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Backpack - Tombstone Territorial Park, Yukon

2019 TRIP CANCELED - RESCHEDULING TO AUG 2020. No early inquiries/requests. Photo-oriented backpack among stunning mountain and tundra scenery, viewing northern wildlife and vivid autumn colors in Yukon's "Patagonia of the North" in Tombstone Territorial Park. Spectacular photography and nature enjoyment, sensational backpack terrain with superlative visual experiences and potential northern lights in some of Yukon's best backcountry.

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers activity.
  • Moderate/Strenuous
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 50.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 5,000 ft

August 19/20 - AM time TBD, Tombstone Territorial Park Visitor Centre.  For mandatory pre-backpack orientation and camp permits.

August 21 7:30AM Pacific Time  - Grizzly lake trailhead.  Located 1 mile south of park visitor centre or approx 35 miles north of jct of Dempster Highway and Klondike Highway. 

Updated 7/21:  


IMPROVED CONDITIONS 7/17!  No current reports of smoke / air quality impacts and forecasts to Tombstone Park / Dawson from distant large fires in Alaska and and small fires in Yukon.   Leader will continue to monitor air quality/visibility in Yukon.  Poor local / regional visibiity or unhealthy air quality, or less than 3 person minimum, will cancel backpack with reschedule  to August 2020.

3 backcountry tent sites available - single persons or shared site (2 2-person sites).  On 7/22, unused spaces (or trip) will be canceled and no longer available.  

Photo-/naturalist oriented backpack for Mountaineers members only, with 5+ day moderately strenuous Mountaineers backpacking experience. Minimum 3 persons; 5-6 capacity if tent sharing.

Before  contacting trip leader, be sure to read all trip details (leader notes, route/place info, links) to ensure your interests and experience are compatible with trip expectations.  Leader permission requests are welcome from serious inquiries, with  qualified experience.

* Leader permission required (use leader permission link) for leader review and approval, prior to registration - include 5+ day moderate Mountaineers and other backpacking experience (past 2 years), photographer and/or naturalist interests,  and why you're interested in the Tombstone backpack.  Indicate interest in carpooling - drive or ride, willing to drive solo (carpooling space not guaranteed), or preference to fly to Yukon.  Also confirm in your request that you have current passport or WA enhanced driver's license (or WA enhanced ID) valid through trip dates, required for border crossing.  Expect to complete a follow-up questionnaire (from leader) prior to approval for leader permission.

$60 member fee for backcountry campsites.  If satellite phone rented, cost will be shared by leader and participants.  Front-country local accommodations at each participant's expense or cost-sharing of shared accommodations.

Backcountry camp sites (4) reserved for up to 5 persons including shared site (additional space may be added later for 2nd shared site):   8/21-22 Grizzly Lake, 8/23-24 Divide Lake, 8/25-26 Talus Lake, 8/27 Grizzly Lake.   One tent per site.  Closed tents only. 

Leisurely to moderate paced group travel, with 20-minute lunch and opportunities for short to extended photo stops and nature enjoyment along the route and at camp.  We'll depart camp each day between 8-8:30AM.  If you're looking for a faster paced hike or solo hiking, please consider joining a trip that better matches your expectations.

Mandatory pre-backpack orientation at park visitor centre early morning of August 19 or 20.  Pick up rental food canisters.  Backpack dates 8/21-28.

Enjoy a splendid 8-day photo-oriented backpack among stunning mountain and tundra scenery, viewing northern wildlife and vivid autumn colors in Yukon's "Patagonia of the North"  in Tombstone Territorial Park.  This backpack offers spectacular opportunities for photography and nature enjoyment, sensational backpack terrain with superlative visual experiences and potential northern lights in some of Yukon's best  backcountry.   The trip leader looks forward to returning to the Tombstone and sharing the wonders of this special backpack experience.

Daily itinerary (August 21-28):

Day 1:  Backpack from trailhead via Grizzly Creek Valley and Mt. Monolith viewpoint to Grizzly Lake campground (el. 4550') 6-7mi, +2300' & -800'.

Day 2:  Day hike from Grizzly Lake camp to Twin Lakes viewpoint (el. 6050'), ~3-4mi rt, 1400' gain & loss, and short excursions near Grizzly Lake.

Day 3: Backpack from Grizzly Lake camp via Glissade Pass to Divide Lake camp el. 4567'), 4 miles, 1400' gain & loss.  Short excursions near Divide Lake.

Day 4:  Day hike from Divide Lake camp to Mt. Frank Rae (el 7700') and valleys toward the mountain, up to 3133' gain & loss, and short excursions near Divide Lake. 

Day 5:  Backpack from Divide Lake camp via Tombstone Pass to Talus Lake camp (el. 4537'), 4 miles , negligible elevation change.    Short excursions near Talus Lake.

Day 6:  Day hike to base of Tombstone Mountain,  Short excursions near Talus Lake and Tombstone valley 7.5mi.

Day 7:  Backpack from Talus Lake camp via Glissade Pass to Grizzly Lake camp, 7.5mi, 1400' gain & loss.

Day 8:  Backpack from Grizzly Lake camp to trailhead, 6-7mi, +800 & -2300'.

Backcountry camp sites (4) reserved for up to 6 persons including 2-shared sites:   8/21-22 Grizzly Lake, 8/23-24 Divide Lake, 8/25-26 Talus Lake, 8/27 Grizzly Lake.   One tent per site.  Closed tents only.   Camp facilities include 1-2 dining/cooking shelters, 1-2 pit toilets, grey water disposal, and tent platforms or gravel pads at each tent site,

Bring approved bearproof food canisters (ie Bear Vault or Garcia) for backcountry food storage.  Rental canisters are available at park visitor centre.

Leader will have satellite phone (rental or personal) and/or satellite communicator (ie InReach).  Leader will be driving to Tombstone, with  limited carpool space from Seattle area and/or locally in Dawson City/Tombstone area.

Health and medical/evacuation insurance coverage are recommended during travel in Canada.

Bear-safety and Leave No Trace backcountry travel and camp practices are expected.  Review bear safety info: .Each participant will carry bear spray. 

Be sure to view photo, park and trip report links below:

Participants are responsible for reserving pre-/post-trip front country accommodations in Dawson City area, with at least 2 nights  prior to backpack and 1 night on last backpack day.  Leader will provide recommendations for Dawson City campgrounds, hostels, bunkhouse rooms, cabin, motels and B&Bs.  Contact leader if interested in sharing accommodations.  Estimated nightly costs $15-$40 for camping/hostel to $95-$180 for motel/B&B.

You might wish to add extra days to explore more of Tombstone Park on day hikes, Dawson City, Klondike Gold Rush heritage sites, and Dempster highway further north.  Other great side trips:  Kluane NP, Icefield Discovery (fly-in camp on Mt. Logan in Kluane NP), and more in Yukon and BC travel guides.

See Yukon Tourism/Travel, Dawson City, and BC Tourism (if driving) for travel/accom info.

More details to follow - gear recommendations, transportation options (air or carpool) between WA and Yukon, etc. 




Tombstone Territorial Park, Yukon

  • see Land Manager

    CNTS Tombstone River 116B/7

    CNTS Upper Klondike River 116B/8

    Tombstone Park Hiking Map
  • See full route/place details.
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials plus overnight gear which may include:

  • Tent with footprint/ground tarp
  • Stove and fuel
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Water filter
  • Bear canister or extra stuff sack and cord designated for hanging food
  • Cooking pot/pan with plate and utensils
  • Toilet paper and shovel or blue bag to deal with waste
Trip Reports