Last updated on February 25th, 2023 at 12:50 pm
Before I get into this travel guide for Yukon Territory, Canada, I need to start off with a shout out to the country itself. I have definitely taken Canada for granted being a born and raised Torontonian. Always looking to leave the country and travel elsewhere, (don’t get me wrong, I still want to see the world, however, my thoughts have changed).
I felt like Canada didn’t have much to offer but boy.. Was I so wrong! Canada is one of the most gorgeous countries filled with some of the kindest people.
This beauty shows through in Yukon Territory, one of Canada’s three territories. Yukon is a must destination for adventure seekers. You will have your fill of hiking, water sports, horseback riding, wildlife, culture and if you’re lucky, the northern lights (aurora borealis)!
Although Canada is stunning, it is steeped in dark history, with it’s treatment of our Indigenous populations. There are many Indigenous nations in Yukon Territory, and wherever you go in Canada, take the time to learn about their culture and please respect all land.
Some links in this post are affiliate, if you click on them I may get a small commission at no extra cost to you.
My Yukon Ratings
Entertainment: 7/10 (related to Dawson City)
Entering Yukon Territory
We went to the Yukon in early/mid September and the weather ranged from 0°C – 16°C. There was sun every single day and we were considered lucky, we were told it snowed the week after we left.
The Yukon fall ends in October and their winter is very long and cold (as low as -40°C), with very little sun. It does not snow every single day of the year and they do actually have a summer from June to August (averaging at 20°C), with daylight for almost 24 hours.
I would recommend visiting in their summer/fall, to spend as much time as possible outdoors without having your ears fall off. However, if you enjoy the cold weather and winter activities, the winter may be for you. The northern lights are one benefit of choosing to visit in the colder months.
Yukon Packing List
Click here for a detailed packing list for Canadian hiking destinations.
Getting to Yukon Territory
You can drive from Skagway, Alaska (~2 hours) or parts of British Columbia and Northwest Territories.
Fly in to Whitehorse: Erik Nielsen Whitehorse International Airport
- There are direct flights from major cities, which can make the plane tickets quite pricey
* * * TIP * * *
- INSTEAD, find a cheaper flight from your hometown to one of these locations: Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna (BC) Calgary or Edmonton (Alberta)
- You are then able to find a connector fare from one of these cities to Whitehorse for $99.00 one way with Air North (see link below)
- Click here for Air North Airline Connector Fares.
We used this booking method and saved about $300.00 each on plane tickets.
Air North (Yukon’s Airline) my experience
By far the friendliest airline, hands down! Take your regular Canadian politeness and mix it with small town hospitality and you get the loveliest people running an airline (think.. grandma on Christmas morning lovely). The planes are those typical older two row, two seaters, with similar available space to any of the major airline economy seats.
They give you a light meal for free and close to the end of each flight they give out a warm cookie. I said it already, but HELLO free food on a plane (hard to come by these days ok? And your girl here loves food). For a 1-2 hour flight this is usually unheard of and I hope they stay that way.
Getting around Yukon Territory
Renting a car & driving
If you want to get around Yukon Territory with no road blocks, I recommend renting a car. Car rentals sell out very quickly, I would look into this as soon as you book your tickets.
Always consider weather conditions, if you are going in the winter time, ensure winter tires and larger vehicles, in the summer months you can get away with a smaller car.
A lot of hiking spots will require cars that can handle rough roads. We rented a Honda Civic (partially because it was all they had left), we found it worked out OK. However, we did not drive to Dawson City with it. I recommend a 4×4, SUV, etc if planning to spend more time on the unpaved roads.
When driving in Yukon Territory, make sure to leave a lot of space between you and other drivers so as not to have rocks fly off and crack your windshield (it is very common there).
Keep in mind, some rental agencies put a cap on how many kilometres you can drive per day. If you go over this you have to pay a fee per kilometre. This becomes tricky when you want to do the 533km trek up to Dawson City.
Car rental agencies: Budget, Subaru dealership, Driving Force, PractiCar, K&K Truck Rentals and Overland Yukon.
If you cannot drive, Whitehorse has a transit system that goes in and around the surrounding Whitehorse area.
More information here.
Spending Money in Yukon Territory
Yukon Territory accepts the Canadian Dollar (CAD). The capital of Yukon, Whitehorse, has many common Canadian banks with ATM services, ie. Bank of Montreal (BMO), CIBC, Scotiabank, TD Canada Trust, Bank of Nova Scotia and First Nations Bank of Canada.
Most places take credit or debit cards. There are some cash only excursions, but the people operating will let you know ahead of time (they are few & far between).
Yukon Travel Packages
Majority of your money spent in Yukon Territory will be on adventures/excursions ie. boat rides, horseback riding, hiking expeditions, rafting, northern light tours, etc. These can be quite pricey and there are many companies that offer these tours. My recommendation is to think about your bucket list experiences and find tours for those items.
