If you’re planning a visit to the smallest of Canada’s three territories, you are in for a ride. While Whitehorse might be the only city in this territory, don’t be mistaken in thinking that there is nothing to do. Keep on reading for some interesting places and activities you should not miss out on when in Yukon.
Kluane National Park
If you’re looking for a challenge, Kluane National Park is the spot for you, as it is home to Mount Logan – Canada’s highest peak. If you are an experienced climber, you can visit anywhere from late April to early July and tackle this gigantic peak. Just keep in mind that you will need a mountaineering license before you attempt to climb it. However, even if you’re not planning on scaling Mount Logan, this UNESCO World Heritage-listed site will provide you with gorgeous vistas and opportunities to spot wildlife like moose, bears, and mountain goats, go on hikes, and see icefields and glacial lakes.
Tombstone Territorial Park
Another amazing location where you can see native animals is Tombstone Territorial Park. This relatively accessible place is a mix of peaks that look like enormous gravestones and permafrost landforms. Within the park, you can find more than 70 protected archaeological sites and learn more about the First Nations’ history and culture. No matter if you prefer camping for a few days or only visiting it for a picnic, you will surely enjoy this pristine wilderness.
Yukon Wildlife Preserve
Just 30 minutes outside of the capital, you can find the Yukon Wildlife Preserve. This is the best opportunity to see some local wildlife without having to look for them in the wild by yourself. From moose and muskox to caribou and lynx, you can spot a variety of animals here. What is more, there are even scheduled bus tours if you can’t walk through the park on your own.
Takhini Hot Springs
In case you’re looking for somewhere to relax, there is no better place than the Takhini Hot Springs. Over 100 years old, these natural mineral-rich hot pools are open all year long due to their temperature – 36 and 42 degrees Celsius. Exploring the 200 acres of land that the hot springs sit on will give you a nice little workout before you enjoy a soak in the steaming water. Plus, if you time your visit right, between late August and mid-April, you might even get a chance to see the breathtaking Aurora Borealis.
Perhaps simply relaxing in hot springs is not your style and you’re looking for something a little more active. In that case, an adventure on the Yukon River is exactly what you need. Try paddling in a canoe from Whitehorse to the confluence of the Yukon and Takhini rivers or, if you’re a bit more experienced, through the ruggedness of Miles Canyon.
Even though there are no museums in its vicinity, no boat rentals, or ice fishing huts, Emerald Lake is still one of the most visited destinations in Yukon. This is most certainly due to the jaw-dropping vista that it provides all of its visitors with. Don’t skip the opportunity to take a photo of this stunning lake if you find yourself driving along the South Klondike Highway.
Diamond Tooth Gertie’s Gambling Hall
If you’re not a big fan of the outdoors, there are still many things you can see in Yukon. One of them is Canada’s oldest casino. Located in the town of Dawson City, Diamond Tooth Gertie’s Gambling Hall is the only casino in the Great White North where you can gamble, drink, and enjoy live entertainment. However, if you don’t have any gambling experience or you’re a bit rusty, you can sample new online casinos before you visit this land-based one that dates back to 1971. What is more, by visiting this non-profit establishment, you are helping preserve historic sites and produce local events as all revenue from the casino is reinvested into the town.
Maybe museums are more your cup of tea. Luckily, you can visit the MacBride Museum of Yukon History to learn more about the gold rush period and try your hand at gold panning. From finding out more about the history of Whitehorse to seeing local artifacts and documents all the way to observing First Nations beadworks, this museum is full of interesting things to see and learn.
Yukon Beringia Interpretive Center
By visiting the Yukon Beringia Interpretive Center, you can learn more about the last ice age. During the search for gold, many remnants from this period were unearthed and you can learn all about it at the center. Fossils and cast replicas as well as First Nations art and legends are used to teach you more about the beasts that inhabited the planet thousands of years ago.
SS Klondike National Historic Site
Finally, in Whitehorse, along the banks of the Yukon River, you can visit the historic SS Klondike I. The biggest steamship of its time, it has been restored to its original appearance from 1937-1940. Whether you opt for a guided tour or roam the decks on your own, you can discover how boats like these worked and their historical significance.
Yukon might be the smallest Canadian territory, but it has so much to offer. When you’ve examined all the possible options, you just might find yourself struggling to see it all. Happy travels!