Tombstone's unique collection of vegetation and wildlife is linked to the special geology and geography of the region. The diversity of rocks and minerals in the area has created a variety of soils which support a wide range of plant communities, which in turn provide habitat for many animal species.
At the south end of Tombstone Park, dense boreal forests reach up the valleys of the Klondike and Chandindu rivers. Small and isolated stands of spruce trees are scattered throughout the rest of the area, forming little “islands” of trees in a sea of tundra.
Tombstone Park's diverse landscape supports a rich natural history and spectacular scenery, making it a popular destination for hikers and other travellers in the Yukon. There are several magnificent hiking trails along Grizzly Lake and Klondike River. The North Fork Pass Viewpoint, two kilometers from the highway, is a recommended hiking start point where one can see Tombstone Mountain itself looming at the end of the valley. Hikers and photographers are attracted by tundra walking with dramatic views, unusual landforms and craggy peaks.
If you can meet the physical challenges of rough weather and the hard terrain of exposed mountain passes and/or you are solo adventure hikers looking to brave true wilderness camping, then you will be rewarded with the most spectacular of sceneries here.
Tombstone Mountain Campground has 36 campsites which make it a good base for exploring this area. From the picnic tables, one can often view feeding grizzly bears from a safe distance. From June to early September, the Dempster Highway Interpretive Centre at the campground has staff to answer most questions and experienced naturalists to lead occasional hikes.
Tombstone Territorial Park is a refuge for some of the Yukon's great wildlife species. Dall sheep, black bears, grizzly bears, moose, caribou, marmots, pikas, and other small critters live in this park. Commonly spotted birds include ptarmigan, bufflehead ducks, gyrfalcons and golden eagles among over 130 species that in this park.
For at least 8,000 years the Tr'ondek Hwech'in and other First Nation peoples inhabited the Tombstone area. The park shows a remarkable continuity of occupation with at least 78 known archaeological sites. In July 1998, 2,164 square kilometers was set aside and became Tombstone Territorial Park as a result of an agreement with the Tr'ondek Hwech'in Nation. Follow the paved Klondike Highway 40 kilometers southeast from Dawson City, then turn north on the gravel-surfaced Dempster Highway which runs 741 kilometers to Inuvik on the Mackenzie Delta.