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So wonderful, so magical, the Northern Lights are a gift to those who live in Canada’s north and Alaska. This heavenly light show shoots green lights this way and red swirls that way as a curtain of white, shimmering light dances before you. And, when the conditions are just right, you can hear them crackle. On your journey from Whitehorse into Alaska, you might just be delighted with them nightly. Please note that if you pick up in any location other than Whitehorse, a northern surcharge fee and the US travel fee will be payable.
3193km / 1984mi
Start / End
Whitehorse / Whitehorse
Yukon, Alaska

Route - 3193 km / 1984 mi

Day Location Distance Duration
01 Whitehorse to Dawson City 534 km / 332 mi Approx. 6 hours 15 minutes
02 --
03 Dawson City to Fairbanks 617 km / 383 mi Approx. 8 hours 50 minutes
04 --
05 Fairbanks to Anchorage 585 km / 364 mi Approx. 6 hours 4 minutes
06 --
07 Anchorage to Tok 536 km / 333 mi Approx. 5 hours 40 minutes
08 --
09 Tok to Haines Junction 481 km / 299 mi Approx. 5 hours 32 minutes
10 Haines Junction to Haines 224 km / 139 mi Approx. 3 hours 10 minutes
11 Haines
12 Haines to Skagway 40 km / 25 mi Approx. 1 hour 30 minutes
13 Skagway to Carcross 102 km / 63 mi Approx. 1 hour 50 minutes
14 Carcross to Whitehorse 74 km / 46 mi Approx. 50 minutes

Trip Details

From Whitehorse, embark on your own "Klondike Trail of 98" journey to Dawson City through Carmacks, Pelly Crossing, Fort Selkirk and Five Finger Rapids  , and imagine thousands of bedraggled miners floating the Yukon River all the way to the Klondike. When you reach Dawson City, you’ll see and feel the grit, heartache and golden dreams of the Klondike Gold Rush. This authentic gold rush town is bursting with historic sites and engaging attractions.

Stay a night or two in one of the many campgrounds in the town or at the Yukon Government Campground, just across the river by ferry. Take a sightseeing tour to the famous Goldfields or into Tombstone Park and be sure to check out the CanaDream Club app for any partners you can receive a discount from.

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From Dawson City, take the free ferry across the Yukon River to the Top of the World Highway, and enjoy expansive views along this winding ridge-top road before crossing into Alaska. Continue west on Highway 2 towards Tok and Delta Junction, one of only two real towns between the US border and Fairbanks.

From Delta Junction, the road follows the Tanana River towards Fairbanks. Officially the end of the Alaska Highway is at Delta Junction; however along your journey you may encounter residents of Fairbanks who would be prepared to argue that honour goes to their city.

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The fastest way to get to Anchorage from Fairbanks is via SR-3 - the George Parks Highway - which skirts the Denali National Park 193 km/121 mi south of Fairbanks. Denali National Park is the most beautiful park in Alaska, covering 6 million acres.

If you're pressed for time and want a taste of the type of scenery Denali National Park has to offer, we suggest you visit the town of Talkeetna, a classic Alaska pioneer town halfway between Anchorage and Denali National Park. You're actually closer to Mount McKinley from here than if you stood at the entrance to Denali National Park. Talkeetna comprises some of Alaska's best flightseeing, fishing and river tours all in one. This town has retained its rustic roots as an original supply station for miners and trappers and, of Talkeetna's 24 buildings, 15 are on the National Register of Historic Places. Many locals still live in log cabins, or out in the bush, without running water or electricity.

After spending time in Anchorage, take the Glenn Highway north-east towards Tok. This road offers a much more spectacular drive than the Parks Highway, particularly between Anchorage and Glenallen. The road here passes through high alpine terrain and then close by the Matanuska Glacier where it winds through a deep canyon valley carved by the glacier's river.

The northern section of the highway from Glennallen to Tok borders Wrangell-St Elias National Park, with broad tundra and taiga broken by high, craggy peaks. The Glenn Highway will take you back into Tok, an important junction, sitting at the crossroads of the Alaska and Taylor Highways. There are a few versions as to how Tok got its name, the most popular being that it is derived from the Athabascan word for "peaceful crossing.”

From Tok, head south on the Alaska Highway and loop back to the Yukon via Tetlin Junction. From Beaver Creek to Haines Junction, the Alaska Highway parallels the majestic outer rim of Kluane National Park. Beyond the front ranges lie icefields and glacial valleys crowned by Mount Logan, Canada's highest peak .

