Backpack - Tombstone Territorial Park, Yukon

Trip

Backpack - Tombstone Territorial Park, Yukon

7/19 NEWS: CANADA BORDER OPENING AUGUST 9 for vaccinated US visitors! Photo/naturalist-oriented backpack among stunning mountain and tundra scenery, viewing northern wildlife and vivid autumn colors in Tombstone Territorial Park, Yukon's "Patagonia of the North." Spectacular scenic photography and nature enjoyment, sensational terrain with superlative visual experiences and potential northern lights await adventurous backpackers in some of Yukon's finest backcountry! PHOTO CREDIT: GOVERNMENT OF YUKON / F. MUELLER

Info
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.
  • Thu, Aug 19, 2021 — Sat, Aug 28, 2021
  • Seattle Backpacking Committee
  • Exploring Nature, Photography, Backpacking
  • Adults
  • Moderate/Strenuous
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 35.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 4,000 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 6,500 ft
  • Pace: 1-1.5 mph

August 19-20  Meeting time TBD, Dawson City (Whitehouse Cabins' Heritage House lodging)

August 21 (or earlier) - Dawson City location (TBD) for mandatory pre-backpack orientation (online), and camp permits (leader will obtain)

August 22 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. 

7/19/21 update:  Canada border opening August 9 to fully vaccinated US visitors (with  negative COVID-19 test, within 72 hours pre-arrival)

See links for more info on August 9 border opening: 

https://travel.gc.ca/travel-covid (includes acceptable vaccines, pre-arrival tests)

https://www.cnn.com/2021/07/19/world/us-canada-border-opening/index.html

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Trip contingent on Canada border opening by July 22 to US vaccinated visitors (for "non-essential" tourism/recreation travelers), AND no isolation/quarantine requirements, minimal to no COVID test requirement (pre-border and/or at border), and no quarantine/testing requirements for inter-provincial or Yukon travel.   Similar or lesser border crossing restrictions are expected to occur for returning to U.S. Be prepared to submit official proof of full vaccination (card or digital app) and recent COVID-test.  See link for current Canada COVID-19 border crossing eligibility, measures and requirements:  https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/services/covid/menu-eng.html.  Leader will provide additional links and updates for border crossing and COVID requirements.

This backpack will be offered in August 2022 and posted early 2022, if it does not proceed in 2021.

Vaccinated Mountaineers members only.  This is a photo/naturalist-oriented backpack, leisurely to moderate for Minimum 3, 4-6 if tent sharing. 

3 backcountry tent sites available - single persons or shared sites (two 2- or 3-person sites).  One tent per site.  Closed tents only. On 8/11, unused spaces (or trip) will be canceled and no longer available.  

Leader permission required with requested info, using link and send email (leader does not receive some leader permission requests).   Recommend you email a copy of leader permission request form.  Leader will respond to permission requests ASAP, except when traveling remotely 7/22-31 and intermittently between 8/1 and 8/10.

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 recent 5+ day moderate/strenuous Mountaineers and other backpacking experience (this year and past 2 years) on trail and off-trail routes (including any similar terrain to Tombstone), 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 Dawson City, Yukon.  Advise if interest in tent-sharing. 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.  Also complete a follow up questionnaire (from leader) prior to approval for leader permission.

$51 member fee for back country campsites due at time of registration (fully refundable if trip cancels or another participate fills space, or partial).  $150-180 cost share of 3 nights front-country local accommodations in Dawson City (Whitehouse Cabins/Heritage House, 3-4 bed units) due to Mountaineers between August 1-10, partially to fully refundable for cancellations if another person fills the space.  Participants are responsible for cost of any lodging enroute to Dawson City and post-backpack.

Backcountry camp sites (3) reserved for up to 4 persons including shared site (additional space may be added later for 2nd shared site):   8/22-23 Grizzly Lake, 8/24 Divide Lake, 8/25-26 Talus Lake, 8/27 Grizzly Lake.  

Photo-/naturalist oriented 7-day moderate/strenuous backpack on trails and routes over some uneven ground (hummocky tundra, rocks, scree slope), minimal with optional pre-backpack hikes.   Minimal easy stream crossings.  Leisurely to moderate paced group travel, with 20-minute lunch and opportunities for short to extended photo stops and nature enjoyment along the trails/routes 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 select a trip that better matches your expectations.

Mandatory pre-backpack orientation online 8/21 or earlier in Dawson City. Pick up rental food canister ($40 deposit).  Backpack dates 8/22-28.

Enjoy a splendid 7-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 scenic 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.

With luck, the Tombstone backcountry will provide abundant tasty wild berries to enjoy - blueberries, crowberries, cranberries..  Oh My !

Arrive Dawson City August 19-20 or earlier; depart August 29 or later.

