In the far north of Canada, in the Yukon territory, you’ll find an extraordinary place called the Tombstone Territorial Park. It is a one-off vacation retreat because of its rare topography and unique flora and fauna. The 543,631 acres of Tombstone Territorial Park boasts unimaginable wilderness containing rugged peaks, permafrost landforms, lakes, rivers, marshes, wetlands and dense forests containing copious wildlife.
The water in the Tombstone Territorial Park is so blue, it can give even the Caribbean a run for its money. The trails in the park offer a tough challenge to even seasoned hikers, yet like all good hikes, the scenic reward is totally worth the effort.
Tombstone Territorial Park gets its spooky name from the imposing black granite mountains that jut out from the ground and rise upwards, thousands of feet towards the sky, hiding verdant valleys and sparkling lakes amidst them. These black granite rocks form part of the Ogilvie mountain range that surrounds most of the park. The formations are shaped like grave markings, hence the name.
The interesting landscape allows the adventurers, wayfarers, and campers to explore the area to their heart's content. There’s a lot to do in the wild, diverse, and curious plains of the Tombstone Territorial Park. It’s a haven for outdoor-loving vacationers who dream of excursions into the wild.
RV Rentals in Tombstone Territorial Park
Transportation in Tombstone Territorial Park
Tombstone Territorial Park is only an hour and a half drive from Dawson City. However, if you are not a local of Dawson City and are driving from Whitehorse, it might take you about seven hours to reach the park. Those driving from Inuvik need to strap their seat belts on for 12 hours to arrive at this remote paradise.
Before you embark on your journey, make sure your transportation is in the best condition, you are full on gas and you have a spare tire in the trunk. Once you reach Dawson City, you can find food there and other essentials as well as the hiking maps to the various campgrounds.
If you don’t want to drive all the way out don’t fret! The Yukon Wild operators would gladly drop you off via helicopter in the hub of the region.
Campgrounds and parking in Tombstone Territorial Park
Campsites in Tombstone Territorial Park
Tombstone Mountain Park Campground
There is one road-accessible campground designated solely for the RV campers at Tombstone Territorial Park. The Tombstone Mountain Park Campground offers around 36 campsites in total. The campground includes a unisex toilet, picnic tables, cook shelters, fire rings, ADA access, and access to drinking water. Bear-proof recycling bins, garbage cans, and cache are also provided to the campers. Campfires are allowed after 4.00 p.m. and firewood is also provided on site. Pets are allowed as long as they are leashed.
The campground is booked on a first come, first served basis, and self-registration is onsite.
Talus Lake Campground
Also, a hike-in campground that has a cook shelter, unisex washroom and ten tent pads for a primitive camping experience
Divde Lake Campground
Similar to the grizzly lake campground it features a cook shelter, ten tent pads, and a unisex toilet and is accessible only by hiking trails.
Grizzly Lake Campground
Tombstone Territorial Park offers many tenting and RV camping opportunities with a total of 50 RV camping sites available and three backcountry campgrounds. These hiking campgrounds include the Grizzly, Divide, and Talus Lake campgrounds.
The Grizzly Lake Campground is a hike-in only campground that requires a special permit that needs to be purchased online. To access these campsites you must carry all wildlife attractants that can be borrowed from the park center. The campground features a cook shelter, unisex outhouse, and ten tent pads or sites accessible by walking only. Pets are not allowed on campgrounds.
Seasonal activities in Tombstone Territorial Park
The Tombstone Territorial Park is a natural habitat that serves as a home to many local and migratory bird species. There’s a long list of birds that have been sighted in the region. Some of them include Canada goose, northern pintail, golden eagle, ruffed grouse, rough-legged hawk, horned grebe and many more. It is advised to watch and observe these bird species from a safe distance, avoid nesting areas, and keep the campsites clean.
There is an abundance of wildlife in the Yukon Territory and it’s highly possible you will encounter many during your camping adventures. Grizzly bears, black bears, fox, wolf, coyotes, cougar, mountain goat, elk, squirrel, moose are just some of the wild animals in the park. This vast landscape is teaming with wildlife and many species of reptiles, insects, birds, and flora making every hiking trip an adventure.
The park offers challenging but rewarding hiking trails that lead to views and scenic backdrops that are simply out of this world. The rugged trails and exerting climbs are nothing compared to the majestic views surrounding you.
Popular hiking trails include Grizzly Creek to Mount Monolith Lookout. This moderate to difficult hiking trail takes about 2-4 hours to complete and contains many challenging obstacles.
The Beaver Pond Interpretive Trail is a shorter hike that takes about an hour to complete and is ideal for starters and wheel-chair bound hikers.
Edge of the Arctic Interpretive Loop is also easy and takes about half an hour to complete. North Klondike River Trail is another relatively easy hiking trail that can take anywhere from an hour to two hours to complete.
The Goldensides Mountain Trail is moderate to advanced and about 75 km or 46 miles long making for a challenging hike over mountainous terrain. Hart River Winter Road Trail is another great hike that is on more level ground but can take up to six hours to finish.
All facilities in the park are closed in the winter months but visitors can still take advantage of the many day-time activities including wildlife viewing, hunting, aurora watching and of course some winter sports. Vacationers can enjoy skiing, snowmobiling, dog sledding, and snowshoeing during the winter months. It is the responsibility of the vacationers to ensure their own safety since the trials are not maintained in the winters. Outhouses and cooking shelters are usable throughout winter to provide some respite from the harsh weather conditions.
The vacationers also need to consult the map for park avalanche terrain, weather, and the snow conditions before embarking on the trip.
Nothing will make you forget the sight of the stunning aurora you might glimpse at Tombstone Territorial Park. The northern lights appear in all their glory and can either stay for hours, or come and go in the blink of an eye. Keep watch, and make friends with fellow campers and you’ll certainly wake-up to the shouts of ‘aurora’ echoing around the campground.
It’s almost impossible to not derive hope, courage, motivation, and passion when you are lying on your back by one of the lakes and looking up at the sky that is lit up with these mythical lights.
We highly suggest you bring your best photography skills even if you are not a professional photographer. Every corner, every pinnacle, every lake, and even the sky is bestowing a view that just needs to be captured. Not to mention all the animals that cross paths with you.