Destination Canada is opening up our horizons by rail, road and boat from coast to coast to coast for jaw-dropping views, meeting welcoming locals and experiencing awe-inspiring encounters around every corner of Canada. Next stop: Yukon Territory. Let’s go!
With dramatic snow-capped mountain ranges, pristine natural sights and plentiful wildlife, the Yukon is the epic backdrop to a choose-your-own-adventure that’s waiting to be told. Shaped by First Nations cultures and Gold Rush pioneers, this vast, untouched territory is also one of Canada’s least populated with plenty of room for big imaginations.
As such, the larger-than-life Yukon is primed for storytellers with a fresh perspective and a longing for transformative travel, who are ready to discover the effortlessly cool, quirky and surprising side of this Canadian territory at the top of the world.
Fast and fun facts
- How to get there: Air Canada and Qantas fly direct from Australia to Vancouver. Domestic flights to the Yukon capital, Whitehorse, are available on Air Canada and Air North.
- When to go: All year round! Visit in summer for long days, thanks to the Midnight Sun, or in winter for the Northern Lights.
- Where is it? Located north of British Columbia, the Yukon borders Alaska and the Arctic Ocean.
- Did you know? Out of Canada’s 20 highest peaks, 17 of those are in Kluane National Park.
- Moose fan? People in the Yukon are outnumbered with around 70,000 moose and 41,000 humans.
- Did you know? The Yukon is home to 14 First Nations cultures that speak eight distinct languages.
- Quirky fact: Visitors to Dawson City can join the Sourtoe Cocktail Club – a drink with a mummified human toe – in a tradition that dates back to the 1870s.
Whitehorse Who What Where Tours Owner Teena Dickson confirms that Yukon locals are indeed a “quirky bunch who love to do wild and crazy things” from ice-fishing to dog-sledding and aurora chasing. Take to the open road to experience the Yukon’s one-of-a-kind activities and wild appeal.
Base yourself in the capital, Whitehorse, a small city with a big backyard. Take the time to learn First Nations history on a guided tour of Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre and hike, bike or paddle along the 5km paved Whitehorse Millennium Trail, following relics along the Yukon River.
Just 25 minutes from Whitehorse, visit Yukon Wildlife Preserve on a guided tour of the lush sanctuary for bison, moose, deer, caribou, elk, lynx and other Canadian mammals.
Back in town, get a taste of the welcoming hospitality and local culinary scene with local ingredients, classy cocktails or home-brewed Beers at Woodcutters Blanket , inside Polarity Brewing and Japanese cuisine at tiny but mighty Wood Street Ramen, to name a few.
Dawson City (533km from Whitehorse)
From Whitehorse, head out on the Klondike Highway for the six-hour drive north to Dawson City. One of Canada’s most historic and quirky settlements, Dawson City looks like a Wild West movie set, thanks to its Klondike Gold Rush heritage.
Follow the footsteps of those seeking their fortune on a Goldbottom Mine Tour and try your hand at panning. You can also sample the Sourtoe Cocktail – a Dawson City speciality that includes a human toe if you’re brave enough to pucker up!
Before gold fever, there were the first people, the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in. See photographs, artefacts and traditional art at Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre between May and September.
Tombstone Territorial Park (55km from Dawson City)
Take a 45-minute drive north to Tombstone Territorial Park before returning to Whitehorse. This hiking haven of craggy alps and flat terrain features an eye-popping natural kaleidoscope of colourful plants and wildlife.
Carcross (72.3km from Whitehorse)
Home to the shimmering Emerald Lake and the world’s smallest desert, Carcross is a must-visit. The Insta-worthy Emerald Lake is a popular stop for its striking deep green hue and backdrop of mountains and evergreens. While Carcross Desert is a former glacial lake basin with silty-soft sand dunes.
Stop in the historic village to enjoy Carcross-Tagish First Nations artwork and totem poles and treat yourself to a bevvy in the haunted Surly Bird saloon or ice-cream at Canada’s oldest general store.
Haines Junction & Kluane National Park (155km from Whitehorse)
Veer west from Whitehorse to Haines Junction, the gateway to Kluane National Park UNESCO World Heritage Site. Home to Canada’s highest peak Mount Logan, this magnificent national park is half the size of Switzerland. Among other abundant wildlife, it also has the largest concentration of Grizzly bears.
Soak up all the outdoorsy goodness on hiking and biking trails, canoe the lakes or go whitewater rafting. To truly appreciate the scale and beauty, take a flightseeing tour to see the mountains and the world’s largest non-polar icefields from the air.
Back in Haines Junction, visit Da Kų Cultural Centre and join a campfire talk at nearby Kathleen Lake to learn more about the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations culture.
Wonder at winter in the Yukon
Winter is when the Yukon really comes into its own. Learn how to mush your own team of husky sled dogs at Sky High Wilderness Ranch near Whitehorse. Or try wintry activities such as snowmobiling, fat biking and ice fishing.
The Yukon is one of the world’s top spots to enjoy a mesmerising aurora moment. Witness the Northern Lights dance across an inky night sky with zero light pollution from August through to mid-April.
Now is also the ideal time for an unrivalled Northern Lights viewing opportunity as the solar cycle peaks in 2025, meaning more activity for us on Earth.
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