Last updated on October 19th, 2023 at 07:56 pm
Whitehorse is the capital of Yukon Territory, 1 of 3 stunning territories within Canada. This territory is full of activity and adventure! I have created this 1 week Whitehorse itinerary to help you plan your trip to Whitehorse and also show you where you can go in it’s surrounding area.
This itinerary includes; Whitehorse, Kluane National Park and Reserve & Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Park.
Before diving into this itinerary, check out my blog: Yukon Territory: Know Before You Go.
How many days to spend in Whitehorse, Yukon & Surrounding Area
Recommended length of stay: 1-1.5 weeks
Our stay: 1 week
Reason for longer recommendation: spending more time in Kluane National Park and Reserve
THE WHITEHORSE & SURROUNDING AREA ITINERARY
DAY 1: Travel Day
Step 1: Arrive in Whitehorse and pick up your rental car.
Step 2: Check into hotel (Skky Hotel or Best Western Gold Rush Inn) OR Airbnb
Hit the town
- If you have the time and energy after travelling all day, head out and walk around downtown Whitehorse, take a walk along Main St. and look at all of the shops/restaurants.
- Head to the grocery store and pick up some snacks/lunch food for your upcoming hiking days (even better if your hotel has a mini fridge)
You need to eat, so head over to Whiskey Jacks Pub & Grill, eat in or get take out and relax in your hotel.
Have an early night sleep and get ready to start exploring tomorrow!
DAY 2: Kluane National Park and Reserve
I recommend getting an Airbnb near Kluane Park to spend as much time there as possible (I would have added days onto this trip for this park).
8:30 – 9:00 AM:
Breakfast: get a quick bite to eat and a coffee from Baked Café & Bakery
9:00 – 11:00 AM:
Whitehorse → Auriol Trail, Kluane National Park
- The drive from downtown Whitehorse to this trailhead is about 1 hour and 45 minutes.
- Check out this Yukon Hiking website for more day hikes you can do in Kluane National Park
- Do an easy day hike to start off or depending on your activity level go straight into a moderate/hard hike or overnight hike.
11:00 AM – 4:00 PM:
Hiking: YOU NEED BEAR SPRAY
1. Auriol Trail
We did not see a bear, however, we did see bear poop so, be safe and take spray.
Difficulty level: Easy
Length: 4.5 hours, 15km (you can extend the hike to an overnight hike +5km)
2. King’s Throne
We did not do this hike but have heard wonderful things and plan to do it next time we are there
Trailhead: very close to Auriol Trail, a few km down the Haines highway
Difficulty level: Hard
Length: 8 hours, 15km
4:30 – 6:30 PM:
Head back to Whitehorse OR Head to your hotel/Airbnb in Kluane region
(For the sake of this sample itinerary, we are heading back to Whitehorse)
7:00 – 9:00 PM:
Get ready & head to dinner
After hiking for 15km, head to Klondike Rib & Salmon to eat a hearty meal. We made reservations, as there were 5 of us, it is pretty busy. I do recommend reservations if you don’t want to wait.
9:00 – 11:00 PM:
Hit up a bar or head to bed!
Depends on your energy level, hit up a bar (ie. Miner’s Daughter, Whiskey Jacks) or head to bed!
DAY 3: Whitehorse
8:30 – 10:30 AM:
Breakfast: Wake up and head to breakfast at Burnt Toast Café
10:30 – 11:00 AM:
Drive over to Yukon Wildlife Preserve
- 28km drive, 24 minutes
- If coming from downtown Whitehorse – turn left onto Takhini Hot Springs Rd., take this road for 8km and the destination is on the right
11:00 AM – 1:00 PM:
Yukon Wildlife Preserve
If you have bad luck (or good luck), and cannot see wildlife on the road or on hikes, this place is for you. This beautiful wildlife rehabilitation centre has many animals that they take care of, we loved the time we spent at this preserve.
We chose to walk the 5km loop, it is an easy walk and you can take many breaks, a nice difference from a 15km hike the day before. If you prefer, you can take the bus tour and relax your legs.
You can buy tickets in person or online here.
- General admission, walking the 5km loop = $16.00 (Adult)
- Bus tour = $24.00 (Adult)
1:20 – 1:50 PM:
Drive back to Whitehorse to go on a boat tour!
2:00 – 5:00 PM:
Captain Ken’s Boat Tour down the Yukon River
Captain Ken’s Boat Tour
Price: $125.00 per person (cash). The price may be steep but I assure you it was well worth it. See his Facebook here.
