The road trip in Yukon is a perfect way to see that in between the beautiful sights of Alaska and the magnificence of British Columbia- lies a pretty wonderful territory to visit- Yukon.
Yukon is a pretty big territory, even though it is the smallest territory of the three in Canada.
In Yukon you can see nature at its finest, amaze yourself at the sight of the second tallest mountain in north America and simply enjoy the many activities and scenery to see.
Yukon is also a perfect place to visit if you have two other road trip ideasroad trip in Alaska and road trip in British Columbia. It can also connect well with a bigger road trip across Canada idea- cross between British Columbia or the Northwest Territories.
SO here is the plan:
Best Things To Do In Yukon
- Central and West
- North West
(Takes you to a dedicated page about the perfect roads)
This triangle of a territory is mostly known for its connection with the Yukon river and the way the glaciers feed the water of the region. Yukon is packed with Glacier lakes- clear, crystal blue water within the amazing surroundings of national parks is really a sight to behold.
The climate is nice during the summer with temperatures reaching low 20 degrees Celsius, but it's very arctic and freezing in the winter with -20's so our best suggestion for the road trip in Yukon is the summer months or slightly before or after- but try to avoid the winter months. Best to get here between May and September.
The northern part of the territory is inside the Arctic Circle, so it's very cold, but on the plus side- you can see the northern lights in your road trip in Yukon and that is quite remarkable.
As ever, we are looking for a place to start our road trip idea and Yukon has a clear winner- the capital city of the territory- Whitehorse.
This biggest city in Northern Canada is a perfect place to start, or simply even stop because it has many pretty and interesting attractions.
To see more, we have made a specific page for you to be amazed by Whitehorse-
If you clicked on the link above, you saw the list of the best things to do and see in Whitehorse while on a road trip in Yukon.
But what about the rest- as we have said- the region is huge and spactacular and there is plenty more to see.
Luckily we are ready for it- and we have prepared a list of the best things to do and see in Yukon. Continue reading and enjoy!
Here is a list of the best things to see and do during your road trip in Yukon, Canada:
East - Highway number 37 from British Columbia and Highway number 1 east in Yukon.
1. Watson Lake-
This city is quite a drive- but we are here to frive so that is perfect. It is located in the southwest of the region, some 440 km (273 miles) east of Whitehorse on the Alaskan Hgy (number 1). It is very close the the British Columbia border (not an actual border).
This pretty little town is small with only about 800 people live there, but as the other cities in the road trip in Yukon- many visitors each year come to be amazed by the nature, quiteness and sights.
This neat town has its own unique places to see- like the Sign Post Forest and Northern Lights Center (which we will tell you more later) and is close to a lot of great looking places to ski, hike, take pictures and even fishing.
If you are planning a British Columbia road trip then this is a great place to connect it with the road trip in Yukon- Start in BC, cross to YT here and onwards to Whitehorse and Dawson Lake.
2. Sign Post Forest-
This place is a must stop place in our road trip in Yukon because just one picture of it sums up a road trip- a great adventure.
Started in 1942, the sign post forest has a humble history- Private Carl K. Lindley was ordered to repair a damaged sign. He did a great job and decided to personalize the sign- he added a sign pointing to his hometown in Illinois- Danville and giving the distance to his hometown.
Since then- more than 100,000, yes, you read that number right- were added, creating one of the most memorable point in Yukon and in your journey.
The road is quite a drive- about 440 km (273 miles) east of Whitehorse on the Alaskan highway (number 1), but you can do it before- for example when you cross from the road trip in British Columbia to Yukon. Don't forget your own sign!
3. Northern Lights Center in Watson Lake-
The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, is one of natures finest moments and everyone who saw it should feel lucky.
There is a lot of places in the road trip in Yukon to see the northern lights, even in Whitehorse. TIn Watson lake, which is 440 km east of Whitehorse there is a special place to visit- the Northern Lights Center.
The center, built in 1996 provide visitors with the a unique experience as it shows the Northern Lights on the full dome cieling with suround sound and all to give the complete, interactive show that is the Aurora Buriaris to the visitors.
The center also features interactive displays to explain the phenomena to the people visiting, as well as the stories and folklore about it. If your road trip in Yukon is in the winter- the Aurora Borealis is visible daily outside the center and it becomes a place for activities and gathering. In the summer you can see it on the inside and be amazed.
To see the biggest light show on earth go to- Northern Light Forecast.
4. Kluane National Park-
Our first great stop on the road trip in Yukon is in Kluane National Park, where you can find the highest peak in Canada- Mount Logan at 19,545 ft (5,959 meters) which is amazingly high. It also makes the mountain quite visible from everywhere around the park.
As well as Mt. Logan, the Kluane national park also covers an area of 21,980 square kilometers- full of awe inspiring nature scenery- from lush green valleys, high mountains and a lot if ice fields and glaciers (over half the area is permanently covered in ice and snow). A particular favorite in the kathleen lake- a bueautiful lake that is really worth looking in to.
To reach this amazing place you need to drive on the Alaska highway (number 1) 160 km (100 miles) west of Whitehorse to Haines Junction where many motels, shops and other services. Access to the park is available at Kathleen Lake or Tachäl Dhäl (sheep mountain) but most access the massive park by foot or rafts or skis.
5. Yukon Suspention Bridge
Just like the Capillano Suspention bridge in Vancouver in our British Columbia road trip, the Yukon Suspention Bridge in the road trip in Yukon plan is a wonderful sight for your eyes. However this is to some- a little bit more special.