Daily itinerary:

August 19-21 optional pre-backpack activities (Tombstone Park and Dawson City):  Partial to full day hikes and interpretive trails, park roadside touring, Dawson City historical walking tour, wildlife viewing, photography.  Optional no host dinner at local restaurant.  

Hikes (Tombstone Park):  Hart River Winter Road wildlife (half to full day, 8-12 mi RT), Grizzly Valley Ridge Trail to Monolith viewpoint (3-6 mi RT), Goldensides (half day, 2-3 mi RT).  Short hikes (1-3 mi RT, flat to minimal elev change:  Beaver Pond and Edge of Arctic interpretive trails, North Klondike to L’il Creek Canyon.

Roadside touring along Dempster in Tombstone Park (forest to tundra/permafrost zones, scenic viewpoints, lakes/ponds, geological/historical sites): Two Moose Lake, Chapman Lake, Tombstone Lookout, Continental Divide Lookout, East Blackstone River Valley and Uplands, etc.

Backpack August 22-28:

Aug. 22:  Backpack from trailhead via Grizzly Creek Valley and Mt. Monolith viewpoint to Grizzly Lake campground (el. 4,550') 6-7mi, 2300' gain & 800'.loss.

Aug. 23:  Day hike from Grizzly Lake camp to Twin Lakes viewpoint (el. 6,050'), ~3-4mi rt, 1,400' gain & loss, and short excursions near Grizzly Lake.

Aug. 24:  Backpack from Grizzly Lake camp via Glissade Pass to Divide Lake camp el. 4,567'), 4 miles, 1400' gain & loss.  Short excursions near Divide Lake, may include hike to Mt. Frank Rae (el 7,700') and valleys toward the mountain, up to 3,133' gain & loss. .

Aug. 25:  Backpack from Divide Lake camp via Tombstone Pass to Talus Lake camp (el. 4,537'), 4 miles , negligible elevation change.    Short excursions near Talus Lake or enroute to camp, may include hike to Mt. Frank Rae (el 7,700') and valleys up to 3,133' gain & loss.  .

Aug. 26:  Day hike to base of Tombstone Mountain, nearby lakes,  Short excursions near Talus Lake and Tombstone valley 7.5mi with minimal elevation change..

Aug. 27:  Backpack from Talus Lake camp via Glissade Pass to Grizzly Lake camp, 7.5mi, 1,400' gain & loss.

Aug. 28:  Backpack from Grizzly Lake camp to trailhead, 6-7mi, 800’ gain & 2,300' loss

Backcountry camp sites (3) reserved for up to 6 persons including 2-shared sites:   8/22-23 Grizzly Lake, 8/24 Divide Lake, 8/25-26 Talus Lake, 8/27 Grizzly Lake.   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 ($40Cdn deposit).

Leader will have satellite phone (rental or personal) and/or satellite communicator (ie InReach).  Leader will be driving to Tombstone, with  limited carpool space (up to 2 passengers) from Seattle/Vancouver, WA 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:  http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/conserve/bearsandcougars.pdf?v=1562646454652 and Leave No Trace principles. Each participant will carry bear spray.  Leader will also have bear banger. 

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

PARK INFO:  https://yukon.ca/en/guide-tombstone-territorial-park

PHOTOS/TRIP REPORTS:  https://www.mountainphotography.com/gallery/tombstone-mountains-yukon/

https://www.mountainphotographer.com/tag/tombstones/

http://journeyscope.com/tombstone-territorial-park-yukon/

Participants are responsible for reserving any pre-August 19 front country accommodations enroute or in Dawson City area, and 1 night on last backpack day.  Leader will provide recommendations for Dawson City campgrounds, hostels, bunkhouse rooms, cabin, motels and B&Bs.  Estimated nightly costs $15-$40 for camping/hostel space and $95-$180 for motel/B&B.

You might wish to add extra days to explore more of Tombstone Park or beyond on day hikes and drives:  Dawson City, Klondike Gold Rush heritage sites, and Dempster highway further north into Northern Ogilvie Mountains to Eagle Plains or Arctic Circle.  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.

Travel / /accom info: 

Yukon and Dawson City:   www.travelyukon.com/en,  https://dawsoncity.ca , https://www.travelyukon.com/en/discover/regions/klondike/dawson-city 

British Columbia & N. BC:  https://www.hellobc.com/ , https://www.hellobc.com/places-to-go/northern-british-columbia/

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

Flights (daily) to Dawson City: from Seattle or Vancouver BC via Whitehorse. 

Trip prices  (ie, lodging) will be adjusted, up or down, if significant currency rate changes.  Trip prices  USD$; local prices are CAD$.

Route/Place

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.
Roster
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 proof canister (Bear Vault or Garcia). Rentals available.
  • Cooking pot/pan with plate and utensils
  • Toilet paper and shovel or blue bag to deal with waste
  • Hiking footwear with sturdy soles and support, for varied & uneven terrain
  • Trekking poles recommended
Trip Reports