Last updated on February 25th, 2023 at 12:59 pm
There is no trip to Yukon Territory without visiting Dawson City. Dawson City, home to The Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nations community, is a town rich in history and the home of the Klondike Gold Rush. They have preserved and restored their buildings to their original form, adding splashes of colour. The best way I can explain the vibe is; “the wild, wild west”.
They see most of their traffic in the summer/fall months (late May-late September), with most stores/restaurants temporarily closing down for the winter months. Another benefit to Dawson City, is it’s proximity to the most beautiful park, Tombstone Territorial Park.
Before you read on for a detailed 3 day itinerary in Dawson City & Tombstone Territorial Park, make sure to check out my Yukon Travel Guide.
Some links in this post are affiliate. If clicked, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.
How many days to spend in Dawson City, Yukon Territory
Recommended length of stay if only spending time in Dawson City: 1-2 days
Recommended length of stay if adding on Tombstone Territorial Park: 3-4+ days
Our stay: 2 days
Getting to Dawson City
Driving from downtown Whitehorse for 533 kilometres (~6 hours)
- Air North (Yukon’s Airline) from Whitehorse for $160.00-200.00 CAD (1 hour 10mins)
- Air North (Yukon’s Airline) from other cities that this airline flies from (Vancouver, Edmonton, etc.)
You can take a bus from Whitehorse to Dawson City. It is slightly longer than a car ride due to a few stops. The bus service runs from May – late September, ~2-3 times per week.
Click here for bus information.
If taking a car or bus, plan to lose a large chunk of your day to driving, if you’re like me, you will probably need to pee ten times anyway, making the trip longer. I do recommend renting a car and driving so you have flexibility.
Accommodation in Dawson City
Keep in mind, many hotels in Yukon Territory are not 4 or 5 stars, I knew this going in and just prioritized cleanliness.
Where we stayed: Bunkhouse Hotel
Average cost: $90.00- $200.00CAD per night
What we paid: $159.00CAD per night (split between 3)
Room type: Queen and twin bed, fitting three of us comfortably with a private bathroom, it was very clean and well kept
Note: Some rooms at this hotel have shared bathrooms, when booking look out for this, I have been told by people who’ve used them that they are kept clean (this is not from personal experience).
Other hotels in Dawson City
- Triple J Hotel (average cost ~$200.00 per night)
- The Downtown, A Coast Hotel (avg: ~150.00 per night)
Dawson City Restaurants
We were there mid September and some restaurants were already closed for the season.
- Triple J: ($$) This restaurant has typical pub food – salad or fries on side (get both for an extra dollar- this piece of info is important if you want both haha)
- The Drunken Goat Taverna: ($$-$$$) A Greek restaurant in Dawson City it has pretty decent Greek food and large portion sizes!
- Red Mammoth Bistro: ($) This was the only breakfast place open mid September, they serve pastries, breakfast sandwiches and coffees.
Dawson City Entertainment & Bars
Now, this is the place to be in Dawson City!!
Entry: $20.00CAD, this gets you a season pass (entry for the rest of the summer season)
Entertainment: They have three shows, back to back (Cancan at 8:30pm, a singing dancing show at 10:00pm and a pop/rock show at midnight), on Thursday – Monday nights, from May – late September.
Casino: Bring some $$$ and play some casino games; black Jack, slots, poker, roulette
Must be 19+ years of age to enter, play responsibly. Venue is cash only.
Bombay Peggy’s: ($$) This bar has fabulous martinis, it has a cozy/fun vibe! It is also a 3-star hotel if you are interested in checking that out.
The Pit: ($$) The Pit is the nickname of the bar located in the Westminster Hotel. Great place to enjoy a drink if you’re looking to continue partying on after Gerties (it stays open late).
Sourdough Saloon: ($$) This bar is located in the Downtown Hotel in Dawson City. They offer a cocktail with a frostbitten HUMAN toe inside, and if you eat the toe (like some have in the past, resulting in them having to get a new toe), you have to pay a fine, that is somewhere in the thousands of dollars.
Itinerary for 3 days in Dawson City & Tombstone Territorial Park
DAY 1: Travel Day & Dawson City
8:00 – 8:30 AM:
Leave Whitehorse: as early as possible, you have a long drive ahead (or take a plane and get there faster). There will be stops along the way to fill up for gas/snacks.
3:00 – 3:30 PM:
Midnight Dome Viewpoint
You will be driving on the Klondike highway for a majority of your 533 kilometre trip. When you are almost at Dawson city, you will see Dome Rd. on the right, turn down and take Dome Rd. all the way up to the Midnight Dome viewpoint.
This is a great place to stretch your legs, take some photos and enjoy the beautiful views of Dawson City and surrounding area.
4:00 – 5:30 PM:
Explore Dawson City
- Get situated in your hotel/Airbnb
- Walk around, take in the beautiful buildings, enjoy the feeling Dawson City gives you, it is very special
6:00 – 9/10:00 PM:
- Get a bite to eat at Triple J Hotel
- After dinner, head over to Bombay Peggy’s and try one of their delicious martinis
- If you are feeling extra adventurous head to the Sourdough saloon and try their toe cocktail
Get an early night sleep, you are going hiking early the next day in Tombstone Territorial Park
DAY 2: Full day at Tombstone Territorial Park
*If I were to redo this trip, I would allot many more days to this park. It is magnificent.*
8:00 – 8:30 AM:
Breakfast: Have a good breakfast, pack some snacks, lunch and water for your hike and head out!
8:30 – 10:00 AM:
Getting to Tombstone Territorial Park from Dawson City
- Dawson City to the Dempster highway is 40km down the Klondike highway.
- Once on the Dempster highway – Tombstone Territorial Park is from 50km – 120km with many trailheads between these kilometres.
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM:
You can complete both of these hikes during the day or pick one longer hike.
See my day hiking packing list here. BEAR SPRAY IS A MUST!!
1. Grizzly Ridge
Trailhead: 60km down the Dempster highway
Length: 5km (2-3 hours)
Can continue on to grizzly lake (which is 11km total, we did not go further)
2. Goldensides Trail
Trailhead: 74km down the Dempster highway
Length: 4km (1.5 hours)
For more hikes in Tombstone Territorial Park click here.
4:00 – 5:30 PM:
Head back to Dawson City
Exhausted and all hiked out, head on back to Dawson City. Hopefully you are lucky enough to see some wildlife on the side of the road. We saw a baby black bear with no mama bear in sight (scary, thankfully we were in the car).
6:30 – whenever you’d like!!
Night out at Diamond Tooth Gerties
- Get ready and go out for the night.
- Have dinner at The Drunken Goat Taverna, then head out to party the night away
- Watch some shows and play some games at Diamond Tooth Gerties (check their website to make sure there is a show that night).
DAY 3: Travel day
9:30 – 10:00 AM:
If you partied all night like I did, I am sure you will want to sleep in, so enjoy! Then, wake up, and get some breakfast and coffee at Red Mammoth Bistro.
11:00 AM – 12:30 PM:
Dawson City Museum
- If you are interested in learning about Dawson, the Hän First Nations People, the Klondike region and the Gold rush check out the Dawson City Museum open all year.
12:30 – 7:00 PM:
Drive from Dawson City to Whitehorse.
If I am lucky enough to go to Yukon Territory again, I will make sure to spend as many days as possible in Tombstone Territorial Park. I would love to do their longer/overnight hikes and camp in the mountains.
I hope this itinerary and information on Dawson City/Tombstone Territorial Park helps give you some inspiration to visit this beautiful Territory.