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Winter van tours up the Dempster Highway to the Arctic Ocean

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Road trip on the only all-weather road to Canada's Arctic Coast


A dream in white: this Arctic Road Trip takes you from Whitehorse, the capital of the Yukon, to Tuktoyaktuk on the Arctic Ocean during the thrilling season of winter.


  • Alaska - Klondike Highway
  • Gold rush history
  • Tuktoyaktuk Highway
  • Arctic Ocean
  • Dawson City
  • Tombstone Mountains
  • Meeting with an Inuit family
  • Ice road trip to Aklavik


You will head first to Dawson City, the gold rush capital, where we catch a bit of the gold fever ourselves by touring the historic town and visiting its dance halls and restaurants.

From here we head north on the famous Dempster Highway through the Tombstone Mountains, which are some of the newest Andrawest peaks in North America. Almost entirely alone as we travel this remote winter road, we’ll reach Eagle Plains and spend the night in a warm hotel, before crossing the Arctic Circle early the next day, where a little celebration is planned. Leaving the Ogilvie Mountains behind us we pass over immense arctic tundra before climbing up and over the Richardson Mountains and into the Northwest Territories and our first hint of the Arctic Ocean. We’ll cross two ice bridges before reaching Inuvik, a modern town on the edge of the Mackenzie River Delta.

From Inuvik, we’ll take a side trip on the strange and fascinating Ice Road to the old arctic town Aklavik, across the Delta. Finally, we’ll head north on the newly completed highway to Tuktoyaktuk, an Inuvialuit hamlet on the arctic coast. Here we’ll join a local family for a few traditional snacks and stories of life in the far North. Back in Inuvik, we also have the option of an unforgettable dog sled tour.

(This tour is also offered in a reverse itinerary, beginning in Inuvik)

Availability March
Duration 10 days
Difficulty Easy Suitable for most people in fair condition.
Group maximum 9 people
Minimum age 18 years
Meet on Location No
Pick Up Yes
Accommodation Included


4 407
  • Small Group Experience
  • Expert Guides
  • Best Price Guarantee
  • International number: +1 778 348 1676

Availability (2024):
Double Room: CAD $6360
Single Room: CAD $7785
Triple Room: CAD $6030
All Rates per person (+ 5% GST)

Whitehorse to Inuvik:

  • March 13-22

Inuvik to Whitehorse

  • March 20-29

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What's Included

Find out what is included and what to bring.


  • 10 day roundtrip from/to Whitehorse/Inuvik
  • Personalized guidance and interpretation during the entire trip
  • 9 nights hotel accommodation in superior middle class double room (if available)
  • All overland transportation in air-conditioned Maxi Van (capacity 15 seats)
  • Meeting Inuit-Families in Tuktoyaktuk
  • Flight from Inuvik to Whitehorse alternately from Whitehorse to Inuvik
  • Entrance fees according to program
  • Airport transfers

What to bring

  • Personal items
  • Clothing for a variety of winter weather conditions

Not Included

  • Meals
  • Optional tours (dogsledding)
  • Personal extras
  • Gratuity
  • Outdoor winter clothing (rental available)

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Find out more details about the tour and its highlights


Panorama of Dempster Highway in Winter

This tour takes you through the highlights of the only all-weather road in Canada, stretching over 457 miles (736 km).

Along the way, we’ll visit the vibrant Dawson City and enjoy incredible 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.

You will travel in air-conditioned maxi vans with a capacity of 15 that ensure a safe and comfortable journey. The groups are limited to 9.

Pickup information

  • Pick up from Whitehorse airport whenever you arrive is included.
Snowy Mountains Panorama in Dempster Highway
Day 1: Arrival in Whitehorse

Welcome to Yukon. Your guide will meet you at the airport and bring you to your downtown hotel, where we’ll have a short pre-trip meeting. (Overnight accommodation in Whitehorse)

Day 2: Whitehorse

With just over 27,000 friendly and adventurous residents, Whitehorse has the feel of a small town in the middle of a vast wilderness. In the morning, we’ll take a tour of the city, including a visit to the SS Klondike National Historic Site. A short drive beyond city limits is the Yukon Wildlife Preserve, where we can see the North’s most photogenic species, including moose, bison, and arctic foxes, up close. The Preserve is also a piece of pristine habitat with pleasant trails to explore. At the nearby Takhini Hot Pools, we can soak outside in natural hot springs, and with some luck, catch our first view of the northern lights. (Overnight accommodation in Whitehorse)

