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Yukon and Alaska Explorer

14 days Self Drive Tours

Virgin Holidays' view

Road trippers seeking trails less-travelled will struggle to do better than this 2-week loop. Taking you through Gold Rush relics, ice-crusted glaciers and snow-covered mountains, this is a place for explorers and adventurers alike. Starting in Whitehorse, you’ll make your way into Alaska’s inland through wildlife-filled national parks, before heading down to the rugged coastline in Anchorage. Pass over the highest border crossing between two countries, and hit the Klondike Highway as you venture back through fjord-hugging passageways — every stretch of road with dramatic vistas and striking scenery. Hop on board the last part of your trip, a rail journey with unbelievable views from 880 metres up. The perfect finale. 

Itinerary

Day 1: Whitehorse

Arrive in Whitehorse. Pick-up your Standard SUV from ‘Driving Force Car Rental’ and drive to your hotel, then collect your Jonview Canada Road book at the front desk as you check-in. The remainder of the day is yours to explore the city. Overnight in Whitehorse.

Day 2: Whitehorse – Beaver Creek

A long drive today to Beaver Creek, but with an amazing flightseeing trip enroute, First head just northwest of Haines Junction, approx. 2 hours from Whitehorse and halfway to Beaver Creek. Make your way to Silver City Airstrip in Destruction Bay, along the Alaska Highway for your 1:00pm flightseeing trip over the major peaks of the St Elias (1-hour flight). Enjoy the incredible sights of Kluane National Park from spectacular heights. The St. Elias mountains rise up from the sweeping lines of the glacier fields, the highest being Mt. Logan at almost 6000m, making it the second-highest point in North America. After your flight, continue en route to Beaver Creek. Check into your hotel, then spend some time at the large fire pit for some camaraderie with your fellow guests under the gleaming Yukon stars. Overnight in Beaver Creek.

Day 3: Beaver Creek – Fairbanks

Crossing into the United States, you travel the Alaska Highway en route to Fairbanks, travelling through a chain of small towns that have played parts in the stories and history of Alaska such as Tok, Delta Junction and Eielson. Spend the next 2 nights in Fairbanks.

Day 4: Fairbanks

A day to explore this intriguing community which is the administrative hub of Alaska’s interior, located less than 200km south of the Arctic Circle. 

Day 5: Fairbanks – Denali National Park

Today’s route takes you along the George Parks Highway, across the Tanana River and on to Denali National Park. The towering mountains, wide valleys, roaring rivers and rippling streams of Alaska’s interior offer visitors excellent opportunities for outdoor activities. You may decide to independently arrange hiking, fishing or canoeing against the backdrop of pristine wilderness. Driving south, you will soon see Mount McKinley — North America’s tallest peak at 6193m — an eternal sentinel that marks the entrance into Denali National Park. Spend the next 2 nights in Denali National Park.

Day 6: Denali National Park

Today you may decide to independently explore some of the many day hike trails Denali National Park. The protected parklands stretch out serenely beneath the shadows of the majestic Mount McKinley, giving visitors the opportunity to see moose, caribou, grizzly bears and Dall sheep. Many of the animals can often be spotted in plain view from the access roads. Overnight in Denali National Park.

Day 7: Denali National Park – Anchorage

Today you will continue your adventure southbound, traversing vast woodlands of spruce, birch and aspen. Descending from the interior, Alaska’s great geographical diversity becomes evident as the dense evergreen forests and windswept mountains give way to the lush Matanuska River Valley. The valley is the richest agricultural region in Alaska, where 20-hour summer days produce giant vegetables. Before dusk, you will reach Alaska’s largest city, Anchorage, located at the head of Cook Inlet. Spend the next 2 nights in Anchorage.

Day 8: Anchorage

Today is yours to experience the modern city of Anchorage and its surroundings. Explore Chugach National Forest, a wildlife photographer's delight that is also popular with anglers and hikers. You may decide to have a relaxing day in town, visiting the Anchorage Tourism Centre, or perhaps a leisurely stroll through the beautiful displays of the Anchorage Botanical Gardens featuring more than 1100 species of hardy perennials. End the day on a waterside patio and perhaps a dinner of famous Alaskan crab! 

Day 9: Anchorage – Tok

Today depart Anchorage and travel east along the highways just above the fjords and inlets that help create some of the most dramatic park settings in the north. Perhaps pack a picnic lunch before leaving Anchorage and stop at milepost marker 101, and the large Matanuska Glacier State Recreation Area. This is a popular location to stop and take advantage of the easy walking trail that parallels the glacier and the Matanuska River. A pavilion provides shelter and a resting spot for those who wish to simply sit and enjoy the view. Continue on to Tok where the remainder of the day is at leisure. Overnight in Tok.

Day 10: Tok – Dawson City

For a true sense of the wilds of the north, today’s route will bring out the adventurer in you. Striking back towards the border through some of the most untouched wilderness in North America, you pass back over into Canada at Little Gold Camp — the highest border crossing between the two countries. Following the aptly-named Top-of-the-World Highway, the road continues on to the riverside town of Dawson City. It's one of the major focal points of the 18th century Gold Rush, where prospectors made and lost their fortunes. Spend the next 2 nights in Dawson City.

