We offer the luxury of time, great locations and independence, while supporting you with our expertise and knowledge of the Yukon. I am personally surprised at tours that claim to be "photo" tours but are actually quickly paced van trips, with little time to take more than a snapshot. The intent of this tour is to encompass a wide variety of subject matter, ranging from landscapes to artifacts, wildlife, historic buildings, and more. My personal projects at this time include tension and texture, and those scales of subject are available as well.
We meet our goal of providing a proper photo tour in three prime ways. First, we limit our daily travel to a reasonable pace. Second, we have guides with 30 years of experience finding locations in the North. Third, we are RV-based, which has several benefits. We can camp almost anywhere, so we don't have to reach the next hotel, and can plan according to subject, not accommodation. Driving your own RV, you have the flexibility to spend time where you wish, rejoining the group in the evening. Our guides, travelling in their own RV, are there to support you, not move you along. We do want to regroup at times in case anybody has problems, but you are discovering the Yukon on your own terms as we travel together.
Photographers of all levels are welcome. This is not a training seminar, but we're there to offer advice on composition or technical aspects as needed. Many of our guests are highly skilled, and group discussions around the campfire help all participants.
Here's the general itinerary:
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 may wish to purchase additional damage insurance or other items. You also pay for your own fuel. 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: Leaving in the morning, we travel past Emerald Lake (aptly named) on the South Klondike Highway to the White Pass as far as Canadian Customs, a landscape sometimes described as "the far side of the moon." Returning through the historic town of Carcross, we turn onto the Tagish Road and camp by a lake or river along the way.
Day 4: This day takes us to the town of Atlin, the most north-westerly community in British Columbia. Referred to as "the Switzerland of North America," the town is situated on Atlin Lake, with glaciers flowing in from the surrounding mountains. The town itself is composed partly of surviving gold rush buildings, and has a unique character. In addition to being a gold rush town, Atlin was part of the Grand Tour in the 1920s, where world travellers would venture north. This day is spent in the townsite, or you can travel somewhat farther south along the lake.
Day 5: We will remain in Atlin and explore into the alpine on a mining creek road, depending on the snow pack. This will take us through the claims that supplied gold to the shipping point on Atlin Lake. Landscapes, plants, wildlife and historic ruins are features.
Day 6: Leaving Atlin, we have a 228 km drive to our commercial campsite at Johnson's Crossing, a historic road house from the construction of the Alaska Highway. This gives an opportunity to recharge electronics and prepare again before venturing into more remote country.
Day 7: Travelling only 100 km to Quiet Lake gives ample time to view the South Canol Road, a remainder from a pipeline constructed during WWII from the Northwest Territories to Whitehorse. This is a remote road, and passes through varying landscapes.
Day 8: We will take our time on the northern portion of the South Canol, arriving in Ross River to fuel the vehicles, view the suspension foot bridge from WWII, and then camp at the Lapie River, a bustling gem.
Day 9: Leaving Lapie River a further 240 km takes us to either a creek-side or lake camp, depending on weather and group preference. The Robert Campbell Highway has many interesting locales, including our lunch stop at Drury Creek on Little Salmon Lake.
Day 10: A longer day, 333 km, takes us to a commercial campsite in Dawson City, where we can again recharge and "clean house." The afternoon and evening will be enjoyed in Dawson City, the heart of the Klondike, with preserved buildings and much to see.
Day 11: This day is spent in the Dawson area, visiting Dredge #4 Historic Site, the Discovery Claim, and doing a mining road loop that takes us to King Solomon's Dome, an outlook over the vast wilderness that we will travel to on Day 12.
Day 12: A longer day of 277 km on the Dempster Highway brings us to a camp beside a river. Along the way, we pass from the boreal forest into the tundra and enter mountains from the Beringia epoch. There are unique land forms, tundra ponds (moose!), rugged cliffs, falcons, and other subjects.
Day 13: Continuing north, we travel through a changing landscape until we reach the Arctic Circle. From there, we retreat to Tombstone Territorial Park and camp at the territorial campground. The Interpretive Centre is interesting, and there are hikes, and local flora and fauna to photograph.
Day 14: Departing Tombstone, we'll travel south, taking time to photo any subjects that caught the eye on the way north. We'll camp beside a small lake or creek. This is our longest driving day at 424 km.
Day 15: Returning to our Shadow Lake camp, we'll set up there for the night.
Day 16: We'll 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 checked in, we'll pick you up for an evening BBQ at Shadow Lake.
Day 17: On your own to explore (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 location find, interpret and assist, and other services.