This trip has been carefully designed to highlight the best of the Yukon, following the famous Yukon Quest dog sledding race as part of a fully-guided, small group tour. Stopping at some of the most interesting places in the province along the way, you’ll also get to enjoy two days of dog sledding in the Canadian wilderness; embracing the true spirit of the race.
The Yukon Quest is regarded as the toughest dog sledding race on earth and sees up to 50 teams of mushers and sled dogs competing across a race track that spans 1,000 miles from Whitehorse, Yukon through to Fairbanks, in Alaska. Travelling along some of the most remote and untamed wilderness in North America, some mushers aim to complete it within 10 days; the words ‘endurance race’ certainly have a different meaning here!
The race was created in 1984 and the route follows parts of the fascinating Klondike Gold Rush trail from the late 1800s, as well as traditional routes used by early explorers and adventurers. Crossing frozen rivers and mountain summits, the trail has nine checkpoints along the way, some of which are separated by more than 200 miles.
Fear not, however, as our trip has been expertly crafted to offer you the best of the Yukon Quest, without the perils of a 19th Century expedition, but packed with just as much adventure!
You’ll begin your tour in Whitehorse, watching the official start of the Yukon Quest, as the mushers and dogs gear up and thunder off in a cloud of frost and snow, chasing the title of champion. From here, you’ll be guided further north in a warm and comfortable minibus, stopping at a viewpoint along the way to cheer the teams on and feel the buzz and excitement of the race against the clock. You’ll also make a stop at the Yukon Wildlife Preserve, where you can see some of the local wildlife, such as moose, caribou (reindeer), musk-ox and elk.
Before heading north to Dawson City, which is the mid-way resting point for the race, you can try your own hand at dog sledding, with two full days out on the trails, achieving your own sense of glory and accomplishment. There’s something incredibly special about having the opportunity to experience dog sledding in the Yukon, home of the mightiest race on earth, in a place where dog sledding has been a part of native First Nations’ lives for hundreds of years.
No trip to the Yukon would be complete without visiting Dawson City, and so it is here that you’ll wait for the teams to come into the checkpoint for their mandatory layover. With plenty of time to explore this small town, you’ll learn about the history of the area and the fame and fortune that was found during the gold rush. It’s like stepping back in time to an age of wooden boardwalks, swinging saloon doors and dancing cabaret acts…you can almost hear the clink of glasses and the shouts of the miners striking it rich!
By the end of your week here, you’ll come away with amazing memories of adventure and discovery, coupled with some fantastic tales to tell your friends and family when you return.
Image Credit: Arctic Range Adventure Ltd
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