Province/Territory: Yukon Territory

The Wilderness City

  • 1898 Whitehorse created by Gold Rush Stampeders
  • 20 hours of summer daylight
  • 918 Historic Mile location on the Alaska Highway

Whitehorse is a lively territorial capital rich in music and arts set amid wilderness on the banks of the Yukon River and at the doorstep of Kluane National Park and Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Step back to Klondike Gold Rush days aboard the S.S. Klondike sternwheeler and try gold-panning at the MacBride Museum. Face mammoths and sabre-toothed tigers at the Beringia Interpretive Centre. Experience vibrant, traditional Kwanlin Dun and Ta’an Kwach’an First Nations crafts and culture. Lose yourself in tales at one of the world's biggest storytelling festivals; meet colourful locals; cheer on huskies during the Yukon Quest, a 1,000-mile international dog-sled race. Just minutes from town you’re in the wild. Slip into steaming hot springs at Takhini, go rafting, paddling, biking or hiking. Use Whitehorse as a base for exploring the North on a Flightsee, while horseback riding and learning to mush dogs. Then bunk down in a nearby rustic cabin to watch the Aurora Borealis, Mother Nature’s light show, shimmy Technicolor curtains across the skies.

Outdoor adventure

  • Celebrate summer solstice by mountain biking, hiking, and dining on fresh Northern specialties under the midnight sun.
  • Mush your own dog sled team beneath the Northern Lights and sleep in a yurt warmed by a cast-iron stove.
  • Hop on a snowmobile and travel a powdery trail through boreal forest and sub-alpine terrain.

Arts & Culture

Nature & Wildlife

  • Grab a paddle for a multi-day wilderness river canoeing trip and watch for moose and bald eagles.
  • Watch the Aurora Borealis shimmer across the skies, then sleep in a wilderness prospector-style tent used by gold seekers and trappers.
  • Count Dall sheep and grizzly bears in Kluane National Park and Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Go bush and raft down Glacier Alley through three wilderness parks, camping beneath soaring peaks en route.

Road trips & Train travel

  • Embark on the road trip of a lifetime up the iconic Dempster Highway to the Arctic Ocean.
  • Ride the historic narrow-gauge rails of the White Pass & Yukon Railroad in the trail of gold seekers.
  • Drive a dramatic route across the roof of the world into Alaska.

Weather

Quick facts

Area: 416.54 square kilometres (160.83 square miles)
Whitehorse is the Yukon’s capital and its largest city
Total Population: 27,322
Official Languages: English and French (English predominant)
City Motto: Our People, Our Strength

When to go
  • Summer season, from June to September, is prime time for hiking, paddling and road tripping.
  • Just shy of the Arctic Circle, days are up to 20 hours long between May and August.
  • In winter, during the dog sledding, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing season from October to April, Northern Lights are also at their brightest and best.
Getting Here
  • Whitehorse is located in the northern territory of Yukon in Canada’s Western Arctic.
  • There are regular flights from southern Canada, the Northwest Territories and Alaska (as well as seasonal flights from Germany) to Whitehorse Airport (YXY).
  • By road, arrive via the Alaska Highway or Stewart-Cassiar Highway from British Columbia.
  • View current Yukon highway information.
  • Ferries and cruise ships stop in Skagway, Alaska, with charter buses and coaches connecting to Whitehorse.
  • The White Pass and Yukon Route narrow-gauge railway also links Skagway to Whitehorse.
Getting around
  • Whitehorse is a compact city, perfect for walking.
  • The seasonal, summertime Waterfront Trolley runs along the Yukon Riverside.