A young city founded in 1915, Anchorage is a vibrant city of just over 300,000 people. From its humble origins as a railroad town for the Alaska Railroad, the largest city in Alaska maintains its frontier history in an idyllic mountain setting.
Although the origin of the name still remains unknown, the town of Tok has been a trade and services center for travelers ever since its beginning as a construction camp in the 1940s. The town at the present location of Tok began as an Alaska Road Commission camp used for construction and maintenance of the Alaska Highway. The history of Tok traces back to the Athabascan Indian settlements in the region. Today it is known as the “Sled Dog Capital of Alaska,” as many of its residents are involved with dogs and dog mushing.
Denominated as the city with the least air pollution in the world by Guinness World Records, the city of Whitehorse is the capital and the largest city of Yukon, Canada. The city was incorporated in 1950. The city was named after the White Horse Rapids for their resemblance to the mane of a white horse. The history of Whitehorse dates back several of thousand years ago. Archeological research revealed evidence of several different tribes passed through the area. Today, the city is home to several historic sites, outdoor attractions, arts and entertainment.
Lying at the head of Lynn Canal is Skagway, one of the driest places in an otherwise soggy southeast. While Petersburg averages over 100” of rain in a year and Ketchikan a drenching 154”, Skagway gets only 26” annually. At the height of the gold rush, Michael J. Heney, an Irish contractor, convinced a group of English investors that he could build a railroad over the White Pass Trail to Whitehorse. The construction of the White Pass & Yukon Route was nothing short of a superhuman feat, and the railroad became the focal point of the town’s economy after the gold rush and during the military buildup of WWII.
Located in Yukon, Canada, the town of Dawson City, was first settled in 1896 when it was founded by Joseph Ladue. Dawson City was named in January 1897 after noted Canadian geologist George M. Dawson, who had explored and mapped the region in 1887. It served as Yukon’s capital from the territory’s founding in 1898 until 1952, when the Whitehorse became the capital. When Dawson was incorporated as a city in 1902, it met the criteria for “city” status under the municipal act of that time. When a new municipal act was adopted in the 1980s, Dawson met the criteria of “town”, and was incorporated as such, although with a special provision to allow it to continue to use the word “City”, for historic reasons and to distinguish is from Dawson Creek. Dawson City was the center of the Klondike Gold Rush. The population of Dawson City dropped after World War II after Whitehorse became the Alaska Highway’s hub. Today, Dawson City’s main industries are tourism and gold mining.
Choice on Tour
Get to know Dawson City’s compelling history on a fascinating tour by coach that includes Bonanza Creek and the SS Keno, the last sternwheeler -OR- embark on a walking tour showcasing the city’s rich gold rush history with a local guide.
Top of the World Highway
Drive down the impossibly scenic Top of the World Highway, running along the Alaskan hillsides to give you incredible views of the valleys below.
A home rule city in the state of Alaska, Fairbanks is the largest city in the Interior region. The city of Fairbanks was founded by Captain E. T. Barnette in August 1901 while headed to Tanacross, where he intended to set up a trading post. Fairbanks has a history of gold mining, which dates back to when it was founded. In 1939, major infrastructure in the territory occurred for the first time, in part of a larger effort by the federal government during the New deal and World War II, which fostered an economic and population boom in Fairbanks. The city of Fairbanks is home to a number of attractions and events which draw visitors from outside of Alaska throughout the year.
Take a scenic three-hour sternwheeler cruise on the Chena River into the heart of Alaska where you’ll meet a family who has made this wild place home.
Denali National Park
In 1917, Alaska named its first national park Mount McKinley National Park and nearly 70 years later the park was expanded and renamed Denali National Park. This vast land has a fascinating ecosystem and is more than a park — it is a wildlife reserve. And perhaps its biggest claim to fame is being the home to North America’s highest peak, Denali, ascending more than 20,000 feet. This massive park is now more than 6 million acres, an area that can be compared to the size of Massachusetts. The park is home to nearly forty different varieties of mammals, but the most popular residents are moose, caribou, wolves, plus brown and grizzly bears. Denali is Alaska’s heartland and brings you up close to its majestic beauty and natural wonders.
Music of Denali Dinner Theater
Telling the story of the first men to reach the summit of Denali is the focus of the rollicking Music of Denali Dinner Show. Told over a period of two hours while guests dine on a family-style meal of Alaskan salmon, BBQ, mashed potatoes and apple crisp, the show is sure to delight.
Tundra Wilderness Tour
The Tundra Wilderness Tour offers wonderful diversity for visitors. Travel 53 miles into the park to the Toklat River area where incredible scenery and some of the best opportunities to view the park’s wildlife await you. This tour also provides in-depth information about the history of the park. While we can’t promise or predict when wildlife will show, the tour allows plenty of opportunity to look for Dall sheep, moose, caribou, wolves and grizzly bears.
This historic village is the go-to travel destination for avid mountain climbers. Situated at the bottom of Mt. McKinley, the highest mountain peak in North America, Talkeetna serves as a base for climbers. Aside from its athletic draw, visitors can browse art galleries, local trades, and even the historic Nagley’s General Store (almost 100 years old!). With a population of less than 900 people, you’ll feel just like a native Alaskan!
Surround yourself in unspoiled landscapes, ancient glaciers and an array of wildlife on your Alaskan and Yukon adventure. Take a trip through breathtaking Prince William Sound to view its glaciers. Visit the small town of Tok, the original trade center for travelers coming from and returning to Canada. Set out for the “Gateway of the Klondike” – Skagway. Board a scenic sternwheeler for a cruise on the peaceful Chena River. Enjoy breakfast and savor first-class Goldstar service on the Alaska Railroad on an adventure into Denali National Park, and travel deep into the park on a backcountry adventure Tundra Wilderness tour. Enjoy some leisure time in the quaint town of Talkeetna. Along the way come to know all of the treasures of “the last frontier.”