A Vacation in the Yukon 

A vacation in the Yukon is just as exciting now as it was during the Klondike Gold Rush, when thousands of hopefuls streamed into the region in search of gold. “Larger than Life” is the Yukon’s tourism motto, most likely adopted for the grandeur of its pristine nature. Although the Yukon is Canada's smallest territory, it is still bigger than California. 

The territory is shaped like a triangle, bordering Alaska, British Columbia and the Northwest Territories. Despite its substantial size, it is sparsely populated, making it a desirable place to visit for those wanting to get away from the hustle and bustle of crowds. You will find an abundance of exciting things to see and do on your vacation in the Yukon. 

Vacation in Yukon

Weather in the Yukon 

The Yukon is said to have a sub-arctic climate, but the weather is far from being one-dimensional. One day the Pacific Ocean provides a warm front, and the next day, an Arctic cold air mass quickly takes over. The only thing that you can count on is not seeing torrential downpours. Due to its relatively dry climate, a drizzle is the only rainfall you might encounter. 

If you take a vacation in the Yukon in the summer, you will experience an average of 17 to 19 hours of sunlight per day; however, in the winter, from December through February, you will have a mere 6 to 8 hours of light per day. Average temperatures range between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer months, and a cold -15 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter. Of course, you should expect some snow in the Yukon, many inches at a time. While Fall is colorful and chilly, and Spring brings early wildflowers and swan migrations, Summer and Winter dominate the scene in this territory. 

Layered clothing is ideal as sudden temperature changes are common in the Yukon. In the summer, long sleeves and a hat is advisable in order to protect yourself from the intense, northern sun. In the winter, long underwear, vests, weatherproof coats, insulated boots, warm gloves and hats are needed. Some tour operations rent winter clothing packages to ensure that their customers are warm. 


  • Whitehorse – This is the Yukon's capital and largest community, with a population just over 20,000 people. It is well-known for its breathtaking landscape and exceptional parks, earning the prestigious National Civic Award in recognition of its natural beauty.
  • Dawson – This small town has a population under 1,500 people, but welcomes a minimum of 60,000 visitors every single year. It is a captivating area; some say there is still plenty of gold to be found here. It is also known for its celebrities: Jack London, Pierre Berton and Robert W. Service. You can tour The Jack London museum and the late author's home.

Things to Do 

No matter what you do and where you go, you will find the Yukon to be a casual, laid back and comfortable scene; you can definitely leave your fancy clothes and shoes at home. Jeans and a clean shirt are accepted in any establishment and appropriate for any type of activity.

  • Aurora Borealis – Top on the list of things to do on your vacation in the Yukon should be to watch the interplanetary magnetism of the northern lights. Late autumn and throughout winter are the best times to see this mystical and memorable sight.
  • White Water Rafting – It does not matter how big of an adrenaline junkie you are, you will get more than your fix on the Yukon's rapids. Some of the world's greatest rafting is experienced in this region, taking you through scenic passages of glacier lakes and lush forests.
  • Dog Sledding - Take an afternoon dog sled tour or take a week long adventure that includes learning how to care for and run with a team. The huskies are ready and eager to give you a wild ride, one you will never forget.
  • Horseback Riding – This happens to be a popular thing to do in the Yukon. Single day, weekend or week-long treks are available - an ideal way to view and admire the land’s magnificent beauty.
  • Sightseeing – Guided tours can take you through Dawson City, Whitehorse, Carcoss and other Yukon communities if you are keen on learning about the culture, history, wildlife, nature and natural phenomena of the area. There are lots of exhibits, museums and art studios to explore.

Historic Attractions 

Even if your vacation in the Yukon is primarily intended to experience adventures in the wilderness, you should reserve a little time for a few fascinating historical attractions.

  • Dawson City Museum – Collections include geology, early exploration, gold mining, the gold rush era as well as some restored locomotives used in the Klondike mines.
  • Waterfront Trolley – Take an exciting ride through history in this beautifully restored trolley.
  • Big Jonathan House – This cultural center is home to various works created by local artists including crafts such as birch bark baskets and handmade clothing.
  • Kluane Museum – World-class wildlife displays are found here, as well as interesting artifacts and native dress attire.
  • Northern Light Centre – It is the only facility solely dedicated to visitors wanting to learn about and see the aurora borealis.

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About the Author 

Johnny Mangiante is an online journalist. He is also the editor and webmaster for many websites. For more information on Travel Medical Insurance for Visitors to Canada see his website http://www.visitorstocanada.com/.

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