Please call free – 0800 707 6229 - for Huge Extra Savings on your holiday to Northern Canada
Canada's north is home to the provinces of the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. In summer this is the land of the midnight sun so there is plenty of daylight to explore the mountainous tundra regions, forests, rivers and lakes. In winter there will be snow - a lot of snow, but this makes it the ideal place to visit for a dog sledging adventure or enjoying winter sports. The dark skies of winter also make Northern Canada one of the best places in the world for viewing the Aurora Borealis - the Northern Lights.
In the Yukon you can retrace the gold rush to the Klondike River and visit Whitehorse, In the Northwest Territories, you might choose to cross the Arctic Circle and visit the Mackenzie Delta or drive the Dempster Highway. Nunavut was first settled by Canada's indigenous people over 4000 years ago - its name means 'Our Land' and it is a vast natural paradise of untouched landscapes and wildlife.
The capital city of Canada's Northern Territories located on the shores of the Great Slave Lake and a great place for viewing the Northern Lights. This city marches to the beat of its own drum and is the gateway to the Canadian North, for more than half a century the city was home to two gold mines. Today, it’s the centre of Canada’s diamond industry, serving three operating mines and gearing up for a fourth in the near future. Yellowknife can open your eyes to a whole new world in terms of its wilderness, you’re only minutes from trails, lakes and waterfalls.
Getting to Yellowknife couldn’t be easier, with four airlines including Air Canada taking you straight to Yellow knife airport or you can choose to drive the long, winding and beautiful road to Yellowknife. Renting a car could make for a spectacular drive, depending on your route you could drive the 300-kilometre stretch around Great Slave Lake, for beautiful views which will then take you through a bison sanctuary. You will also have a chance to travel over the newly completed Deh Cho bridge which crosses the Mackenzie River, one of the world's great rivers.
Yellowknife is located 400 kilometres south of the Arctic Circle, has the 10th largest lake in the world and over 90 different nationalities, there is plenty to explore in this incredible city. Paddle a kayak past a colourful houseboat community. Watch your locally-mined diamond being polished to a sparkle. Tour the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre learning about heroic bush pilots and Dene First Nations’ beaded garments. Buy Inuit stone carvings and jewellery made from woolly mammoth ivory. In summer, the Midnight Sun lights up a middle-of-the-night golf tournament as well as musicians jamming at the Folk on the Rocks Festival. Hike to a waterfall just outside town or strap on snowshoes. Hop a float plane, catch a fish and savour it over a classic shore lunch. Learn to mush sled dogs with a pro. Or head to the rustic luxury of an eco-lodge and slip into a hot tub to watch the Northern Lights streak and spiral shimmering colours across the sky. There are so many things to do in the Northern Territories capital, so we have put together a few different activities to get you started.
During the Summer
Swimming - You might not think of the sub-Arctic as the ideal place to go for a swim, but not only are the endless lakes a refreshing reprieve from hot summer days, Yellowknife’s midnight sun makes it one of the best places in Canada to work on your suntan. Here are some of the best spots to take a dip, or soak up some rays:
Cameron Falls: A 45-minute drive from Yellowknife on the Ingraham Trail and the 30-minute hike will take you to one of the best picnic spots around, overlooking the beautiful waterfalls at Cameron River. Take a dip in the river, have your lunch and enjoy the wilderness all around you.
The Cliffs at Long Lake: Far along the sandy paths of Fred Henne Territorial Park, near the Yellowknife Airport, through a wooded patch and along a rocky ridge hide the best cliffs in town. And if the cliff jumping isn’t high enough to give you a thrill, the late night sunlight will.
Tartan Rapids: Take a boat up the Yellowknife River until you reach Tartan Rapids, one of the best and most secluded swimming spots in town. It’s also a great place to test out your kayak or canoe.
Hiking - Yellowknife offers many hiking trails and alongside beautiful scenery, this is a great way to explore this city by foot. Here are some of the most popular trails:
Prospector Trail: A popular hiking spot, Prospector Trail in Fred Henne Territorial Park is near Yellowknife Airport, a quick drive from city centre. At a short 3.2 kilometres, this trail is manageable for novice and experienced hikers alike. The trail, which loops around the park on a boardwalk, has signs pointing the way and showcases some stunning rock formations for an ice-age geology lesson.
Niven Lake Trail: This two-kilometre trail is easily accessible from downtown and an easy walk along a paved pathway. It starts across the highway from the Visitor’s Centre, then circles Niven Lake. Look for birds, muskrats and beavers. Signboards provide environmental education along the way.
During the Winter
Ice- Fishing - As the winter weather warms in March and April, ice-fishing becomes the recreational activity of choice as anglers target trout, pike and pickerel. Drill your hole, drop a line in, and soak up the returning sunshine beside a fire. If you want to get serious about learning how to fish, book a trip with an outfitter or drop by any lake and politely ask a fellow fisherman for a lesson.
Dog Sledding - Yellowknife is the perfect place to experience an important historical part of Northern life. Take a short trip with experienced mushers on Grace Lake, spend an afternoon getting to know a world champion racing team at one of the many dog kennels in Kam Lake, or take a tour that teaches you to drive your own team.
Visit the Snow Castle - Take a trip to Yellowknife Bay to see a massive snow castle, replete with windows made from clear ice – built every winter by Snow King Anthony Foliot and his merry band of volunteers. Much more than a mere backyard snow fort, the Snow King’s castle features multiple rooms, including some large enough to seat an audience to watch movies, plays and concerts.
Yellowknife is one of the worlds best places to view the Northern Lights, also known as Aurora Borealis, this is due to the least geographical obstructions, such as mountains, to provide a high percentage of clear weather in the winter which results in a high viewing probability. We provide a variety of different tours to allow our customers to have the best experience possible when viewing the world's natural light show.