Address: 401 Miles Canyon Rd, Whitehorse, YT Y1A 6L4 – Pick up at Schwatka Lake by the float planes
Details: The boat tour goes through the Miles Canyon and then down the Yukon River for 3 hours. Captain Ken provides history and information on Yukon Territory and the Yukon River. He answered all of our questions with pleasure and it was a very enjoyable afternoon. We had planned to do a walk around the Miles Canyon but opted for this instead and our legs thanked us.
Weather: He does this excursion in the warmer months and when the weather is nice. Bundle up – as warm as it may seem it will be very cold aboard. Captain Ken offers blankets and small snacks/drinks on board. You can also bring your own drinks and snacks if you prefer.
Booking Captain Ken: (in the summer/fall months when the river is not frozen)
- Give him a call: (867)-334-2066
- Check out his Facebook here.
5:00 – 6:30 PM:
- Pick up snacks/ food to have for your hikes coming up tomorrow
- Relax at your hotel/Airbnb, enjoy a jacuzzi or hot tub if they have one
- Get ready for dinner
7:00 – 9:00 PM:
- Either enjoy dinner/take out at home and get an early night
- Go out to dinner at Smoke & Sow and enjoy the Southern BBQ.
9:00 – 10:00 PM:
PACK! Get ready for tomorrow’s adventure
- See my packing list for a day hike here.
- If you are going to do an overnight hike, please speak to appropriate personnel and have the appropriate equipment.
*For the sake of this itinerary we are doing an overnight hike with camping. We were with friends who provided us with all proper equipment*
Some of our items are:
- BEAR SPRAY
- Hiking backpack
- Mini propane tanks for cooking & pots/pans
- Bear safe food canister
- Tents/sleeping bags/rain covers for tents
You can rent camping/outdoor equipment here.
Head to bed!
DAY 4: Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Park, British Columbia.
Although this park is in British Columbia, it still falls under Yukon hiking. See more info here.
8:00 – 9:00 AM:
Finish up packing, have a good breakfast & hit the road.
9:00 AM – 1:00 PM:
Drive from Whitehorse → Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Park
- The drive will take approximately 3.5 hours
- Whitehorse to Haines Junction takes approximately 1.5 hours.
- Once in Haines Junction, go south onto Highway 3 (Haines Rd). for 140km.
- The Samuel Glacier trailhead will be 140km down this highway on the right side, with an outhouse visible.
- The Yukon hiking website provides the exact location on a map. Please see more here.
1:00 – 5:30 PM:
Samuel Glacier Hike (1/2)
Difficulty level: moderate
Total distance: 22km (you will do 11km day 1)
Time: 4 – 5 hours
Elevation gain: 167 metres (not much, which I loved haha)
It is a long day of walking so gear up. Take as many breaks as you need. There is a river to cross about halfway through the hike, we took our shoes off and this was the best way to ensure our socks/shoes stayed dry. This hike is beautiful with clear skies and is a key to actually seeing the glacier at the end of the hike.
Once you see the glacier, don’t get too excited, you have about another 1-2 hours of walking until you get there… haha, but it is worth it and so beautiful.
The last hour feels like you’re walking through a swamp, so make sure your shoes have some waterproof properties, that definitely helped me.
5:30 – 6:00 PM:
Set up for the night
- Before it gets dark out, set up your tents/equipment for the night
- Change into comfy clothes and get ready to hang out under the glacier for the evening
6:00 – 9:00 PM:
Dinner & Chill
- Get your mini propane tanks ready and start heating up your dinner.
- Enjoy some warm food and most importantly, RELAX!!
- If you have some energy go and explore around the glacier.
Note: Always keep your bear spray on you!
9:30 – 10:00 PM:
Pack your bear safe canister
Make sure you put ANYTHING that smells in your bear safe canister.
This includes items you normally would not realize ie:
- Food & drink (not water)
- Deodorant & soap (if you have)
10:00 PM on:
Enjoy the night!
If it is a clear sky, and later in the night, you may be able to see the northern lights. What an amazing treat that would be after your long hike. Head to bed, make sure your bear spray is in your tent.
DAY 5: Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Park, British Columbia. Samuel Glacier Hike 2/2
8:30 – 9:30 AM:
Breakfast: Get your supplies and food out of those bear safe canisters and enjoy breakfast.
9:30 – 10:00 AM:
Pack up & get ready to leave.
10:00 AM – 2:30 PM:
- The 11-12km on the way back will be harder than yesterday, because you will be SORE.
- I recommend taking the path back, we tried to go a different route and ended up falling into the river, walking 9km back with WET FEET.
- Do not do that, seriously, don’t haha.
