New shuttle service connects Haines Junction and Whitehorse

If you book it, they will bus — as long as your trip is between Haines Junction and Whitehorse.

A new business, Yukon Adventure Time, launches on Feb. 28, offering a shuttle service between the two communities.

Isabelle Piche is the owner and operator. She says she started thinking about the need for reliable transportation into Whitehorse from Haines Junction (160 kilometres away) in the summer of 2023 when she worked at the Visitor Centre in Haines Junction.

“It was my first step into what tourists are needing, and it was absolutely mind-blowing the amount of folks that get into the Junction and say, ‘OK, I’m here for a few days, what can I do?’” she told the News on Feb. 27.

Not only that, she said that during the COVID-19 pandemic, she became aware of the number of people in the community who didn’t have the means to drive to Whitehorse for groceries, whether that was because they didn’t have access to a vehicle, or because they didn’t have the budget to be making the trip.

For her, the final piece of the business plan was aimed at supporting youth.

“My heart sinks when I hear that young ladies are hitchhiking with truck drivers to get to town,” she said. “That cannot happen.”

Because of that, she said Yukon Adventure Time offers services to tourists and locals alike.

Piche said she already has bookings for her one-day trip from the Junction to Whitehorse. She said it’s a service she plans to offer Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, leaving the Junction at 8 a.m. and leaving Whitehorse at 3 p.m. The service, which costs $80, gives people time to get groceries and run errands.

Piche will also offer a delivery service (starting at $32) for residents who need cargo, parcels and pre-paid items picked up in Whitehorse.

Some services cater to tourists as well, she said. There’s a two-hour scenic drive around the Haines Junction region from $21.50, a five-hour day hike starting at $37.25 that gives customers the option of locations including St. Elias Lake (with or without a canoe), the Auriol Trail, Sheep Creek’s viewpoint, Williscroft Canyon and more.

As well, because her van can carry both passengers and cargo, she offers shuttle services from Whitehorse to Haines Junction with their bikes if tourists or locals want to spend the day biking in the region.

Martin Laniel runs the Wanderer’s Inn in Haines Junction. He said the service will be a huge boon to the community.

“From a business perspective, for me, it’s definitely going to allow for low-budget travellers to be able to really experience Haines Junction and to be able to come out from Whitehorse,” he said.

Daniel said he’s had visitors take cabs from Whitehorse because it’s the only way they can find to get there and it costs them $400 one-way.

“This is absolutely necessary,” he said. “It should have been done years ago. I’m glad somebody jumped on the idea.”

Piche said she’s open to feedback from Yukoners about their transportation needs along this corridor. People can contact her and find out more by visiting yukonadventure.net, or by searching for the company on Facebook and Instagram.

Amy Kenny, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Yukon News