This hiking trip starts with a spectacular ride on a float plane from Whitehorse to the interior of Kluane National Park. Away from any signs of civilization we trek on the Donjek route and adjust quickly to the rhythm of nature. Breathtaking scenery and a land full of wildlife are icons of this trip. We will hike through lonely tundra, pass in front of two glaciers and follow an abandoned horse trail through old stands of forests. The land seems without borders and the photo opportunities are endless.
Date 2013: August 14 to August 25
Duration: 12 days, from – to Whitehorse
Group size: 3 to 8 guests
Skill level: Advanced
Rates: $3150 per person + 5% GST, single supplement hotel $240 + GST
- Floatplane ride from Whitehorse or Kluane Lake to Big Horn Lake
- All transportation described in this itinerary
- Hotel in Whitehorse
- Meals and snacks during trip
- Professional guide services for the duration of the trip
- All necessary group equipment for the hiking trip, except sleeping bag and pad
- Park fees and admissions
Day 1: You arrive in Whitehorse on your own schedule. In the afternoon you will meet your guide for tour preparation and trip briefing. Overnight in a downtown Hotel.
Day 2: We pick you up at your hotel and will drive to the float plane base just outside the city. After loading the plane we take off and fly along vast valleys and over mountain ranges into Kluane National Park where we land on Bighorn Lake. We are now just below the Kluane and Donjek glaciers which are part of one of the largest non-polar ice fields in the world. Here we will pitch our tents and we will prepare our first supper together.
Day 3 to 10: In the morning we pack our camp and hike close-up to the Donjek glacier. Here we enjoy the silence of the land, occasionally interrupted by the rumbling of the ice. We hike farther on our route to Hoge Creek und in its bed up towards Hoge Pass. Now the vegetation changes remarkably from tundra to alpine. Most likely we will encounter Dall Sheep grazing between rocky mountain slopes. We will camp below Hoge Pass which we will ascent the following day. The rather steep climb to the pass will cost us some sweat, but the spectacular view from atop will be our well deserved reward. The descent from the pass towards Burwash Creek is gentle and over grassy hillsides where we will again encounter the rare sheep. Coming back into tundra we will set camp for two nights. This rest day you can either enjoy in camp or use to climb one of the nearby hill tops for more vistas deep into Kluane Park. The following days will lead us over the endless tundra of the Burwash Uplands. This is home to the woodland caribous and we will spot them very likely not far away.
Day 11: In the afternoon we will reach the Duke River and the Alaska Highway from where we will be picked up. In the evening we will be back in Whitehorse, where a hot shower and a soft bed will be ready for us.
Day 12: After a good nights sleep you will continue your journey on your own.
This trekking along the Donjek route is neither marked nor in any way maintained and has no infrastructure at all. The route is challenging, including difficult terrain and several river crossings. Inclement weather can move in fast. Participants must be in very good physical condition and bring a good portion of endurance. You will have to carry not only your personal belongings but also a part of the group equipment and food. Expect to start off with a backpack weighing about 25kg (55lbs). On the other hand you will be rewarded with the unparalleled beauty of the pristine wilderness of Kluane National Parks interior.
- Trip cancellation, travel and medical insurance
- Meals in Whitehorse
- Additional cost for single accommodation
- Sleeping bag and pad
- Items of personal nature and souvenirs
- a fuel surcharge may apply
About Kluane National Park:
Kluane National Park Reserve is located in the southwest corner of the Yukon Territory, bordering on British Columbia and Alaska. Kluane National Park (pronounced "Kloo - wah – nee) covers an area of 21,980 square kilometers. It is a land of an impressive diversity. The extensive mountain massive of the Wrangell – St. Elias chain is part of the Kluane National Park. Mount Logan, 5959m, Canada's highest mountain, is within the park boundaries. The park has one of the most extensive non-polar ice fields in the world. The park protects valleys and alpine tundra that yield a unique array of plant and wildlife species. Kluane has the largest diversity of pacific and arctic flora north of the 60th parallel. The gateway to activities in the park is Haines Junction, which is about 160 km west of the Yukon's capital, Whitehorse. Kluane and its American counterpart, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, were jointly declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979.
Link: Kluane National Park
The Kluane National Park Hiking Guide by Vivien Lougheed
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