Back in the 1890s gold was discovered at Bonanza Creek in the Yukon Territory and the rush was on. Thousands of prospectors came to the seaport of Skagway to set out on the arduous journey over Chilkoot Pass, then by trail, wagon and riverboat to the gold fields around Dawson City. Later on trains and stagecoaches eased the journey and now we enjoy paved roads between the coast and Dawson City. It is these modern roads that lead our bike tour along this historic route.
Our journey travels in reverse, starting from the frontier town of Dawson City, whose downtown still reflects it wilder heritage. Pedaling south, we traverse miles and miles of untouched wilderness regions, thick forests of aspens and spruce, wide flowing rivers and distant mountain ranges. From time to time we encounter small towns and remnents of times past. Evenings find us bedded down at remote lodges and quiet campgrounds, enjoying the peace and quiet of the far north.
Venturing further south, we enjoy soaks in the hot springs at Takhini, old railtowns like Carcross, huge plate sized cinnamon buns from Braeburn Lodge and much more. Explore Whitehorse, the capital of the Yukon on your day off and cycle through the treeless alpine landscapes of White Pass. Then finish the bike tour off with an exciting 7 miles, 3400 foot downhill run into Skagway Alaska. Your 12 day adventure finishes with a ferry trip through the Inside Passge to Juneau. A unique journey through history and nature.
The Klondike Gold Rush drew 100,000 prospectors to the gold fields of Canada.
Fly to the gold rush town of Dawson, explore its historic streets and waterfront, check out the best Halibut & chips in the Yukon, bike to Dempster Corner on day 2.
Your group will assemble at the Fairbanks Airport, where we board a short flight to Dawson City in Canada's Yukon Territory. Your guides will meet you at the Dawson City Airport and transfer to our hotel in this historic gold rush town. After prepping the bikes, the balance of the day is free to explore town. Welcome drinks and orientation will proceed dinner.(motel accommodations tonight) Meals: B L D
We will spend some more time in town this morning, a chance to explore what you might have missed yesterday. After a picnic lunch at the park downtown, we set out on our bike tour, pedaling a short distance to Dempster Corner where we camp tonight. Folks wanting a few more miles can take a spin up the Dempster Highway, which travels up past the Arctic Circle all the way to Inuvik in the far north. (breakfast on your own) Cycling: 25 mi / 40 km, Terrain: flat, Meals: L D
Biking through the Tintina Trench, a major bird migratory corridor, camp tonight overlooking Moose Creek.
After yesterday's easy start, we bump up the mileage a bit, as there is not much civilization in this part of the Yukon. Our ride traverses the Tintina Trench, a major bird migratory route, through vast forested wilderness. Our goal for tonight is Stewart Crossing, site of one of the early trading posts in the gold fields. Cycling: 72 mi / 116 km, Terrain: hilly, Meals: B L D
Cycle to Stewart's Crossing, one of the earliest trading posts along the Klondike River. Visit the Selkirk Heritage Center in Pelly's Crossing.
A more leisurely ride is in store today, as we roll through aspen and spruce forests en route to Pelly Crossing, one of the only towns along this part of the highway. As is often the case, a "town" means a couple hundred residents, with a store, gas station and post office. The Selkirk Heritage Centre in town is a replica of houses from the old Fort Selkirk. Cycling: 60 mi / 96 km, Terrain: hilly, Meals: B L D
Bike high above the Klondike River, hike to the Five Finger Rapids overlook, camp right on the banks of the Klondike at day's end.
Continuing south, our bike tour picks up the Yukon River, the major transport route during the Klondike Gold Rush. We'll visit Five Finger Rapids, a great hazard to gold rushers traveling down the river. Then continue on to Carmacks, a slightly bigger town where we bed down on the banks of the Yukon River. Cycling: 66 mi / 106 km, Terrain: hilly, Meals: B L D
Explore the historic district of Carmacks, cycle to the ruins if the Montague Roadhouse, discover cinnamon buns the size of a dinner plate at Braeburn Lodge, camp on the shores of Fox Lake.
ou probably have been hearing rumors during the ride from northbound travelers about the Braeburn Buns, well tonight we reach the Braeburn Lodge where you can confirm the rumors ... the cinnamon buns require two hands to hold them. En route, we pass by the ruins of an old roadhouse from the era of stagecoach travel. We roll a bit further down the highway to bed down near Fox Lake. Cycling: 69 mi / 111 km, Terrain: hilly, Meals: B L D
Roll into the Yukon's biggest city of Whitehorse, enjoy a free day to explore town and its surrounding.
