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End of November Whitehorse trip(incl. dempster hwy)

Toronto, Canada
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End of November Whitehorse trip(incl. dempster hwy)

We are planning a trip to whitehorse towards the end of November(american thanksgiving weekend). Our plans include checking out the northern lights, driving to arctic circle. Is this a good time for northern lights? I am skeptical about renting a car and driving to arctic circle. Can anyone suggest any day tours/rides from whitehorse to arctic circle and back?

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Whitehorse, Canada
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1. Re: End of November Whitehorse trip(incl. dempster hwy)

Whitehorse to the Arctic Circle and back is a 4-day trip, and I don't think anybody offers it as a tour. November is an okay time for Northern Lights, with typically more clouds but warmer temps than in Jan-Feb. The snow here is easier to drive in than what you get in TO - drier and less slippery, but the Dempster can be VERY bad for high winds and ground blizzards, so you have to be prepared and flexible.

Toronto, Canada
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2. Re: End of November Whitehorse trip(incl. dempster hwy)

I'd be doing a ton of research before heading out and doing the Dempster in November.....

Toronto, Canada
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3. Re: End of November Whitehorse trip(incl. dempster hwy)

Thanks guys for the replies. Yes I agree I do need to do ton of research. I have been probing around the web but if you guys are familiar with similar plans/area can you please point me out in the right direction?

Whitehorse, Canada
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4. Re: End of November Whitehorse trip(incl. dempster hwy)

I live in Whitehorse and have driven the Dempster many, many times in all sorts of weather. Driving it yourself is reasonable if you have a fair bit of snow experience and winter gear. Driving Force in Whitehorse will rent you an appropriate vehicle.

Whitehorse, Canada
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5. Re: End of November Whitehorse trip(incl. dempster hwy)

One of my cousins had some visitors up the Dempster the past couple of days, and just sent a mini-report: "Back in Dawson City! Yukon must have known how much I wanted to show her off, and she didn't disappoint! Hundreds of caribou, northern lights, snow, blue skies, and good roads." I may need to go up again! :)

Toronto, Canada
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6. Re: End of November Whitehorse trip(incl. dempster hwy)

I did drive quite a bit in snow lived on lake erie shore for quite sometime. But I am not sure if its much worser than that snow or if I should consider that experience. Really appreciate your feedback.

Whitehorse, Canada
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7. Re: End of November Whitehorse trip(incl. dempster hwy)

My wife spent most of her life in your area, and says that Yukon snow is much easier to drive in than yours. The wet, slippery stuff we got yesterday is the early-season exception to that. Up the Dempster in particular, the snow is so dry that it's really more like driving on sand.

Whitehorse, Canada
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8. Re: End of November Whitehorse trip(incl. dempster hwy)

Travel advisories for the Dempster, the official ones, get issued with some frequency starting around now. If you listen to the local CBC morning show you'll catch them.

To add to CYT's post, there are one or two additional caribou herds that rarely migrate as far as the Dempster that are there now. One of them's endangered, so its closed to hunting. I don't know how long they hang around, but it should be quite a sight if they're still there.

Edited: 24 October 2013, 17:54
Toronto, Canada
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9. Re: End of November Whitehorse trip(incl. dempster hwy)

Thanks once again. One other question is how do we need to plan for gas on dempster hwy? are there frequent gas stations? are there any motels/ bnb's on the way?

Whitehorse, Canada
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10. Re: End of November Whitehorse trip(incl. dempster hwy)

There's only one gas station and motel on the Dempster, at Eagle Plains. It's a tad rough but better than sleeping in the car in November! You also may have to go far out of the way to Dawson City (almost 80 km round trip) to fuel up before heading up the Dempster, as the gas station at the junction burned. The closest gas that you go by before reaching the junction is 160 km south at Stewart Crossing.