21 Reasons to Drive North
If you’ve been thinking about making the drive through Canada to Alaska, 2023 is your year! We’re taking a look at what’s in store for travelers along the way. Hint: new tours, cultural experiences, restaurants and accommodation options are just the tip of the iceberg of all you’ll find.
Whether you’re planning a family road trip or a solo trek, there are several routes and endless adventures that offer just what you’re looking for. Choose from the Inside Passage, Rocky Mountain or Gold Rush routes through Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon and Alaska.
Plotting out road trip ideas are a sure-fire way to get you excited for the year ahead, and here’s all the info you need to get started!
National Geographic named Alberta one of the top 25 destinations in the world to visit in 2023. Why? This Canadian province allows travelers to “experience how long-held traditions and contemporary perspectives intersect, with Indigenous tourism outfitters.” Drive through the Canadian Rockies to spend time with a few Indigenous-owned tour operators.
- Painted Warriors Ranch weaves their Ojibway, Mohawk and Cree heritage into experiences for visitors near Calgary. Spend a day on the ranch taking part in activities like archery, hiking, horseback riding and more.
- Want to join a fireside chat at the Sawridge Hotel in Jasper with Warrior Women? Matrica Brown shares Cree stories, drumming and songs over the course of an evening.
- In Edmonton, join Sissy Thiessen at Wase Saba Experiences for a one-of-a-kind Indigenous Powwow dance experience during which guests can experience an authentic dance performance, discover Powwow education and stories of origin, handle real beadwork and partake in a group round dance.
Learn more about experiencing Indigenous culture in Alberta here.
Whether you start your drive in Vancouver, spend time in the Haida Gwaii island chain or pass through the Kootenay Rockies, there’s always something new to experience in British Columbia. Here’s a taste of what’s to come in 2023:
- Try Rusted Rake Brewing, a new farm-based brewery in Nanoose Bay on the east coast of Vancouver Island.
- Kwa'lilas Gallery is a new Indigenous art gallery and gift shop in the Kwa'lilas Hotel in Port Hardy at the northern end of Vancouver Island.
- Explore Haida Gwaii through fishing or SUP adventures with Ocean Edge Expeditions. The new operator also offers multi-day tours.
- A new arts, culture and heritage facility is being developed in Fort Langley. Salishan Place by the River will open in summer 2023. The three-story building will share and celebrate the voices and stories of community members, encouraging interactive and inclusive experiences for visitors of all ages. It will also feature Indigenous and community galleries, program spaces and community archives.
- Beginning in March, Sunshine Coast Air is offering a new flight tour of the Sechelt Peninsula. Visitors will experience storytelling, drumming and song describing the lives and lands of the Indigenous peoples as they fly over old growth forest, mountains and river.
- New accommodation options in the Rockies include Basecamp Golden Lodge, along the Kicking Horse River near downtown Golden, and Boulder Mountain Resort’s new geo glamping domes near Revelstoke.
- Make your way to the town of Golden to experience the new Golden Skybridge, Canada’s highest suspension bridge (426 feet over the valley floor), zipline, bungee swing, mountain coaster and more.
- Guided heli-hiking trips are now available in Tumbler Ridge Global Geopark through Jadefit, making more areas of the park accessible to visitors.
Find more adventures in British Columbia here.
Yukon celebrates the 125th anniversary of the Klondike Gold Rush in 2023, and Dawson City is the best place to join in. Frommer’s agreed and named it one of the best places to visit in the new year, so be sure to drive through this vibrant town that offers arts and culture along with outdoors adventures. It has long celebrated its gold mining history through tours, shows and cultural centers, but now there’s even more.
- While it’s far from new, take a tour the Palace Grand Theatre, a fully restored, gold rush-era theatre built by Arizona Charlie with the Parks Canada staff.
- Join local resident Tommy Taylor on Fishwheel Charters for a two-hour scenic boat ride on the Yukon River. While you’re cruising, you’ll also learn about his ancestors, the Hän people, and their traditional lifestyles.
- Parks Canada’s Red Serge, Red Tape interpretive tour program looks at the displacement of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in by the influx of gold seekers who arrived in the area. It gives a different perspective as you tour the Klondike National Historic Sites in town.
Discover even more places to stop in the Yukon here.
No matter which driving route you take, when you cross the Alaska-Canada border you’ll find even more chances for outdoor adventures in the 49th state. If you’ve dreamed of camping on a glacier, watching black bears feast on salmon or soaring over boreal forest, you’re in luck. Chart your course through Alaska appropriately to find these new tours.
- Alaskan Footprints will give visitors a taste of the best eats in the state’s largest city by launching full-day tours in Anchorage in summer 2023, with a local guide sharing the history of the city along the way.
- Near Palmer, Alaska Zipline Adventure Park is now open and features tandem lines that soar 255 feet over the boreal forest, with riders reaching speeds up to 45 mph and covering nearly 4,000 feet over the course of six ziplines.
- Also near Palmer, Revel Treks & Tours is offering day and extended trips for hikers of all abilities, including the “Hike and Brew” trip that includes a stop at a local microbrewery.
- Located in Glacier View, Alpenglow Luxury Camping is now offering a “Glacier Overnight” experience, which includes being transported to Matanuska Glacier via helicopter and overnighting in a yurt on the glacier.
- Owner of multiple restaurants and overnight accommodations in the Seward area, the Seward Hospitality Group recently opened its Alaska Adventure Park. Along with an aerial park and rope course, visitors in 2023 will be able to go mountain biking, rent kayaks, go ATV riding and more.
- In 2023, Klondike Electric Bicycle Rentals and Tours in Skagway will be offering the new “Trail & Sail Tour,” combining the guided “Skagway City Highlights and Gold Panning Tour” with a sailboat experience and a lunch. The company will also rent out Ford Mustang Mach-E electric cars, allowing visitors to drive some of the Klondike Highway and into Canada.
- Adventure Ketchikan Tours will begin operating marine charter tours of Neets Bay in 2023, giving visitors the opportunity to watch black bears fish for salmon in the crystal-clear water of the area.
Uncover more cool adventures in Alaska here.
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