This is a list of suggested activities only and none are associated with NAOC 2018. This list does not constitute an endorsement.
The Yukon has a rich heritage blending First Nations culture dating back millennia with the more recent influx of European influences. The Klondike Gold Rush of 1898 and the building of the Alaska Highway during the Second World War are highlights of recent history.
Add large tracts of wilderness and stunning vistas and you have a recipe for a holiday to remember. The mystique of the Yukon can be found in the writings of Jack London and Robert Service, but come and see it for yourselves!
For ideas on what to see and do around Whitehorse, check out the Whitehorse page at yukoninfo.com.
There are numerous opportunities for adventure travel and recreation in the Yukon. Here are a few that we would like to suggest:
Dawson City was a thriving and populous city during the height of the 1898 Klondike Gold Rush. The latest fashions from Paris were available and gold dust was common currency. Try your hand at goldpanning on Free Claim #6 or try your luck gambling at Diamond Tooth Gerties, Canada's oldest casino.
Top of the World Highway
If you drive west from Dawson City, you can drive the Top-of-the-World Highway into Alaska. This summer-only road is the northernmost route between the Yukon and Alaska. It takes you through Chicken, Alaska, to Tok on the Alaska Highway from where you can return to Whitehorse via Beaver Creek, Destruction Bay, Burwash Landing, and Haines Junction. The return journey also takes you past Kluane National Park.
If you travel north from Dawson City on the Dempster Highway, after about 70km you'll come to Tombstone Territorial Park. There's a government campground there, which makes a good base for the wonderful hiking in the area. Driving further north, you pass through the unglaciated Olgivie Mountains to the Arctic Circle. Taking the road further will bring you to Fort McPherson and Inuvik on the mighty MacKenzie River delta.
A boat journey or plane ride down the river will take you to Tuktoyaktuk, or Tuk as it is known locally, where you can dip your foot in the Arctic Ocean and see pingos (upthrust ice-cored hills). (An extension of the Dempster Highway between Inuvik and Tuk is under construction and is scheduled to open fall 2017.)
The Chilkoot Trail
Retrace the steps of the Gold Rush! The Chilkoot trail was the most popular route into the Yukon during the winter of 1897-98. The trail starts in Dyea, Alaska, a few kilometres from Skagway, and terminates at Bennett Lake, Yukon. Both the American and Canadian sections of the trail are now parks. You'll go through numerous climatic zones, from the rain forest of Dyea, to the alpine of the pass itself, to the boreal forest on the Canadian side. Pre-booking is recommended and opens in January. This backpacking trip is popular, so book early. Information on making reservations, fees, and travel information is available from Parks Canada. Additional information is available from the US Parks Service.
Kluane National Park
Kluane National Park covers 22,000 square km and contains the world's largest non-polar ice field. It is also home to Canada's tallest mountain, Mt. Logan (5959m). Parks Canada has information on hiking opportunities with trailheads along the Alaska Highway and the Haines Highway.
If you are seeking greater adventure, transport into the Park interior is available via ski-equipped aircraft operated by Icefield Discovery. Glacier tours/overflights are also available from Trans North Helicopter and Kluane Glacier Air Tours out of Haines Junction.
A beautiful sky-to-sea trip is to travel the loop around Whitehorse, Skagway and Haines. Allow two to three days for the trip to allow you to see some of the sights along the way. The trip gives you the opportunity to drive over both the White Pass (to Skagway) and the Haines Pass (to Haines), both spectacular. The trip between Skagway and Haines is done on the Alaska Marine Highway (coastal ferry). When timing your journey by ferry, keep in mind that Alaska is one hour behind Yukon (Pacific) Time.
You can combine this loop with a trip on the White Pass and Yukon Route Railway.
White Pass and Yukon Route Railway
The Whitepass and Yukon Route Railway was built in 1898 during the Klondike Gold Rush. This narrow gauge railroad is an International Historic Civil Engineering Landmark, a designation shared with the Panama Canal, the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty. The WP&YR railway was considered an impossible task but it was literally blasted through the mountains in only 26 months. Excursions are based out of Skagway, some going as far as Carcross, Yukon. It's possible to travel between Whitehorse and Skagway via bus and train.
Yukon Wildlife Preserve
See a variety of northern wildlife in their natural habitat at the Yukon Wildlife Preserve. The preserve is a 25 minute drive north of town and is located just down the road from the Takhini Hot Springs and Hot Springs Campground and Hostel.
A good summary of hiking opportunities all around the Yukon can be found at yukonhiking.ca.
Travel by canoe down the Yukon River from Whitehorse to Dawson City. Canoe rentals are available from Kanoe People and Up North Adventures. Other possibilities include rafting the Tatshenshini River with Tatshenshini Expediting or Nahanni River Adventures.
Canoe or kayak Yukon’s rivers and lakes.
Visit Takhini Hot Springs.
Try mountain biking on the hundreds of kilometers of trails.