Bus and Van

All-year van tours on the Dempster Highway in Canada | CA-NTY802

Cross into the Arctic Circle on an unforgettable road trip on the Dempster Highway

Overview

Cross the Yukon to the Arctic Ocean on our 8-day tour along the Dempster Highway, Canada’s first all-weather road, and explore the rich geography and history of the country’s northern regions.

Tour Highlights

  • Alaska - Klondike Highway
  • Gold dredge, snowmobile or dog sledding
  • Tuktoyaktuk Highway
  • Arctic Ocean
  • Dawson City
  • Mackenzie Delta
  • Hurricane Alley
  • Richardson Mountains

This 8-day Dempster Highway tour features all the best highlights of Yukon and the Northwest Territories. Available in both summer and winter, the tour takes you through some stunning rugged Richardson Mountain ranges and the breathtaking Mackenzie River Delta, all the way down to the Arctic Ocean.

Travel on the only road in Canada that crosses the Arctic Circle and visit the lands of the Inuits, who still treasure their rich history and deep-rooted culture. Follow the footprints of the gold seekers and even try your own hand at gold panning!

This Dempster Highway van tour is the ultimate road trip adventure for those looking to explore the Canadian wilderness!

  • Personal Experience
  • Trusted Tour Operator
  • Small group
  • Expert guides
Available Feb-Aug
Duration 8 days
Departs From Whitehorse, YT
Difficulty Level Easy
Group maximum 6
Minimum age 18
Meet on Location No
Pick Up Yes

From

3 875 CAD

Per Adult

  • Best Price Guarantee
  • Toll Free number in N. America: +1 888 285 1676
  • International number: +1 780 414 1676
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What's Included

Find out what is included and what to bring.

Included

  • Airport transfers in Whitehorse and Inuvik
  • 7 nights accommodation in hotels and lodges
  • Arctic Circle certificate
  • Return flight from Inuvik to Whitehorse
  • Fees and licenses
  • Emergency equipment
  • Experienced driver/guide for the duration of the tour

What to bring

  • Personal items

Not Included

  • Meals and beverages in hotels and restaurants
  • Medical insurance

Contact us for more Information about this tour

Itinerary

Find out more details about the tour and its highlights

Information

Our tour takes you through the highlights of the only all-weather road in Canada, Dempster Highway. It’s one of the most picturesque roads in the world and stretches over 457 mi (736 km).

The journey starts in Whitehorse and ends at the historic hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk. Along the way, we’ll visit the vibrant Dawson City and enjoy incredible Canada’s nature. Most parts of this tour are still untouched by mass tourism, as the Inuvik - Tuktoyaktuk Highway, an extension of the Dempster Highway opened just recently in 2017.

We drive in 4x4 powerful vans that ensure a safe and comfortable journey. The groups are limited to four to five passengers per vehicle, making the tour a truly personal experience.

The tour is offered in two seasons, summer and winter departures.

Traveling between June and August, the tour takes you to Dawson City and a gold dredge, where you can try your luck at gold panning. We’ll pass green scenery and deep rivers, and track wild animals as they live and thrive in their natural habitats.

If you prefer traveling in winter, get ready for some icy adventures. The roads are covered in fluffy snow, transforming the landscape into a frozen wonderland. Ferries across the rivers are replaced with ice bridges and you get the chance to add some extra thrills to your trip by going on a dog sledding or snowmobiling adventure!

The eight-day tour starts at Whitehorse and takes you on an adventurous tour all the way to Canada’s Arctic Coast. Along the way, you’ll feel like you’re traveling back in time to the age of the Gold Rush in Dawson City – a town famed for its rich history and great nightlife. You’ll even get to try your hand at gold panning!

After a great night in the city, we’ll leave civilization behind and take the road to Tuktoyaktuk. Here we’ll learn about the incredible history and lifestyle of the Inuit people.

Get ready for a great combination of history, adventures, and extraordinary wilderness, all on one incredible trip!

