There is no better way to see some of the most scenic highways in Alaska, Northern British Columbia and the Yukon than driving the Golden Circle Tour. Encounter snow covered mountains, majestic fjords, well maintained roads, plentiful wildlife and so much more. The tour can start from Haines, Whitehorse or Haines Junction or anywhere in between! We started the loop in Whitehorse, Yukon where you travel west along the Alaska Highway towards Haines Junction, Yukon. From Haines Junction, Yukon you travel through British Columbia along the Haines Highway to Haines, Alaska. To get from Haines to Skagway, Alaska you have to take the ferry to cross the scenic Lynn Canal. Then from Skagway you head north along the famous Klondike Highway back to Whitehorse. Below is a detailed breakdown of all the places to stop along the beautiful Golden Circle Tour!
Start your Golden Circle Tour journey is Whitehorse, Yukon. The capital city of the Yukon has so much to offer sitting along the bank of the mighty Yukon River. From the steaming Takhini Hot Springs, the Yukon Wildlife Preserve, Miles Canyon and the S.S. Klondike National Historic Site there are so many things you will not want to miss in this vibrant city. Here is our travel guide to visiting Whitehorse, Yukon to make sure all your questions are covered during your stop in Wilderness City. Make sure to check out our Top 13 Things to do in Whitehorse, Yukon so you don’t miss a thing. The hub of the Yukon has everything you need for a single night or multi night stop over including great restaurants, hotels, groceries and more. The next stop on the Golden Circle Tour is Haines Junction, Yukon.
Haines Junction, Yukon
As you head long the Alaska Highway towards Haines Junction the snowy mountains of the St. Elias Mountain range will begin to come into view and offer an incredible view. While in Haines Junction make sure to spend a day visiting Kluane National Park & Reserve. From the many hiking trails in the area to the flightseeing tours that taking you soaring 6000 feet over the mountain tops your visit to Haines Junction will leave you speechless. On your way out of town make sure to stop in Yukon’s largest ghost town, Silver City. Haines Junction is where the Alaska and Haines Highway meet, next head down the Haines Highway for a drive you will never forget to Haines, Alaska.
As you travel down the Haines Highway from Haines Junction, Yukon to Haines, Alaska on the Golden Circle Tour you cross through northern British Columbia. The drive down the highway takes you along the border of Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Park part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site dubbed the Kluane/Wrangell-St.Elias/Glacier Bay/Tatshenshini-Alesk UNESCO World Heritage Site. Once you have arrived in Haines, Alaska ensure to check out the Bald Eagle Preserve, go bear watching around Chilkoot Lake and enjoy the beauty the adventure capital – Haines! Your next stop on the Golden Circle Tour is taking the ferry from Haines to Skagway. The ferry terminal is located right in the harbour of the town and can either take the pedestrian fast ferry or the Alaska Marine Highway System that transports cars across the Lynn Canal.
Once you have crossed the majestic fjords of the Lynn Canal on the ferry from Haines to Skagway you arrive in the gold rush town of Skagway, Alaska. Make sure to spend a least a day in Skagway to enjoy the rich Klondike Gold Rush history. Skagway was the boomtown gateway to the Trail of ’98 and the Klondike Gold Fields. Skagway is the northern-most point in Alaska’s Inside Passage. Home to the White Pass and Yukon Route one of Alaska’s most popular visitor attractions, as well as the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park and many more historical landmarks that bring the Klondike Gold Rush back to life for each and every visitor. Take a step back in time and experience what it was like for each and everyone of the fortune-seekers that headed north in search of fortune and the new frontier.
Drive Back to Whitehorse
From Skagway you are less than three hours drive back to Whitehorse. As you drive northbound on the Klondike Highway towards Whitehorse this highway takes you along the historical gold rush route. You will be crossing back through the Canadian Border in Fraser, British Columbia make sure to pull over and take in the scenery and ever go for a quick kayak ride before you continue on towards Whitehorse. Make sure to stop mid-way in Carcross for incredible First Nations culture as visit the worlds smallest desert!