DAYS 82 – 94: CANADA
Farewelling the United States (for now), you will have a full day’s drive over the Canadian border to the town of Banff, stopping en route at the fascinating Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, a cliff that aboriginal people used for hunting for almost 6000 years.
You will have 3 or 4 nights in Banff depending on the local conditions at the time of the trip. Either way you will have plenty of time to explore the plethora of stunning sights and wonderful activities including hot springs, the Banff Gondola and visiting the nearby Columbia Ice Fields.
From Banff your overland tour will travel on the spectacular Icefields Parkway through Banff and Jasper National Parks and visiting Athabasca Falls en route. In Jasper you will have a full day free to explore the area with activities such as mountain biking, horse riding, hiking and fishing.
Leaving the Canadian Rockies behind you will head northwest towards Stewart, camping en route along the way, and also stopping off in Hazelton to visit the ‘Ksan Indian Village. Stewart is situated by the border with Alaska and is called “The Gateway to the Klondike”. Its first permanent settlement dates back to the late 1800s when prospectors first came searching for gold.
The next day you will briefly cross into Alaska and visit the Hyder area. You will visit Fish Creek bear viewing platform where Alaskan brown grizzly and black bears come to fish and eat salmon. You will also view the Salmon Glacier, the 5th largest glacier in the world. Note the season for bears is usually from mid-July to early September, but the dates vary every year and as with all wildlife spotting, no sightings can be guaranteed.
Returning to Canada you will head for Watson Lake where you can perhaps visit the world-famous signpost forest or see a show at the Northern Lights Centre.
Your last stop in Canada will be Dawson City, once a hive of activity for gold prospectors. En route you will visit Dredge No 4 which is one of the original mining rigs and the largest wooden-hulled bucket dredge in North America. You will camp across the Yukon river from Dawson City for 2 nights, and in your free time you may want to visit Diamond Tooth Gerties Casino, a real outwest experience!