In a previous post, I shared that we are only able to spend ninety consecutive days in Europe due to visa limitations. Our original plan of four months in Europe needs to be scaled back to three. That means we are going to allocate an extra month to our travel through North America. After a few weeks of pouring over maps of Canada and the United States, we have selected a “stretch” destination for the family. We should try and fit the Yukon into our dream trip. More specifically Kluane National Park.
Kluane seems “out there” to us. On a map, it is more than 5,500km from Toronto. It gets less than 40,000 visitors a year. It adds a whole new element of remoteness to the trip. It opens up adjacent locales like Whitehorse and Alaska. It even has car camping. I am not too sure about an electric vehicle charging station.
Kluane National Park’s location in northwest Canada allows us to break up the trip into three distinct segments. The first month would be the route from Toronto to Kluane. This would take us on a northerly route through Saskatoon and Edmonton. The second month would be a journey down the west coast to Vancouver. It would be a leisurely route from Kluane, into Alaska and hugging the coast down to the Gulf Islands. The third month would be the return journey home. The popular national parks of the Rockies would be the focus of this segment. Continuing East we would pass through Calgary and Regina before the long haul back to Toronto.
Where did that extra month end up going? We decided to put the extra month of travel into a leisurely journey down the west coast of Canada. With Kluane at the northern point and Vancouver at the bottom, we have been trying to figure out how to best connect the two dots. In our research, we stumbled across a potential solution that can add an “Alaskan cruise” to our bucket list. The Alaska Marine Highway System is a collection of ferries that connects more than 30 communities in Alaska. Currently, it has one port of call in Canada at Prince Rupert. There have been some questions about the sustainability of this service but we are optimistic that all will be resolved two years from now. We plan to take the ferry service from Haines, Alaska to Prince Rupert where we would then ride the provincial BC Ferry System to Vancouver island. Taking the ferry service in Alaska would eliminate us having to retrace our steps through Northern BC and Alberta. Yes, the cost is going to be high but you can pitch a tent on the deck so we can save on accommodations! It sounds too good to be true but more information can be found here.