Canol Road

Venture by bike to the northern fringe of the Rocky Mountains in the remote Northeast Yukon!

The Canol Road takes you through some of the most isolated and beautiful territory in North America.

Date: 2021 (Sold out)

Contact to inquire about private departure

Cost: $3,195 pp, Single Supplement $150

Duration: 10 days

Riding: 285 miles over remote gravel roads. Route maps: North Canol, South Canol

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Cycle through a remote region of North America to the edge of the Rocky Mountains!

 

During WWII, the US army constructed a road to bring oil from the Mackenzie River in Northwest Territory to a refinery in Whitehorse. Two years after completion, the 176 million dollar project was abandoned. The dirt road is still seasonally maintained by the Canadian government. The winding route takes you through some of the most beautiful northern country in this hemisphere. Bike past pristine lakes with loons calling. Observe relics of the road’s WW II past. View the scenic splendor of the autumn colors in vibrant reds and golds. At night, watch the northern lights overhead from your campsite.

Your journey starts in Whitehorse Yukon, Canada for travel by van to the Village of Ross River, YT and the start of the North Canol Road. After a night spent at the YTG campground, you continue by van up the North Canol to the sub alpine splendor near Macmillan Pass. You spend an extra day exploring the area from our base camp, then head south on your bike back to Ross River and onto the South Canol Road to Johnson’s Crossing.

This tour is fully supported and consists primarily of comfortable wilderness camping. Camping is the only option for exploring this part of the world but that does not mean a lack of comfort! You dine on Alaskan specialties like grilled sockeye salmon and halibut curry. You are provided with a senior local guide who informs you about the region and takes care of your needs. This tour is a true northern adventure and wilderness experience! 

Itinerary

Day 1 – We depart Whitehorse, Yukon by van in the morning. We head north on the Klondike and Campbell Highways to Ross River. You spend the night at a YTG campground.

Day 2 – You board the Pelly River cable ferry and cross with the van to the opposite shore where the North Canol Road begins. We continue by van up the road and camp near the Northwest Territories border with a view of the Itsi Mountains. This is the northern end of the Rockies! It is possible to charter a flightseeing plane to a small airstrip near this point. This would avoid the van shuttle to begin. With this option, you would meet the group at the Itsi Mountains camp and begin biking the following morning. Contact us for more information.

Day 3 – Today the van shuttles bikers to the NWT border for the ride back to camp. Rusty vehicle relics from the WW II era line the road, and high alpine vistas highlight the changing fall colors. 30 miles.

Day 4 – Follow the river South, then climb over a ridge. The road traverses the remains of an old forest fire that swept through the region.  Fireweed lines the way as you leave the Continental Divide behind. Our camp is on the shores of a large lake. 35 miles.

Day 5 –  You continue your southerly ride through rolling hills. You spend the night at a quaint camp overlooking another small lake. 50 miles.

Day 6 – The last day of riding on the North Canol Road returns you to Ross River and a hot shower. You can bike to camp or shuttle in the van from town to the YTG campground at Lapie Canyon. 35 miles.

Day 7 – The route ascends from the Lapie River Canyon to the start of the South Canol Road. You turn right off the Campbell Highway and pedal your way south to the Pelly Mountains and camp by a lake, 40 miles.

Day 8 – Black spruce and willow line the road as you skirt by small lakes and rivers heading into the Pelly Mountains. The quiet and solitude of this country prevails. The night is spent camping on the shore of Quiet Lake. 55 miles.

Day 9 – You hop on the bikes for your last day of riding as you descend to Johnson’s Crossing and a warm shower at the local motel, 47 miles.

Day 10 – After breakfast the van heads to Whitehorse. You can fly south from there that afternoon or continue with us on the drive back to Haines, AK to extend your trip or connect to the airport in Juneau.

Lodging

This tour is primarily wilderness camping. You’ll be provided spacious tents, comfortable sleeping pads, warm sleeping bags, and camp pillows. We also set up a cook station with a shelter, a bug shelter if needed, and a portable toilet. The town of Ross River has had a hotel in the past, but currently does not. Our main indoor lodging for this route is the Johnson’s Crossing Lodge, a welcome shower, bed, and restaurant & bakery.