If you’re looking to hike in a truly wild landscape, with only those in your hiking party and the local fauna as your company, then Tombstone Territorial Park in the Yukon is the answer. With an area covering 2,200 square kilometers, this sub arctic park was established to protect the wildlife, vegetation, landforms and heritage of this unique region.
This trip is being offered in late summer when a burst of colour blankets the landscape. Crimson and gold moss and shrubs cover the valley floors while a mix of black granite and multi-coloured lichen paint the jagged peaks of the Tombstone mountain range that tower above.
Tombstone Valley is considered one of the most scenic spots in the Yukon with some of the best off-trail hiking in Canada. This is one of the best wilderness adventures and photographic opportunities of a lifetime!
Day 1: Trip briefing
At 7:30pm we meet at the lobby of the hotel in Whitehorse. We’ll go over the trip with you and check to see that you are properly outfitted.
Day 2: Whitehorse to Dempster HWY Junctions
At 9:00am we head out. A full day’s drive along the Klondike and Dempster Highways will reveal the wild and vast Yukon scenery. Stops along the way at historical sights provide us with some interesting insight into the famous Klondike Gold Rush of the late 1800’s. We’ll make our way up towards Dawson City, the historic gold town at the junction of the Dempster Highway and the Top of the World Highway along the Klondike River. Tonight we’ll stay at the Moose Creek Lodge, along the North Klondike Highway.
Day 3: Trail Head to Grizzly Lake Camp Ground
Departing at 9:00am, a 30 minute drive will take us to the trailhead where our backpacking begins. The first part of our journey takes us to a spectacular viewpoint where Mt Monolith and the surrounding jagged granite spires unveil the heart of the Tombstone Mountains. We gradually descend towards the colourful subarctic tundra valley and the base of the Monolith. Our campsite is located at Grizzly Lake, which is better suited to beautiful photography than to early morning swims.
Distance 10km. Elevation gain 700m.
Day 4: Day Hike to Glissade Pass
After a hearty breakfast, we’ll don lighter daypacks for today’s objective, Glissade Pass. A steady climb leads to a stunning view of Grizzly Lake surrounded by the vibrant red, orange and gold moss, lichen and shrubs that carpet the meadows. Wildlife viewings are frequent and may include marmot, moose, caribou, mountain sheep, bears and an array of birds. We’ll return to Grizzly Lake campground for the evening.
Distance 6km. Elevation gain 400m.
Day 5: Day Hike to Grizzly Pass
Heading south of the lake, we make our way up to Grizzly Pass with views of the endless valleys and numerous lakes that dot this enchanting landscape. We can explore the shores of Grizzly Lake on our way back to the campground, soaking our feet in this refreshing mountain tarn.
Distance 9km. Elevation gain 350m.
Day 6: Grizzly Lake Camp Ground to Trail Head
Our last day to enjoy and explore the treaures of Tombstone Territorial Park. We’ll retrace our steps back to the trailhead enjoying the immense wilderness and solitude of this world-class park. An enjoyable drive back to Dawson City gives our bodies a well-earned rest and is our resting spot for the last night of our trip.
Distance 10km. Elevation gain 700m.
Day 7: Dawson City to Whitehorse
After a restful sleep we spend the day travelling back to Whitehorse, reflecting upon and reminiscing about our previous days adventures.
Meeting Place and Time
We will meet you at the hotel lobby in Whitehorse at 7.30pm the evening of Day 1. Details for the meeting location to be confirmed upon booking.
Guides and Group Size
There will be a maximum of eight guests and a minimum of four.
Accommodation and Meals
On the trail you will be staying in modern, lightweight 2- and 1-person weather-proof tents. Accommodation in Whitehorse is not included.
We supply all meals and trail snacks from lunch on Day 2 to lunch on Day 7. Groups generally go out for dinner in Whitehorse with the guide on the final evening (own cost). Trail cuisine is prepared from lightweight ingredients including our Yamnuska custom-made dehydrated dinners. For guests with dietary restrictions, we are able to modify the program food pack to meet your individual needs. As food pricing and preparation for these diets is more costly, we have implemented the following surcharges. For vegan, gluten free, lactose free, soy free, nut free or any similar type of single restriction menu requests there will be a $16/day surcharge. For a diet requiring any 2 restrictions a $25/day surcharge will apply. For any 3 restrictions a $30/day surcharge will apply. Vegetarian meals will not be surcharged. For more complex diets our kitchen staff will assess the restrictions to inform you if the diet can be accommodated and what surcharge would apply.
Equipment and Clothing
We supply group camping and cooking equipment, as well as an emergency communication device, trip food, bear spray, water purification equipment and a full expedition emergency first-aid kit. You will need to bring personal backpacking equipment and clothing. When purchasing gear consider both functionality as well as weight. Lightweight packs, sleeping bags, sleeping mats and clothing are readily available and will lighten your load substantially.
What you bring will have a big impact on the quality of your experience. Please take the time to read the information below, and cross check with our Traveling Light and Making Backpacking Fun. The list below will keep you very comfortable in the field. Make sure you have all your clothing and gear before you arrive, and reserve any rentals with us in advance. Your guide will go through your clothing and gear with you prior to the trip.
