of the Chena River.

Fairbanks ( Overnight: Fairbanks )

The allure of crossing the Arctic Circle becomes a possibility once you reach Fairbanks. Guided van tours along the Dalton Highway or flight tours to the Arctic Circle and Yukon River is a super popular choice. Join a bushplane flight to Fort Yukon to understand as well as experience how the Gwich'in Athabascan Natives live in "Bush" Alaska. As mentioned earlier Fairbanks becomes a hub for very many activities and the list keeps going on. Visiting Chena Hot Springs Resort can be added to the 'To-Do' List! Chena Hot Springs Resort offers a large indoor heated pool and a natural outdoor rock lake for relaxation. The on-site Aurora Ice Museum is a special attraction and was created from over 1,000 tons of ice and snow, all harvested at the resort.

Fairbanks – Denali National Park ( Driving Distance: 130 miles | Overnight: Denali Village )

Known as the Golden Heart City of Alaska, Fairbanks is tucked into miles of unexplored wilderness only 120 miles from the Arctic Circle. It enjoys almost 24 hours of daylight during summer months. You are invited to explore the local gold rush history, its vibrant traditional native cultures as well as fantastic scenery. This morning you may visit the renown Alaska University Museum featuring Alaska's natural history best collection, Alaskaland or take an authentic sternwheeler on a scenic 20-mile roundtrip cruise down the Chena and Tanana Rivers. Enjoy lively narration, stop at a reconstructed Athabascan Indian Village to learn about native hunting and fishing techniques and watch a dogsled demonstration. Leisure drive to Nenana - known for its Alaska Ice Classics - to Denali National Park.

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 ( Driving Distance: 240 miles | Overnight: Anchorage )

Spend the morning at Denali National Park and watch a sled dog demonstration presented by the park ranger or join an exhilarating rafting trip on the Nenana River. Return to Anchorage via the Parks Highway and take a break in Wasilla - Home of the Iditarod Trail Headquarter. The museum features historical displays of the "Last Great Race on Earth", videos and a gift shop with unique souvenirs. Stopover at Eklutna Indian village which is an Athabascan Indian settlement. It houses a unique cemetery, in which each grave is surrounded by a small, decorative burial house. Alternative Routing: From the Parks Highway drive via Hatcher Pass Road to the Independence Mine Historical Park - operated from 1938 - 1941 by one of the largest gold producers in the Willow Creek Mining District.

Anchorage

Spend some time at the Alaska Native Heritage Center: the Gathering Place is center stage for Alaska Native dancing, compelling Native Games demonstrations and intriguing storytelling. The Hall of Cultures features exhibits and demonstrating Alaska Native artists. Visitors discover more about each of the five major culture groups through engaging exhibits. The Theatre hosts a variety of movies all day, including the Heritage Center produced film, “Stories Given, Stories Shared.” Guests stroll through six authentic life-sized Native dwellings around beautiful Lake Tiulana and are introduced to the traditional life ways of the native people. Your vacation ends with the return of your rental car at the airport or downtown Anchorage.