On the Old Pioneer Trails

22 days and 21 nights, from Seattle to Anchorage or vice versa

This oneway selfdrive takes you from Seattle all the way to Anchorage through big cities, along beautiful coasts and up into the mountains. You will come across stampede communities, cowboy country and learn more about the First Nations. The scenic Top of the World Highway will take you from the Yukon to Alaska, where you will spend time at Wrangell St. Elias and Kenai Fjors National Park. This tour really has a lot to offer!

Day 1

Seattle

After your arrival in Seattle pick up your rental car. Spend the remainder of the day exploring this impressive city. Visit the famous Pike Place Market and indulge in fresh produce and local goods. See Seattle and the spectacular surroundings from above at the observation platform in the Space Needle or relax during a harbor cruise and enjoy Seattle from the water.

Day 2

Seattle to Vancouver (144 miles)

The most direct connection between the two cities is the Interstate 5, but it is worth taking a detour on one of the scenic byways to take in the fantastic landscape in the Northern US. For example the Chuckanut Drive which overlooks Samish Bay and offers gorgeous views of the San Juan Islands. Leave enough time for the border crossing before you head to Vancouver.

Day 3

Vancouver

A full day to discover one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The setting is most spectacular with the ocean at your toes and the mountains in the backdrop. Stroll along the waterfront, take a scenic flight to get a bird’s eyes view of the city, visit bustling Chinatown, explore the different neighborhoods or go on a shopping tour on famous Robson Street.

Day 4

Vancouver to Whistler (80 miles)

The Sea-to-Sky Highway winds along the beautiful coast and rewards you with fantastic views of the inlet. The scenery changes dramatically the higher you get into the mountains. Various Provincial Parks with waterfalls and glacial lakes are worth a stop before you enter the resort town of Whistler. The co-host city of the 2010 Olympic Games offers a charming atmosphere and unlimited options for outdoor lovers. Hiking, mountain biking and canoeing are just a few of the options.

Day 5

Whistler to 100 Mile House/Williams Lake (92 miles)

Enjoy the panoramic views while you travel on a winding and very scenic mountain road to Lillooet. Next is Fraser Canyon with it’s impressive gorge. Don’t miss Clinton, a typical stampede community with the charm of the days of the traditional wagon routes.

Day 6

100 Mile House to Prince George (206 miles)

This is cowboy country. Many relics of the old days of the Cariboo wagon routes can be found along the way. Williams Lake is an important stampede town and hosts one of the largest rodeos in Canada every year on the Canada Day-Weekend. The murals in town are also worth a look. Continue to Prince George, the biggest city and service town for the whole North of British Columbia.

Day 7

Prince George to Smithers (230 miles)

A drive through farm land takes you to the Bulkley Valley and into Smithers. The small town has a European feel and it’s surroundings offer good opportunities for hiking, fishing, canoeing or golfing. If you like the outdoors take a detour to Babine Mountains Provincial Park.

Day 8

Smithers to Stewart (205 miles)

This area in Northern British Columbia plays an important role in the life of the First Nations. The ‘Ksan Indian Village is worth a stop to learn more about their history. Later today you will follow the Cassiar Highway northbound. The last 67 km on your way to Stewart take you through exceptional scenery. Along the way you pass below overhanging glaciers on the nearby mountains and beside the Bear Glacier as it ends in a lake at road level.

Day 9

Stewart/Hyder

A day at your leisure to relax and enjoy. You may want to drive to the ghost town of Hyder that actually belongs to Alaska. Fish Creek is a good spot for bear viewing from mid July to mid September.

Day 10

Stewart to Dease Lake/Iskut (244 miles)

The Cassiar Highway runs through a very remote region in Northern British Columbia. The scenery is spectacular and you are very likely to see wildlife. Stop at Bell 2 on the way to get a cup of coffee and a bite to eat before continuing through the wilderness.

Day 11

Dease Lake/Iskut to Watson Lake (159 miles)

Another day driving through a landscape formed of bizarre mountains, crystal clear lakes and rivers and small rural communities. Later in the day you reach the town of Watson Lake. The main attraction is the “sign post forest”, an ever growing collection of more than 70’000 license plates, place-name signs or self made signs.

Day 12

Watson Lake to Whitehorse (272 miles)

Drive the famous Alaska Highway to Whitehorse, capital city of the Yukon Territory. On the way you may want to stop at the Tlingit Heritage Center to learn more about the First Nations in this area. Take some time to explore the charming town of Whitehorse, stroll along the riverside, and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of this Northern city.

Day 13

Whitehorse to Dawson City (331 miles)

Follow the Klondike Highway, “the gold rush route” up North. Relics from that age lie fallow along the roadsides. Dawson City is an old-west goldrush town with an attitude. Enjoy the turn-of-the-century atmosphere and be sure to try the world-famous sourtoe cocktail...

Day 14

Dawson City

Enjoy a day at leisure in Dawson City and take in the gold rush atmosphere. Tour the Klondike Gold Fields and try your luck panning for gold. You should not miss driving or hiking up “The Dome”, the rounded peak above Dawson City, for a panoramic view over the town and the Yukon and Klondike river valleys.