 

Day 1 Arrival

 

Arrival in Whitehorse, capital of northwest Canada’s Yukon territory. A shuttle service will take you from the airport to your hotel in the city center.

In the evening, we’ll have a short pre-tour meeting with the guide. The rest of the day is for you to enjoy and explore this charming city!

 

Day 2 Alaska - Klondike Highway

 

The adventure begins! We’ll travel from Whitehorse to Dawson, a city that has long been associated with the Gold Rush. The city attracted the lucky gold miners who became rich overnight and were looking to spend their fortunes. Dawson was packed with most expensive shops offering quality garments, restaurants serving the finest dishes, and late night bars with endless entertainment. The spirit of this time is still alive in the city.

We’ll drive along the famous Alaska - Klondike Highway and pass some great northern rivers, such as the Yukon, Pelly, and Stewart. We’ll also see the impressive Five Finger Rapids, where four islands divide the river into five narrow channels.

We’ll reach Dawson in the late afternoon, so you can relax in the hotel or enjoy the city in the evening.

 

Day 3 Dawson City

 

Today is all about exploring Dawson City, the second largest town in Yukon. If you’d like to learn more about the unique landscape formed during the Ice Age, and the colorful cultural past of the city, Dawson City Museum is the place to visit.

We’ll drive up a mountain to get a bird’s-eye view of the city and the surrounding area. You’ll have a chance to try your luck at panning for gold when we visit the gold dredge.

In the evening, we’ll enjoy some local entertainment at a gold rush style gambling palace, the historic Diamond Tooth Gerties Hall. You’ll have a unique opportunity to watch an impressive can-can dancing show and try out the famous sour toe cocktail!

 

Day 4 In the Middle of Nowhere

 

Today, we’ll be leaving Dawson City and any hint of civilization behind.

We’ll jump on the Dempster Highway and enjoy the endless deserted road stretching in front of us. Look out the window to enjoy the immense landscape replete with alpine creeks, the rugged Mackenzie mountains, and treeless tundra. Yukon calls itself “Larger Than Life,” and you’ll experience first hand what it means!

We’ll drive past the unique wilderness of Tombstone Territorial Park and reach Eagle Plains. There’s only one hotel, gas station, and repair service along the highway, all based in this tiny spot of civilization in the middle of nowhere. It’s an exceptional place, a small oasis in the unique desert of the Dempster Highway.

 

Day 5 Northwest Territories

 

We’ll cross the Arctic Circle today. Enjoy impressive panoramic views of the craggy Richardson Mountains as we reach the border with the Northwest Territories. Filled with lush green forests, endless giant mountain ranges, and impressive river delta, this leg of the journey will not fail to surprise!

We’ll slowly descend into the infinite Mackenzie River valley. We’ll take a ferry to cross the Peel River, then another one to get to the other side of the Mackenzie River. We’ll continue the trip towards the town of Inuvik, our home for the next couple of nights.

 

Day 6 Tuktoyaktuk Highway

 

Today we’ll jump on the road between Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk. The highway only opened a couple of years ago and we are one of the first travelers to ever use it. For the very first time, the road makes the most exceptional places accessible to adventure travelers like us. The new road also means more jobs and more opportunities for the locals.

We’ll head up towards the Arctic Ocean and pass some amazing sights along the vast Mackenzie Delta.

After driving for a few hours through the far-reaching tundra, we’ll arrive at the small First Nation Village of Tuktoyaktuk. It’s the last Arctic village on the edge of mainland Canada, where modern life mixes up with the long-established way of living. The Inuit community here still supports a partly traditional lifestyle with villagers making a living via hunting, trapping, and fishing. The oil industry is also very prominent in the town.

We’ll meet our First Nation Guide, who will show us around and tell about the history of the local Inuit population and their life in this sheltered bay on the Beaufort Sea.