Our last leg of the bike tour along the north Klondike Highway takes us past several scenic lakes, including Lake Laberge, where Sam McGee met his demise in the poetry of the Yukon bard, Robert Service. After several days on the road, our overnight stop will be a welcome taste of civilization, as we bed down in Whitehorse for two nights. (motel accommodations tonight, dinner on your own) Cycling: 45 mi / 73 km, Terrain: flat & small hills, Meals: B L
A free day is in store, a chance to catch up with your journal, relax in the hot spring pools or perhaps go visit Whitehorse, the capital of the Yukon Territory. As your crew needs to restock on food, you have the option to get shuttled into town and then ride home later in the afternoon. (motel accommodations tonight, all meals on your own) Meals: none
Experience the Al-Can Highway, bike past the many blue lakes of the region, bed down in historic Carcross.
We pick up a short stretch of the notorious Al-Can Highway today. This road was built in a short nine months during World War II as an overland supply route to Alaska. traffic is a bit busy due to Whitehorse, but we have nice shoulders and smooth pavement. We will be turning south back onto the Klondike Highway a few miles past Whitehorse. Then rolling down to our overnight camp in historic Carcross. (breakfast on your own) Cycling: 47 mi / 76 km, Terrain: flat & small hills, Meals: L D
Explore Carcross' frontier buildings and train station, bike over famed White Pass, ending with one of the most dramatic downhills into Skagway.
This morning explore old Carcross, dating back to the gold rush era. The old Yukon & White Pass Train station has become a museum and is well worth a stop. As we head further south the various lakes we pass are backed up by magnificent mountain landscapes, taking us to the top of White Pass, a barren alpine wonderland. From the pass it is a seven mile, 3200 foot descent to the US border and Alaska. We will celebrate the end of a great bicycle tour tonight in Skagway, a frontier port town whose historic town center is a popular destination for travelers. (motel accommodations tonight, dinner on your own) Cycling: 65 mi / 105 km, Terrain: mountainous, Meals: B L
Enjoy a day in the historic port town of Skagway, jumping off point for the Klondike Gold Fields. Celebrate your ride with dinner at the local brewpub.
Skagway still has the feel of frontier days, with wooden sidewalks and frontier architecture. We have the day free to explore this popular city. For folks with an interest in trains, you can take a ride on the old White Pass & Yukon line, traveling up to Fraiser Pass through a beautiful valley. Or perhaps follow one of the local trails for a hike through coastal rainforest. We will gather in the evening for a final dinner in the far north together. (motel accommodations tonight, breakfast and lunch on your own) Meals: D
Board the ferry for a journey through the dramatic scenery of the Inside Passage, end your adventure in Juneau.
Morning comes early, as you have an 8 am ferry to catch, taking you through the Inside Passage to Juneau. Your guides will bid you farewell on the docks in Skagway. Meals: none
This was a fantastic trip. Our first time in Alaska/Yukon, also. The wilderness was awe inspiring. The cycling support was immensely helpful, and Tom was kindly flexible, in re-routing when the local air flight fell through. We ended up with a couple extra cycling days- and would not have wanted to miss those.
Husband still raves about the breakfast - and wonders why he doesn't get "that much bacon" at home...
The cycling was about the right intensity for us, but I would think best for experienced cyclists used to the usual daily mileage and/or willing and able to train. We could have used some additional hill practice in advance, but adapted pretty quickly.
The campsites were very pleasant, and the occasional lay over days with time to explore the towns appreciated.Odette B
12 days (8 days cycling) Camping & Motels Level: C
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