Our secret is named Susan. The Klondike Gold Rush and subsequent mining to this day has a fascinating history. What better way to learn about it than from a guide who grew up on the family claim? This tour focuses on the Yukon and Klondike gold history, including Keno City, Dawson City, and a long loop drive through the current gold fields stopping at points of interest, such as King Solomon's dome and other locations. We offer traditional gold panning and a visit to Dredge #4 Historic Site, but also visit places no other tour does. If you want to learn about Yukon gold history and the Dawson region, this is the tour for you.
After exploring the Dawson area, you'll get a taste of the Dempster Highway by going as far as Windy Pass, before travelling back to Whitehorse.
Our tours offer a degree of independence as they are RV based. Our guide sets a schedule, and on this tour you may wish to be with the expert, but you're also free to stop at locations that interest you to take photos or admire the view, regrouping periodically. We plan for fewer kilometres per day, allowing more time to explore the trip's thematic focus. Our guides are very experienced, with specific expertise in the particular tour subjects. Guides like Susan can also offer tips about other tour aspects, as she is an excellent photographer.
Day 1: Arrival in Whitehorse, transfer to your hotel (paid for by YWEL as double occupancy), and explore Whitehorse on your own.
Day 2: We pick you up at your hotel and go to rent RVs. The cost of the RV is included in the tour price, but you must rent and sign as drivers yourselves for liability reasons. You also pay for your own fuel. You may wish to purchase additional damage insurance or other items. We then go to the grocery store so you can buy the food you want for the trip, setting your own menu. After, we assemble at our Shadow Lake base and camp for the night.
Day 3: We leave in the morning for a travel day of about 495 km to Keno City and set up for the night.
Day 4: Staying in Keno City, we will explore the town, Keno Hill and other local sites.
Day 5: Leaving Keno, the drive to Dawson City is about 310 km, and we'll use a commercial campsite to recharge electronic devices and the like. The evening will be exploring town.
Day 6: This is a Dawson day. Midnight Dome, Dredge #4, the interpretive centres and other attractions are all included. We may move our camp to a claim in the gold fields and try panning this evening.
Day 7: A day of exploration takes us on a long loop through historic and current gold fields, stopping at relics, localities, discussing mining methods past and present, and learning about the lifestyles of miners “on the claim.” A wonderful view from King Solomon's Dome gives a foretaste of where we'll go tomorrow.
Day 8: This is a Dempster day of about 212 km. We're going to drive as far as Windy Pass, which takes you into a different landform and environment. Coming back, we'll camp at the Tombstone Territorial Campground and visit the Interpretive Centre. There are also short hikes available.
Day 9: Heading south from Tombstone, we'll camp part way back to Whitehorse, near a lake or creek. You may wish to try fishing, or just enjoy the wilderness.
Day 10: About 287 km returns us Shadow Lake, where we'll camp for the night.
Day 11: We all work to clean the RVs, return them to the rental agency, and shuttle you to your hotel for the night (included in the tour cost). Once you're settled in, we'll pick you up for an evening BBQ at Shadow Lake.
Day 12: On your own to explore further (see our day trips) or fly home.
We include RV rental, campsite and admission fees as noted, two double occupancy hotel nights, safety gear, two-way radios, interpretive library, guide travelling with you in their own RV to interpret and assist, and other services.