 

Day 7 Flights to Whitehorse

 

After spending the last night in Inuvik, we’ll fly back to Whitehorse. Shuttle transport will take us from Whitehorse Airport to a hotel in the city center.

 

Day 8 Departure

 

Today you’ll be leaving Whitehorse for your flight home.

The tour takes you through a frozen wilderness covered in a blanket of snow. Unforgettable fairytale-like landscapes will follow us throughout the trip. This snowy adventure takes you through frozen rivers and snow-capped mountains all the way to the Arctic Ocean.

The isolated Arctic wilderness and the rich history of its ancient communities are just a small part of our unforgettable winter tour on the Dempster Highway. You can also extend this trip for a day of snowmobiling or dog sledding!

 

Day 1 Arrival

 

Arrival in Whitehorse, capital of northwest Canada’s Yukon territory. A shuttle service will take you from the airport to your hotel in the city center.

In the evening, we’ll have a short pre-tour meeting with the guide. The rest of the day is for you to enjoy and explore the charming city!

 

Day 2 Alaska - Klondike Highway

 

We’ll drive from Whitehorse to Dawson City. Look out the window for the amazing snow-covered roads, white trees, snow-capped mountains, and icy rivers. The spellbinding landscape, all covered in a white snow blanket, looks like something out of a winter fairy tale.

We’ll spend the night in Dawson City that was once called “Paris of the North.” For those overnight-millionaires gold miners, it offered many expensive clothing shops and gourmet restaurants as well as outstanding entertainment. Today, the city still breathes the spirit of the Gold Rush age, with talented can-can and burlesque dancers showing their moves at casinos open till the early hours.

 

Day 3 Larger than Life

 

We’ll get back on the road and drive towards Eagle Plains.

Today is the day we find out why Yukon describes itself as “larger than Life.” Look around to enjoy the vast landscape filled with alpine creeks, the rugged Mackenzie mountains, and treeless, snow-covered tundra.

We’ll drive past the unique wilderness of Tombstone Territorial Park and reach Eagle Plains. There’s only one hotel, a gas station, and repair service along the highway, all based in this tiny spot of civilization in the middle of nowhere. Unspoiled by bright city lights, Eagle plains is the best spot for watching the colorful Northern Lights dancing in the pitch-black sky. If we’re lucky, we’ll catch a glimpse of them tonight!

 

Day 4 Arctic Circle

 

Today we begin moving towards the Arctic Circle. The area is rich with wildlife and you might just be lucky enough to spot a snow hare or a herd of caribou!

We’ll drive through the famous mountain pass Hurricane Alley, a passage through snowy mountains with hurricane-like winds, and descend into the immense Mackenzie River Valley.

Here, the landscape changes dramatically, with vast tundra replacing the snowy mountain peaks. A treeless horizon with endless frozen water basins wherever you look compares to nothing you’ve ever seen before. We’ll take an ice bridge across the Peel and Mackenzie Rivers.

Our home for the night will be in the charming town of Inuvik.

 

Day 5 The Road to the Arctic Ocean

 

We’ll hit the road on a newly built highway between Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk that will take us to the frozen Polar Sea. We’ll drive past the vast Mackenzie Delta and enjoy unique views of the frozen river and snow-covered tundra.

In a few hours, we’ll reach the small First Nation Village of Tuktoyaktuk. The Inuit community here supports a partly traditional lifestyle with residents still making a living via hunting, trapping, and fishing. The oil and gas industry is also very prominent in the town. However, the new road might open up new job opportunities for the locals.

A local guide will show us around, and tell about the history of the Inuit population and how they live their lives in a sheltered bay on the Beaufort Sea.  

 

Day 6 Aklavik

 

We’ll take another ice road through the Mackenzie Delta and visit the small Inuit hamlet of Aklavik. It’s the most westerly, multi-ethnic community in the Northwest Territories. The road access to the hamlet is only available in winter because ice road is the only way to reach Aklavik by car or a van. We’ll explore the village and its beautiful architecture and learn about the history of the village.

