Tombstone Mountain Campground & A Rare Boondocking Site, Yukon
There’s only one campground in Tombstone Territorial Park and it’s at mile marker 45 of Dempster Highway.
We headed straight to Tombstone Mountain Campground from Dawson City because the Tombstone ranger I spoke to over the phone made it sound like there aren’t a lot of pullout spots along the Dempster, which translates to us as not a lot of boondocking options. The Tombstone Mountain Campground has 36 sites, some next to a creek. I was worried that we wouldn’t find a site because it’s usually fills up during the summer. Perhaps the rain kept a lot of people away, but we were able to choose from several empty spots.
At CAD $12/per night for dry camping with access to pit toilets and free firewood, it’s a pretty good deal.
The interpretive center is a short hike through the campground on a trail covered with cranberries and mossberries.
The North Klondike River trail was accessible from our front door at the campground and is an easy 2-mile hike.
The hike is a nice introduction to the tundra.
We ended up spending two nights at the campground while making day trips out to Goldensides Mountain and Grizzly Lake trails before we found a large boondocking site off Dempster Highway.
The site is about 12 miles north of the campground (GPS coordinates for this spot 64.67306°, -138.39417°). It's right off the Dempster Highway but pretty well hidden from those driving by. There's a large empty spot right when you turn off the highway, but don't settle for this spot. Drive further down the gravel road and you'll reach a second large space which is where we spent 3 nights.
There is a small pond and a flowing creek that shares this space. While we pretty much had the site all to ourselves, there was a large water truck that was parked next to pond. There was also a pump and a large water hose that ran from the pond to the truck, filling the tank up. Each day while we were there, someone would show up to drive the truck away and return at the end of the day. We're pretty sure the truck was used to water Dempster Highway to keep the dust down.
We had a view of Surfbird Mountain across the highway, one of our two favorite hikes at Tombstone Territorial Park.
Keep in mind that aside from the campground, there aren't any amenities except for the gas station at the intersection of Dempster Highway and North Klondike Highway southbound and Eagle Plains (around mile marker 229 northbound) where there's a hotel, campground, gas station, garage, tire sale and repair, and limited aircraft facility. There's no cell signal at Tombstone Territorial Park or wifi at the campground interpretive center.
We visited this area from August 17 - 22, 2016.