The highway snakes between a sweeping mountain range and Kluane Lake, the Yukon's largest lake. The communities of Destruction Bay and Burwash Landing hug the lake shore. Wander the curving beaches of this inviting deep blue glacier-fed lake.

Haines Junction is a picturesque mountain village nestled at the edge of Kluane National Park - the perfect base for day excursions like hiking, canoeing and river rafting. View Mount Logan - Canada's highest mountain.

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When you leave town (fill up your tank with gas first), follow the signs to Haines, Alaska on the Haines Highway. As you get closer to the mountains, you will start to see bald eagles playing in the thermals swirling around the mountaintops that you will be driving through.

Twenty kilometres from Haines Junction is Kathleen Lake, known as the windiest lake in the Yukon. Bird watching will give you a chance at seeing harlequins, northern pintails, American wigeon, lesser yellowlegs and spotted sandpipers. If you brought your fishing rod and fishing license purchased in Haines Junction, you can catch rainbow, lake trout, kokanee and grayling.

If you want to do some serious eagle spotting, stop at Mosquito Lake State Recreation Site for the night, because you will be at the edge of the Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve.. Our recommended campground in Haines is Haines Hitch-up RV Park. The campground offers CanaDream Guests a discount off their campground fees so be sure to check out the CanaDream Club App.

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Welcome to Haines, Alaska, a town of 2,500 that has always been a port on Portage Cove, the furthest you can sail inside the Inside Passage.

Downtown Haines offers shopping and restaurants that serve halibut a week fresher than any other you have likely ever tried. The Alaska Indian Arts Center will give you a chance to meet with local artisans and carvers and buy their crafts. Visit Kroschel Films Wildlife and Educational Centre or trek along Takshanuk Mountain Trail. There’s a host of ways to enjoy this Alaskan town, including sightseeing tours of the eagle preserve and area. Check out the CanaDream app to see discounts available to you.

In the evening just before dusk, drive five minutes along the shore on Lutak Road (just follow the signs to the ferry terminal) and turn left when you reach the bridge. Just down this road, you will find a weir across a river. Park your camper and watch the show. Bears will come in from the forest on the other side of the river to feast on the salmon slowed by the weir, and eagles will dive into the water right in front of you. It is an amazing sight.

Once you have enjoyed this coastal town to its fullest, it will be time to drive onto the ferry and head to Skagway. It only takes an hour, but if you were to drive, it will take you eight hours.

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Skagway today, as it was in 1898, is a bustling town with false-fronted stores and boarded sidewalks. This town knows how to keep that Gold Rush era flavour alive. There are historic buildings, tours of graveyards, gold dredge exhibits and restaurants that sit right on the harbour.

The White Pass Railway and Yukon Route has done a marvellous job of offering a breathtaking and authentic journey. People come from all over the world to experience this trip on a rail system that is considered one of the seven engineering wonders of the world.

Visit the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park Visitor Center to learn more about this era and be sure to check out the CanaDream Club app to take advantage of discounts at campgrounds and activities.

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It would be very easy to rush your journey back to Whitehorse - after all, the entire journey from Skagway is only 176 kilometers (112 miles). However, this is a trip you should take your time with, as there's a lot to see.

Along your drive to Carcross, you’ll get views of the White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad. There are several parking areas along the Klondike Highway with views of Pitchfork Falls and the railway. You’ll come across the Captain William Moore Bridge, which spans a 110 foot/36m gorge and view the bridge, hanging glacier, Sawtooth Mountains and the gorge.

Carcross, your destination for today, has the oldest operating general store in the Yukon. If you feel like spending more time in this area, there's a Yukon government campground close by with picnic tables and fire pits where you can stay for a minimal fee (check season opening and closing times).

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Six Mile River Resort
d Adventure Yukon

Just out of Carcross you'll reach an important junction at Jakes Corner. This is where the Klondike Highway meets Highway 8 leading to Tagish, Atlin Road and the Alaska Highway.  Here you can get gas and refreshments.

Most Canadians have never heard of Carcross Desert - the smallest desert in the world at less than 260 hectares, which you’ll be passing. Be sure to look out for the point of interest sign marking it. This desert is the remains of the sandy bottom of a glacial lake left after our last ice age.

Along your way, be sure to pull into the rest area at Emerald Lake for a view of one of the most beautiful lakes in the Yukon. At the 128km/79.8mi marker, a side road leads to Lewes Lake, which is a great fishing spot. From Lewes Lake, it's an easy drive back into Whitehorse.

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Other Itineraries in Yukon

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