Day 11: Dawson City

Relive the days of prospecting with a day of independent exploration of this historic city. Many original buildings have stood the test of time, while others have been faithfully restored to either their original grandeur, or rustic ruggedness. Take the day to tour the historic landmarks of Dawson City and visit the surrounding goldfields that still resonate with the Klondike’s “Spirit of ’98”. You may choose to try your hand at panning for gold at an authentic, working gold claim. For a slightly different venue, visit Diamond Tooth Gertie’s Gambling Hall, and try your luck at any of the games of chance. 

Day 12: Dawson City – Whitehorse

The Klondike Highway is your access route back to the southern region of the Yukon. Along the way, you'll catch glimpses of the mighty Stewart River before it joins with the mighty Yukon River, for its 3500km journey up to Alaska’s Bering Sea. You'll be passing through the traditional hunting grounds of the Kaska Indians where bears, wolves, lynx and moose roam in abundance. You may choose to stop at one of the gold rush staging posts and Bonanza Creek to see the origins of the Gold Rush, and the way of life those early prospectors experienced. Arriving in Whitehorse, relax after a long day of travelling at your hotel, or perhaps visit one of the many eateries around town. Spend the next 2 nights in Whitehorse.

Day 13: Whitehorse

Today you embark on a full-day scenic trip along the South Klondike Highway to Fraser, British Columbia. Upon arrival, you board the world-famous narrow gauge White Pass & Yukon Route Railway to journey through areas that still echo with the hardships and fortunes of the past such as Glacier Gorge, Dead Horse Gulch and Bridal Veil Falls. The route travels over the White Pass Summit, offering views from a height of 880m before ending in Skagway, Alaska. Return by coach to Whitehorse to relax for the evening at your hotel. 

Day 14: Whitehorse 

Today your northern adventure comes to an end as you transfer independently to the airport and drop off your car, ready for your onward flight.

Meals: this tour is based on a room only basis.

*Denotes local charge. Optional trips and excursions suggested on the itinerary are bookable and payable locally. This is a set tour itinerary, if you have booked any pre/post or optional tour arrangements please refer to your separate vouchers and final documents.

Please note: this is a set tour itinerary, if you have booked any pre-post or optional tour arrangments please refer to your separate vouchers and final documents.

Dates & prices

The table below shows our escorted tour departure dates.

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Prices are described as Guide prices on this website and may be higher or lower due to availability and date of departure.

Prices are for departure dates listed, ex-UK and are per adult based on two adults travelling and sharing a standard room and with return economy flights where stated. Single room and flight prices are available at a supplement.

Please note some tours are subject to minimum numbers, please call our travel experts or visit your local retail store for full details as well as our latest prices.

Tour information

Please click here to download a pdf of the itinerary and additional tour notes

Pre/Post Tour information

If you would like to extend your trip or make the tour part of a longer holiday, we can easily add on a pre or post night stays for you. Our Sales Team will work with you to arrange the best connecting flights and book any additional hotel stays. Simply tell us what you’d like and we can arrange it.

Time difference

Eastern Time Zone: GMT -5 hours
Western Time Zone: GMT -8 hours

Tour inclusions

  • Accommodation listed above
  • Day 2 – 1-hour flightseeing tour of Kluane National Park at 1.00pm
  • Day 13 – full-day White Pass & Yukon Route sightseeing trip
  • A personalised Jonview Roadbook containing essential travel information featuring overview notes of the area of travel, local sightseeing and attractions, daily itinerary highlights, provincial maps and city guides, hotel vouchers and customised day-by-day routing maps.
  • Car hire (Standard SUV) with ‘Driving Force Car Rental’ including Loss damage waiver (please note the customer is responsible for the first $1,500 (‘Deductible’) of damage); Additional Liability Protection up to an aggregate of $2,000,000; and unlimited mileage

Tour exclusions

  • All Flights, transfers and airport transfers in the UK
  • Travel Insurance
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, tips & gratuities, video camera fees at monuments
  • A fee of $20/day, per driver is required for drivers aged between 21-24 yrs (payable locally).
  • The required Canada Electronic Authorization (eTA)
  • Anything not detailed on the itinerary.
  • Please note the tour travels into Alaska, so it is the passenger's responsibility to be in possession of a valid visa or ESTA for entry into the USA

Dining inclusions

Room only.

Accommodation

Accommodation listed on the itinerary is a mix of 3-4V graded properties. Please note some tours are up to 3 weeks in duration and there may be some nights when staying in remote locations e.g. the National Parks, when the ‘V’ rating may vary. Hotels are subject to change up until 30 days prior to departure, but you will be advised of any changes.

Visa requirements

Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA)

Visitors travelling to or transiting through Canada by air are now expected to get an electronic travel authorisation (eTA) to enter Canada. If you’re arriving into Canada by air from either the UK or another destination e.g. the USA, you’ll need an eTA. This costs CA$7 and lasts for 5 years or until your passport expires, whichever is first. If you’re travelling by land or sea, you won’t need an eTA when you enter Canada. However, you must travel with acceptable travel documents and identification, i.e. your passport.

For more information on eTA system, and to apply online, visit the official Canadian government website.