Be Amazed!Rolling hills, majestic mountain vistas, boreal forest, alpine meadows – Yukon has it all. Whether you are looking to hike, cycle, snowshoe or climb, Yukon offers the outdoor enthusiast vast potential, just minutes from Whitehorse or a drive down the road to rugged jewels like Kluane National Park and Reserve or rollicking Dawson City. For those with a taste to truly explore, Yukon is the gateway to one of the country’s most extensive northern highway systems, traversing pristine wilderness toward communities literally at the top of the world.
Yukon - larger than life, and waiting to be explored.
Outdoor Safety in Yukon
- Yukon covers 483,450 square kilometres in the northwestern corner of Canada. It is a critical habitat for rare and endangered flowers, big game animals, birds of prey and migratory birds. Ten per cent of Yukon is protected in parks, and the territory attracts thousands of outdoor enthusiasts every year.
- Yukon has warm, sun-rich summers with average temperatures in July of 14 to 16 degrees Celcius, and highs that can reach 35 degrees Celcius. The average temperature in January is between -18 and -25 degrees Celcius, though lows can reach -55 degrees Celcius. When it comes to Yukon weather, it is best to be ready for anything. Areas south of Whitehorse, especially the White Pass, Chilkoot and Haines passes, can receive heavy precipitation throughout the year, including high winds and white outs. Dressing in layers, with a waterproof jacket as backup, is your best defence. Winter travel can be slow, so plan extra time and bring food and water with you. In several locations there is risk of avalanche – check the Canadian Avalanche Centre website for more information.
- Bears, including Grizzlies, are found throughout Yukon. Be aware of your surroundings. Look for fresh bear scat, paw prints and claw marks on trees. If you think there is a bear in the area, yelling, singing, clapping and talking are good precautions, as bears may respond aggressively if caught by surprise. Avoid cooking odours and store food in air-tight canisters.
- Yukon waterways offer some of the best paddling in the world, but also some of the most dangerous. Timing is everything: water levels that are too low or high can present more challenge than even seasoned paddlers can handle. Err on the side of caution. Flash-flooding can pose a major risk. Flash storms on larger lakes like the Kluane can be extremely hazardous for boaters - be on the constant look-out for changes in the weather.
- Yukon is paradise to backcountry and cross-country skiers. Be mindful that the sugary snow of the Territory can be difficult to cut into trail. Wind-swept areas like the Chilkat (Haines) Pass and the White Pass can be good choices, so long as you check for avalanche warnings. A good base is usually established by March.
- Yukon has an excellent range of outfitters and guides to assist you in exploring different regions of the territory. If you are unsure about your ability, equipment or the terrain, working with an outfitter is a sensible option.
- Yukon is home to 11 highways which provide passage through sparsely populated and awe-inspiring wilderness. Gas stations are located at regular intervals on most highways. On secondary roads, be sure to check where the next fuel stop is located before setting out, and consider carrying extra gas with you. Make sure your vehicle is in good repair before hitting the open road.
Remember, before you head out, check the weather forecast. Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back. Better yet, complete a Safe Travel Plan -- it could save your life.