When hiking in the mountains, it is important to be able to adjust for the changing conditions. We recommend bringing clothing that can be layered to achieve comfort as you change from periods of activity to periods of rest. We discourage cotton clothing as it causes rapid heat loss when wet.
You will need to bring:
- Wool or fleece hat / toque
- Sunhat – Wide brim or baseball style
- Long underwear top and bottoms – Lightweight synthetic or merino wool
- Socks – Preferably a synthetic / merino wool blend. Bring at least three pairs.
- Light Synthetic Shirt
- Jacket – A midweight synthetic jacket
- Insulated Jacket – synthetic or down jacket
- Waterproof / Breathable Rain Jacket
- Rain Pants – Also waterproof / breathable. Ideally with side zips so they can be put on without taking off your boots.
- Hiking Pants – Preferably windproof and quick drying. No blue jeans or cotton pants.
- Light Gloves / Mitts
- Light Footwear – Crocs, Tevas, or running shoes for the occasional creek crossing and use around camp.
You will need to bring:
- Boots – Spend some time walking around in your boots before you arrive for your trip and get used to how they feel. They should have good ankle support and tread, with sturdy soles. Your boots will make or break your holiday so some time getting used to them is time well spent. Ensure they have been waterproofed or have a good waterproof liner material.
- Gaiters – Recommended early & late season. Really help to keep feet dry, keep socks and pants clean from mud and keep debris out of your boots.
- Large Backpack – This should be between 55 and 75 Liter capacity depending on the bulk of your personal gear and length of the trip. In it you will carry your clothing, sleeping bag and mat, plus your share of group camping gear and food which is typically an extra 10 – 20 liters of space. Lightweight packs with good suspension are recommended. If bringing an additional day pack, this should be very light and compressible in order to fit inside the bigger pack on the approach hike.
- Pack Cover – This should be waterproof and large enough to cover the outside of your pack to keep the contents dry in a rain storm. You can also line the inside of your stuff sacks with plastic bags to keep gear dry.
- Sleeping Bag – We recommend a ‘3 season’ bag rated 0ºC to –6ºC as temperatures can drop to below freezing at night. Make sure you bring a stuff sac lined with a plastic garbage bag that will reduce your bag to its minimum size (i.e. one with compression straps). This will provide enough space in your pack for everything else. A down bag will be lighter and more compressible for the weight than a synthetic bag.
- Sleeping Mat – Lightweight “Therm-a-rest” mats are recommended (Not Required on Wapta Ice Hike and Lake O’Hara Hiking Tour).
- Pillow – A small, compressible pillow or a spare stuff sack into which you can stuff extra clothes to create a pillow.
- Trekking Poles – Must be collapsible.
- Sunglasses – With 100% UV protection and a hardcase.
- Headlamp – With fresh batteries
- Water Bottle / Bladder – 1-2 litre capacity.
- Blister Kit – Moleskin, Second Skin, etc.
- Personal First Aid Kit – Our guide carries a group first aid kit so keep this small. Band Aids, Tylenol/ibuprofen, etc.
- Sun Block & Lip Balm – Extra strength with UV protection.
- Eating Utensils – Bowls, sporks, a large mug, light pocket knife, etc. (Not required on the Lake O’Hara Hiking Tour)
- Personal Toiletries – Keep to a minimum with no scented items.
- Insect repellent
Please book as early as practical to avoid disappointment. A 35% deposit CDN (including GST) is required at time of booking. Final payment is due eight weeks before the start of the trip.
Please note that you will be required to sign our waiver before commencing the trip. Click here for waiver copy.
There are two basic types of insurance that most travelers need to consider: Medical and Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance. We offer our guests coverage for both and highly recommend you purchase it.
Emergency Medical Expenses Insurance:
It is wise to ensure that your health plan will cover you in case of illness or accident during your trip. Obtain extra coverage if necessary. There is no charge for rescue in the National and provincial Parks, however costs such as air or ground transportation, long term care and other services are not covered.
Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance:
We recognize that our guests’ schedules may change for many reasons; business, family, flight delays, injuries and other unplanned events. For these eventualities the Trip Cancellation/Interruption insurance is a great way to protect your investment.
For all your travel insurance requirements we recommend the Simpson Group. This agency offers a wide range of travel insurance options including Trip Cancellation/Interruption, Travel Medical and Personal Effect Loss for Canadian Travelers. We highly recommend purchasing this insurance. For more information and to purchase a plan, visit the Simpson Group’s website.
Please note that this coverage is for Canadian residents only. For guests who are not from Canada and who are interested in the ‘Visitors to Canada’ insurance package please contact the Simpson Group directly at JSimpson@simpson-group.com and reference your Yamnuska Mountain Adventure’s trip.
$2430.00 CDN Includes guide, out-trip meals, group camping gear and local transfers. Price based on twin occupancy. Single supplement will apply for those wishing to guarantee single occupancy at the hotel in Dawson City.
Not included: Whitehorse accommodation, Gratuities for guide & 5% Goods & Services Tax (GST).
How Difficult is it?
How fit and experienced need you be?
This trip is rated moderate-challenging due to steep up and downhill hiking sections as well as loose rock traverses. We suggest you train by walking or hiking in hilly terrain with weight on your back (use flights of stairs if in the city).