Day 3: Whitehorse - Dawson City

A six-hour drive along the North Klondike highway this morning takes us to Dawson City, the famous boom town at the center of the Klondike Gold Rush. Dawson was the final destination of the more than 100,000 stampeders who made the journey in the spring of 1898. We’ll be following their route for much of the way, with sweeping views of the Yukon River. (Overnight accommodation in Dawson City)

Day 4: Dawson City

Now a National Historic site, Dawson’s frontier character has been preserved, and in the quiet winter months, it is a photographer’s heaven. We’ll get a sampling of the town’s many stories and legends with a city tour in the morning, then drive out to Bonanza Creek, the epicenter of the first great gold rush in 1896. Before sundown, we’ll have time for a drive up the Midnight Dome, which overlooks the town, for a view stretching out to the famous gold fields, the frozen Yukon River, and into the distant Ogilvie Mountains. (Overnight accommodation in Dawson)

Day 5: Dawson City - Eagle Plains

It is now time to start our drive towards the Ice Road and the Arctic Ocean. From Dawson, it’s more than 400 kilometers north to Eagle Plains, without so much as a service station to interrupt these rugged subarctic mountains. The Dempster Highway follows traditional trails of Han and Gwich’in hunters and trappers through the Ogilvie Mountains. Tombstone Territorial Park, which straddles the road, contains spectacular jagged peaks that make for stunning landscapes. The park also marks the transition into the arctic tundra and the range of the Porcupine caribou herd. We’ll spend the evening at Eagle Plains, a modern outpost on the edge of the Arctic Circle that is the only hotel for 300 kilometers in any direction, and an extraordinary location to view the Northern Lights. (Overnight accommodation in Eagle Plains)

Group Posing by Arctic Ocean Sign
Day 6: Eagle Plains - Inuvik

Early in the day, we’ll cross the Arctic Circle, with a pause for a short celebration. We have one more mountain range, the Richardson Mountains, to cross before descending to arctic coastal tundra and the indigenous communities of Fort McPherson, Tsiigehtchic (scenes of the epic story of the Northwest Mounted Police and the “Lost Patrol”) before reaching our final destination for the day at Inuvik. Inuvik is the hub of the western arctic and home of the Inuvialuit, in whose language the name means “Place of People.” We’ll make this our base as we explore the arctic coast. (Overnight accommodation in Inuvik)

Day 7: Inuvik & Aklavik

During the winter, an Ice Road connects Inuvik with Aklavik, across the twisting channels and muskrat push-ups of the Mackenzie Delta. We’ll drive this winter road of hard blue ice and explore the old town, where a few die-hard residents have stubbornly held on, even after the administration was moved to Inuvik. For a taste of traditional winter travel, we’ll also take a tour by dogsled along snowy trails (optional). (Overnight accommodation in Inuvik)

Day 8: Inuvik - Tuktoyaktuk & Arctic Ocean

It’s a full day today as we head north on the newly completed road to Tuktoyaktuk, an isolated coastal village. We’ll have a tour of the town and have a look at the pingos rising up from the tundra. After that, we’ve been invited to muktuk and mipku with an Inuvialuit family. Don’t know what a pingo or muktuk is? You’ll find out today. (Overnight accommodation in Inuvik)

Day 9: Inuvik - Whitehorse

There’s just enough time to pay a visit to the Igloo Church this morning before we board the plane back to Whitehorse. Once in Whitehorse, we have the afternoon free for shopping, resting, and exploring the town a little further. (Overnight accommodation in Whitehorse)

Day 10: Departure Whitehorse

Today marks the end of your great adventure and your departure from Whitehorse. Transfer to the airport or to a connecting program. (End of tour services) Due to the nature of this tour last-minute changes to the itinerary are a possibility and are left up to the discretion of the guide.

We’ll provide you with a packing list of what to bring on the tour. Winter clothing rental packages available:

Northern Lights Package
– insulated parka
– insulated pants
– winter boots (rated to -40C)
– gloves
– insulated hat

Arctic Package
– double-insulated parka
– insulated pants
– winter boots (rated to -100C)
– gloves
– insulated hat

Payment Details

Deposit and Taxes
Pricing does not include: 5.00% GST.
A 10% deposit is required to hold your reservation.
The balance of payment is due 60 days before trip commencement.


Cancellation fees:

  • Anytime after confirmation: 10% of tour price;
  • 60-45 days prior to arrival: 30% of tour price;
  • 44-30 days prior to arrival: 60% of tour price;
  • Within 30 days: 100% of the tour price.