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Yukon Territory

Whitehorse, Yukon

The Yukon is the smallest, westernmost, and perhaps wildest of Canada’s northern territories. Its remote mountain landscapes, untamed rivers, and glacier-fed lakes attract casual sightseers and hardcore adventurers alike. Visitors can witness the Northern Lights, hike, snowshoe, or fish in the wilderness, and explore Canada’s First Nations traditions at cultural centers and festivals across the Yukon.

There are many options for exploring the Yukon. In summer, head out for a canoe trip, wildlife viewing expedition, or on a Kluane National Park tour. During the winter months, choose among Northern Lights viewing, ice fishing adventures, dog sledding, and snowshoeing tours. It’s also possible to visit the Yukon on a day trip from the Skagway port or as part of a multi-day trip from Vancouver.

  • Don’t forget your passport if you’re crossing from Alaska to Canada.
  • Cell service is available in all Yukon cities (except for Keno City), but not in the wilderness areas in between.
  • Don’t forget the mosquito spray in summer, and always be prepared with extra layers and rain gear.
  • The Yukon is home to grizzly and black bears; learn about bear safety before you go.

There are three main ways to reach the Yukon Territory: by cruise ship from Haines or Skagway, by car from Alaska or British Columbia, or by flying directly to the Yukon’s capital city, Whitehorse. Adventurous travelers can enter the Yukon via the historic Chilkoot Trail from Dyea, Alaska.

During the summer months, you’ll find nearly endless daylight to fuel outdoor adventures. Wildlife is plentiful in the springtime, and the fall colors are fantastic in September and October. Visit in the winter to see the Northern Lights or if you want to try dog sledding.

For the best chance of viewing the Northern Lights, visit the Yukon between September and April. During the summer months, the sky is not dark enough to see the aurora. Although there are no guarantees, consult the aurora forecast or join a guided Northern Lights viewing tour to increase your chances of seeing this spectacular natural phenomenon.

Known as Canada’s last frontier, the Yukon Territory is a sparsely inhabited region filled with glacier-fed lakes, ancient icefields, and pristine, mountainous landscapes. For generations, it was home to Canada’s Indigenous First Nations communities, who hunted and traded in the wilderness. Later, it became backdrop to the Gold Rush.

That depends. Many people dip into the Yukon as part of a full-day excursion, generally departing from Skagway. Skagway is a popular cruise ship port, so full- and half-day guided itineraries are offered as shore excursions. With more time to spare, a week or 10-day road trip itinerary is recommended.

If you’re taking a full-day tour, you’ll likely venture along the famed Klondike Highway. Count on making stops at Emerald Lake, known for its green glow, or the Yukon Suspension Bridge, which lets travelers cross the roaring Tutshi River Canyon on foot. Other tour offers dog-sledding or snowshoeing experiences.

That depends. Each season has its own charm. Summer is renowned for the midnight sun when daylight stretches well into the evening hours. That’s the best time for canoe trips, camping, and wildlife-viewing expeditions. Winter is excellent for snowshoeing and skiing. Dog-sledding season lasts from fall to spring.

Yes, but you’ll need to take precautions. The Yukon Territory is a vast wilderness with limited phone service. Never travel alone, and pack a kit of essential survival items like extra water and food, first-aid supplies, and bear deterrents. People with no backcountry experience should opt for a guide.

It’s said that moose outnumber humans nearly two to one in the Yukon, so it’s little wonder that wildlife is easy to spot here—even without straying far from the highway. The Kluane National Park and Reserve is a great place to glimpse caribou, elk, fox, and porcupine. And remember, this is grizzly bear country.


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