Tombstone Territorial Park, Yukon

A moderately strenuous 35+ mile, 5+ day loop backpack with 4,000+ of elevation gain over trail and well-traveled routes in the part of Canada known as the "Patagonia of the North." Follow the Grizzly, Divide, and Talus Lakes and Glissade Pass loop to be among spectacular spire-like mountain ranges, boreal forests, tundra, rivers and lakes with abundant northern wildlife and wild berries in season. Late August and early September are special times for intense fall colors and viewing northern lights across the tundra. There are exceptional opportunities for all interests including natural history, wildlife viewing, tundra and boreal forest botany, and nature photography.

getting there

 Flying

Fly to Whitehorse or Dawson City. Rental vehicles or bus transportation may be available from Whitehorse to Dawson City. It's 333 miles (536 km) between Whitehorse and Dawson City,   about 6-7 hours drive time.  

Driving

From Seattle, allow 3½ days to drive to Dawson City, via Prince George, BC. From Dawson City drive to the Dempster Highway, then proceed 35 miles north to Grizzly Lake trailhead or 1 mile further north to the Tombstone Visitor Centre.

Accommodations

Camping, Bed & Breakfast, and motels are available in Dawson City, Whitehorse, and along the driving route.  Front country camping available at Tombstone Park Campground.

on the trail

backpacking & Day hiking

Backpack the Grizzly, Divide, and Talus Lakes and Glissade Pass loop. Partial to full day hikes, available from most backcountry campsites, include Twin Lakes Lookout, Mount Frank Rae, Tombstone Pass, and Axeman Lakes. Many 3-8 mile moderate to strenuous day hike options from Dempster Highway trailheads include Mount Monolith viewpoint, Goldensides Mountain, Angelcomb Peak, Fold Mountain, Mount Adney, and Mount Vines/Pilot's Peak.  

backcountry campsites

There are three backcountry campsites: Grizzly Lake, Divide Lake, and Talus Lake.  Each has ten tent platforms, 1-2 pit toilets, an open cooking shelter, and a table. Reservations are required.

skiing & snowshoeing

One day to multi-day backcountry skiing and snowshoeing  are available in mid-fall through early spring.

guidebooks

  • Yukon's Tombstone Range and Blackstone Uplands: A Traveller's Guide by Sarah Locke (Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society 2000).
  •  Along the Dempster: An Outdoor Guide to Canada's Northernmost Highway by Walter Lanz (Oak House Publishing 1985).
  • The Yukon Hiking Guide by Curtis Vos (Boreal Books 1999).
  • Birds by the Dempster Highway by Robert Frisch (Robert Frisch 1987).

notes

INFORMATION for leaders

scheduling & permits

  • Check the Yukon Government "Get a park permit" web page for all permit requirements. It's probably best to email or call park in advance of reservation open date to discuss your trip plan, number of sites, and group size. A park use permit may be required, and permit applications may take up to three months to process.
  • Reservations are required for all backcountry camping. Visit the Yukon Government's "Going to Camp" website to make a reservation. Note that campsite reservations online in early January, and reservations for designated sites go quickly during first hours on opening date.

Considerations for international travel

  • Start by reviewing the latest regulations.
  • Everyone will need a passport or other valid ID such as a NEXUS card.
  • NEXUS cards can save a lot of time but only work if everyone in the car has one.
  • Make sure your vehicle insurance is valid for Canada.
  • Make sure your health insurance is valid for Canada.
  • Border crossing regulations are strict in both directions. Know what you’re allowed to take and declare everything to avoid problems.
  • You may be able to save time by checking alternate border crossings. Find apps that show updated times and other good tips.
  • Suitable Activities: Backcountry Skiing, Backpacking, Day Hiking, Exploring Nature, Photography, Snowshoeing
  • Seasons: Year-round
  • Weather: View weather forecast
  • Difficulty: Moderate/Strenuous
  • Length: 35.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 4,000 ft
  • 6,000 ft
  • Land Manager: Tombstone Territorial Park
  • Parking Permit Required: None
  • Recommended Party Size: 6
  • Maximum Party Size: 6
  • Maximum Route/Place Capacity: 12
Map
  • see Land Manager
  • CNTS Tombstone River 116B/7
  • CNTS Upper Klondike River 116B/8
  • Tombstone Park Hiking Map
Activities

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