The rest of Yukon’s beauty can be seen through hiking – which is free! For example, I was dying to see some of the glaciers in Kluane National Park & Reserve on an airplane tour. I did not want to spend the upwards of $500.00 CAD, so I chose to do a free hike and sleep under a glacier instead.
Excursion companies and activities we did include;
Other popular companies include; Yukon Wild, Yukon Wide Adventures & Arctic Range Adventure.
Prices for food and drink in/around Whitehorse are around the same pricing as other Canadian cities. Their restaurant budget mostly fall into the price range of: $$.
Groceries can be slightly more expensive due to the territory being further north, however, it is not as remote as some places and prices are kept reasonable.
Tipping service workers in Canada is between 18-25%.
Gas prices in Yukon Territory are ~$2.03/Litre. (Updated December 2022)
Capital city of Yukon Territory.
Whitehorse is Yukon Territory’s capital city. Although Whitehorse is one of the largest cities in Northern Canada, it is still quite small. It is known for it’s incredibly large backyard, with endless views of Yukon’s mountains.
When visiting Yukon Territory, you will most likely be starting your trip in Whitehorse.
Below is my logistical information and travel guide on Whitehorse, Yukon.
How Long to Stay in Yukon
Recommended length of stay in Whitehorse and surrounding area: 1.5 weeks
Our stay: 1 week
Reason for longer recommendation: spending more time in Kluane National Park and Reserve
We stayed in the below mentioned hotels and an Airbnb
- 3 star hotel (keep in mind the majority of hotels in Yukon Territory are 2-3 stars)
- Restaurant on site
- Right downtown, walking distance to all Whitehorse has to offer
- 3 star hotel
- Right across from the airport, convenient if having a late arrival/early take off time
- Has a restaurant on site and next door
- If you have a car at your disposal I recommend staying in an Airbnb around Whitehorse
- Our Airbnb was great with an indoor jacuzzi to relax after a long cold day or hike
- There are also many instagrammable wilderness Airbnbs in the surrounding area, these book up quickly, book as soon as you know your schedule
- CAMPING! It’s free around some areas or you pay a small fee to reserve campsites.
- Check out the Parks Canada website for camping information and how to book a campsite (linked below):
Whitehorse Restaurants, Food & Drink
Stock up on (healthy?) and fun snacks for your hikes!
- Real Canadian Superstore
Example of a fun snack
- Burnt Toast Cafe: ($$) This cafe serves breakfast foods, large portions, drip coffee (no specialty caffeine beverages), great before a long day of hiking. (Photographed here)
- Bullet Hole Bagels: ($$) Montreal style bagels made from scratch on site. Get a breakfast bagel or pick up a bag of bagels to take with you on an adventure.
- Baked Cafe & Bakery: ($$) A bakery/cafe with decent specialty caffeine beverages, (in my opinion – overpriced pastries/baked goods), but I’d definitely give it a try if you have time.
- Midnight Sun Coffee Roasters: ($$) This is a great coffee roaster downtown Whitehorse, they serve yummy seasonal/specialty drinks! Enjoy warming up with one of their drinks after spending time in the cold Whitehorse weather!
Lunch & Dinner
- Dirty Northern Public House: ($$) They serve pub food, good pizza & burgers. Great serving size and value for money.
- Whiskey Jacks Pub & Grill: ($$) I was craving wings and this place hit the spot. Also serves good portion sizes of pub food.
- Klondike Rib & Salmon: ($$) This Whitehorse staple is open in the summer/early fall months, the fish and chips are AMAZING. Another of our favourites was their house special (big enough for 2), which serves two maple BBQ salmon skewers, 1/2 rack of ribs, with garlic mashed potatoes, veggies and focaccia.
- Smoke & Sow: ($$) You need to go here for some good southern BBQ. This restaurant is attached to a gas station but don’t let that deter you, TRUST ME on this. I would go back to Whitehorse to get their brisket again.
- Antoinette’s Restaurant: ($$) This is the only place on our list we didn’t go to, but I heard really great things about and next time we are in Whitehorse I plan to go. It is a Caribbean restaurant. If you check it out, please let me know your thoughts!
Whitehorse Fast Food/Chain Restaurants
Whitehorse has fast food and chain restaurants if you want some quick eats; Tim Hortons, Boston Pizza, Earls Kitchen & Bar, A&W, Dominos, McDonalds, Subway, Pizza Hut, to name a few.
Whitehorse, Yukon Itinerary
Click here for my Whitehorse Itinerary.
Yukon Territory is a large reason Canada is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Make sure to visit and find out why for yourself.
Comment below if you plan to visit Yukon Territory or email me if you have any questions!