The Klondike gold rush

Location: Kluane National Park and Reserve, S.S. Klondike, Dawson Historical Complex, S.S. Keno, Discovery Claim and Dredge No. 4 National Historic Sites
Distance: 1,610 km round trip from Whitehorse

Venture to Canada’s North! Walk in the footsteps of gold-seekers who made it to the Klondike and feel awe-struck by Kluane, home to 17 out of the 20 highest peaks in Canada. From rugged mountains, to charming northern towns, this 8-day itinerary is one to add to your bucket list.

Three adults next to the S.S. Klondike boat

Day 1

Location: S.S. Klondike National Historic Site, Whitehorse

Hop aboard and take a guided tour of the S.S. Klondike, a restored flagship of the British Yukon Navigation Company sternwheel fleet that pays tribute to an era before roads, when riverboats and rail linked the Yukon to the outside world.

From there, stroll the banks of the Yukon River, stopping along the way to visit the McBride Museum and the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre. Spend time relaxing and watch the water sparkle in the northern sun. You may even see a family of beavers building a lodge. Keep an eye to the sky and look for circling eagles.

A woman in period costume rides a bicycle in front of a historic building in Dawson City

Day 2

Location: Dawson city
Distance: 530 km from Whitehorse

Travel north to Dawson City and check out the magnificent Five Finger Rapids along the way. Once known as the “Paris of the North”, Dawson blends the infamy of the 1896 Klondike Gold Rush with thousands of years of tradition from the Trʼondëk Hwëchʼin people. Take advantage of the midnight sun to wander streets where history infuses every aspect of this vibrant town.

A young man and woman are standing in front of their Westfalia on the side of the road

Day 3

Location: Dawson Historical Complex and S.S. Keno National Historic Sites

Get a behind-the-scenes look at Dawson City. Parks Canada programs explore it all, from the wooden boardwalks to the banks of the Yukon River. Visit the waterfront and board the S.S. Keno, once the lifeline to the outside world for gold seekers. Step inside historical buildings and chat with costumed guides to hear the stories of the quirky characters who have walked the dirt roads of the city. Visit the prominent Commissioner’s Residence, where thought provoking discussions take place, where multiple escape rooms challenge your imagination, and where the Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre shares the way of life of Trʼondëk Hwëchʼin. Will you have time to experience it all?

A father and son pan for gold at Bonanza Creek

Day 4

Location: Discovery Claim and Dredge No. 4 National Historic Sites

Explore the Klondike goldfields! Visit Discovery Claim and follow the trail to the spot where two cultures met and gold was found in 1896. Dredge No. 4 will tower up out of the valley; once inside you will be amazed at the story of how it plied the creeks for gold, forever altering the landscape. Don’t forget to visit the abandoned company town site of Bear Creek, eerily frozen in time when the last dredge finally stopped running and the company closed its doors over 50 years ago.

Aerial view of mountains in Kluane.

Day 5

Location: Kluane National Park and Reserve
Distance: Haines Junction, 660 km from Dawson City

Make your way to Haines Junction and stop in at the Da Kų Culture Centre to get up-to-date park information and explore the interpretive facility that honours the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations language, stories, connection to the land and living culture.

After a long day on the road, stretch your legs along the Dezadeash River Trail before resting for night. Adventures await tomorrow! There are many ways to experience the park. Book a flightseeing tour to get up close to Kluane's magnificent icefields and glaciers or get your hiking gear together and set off to discover the amazing landscapes Kluane has to offer by foot!

A group of Dall sheep.

Day 6

Location: Kluane National Park and Reserve
Distance: Thechàl Dhâl' Visitor Centre, 70 km from Haines Junction

Be sure not to miss out on a drive to the northern side of the park! Situated in the 'Ä’äy Chù Valley, this side of the park boasts incredible scenery and provides an opportunity to see Dall Sheep. Soak in the views of Kluane Lake from the Solider's Summit Trail and check out brand new interpretive exhibits at the Thechàl Dhâl' Visitor Centre. Out on the deck scan with a spotting scope, you might get lucky and catch a glimpse of some Dall sheep.

Four hikers on the King’s Throne trail with a lake in the background.

Day 7

Location: Kluane National Park and Reserve
Distance: Kathleen Lake, 30 km from Haines Junction

Get your hiking gear together and set off to discover the amazing landscapes Kluane has to offer by foot! Home to 17 of the country’s 20 tallest mountains, including Canada’s highest peak, 5,959-metre Mount Logan, Kluane also has the world’s largest concentration of ice fields and glaciers. Get ready for an adventure and hike up the King’s Throne trail. Opt to stay overnight in one of Parks Canada’s signature oTENTiks and camp under the stars at Kathleen Lake campground.

Recommended accommodation:  oTENTik, Kathleen Lake campground

Panoramic view of Kathleen Lake.

Day 8

Location: Kluane National Park and Reserve
Distance: Rock Glacier, 20 km from Kathleen Lake

Wake up and spend a morning soaking up the scenery at Kathleen Lake. There’s still time to enjoy the views from the Rock Glacier Trail before heading back.

Distance: Return to Whitehorse, 200 km

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