Located in a mountinous area with ,many great lakes, it is 130 km (85 miles) south of Whithorse on highway number 2, Klondike highway and it is 10 minutes drive from the US-Canada border in Fraser. The area is in British Columbia according to Google Maps but it is a part of Yukon. The bridge is also very close to the White Pass Summit which also a great sight to see.
Upon reaching the site- you have a visitor center that tells you a little bit about the history of the place and then you can croos the 57 ft tall bridge right above the Tushi River. The raging water right under you feet is quite something. You can cross as many times as you'd like and even take a minute to sit and emerse yourself in the power of nature and scenery behind you. A definate must in our road trip in Yukon.
6. Carcross Desert
In the road trip in Yukon there is one attraction that is very different- the Carcross desert. It is wildly known as the world smallest desert, spreading to about 1 square miles (2.6 sq. km). It is however- not a real desert (sorry about that)...and that is because the climate is too humid to be considered as one.
The Carcross desert is actually northern sand dunes that formed in the last ice age. The Bennett lake now is the main contributor of sand to the dunes.
The desert is not as wet as the surrounding areas- only about 50 cm of rain every year (which is quite wet) due to a shodow effect freated by the nearby mountains. It is such a rare place that several species of trees and plants only frow in this part of Yukon, like the super rare in north america Baikal Sedge.
The desert is just outside Carcross, 72.5 km south of Whitehorse. The city is also a great place to stop and explore and maybe even go on a mountain bike for more excitement. The desert is a truly epic place to stop on our road trip in Yukon.
7. Tatshenshini River-
Are you a fan of rafting? If you are- then this river is for you. The Tatshenshini River name probably came from a phrase in Tlingit (a language used by the First Nations) which means "river with stinking Chinook salmon" so you can guess which fish you can find there.
This gem in southwest Yukon offers anything you can possibly think of- camping, fihing, hiking and of course- rafting. You cab take a kayak or a canoe or hop into a raft and start to get wet and happy.
If you are not that keen on the extreme activities, you can simply enjoy the untouched nature at its finest. There aren't many places on earth that have remained this pristine and beautiful. It is a great place to see on our road trip in Yukon.
The river is accessible from both Yukon and British Columbia as it is on the egde of the two. Approximately 253 km (157 miles) east of Whitehorse (highways number 1 and 3).
8. St. Elias Mountains-
These mountains are enormous. They span from Alaska to Yukon and British Columbia. It is part of the Kluane National Park but we gave it a separete place here just because of its sheer zise and awe inspiring backdrop.
Driving on any road with a clear visibility to the mountains is epic and surely a thing to remember. Stopping at the park is recommended for everyone, even just for a short while.
Pretty much every km on the number 3 highway from the British Columbia border to the number 1 highway all the way to Alaska gives you a great view of the mountains- the highest in nort america. And boy we asure you- the view is BREATH TAKING!
If you have been there on your road trip in Yukon then don't be shy- share with us your photos. Go ahead to the road trip pics for those road trip pics and many more.
9. Tombstone Territorial Park-
For some weird reason, this attraction on the road trip in Yukon list looks like it belongs to the New Zealand road trip list- it looks very similar to the some scenes from Lord of The Rings. That's good- that means this place is hopelessly pretty, even when it is covered in snow (though best be here when it's not).
The rather small park (only 2,200 square km) is there to protect a unique wilderness of rugged peaks, which looks like they hardly need protection, and it is home to very special wildlife, flora and fauna which usualy can't be found in this altitude.
The Dempster highway (which we will cover in the best roads in Yukon) runs in the middle of the park allowing you to view these stunning backdrops and arctic landscapes with its wildlife. It also allows you to access the major hiking areas. The park is about 7 hours drive from Whitehorse or 1.5 hours from Dawson City on highways 2 and 5.
10. Dawson City-
This tiny northern city, with a population of about 1,300 people attracts more than 60,000 tourists each year. The city offers its tourists a unique experience with its old and preserved architecture, beautiful views and surroundings, mining history and a vivid northern lights shows.
From poker tournaments to the Cabaret acts in the poker halls you can really enjoy being at the town on the top of the world. If you want- you can take hikes and drives around the city to see some spectacular views of the city along the Yukon river.
To get there it is another long drive from Whitehorse- 532 km (330 miles) north west on highway number 2- Klondike Highway.
11. Dawson City Museum
The Dawson City Museum is a perfect place to see the history of the Klondike region, the gold rush era and the Dawson City itself.
The museum is in a restored old administration building right in the heart of the city- some 532 km north west of Whitehorse and next to the Alaskan border.
In the museum you will get the chance to explore the history of the Athapaskan people who lived in the area before the gold rush and their culture as well as seeing how the city evloved from a mosquitto infested tent village to a modern city rich with gold- quite literally.
If you already know which roads you are about to take, or just plan to improvise and need a little more information about the areas connecting to Yukon- for example if your road trip in Yukon is together with a British Columbia road trip or Alaska road trip then click on and see what they have to offer your adventure.
Name: Yukon (YT, Canada)
Total Size: 186,272 sq. miles (482,443 sq. km)
Total Water Area: 3,109 sq. miles (8,052 sq. km)
Total Population: 33,897
Population Density: 0.18 per sq. mile (0.07 per sq. km)
Total GDP: about 1.6 billion Canadian dollars
Confederation: June 13, 1898
Tree: Subalpine Fir
Bird: Common Raven
Here is a short list of very small and useful things you should take for your road trip in Yukon.
No road trip is complete without some basic things that are full of information, good value and easy to carry.
Yukon (Bradt Travel Guide)-
There isn't a lot of travel guides to Yukon, mainly because it is always included as a part of Alaska or British Columbia and partly because it's a location only for those in the know.
This guide is great and help you to really explore all the vast wilderness of Yukon, without missing a bit.