Day 15

Dawson City to Tok (185 miles)

Today you will cross the border into Alaska. The Top of the World Highway is one of the most spectacular mountain passes in North America and offers unlimited panoramic views. The Taylor Highway is in many parts a real Alaskan gravel road. Take your time on this highway.

Day 16

Tok to McCarthy (261 miles)

Today you will drive to the amazing Wrangell St. Elias National Park, the largest National Park in the US. 9 of the 16 highest peaks in North America are located in this park. The road ends just before McCarthy, a very charming ghost town that was once an important town for the world’s formerly most productive copper mine in Kennicott.

Day 17

McCarthy/Kennicott

You have a full day to explore this very special place. Visit the copper-mining ghost town of Kennicott, hike along the Root Glacier and / or enjoy some of the best flightseeing in Alaska.

Day 18

McCarthy to Matanuska Area (202-274 miles)

After your return trip to Chitina continue driving on the Richardson Highway to Glennallen and on the Glenn Hwy, declared as National Scenic Byway in 2002, to Sheep Mountain or the Palmer area. Scenic views of mountains as well as the Matanuska Glacier will showcase nature's beauty today. Overnight in Sheep Mountain or Palmer area.

Day 19

Matanuska Area to Seward (169-240 miles)

The Glenn Highway closely parallels the Matanuska River towards Anchorage, and after a possible lunch stop in Alaska's biggest city you continue southward on the Seward Highway to Seward. The highway offers outstanding sightseeing and wildlife viewing opportunities, including spawning salmon and a number of good hiking trails. Seward is a small fishing village with an excellent aquarium (Alaska SeaLife Center).

Day 20

Kenai Fjords National Park

On your day cruise you will explore the Kenai Fjords National Park. This tour takes you to Holgate Glacier. Marvel at the park’s various glaciers and keep an eye out for the diverse marine wildlife. Lunch is included as well as a salmon- and prime rib dinner on Fox Island.

Day 21

Seward to Anchorage (127 miles)

A drive along the shores of Turnagain Arm brings you closer to Alaska’s biggest city. Explore Anchorage at your leisure: Take the “Town Trolley”, visit the interesting museums, enjoy a walk along the waterfront or explore the downtown area. The Visitor Center is a good place to get you started.

Day 22

Anchorage

Your trip ends today. Return your rental car and depart Anchorage.

Highlights

  • Spend time in Seattle and Vancouver, two of the most beautiful cities on the West Coast
  • Travel through Western Canada along beautiful coasts and into the mountains
  • Visit remote regions and learn more about Canada's history
  • Stay at old-west goldrush town Dawson City and explore the spectacular Top of The World Highway
  • Drive the McCarthy Road and spend two days in the heart of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park
  • Take a tour into Kenai Fjords National Park
  • GoNorth SUV 4x4 with gravel road permission

Money Saver

This selfdrive is available from either Seattle to Anchorage or from Anchorage to Seattle. Let GoNorth decide whether the routing will take place in clockwise or counter-clockwise direction and save $500 on total package price!

Rates 2018

Available May 25-August 26, 2018, for Seattle-Anchorage
Available May 28-September 3, 2018, for Anchorage-Seattle

From Seattle
to Anchorage

  • Double

    $4215 per person
    Booking Code GON426
  • Single

    $8110 per person
    Booking Code GON425
  • Triple

    $3135 per person
    Booking Code GON427

From Anchorage
to Seattle

  • Double

    $4215 per person
    Booking Code GON429
  • Single

    $8110 per person
    Booking Code GON428
  • Triple

    $3135 per person
    Booking Code GON430

Including

  • All overnight accommodations including tax, some with breakfast
  • GoNorth 5-passenger SUV 4x4 with unlimited miles, standard Collision Damage Waiver* ($2000 deductible). Oneway fee and gravel road permission included.
  • 8.5 hour Kenai Fjords National Park Cruise, including dinner on Fox Island
  • Detailed itinerary in English

*Additional VIP Protection with glass and tire coverage is available for $7 plus tax per day (lowers deductible to $500).

Money Saver

Let GoNorth decide whether the routing will take place from Seattle to Anchorage or from Anchorage to Seattle and save $500 on total package price!

Cancellation Policy

Up to 31 days before departure date 30%
30 - 21 days before departure date 50%
20 - 14 days before departure date 75%
13 - 0 days before departure date 100 %

If you want to extend your stay in Alaska, we do have some great add-ons for you!

White Pass & Yukon

Add a night in Whitehorse and follow the railroad pioneers on a trip on the White Pass and Yukon route to Skagway.
Photo by Bradley Wittke

Glacier Hike

Go on a half day or full day hike on the Root Glacier while in Kennicott/McCarthy.

Use this form to request a non-binding quote for our On the Old Pioneer Trails selfdrive. One of our destination specialists will contact you shortly with specific pricing and itinerary information. You can then choose to confirm the reservation.

You can use the box below to let us know about any additions or changes you would like to make to the selfdrive tour.

Related Tours

Use this form to request a non-binding quote for our On the Old Pioneer Trails selfdrive. One of our destination specialists will contact you shortly with specific pricing and itinerary information. You can then choose to confirm the reservation.

You can use the box below to let us know about any additions or changes you would like to make to the selfdrive tour.

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