2:30 – 6:00 PM:
Drive from Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Park → Whitehorse
- Enjoy resting your legs on the ride back
- Stop and pick up some takeout on the way home
6:00 PM – onward:
Eat & relax
- Eat your take out, enjoy a hot tub or jacuzzi and have a relaxing evening
DAY 6: Day trip to Carcross
Wake up whenever you’d like, you earned it after your 2 day hike! Don’t forget to get some yummy coffee at Midnight Sun Coffee Roasters.
11:00 – 11:45 AM:
Drive Whitehorse → Emerald Lake
- On your way to Carcross, make sure to stop at this very scenic, turquoise lake (the colour comes from the glaciers that melted a long time ago)
- You are able to take in the views from the top on the Klondike highway (which we did), or go down to the lake.
- This is a great place to stop and stretch your legs and also take pictures for Instagram, duhhhh.
12:00 – 12:10 PM:
Drive Emerald Lake → Carcross Desert
- Drive about 6 more minutes south on the Klondike highway and reach Carcross Desert
12:10 – 1:00 PM:
- Check out the Carcross Desert, A.K.A. the smallest desert in the world.
- Read about where the desert comes from (glacial lakes that have dried up) at their information plaques and take a small 1.5km walk up to the Carcross Desert viewpoint
1:00 – 1:05 PM:
Drive Carcross Desert → Carcross
- About 5 minutes down the Klondike Highway
1:05 – 2:30 PM:
- Grab a coffee and a snack at Carcross Commons then head out to explore.
- Carcross is home to the Carcross/Tagish First Nations. Learn about their deep history all over Carcross; seen in their art on the totem poles, in the information at the Haa Shagóon Hídi Learning Centre, and much more.
- Take a walk down to Bennett Lake and enjoy the views. We did our engagement photos there, check out the full blog here.
2:30 – 3:30 PM:
Drive further south down the Klondike Highway
- Drive 10km south of Carcross on the Klondike highway and be rewarded with a beautiful view of Bove Island
- Bove Island viewpoint is a recommended stop to take some gorgeous photos
- Continue on down this highway however long you’d like, you will end up in British Columbia and if you continue, can end up in Alaska.
3:30 – 4:30 PM:
Drive Klondike Highway → Whitehorse
- Park at the S.S. Klondike National Historic Site, you won’t miss it.
- Address: 10 Robert Service Way, Whitehorse, YT.
4:30 – 6:00 PM:
Spend some time in the S.S. Klondike National Historic Site
Walk the Millennium Trail
The S.S. Klondike National Historic Site
- The ship has turned into a museum.
- It acted as a cargo and passenger ship that would travel from Whitehorse to Dawson City in the early 1900’s
The Millennium Trail
- Difficulty: Easy trail circling around the Yukon River
- Length: 4.5km
- Very well developed trail
6:30 – 8:30 PM:
- Head to Dirty Northern Public House and grab some dinner & drinks
8:30 PM – onward:
Head to a bar or go to bed!
Up to you, enjoy your evening! Good night!
DAY 7: Horseback riding
8:00 – 8:45 AM:
Breakfast & pack a day pack
- Click here for link on day hike packing list
- You will not be hiking but same items apply
- Have a good breakfast
9:00 – 9:30 AM:
Drive Whitehorse → Sky High Wilderness Ranch
- Once outside of downtown Whitehorse and on the Alaska highway – Fish Lake Rd. will be on the left hand side
- Stay on Fish Lake Rd. for about 15km
- Address of Sky High Wilderness Ranch: 2061 Fish Lake Road, Whitehorse, YT Y1A 4N2
9:30 – 1:00 PM:
Sky High Wilderness Ranch
Enjoy horseback riding with a trained guide
- 1 hour: $60.00 per person
- 2 hours: $100.00 per person
- 3 hours: $140.00 per person
- $199.00 per person
- *I do not know too much about this activity*
1:00 – 1:30 PM:
Drive Sky High Wilderness Ranch → Your hotel/airbnb
1:30 – 3:00 PM:
Pack up for your flight home.
Head to the airport and say bye to Yukon Territory!
I hope this itinerary helps you in planning your trip to Yukon Territory. Feel free to use this itinerary as a guide to filling in your time in Whitehorse & surrounding area.
If you have any questions and/or comments please let me know below! Check out my related posts for guidance on other areas in Yukon Territory.
Joanna Neander is the author and creator of Plan Before Land. She is dedicated to creating detailed travel itineraries from around the world. Joanna’s most visited continents include, North America, Central America & Europe. Asia coming soon! Join along on Joanna’s travels!