Please note, this post is part of a series. Click here to read it from the beginning.
When planning my (possibly over-ambitious, I grant you) journey from San Francisco to Anchorage, I had considered travelling through the Yukon. I figured I would have little reason to venture into the province again, and it would be another one to check off the bucket list. Unfortunately, after further research, I realised that none of the (very few) transport routes in the area connect up and, even if they did, cheap accommodation is scarce. Unless you’ve got about 3 weeks spare (which I didn’t), just about the only way to do it is drive. I didn’t fancy three or four days in a car on my own. So, when I saw that the White Pass and Yukon Route railroad travels as far as the Yukon (as the name leads you to believe) and I could join the excursion via the fast ferry from Haines, it seemed perfect. As the details on their website seemed sketchy, I emailed the excursion company to check it definitely enters the Yukon and was informed it does. However, it was only when I was on the train that I discovered they had booked me on the Summit Excursion. This train only travels 200ft into British Columbia, over 20 miles short of the border with the Yukon.
The mentality of cruise ship passengers is something I don’t think I will ever understand. Despite being told the train was going to be full, only a few of us got into the first carriage. The second carriage was reserved for a cruise ship group, who all boarded the train and promptly fell asleep. I looked on astounded, shocked they had paid over $100 each to nap on a train.
The Summit Excursion is a beautiful train ride, and I have some amazing photos that I took as we chugged along cliff edges and over bridges that didn’t look like they would hold our weight. I wouldn’t have paid $179 for it if I had known we were only going as far as White Pass Summit, though. I used to work in British Columbia, so crossing over that border was nowhere near as exciting as if I’d been able to say I’d visited the Yukon.
So, the Yukon goes back on the bucket list. It has got me thinking, though. If I could find someone to come with me, maybe we could drive through the Yukon and then further up to explore Northern Alaska…
As an added note to this post, when I returned to the UK I contacted HSFF who booked the excursion for me to complain about the incorrect information I had been given. The lady responsible apologised and refunded me 30% of my ticket.