You have the option to continue your arctic experience and go on a unique dog sledding tour for either a half or full day. You can also choose to take part in an exhilarating snowmobile adventure!

 

Day 7 Flights to Whitehorse

 

After spending the last night in Inuvik, we’ll fly back to Whitehorse. Shuttle transport will take us from Whitehorse Airport to a hotel in the city center. All transfers are included in the tour fee.

 

Day 8 Departure

 

Today you’ll be leaving Whitehorse for your flight home.

Day 1

Arrival to Whitehorse. Transfer from Whitehorse Airport to the hotel in the city center. Meet your guide and the other participants for an pre-trip information meeting. The rest of the day is at your leisure. (No meals included)

 

Day 2

The drive from Whitehorse to Dawson shows us already that tiny glimpse of awesomeness that lies ahead on our way to the Arctic Circle. We’ll arrive in Dawson City (540 km / 340 miles) in late afternoon. After dinner we go to the Midnight Dome with beautiful Views of the Yukon and Klondike Rivers, and an unobstructed view to the north. Hopefully we’ll have our first encounter with the amazing Aurora Borealis. (bagged lunch included)

 

Day 3

We’ll driving the Dempster Highway and get to see what all the fuss is about. Time to experience firsthand why they call Yukon “larger than life”. Be prepared to be amazed.

This is what one of our guest wrote about this day:
“We were prepared to be amazed our first day on the Dempster Highway and we saw indeed what all the fuss is about. Let me tell you that “Yukon; Larger than life” is an understatement. This land is much, much more than “larger than life” We were not only amazed;. It was breathtaking. It was…. Well, actually there are no words to do this land justice. -Lost for words-“.
(Bagged lunch included). Overnight in Eagle Plains.

 

Day 4

After an amazing night, with the sky ablaze with twinkling stars and Northern Lights, and with a hearty breakfast in our tummies, we are off to the Arctic Circle. Alas; the dotted line is hidden beneath the colourful tundra, but there are lots of other nice features to see. As there are: the Arctic Circle interpretive sign, panoramic views of the Richardson Mountains, tundra, colouful mountains, more tundra, more mountains and a snow hare in the distance.

We’ll keep driving north, and the “larger than life” theme gets to a “very, very much larger than life” stage real quick, when we reach the border with Northwest Territories. We'll take the time to explore and photograph the impressive landscape. Then we drive back to Eagle Plains for dinner. Weather permitting we can see the Aurora Borealis dancing during the night.
(Bagged lunch included)

 

Day 5

Today you can sleep in before we return to Dawson. Again the amazing views of the colourful mountains along the road will keep you clicking away! In Dawson City we can go up to the Midnight Dome to see the Northern Lights. (Bagged lunch included)

 

Day 6

After visiting Diamond Tooth Gertie’s and getting up close and personal with the famous sour toe cocktail last night, our small band of Arctic Circle explorers is ready to return to civilisation. But before we return to Whitehorse, we'll explore Dawson and we visit the Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre. Once in Whitehorse you'll check in at the hotel downtown. (Bagged lunch included)

 

Day 7

We'll take you to the airport in time for your flight.

Pickup information

  • We’ll pick you up from Whitehorse airport whenever you arrive.

Practical information

  • We’ll provide you with a list of recommendations of what to bring on the tour.

Please note

  • Given prices are per person and based on double occupancy. The single room supplement is $795 CAD.

Payment Details

Deposit and Taxes
Pricing does not include: 5.00% GST.
A 20% deposit is required to hold your reservation.
Balance of payment is due 30 days before trip commencement.

CANCELLATION POLICY & DETAILS
A non-refundable deposit of 20% of the trip fee is required to hold your reservation. The balance of the fee is due 30 days prior to the start of the trip. Cancellation fees are as follows: Until 30 days before departure: 20% of the total amount 29 to 15 days before departure: 50% of the total amount, 14 days or less before departure and less: 100% of the total amount.