Yukon is situated in the upper Northwest corner of Canada, and sits between British Columbia and the Arctic Ocean, with Alaska to the west and the Northwest Territories to the east. Its jaw-dropping natural features are what set this place apart - a land rich with dramatic mountain vistas, wild rivers and crystal clear lakes, and close to 80 percent remains pristine wilderness.
About The Yukon
Situated in the upper Northwest corner of Canada, next to Alaska, the Yukon is Canada’s most accessible northern destination.
The Yukon is one of North America’s major wilderness attractions; close to 80 percent remains pristine wilderness with 5,000-metre peaks, forested valleys, unspoiled waters and untamed wildlife. Around 483,000 square kilometres, it is home to more than 160,000 caribous, 70,000 moose, 22,000 mountain sheep, 7,000 grizzly bears, 10,000 black bears and 250 species of birds… and only 34,000 humans!
The Klondike Gold Rush of 1898, as told through the stories of Jack London and the poems of Scottish-born poet Robert Service, put the Yukon on the world map. Today, visitors can still experience this period in history by visiting Dawson City, the heart of the Klondike.
With scenic drives into all corners of the Yukon, it’s a driver’s dream. The territory boasts a network of well-maintained highways that rank among the world's premier driving adventures. By road, it’s an exhilarating combination of postcard scenery, historic communities, cultural attractions and adventure outings. This is a land of friendly characters, endless Midnight Sun and expanses of pristine wilderness. We offer a fantastic Yukon self-drive or a member of our reservation team can tailor make the perfect tour for you, so you can have your perfect Yukon adventure.
Yukon at a glance
The Yukon was officially established as a Canadian Territory on June 13, 1898.
The total area of the Yukon: 483,450 sq.km.
Total population of the Yukon (June 2007): 32,212
Yukon's population & Cities
The City of Whitehorse: 24,041 - Whitehorse is the capital and largest city in the Yukon Territory. A city rich in music and arts set amid wilderness on the banks of the Yukon River and on the doorstep of Kluane National Park.
Dawson City: 1,876 - A vibrant northern community on the banks of the Yukon River boasting a mix of First Nations Heritage and Gold Rush History blend.
Watson Lake: 1,567 - Situated in the rolling hills of southeast Yukon, this town offers many ways to enjoy the outdoors and home to the incredible Northern Lights Space.
Haines Junction: 804 - This village is full of rich heritage and the gateway to the Kluane National Park and Reserve.
Yukon’s Official Languages
The Yukon's two official languages are the same as Canada: English and French
The majority of people speak English and roughly 12% can express themselves in French
The 3rd most spoken language in the Yukon is now Tagalog, the language spoken in the Philippines
German is also common
The one thing the Yukon can absolutely guarantee, year after year, is snow. The snow that covers the boreal forest, snow that coats the peaks in white, snow that melts beneath the ski, or flies from the snowmobile track, or flutters from the paws of a dog team. From November to April, snow turns Yukon into a winter playground.
From Fall to Spring, when darkness comes to Yukon skies, the Northern Lights come out. First, you might see a hint of neon colour in the starry sky, then a jagged burst of green, and soon you're transfixed by an ethereal display of shimmering aurora borealis. Depending on auroral activity and cloud conditions, you could spend hours watching with rapt attention as the magical show unfolds overhead. Whether you're fascinated by the science or thrilled by the opportunity to photograph the aurora, the sight of dancing lights in the night sky nourishes all souls. We offer a fantastic 3 day Yukon Aurora Borealis Tour, or you may wish to indulge in our Yukon Winter Adventure & Spa tour.
Gone to the Dogs
You can experience dogsledding a couple of different ways. Several Yukon mushers offer kennel tours, and some offer half-day, full-day or overnight packages. Your clients will meet people who live the dog mushing lifestyle and you’ll learn the basics of running a team. If they’re keen for a more immersive experience, several operators offer weeklong wilderness adventures where you take to the trail with your own team. And for those who prefer to watch from the sidelines, don’t miss the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race
Yukon is the land of the midnight sun, where skies are glorious and summer light just won't quit, with the best time to vist between May and August. Life flourishes under hours of intense sunlight as the land hosts millions of migratory birds and explodes in wildflower blooms. On the summer solstice, June 21, the sun doesn't set at the Arctic Circle—the further north one travels, the higher the sun and the longer the season of the midnight sun.
All over the Yukon, summer is a busy time of festivals and outdoor play. Take the road trip of a lifetime at the height of the northern summer and see Yukon’s memorable places by connecting the North Klondike, Top of the World, and Alaska highways. You’ll visit national historic sites, attractions and wilderness parks, meet extraordinary people and see plenty of wildlife. The best part? Staying up late through Yukon’s endless twilight to catch that perfect photo of the midnight sun.
The Best Canoeing Secret
Yukon is a paddler's paradise— rivers are among the most coveted canoeing, kayaking and whitewater rafting destinations in the world. The Wind River, a Peel tributary and Class II mountain river that begins in the colour-stained Wernecke Mountains is idyllic. The Wind River enjoys a rare combination of factors that make it the ideal northern wilderness canoeing journey: it flows through stunningly beautiful landscapes, the alpine hiking from the river is extraordinary, wildlife is abundant, and it’s novice-friendly. Highlights on a 10-day to two-week trip could include fishing for Arctic grayling, watching wolves, finding fossils or reading about the region’s ill-fated Lost Patrol.
Whitewater Thrills on the "Tat"
The Tatshenshini River is a world-class river roiling with Class III and Class IV rapids surrounded by some of the most dramatic scenery anywhere. The "Tat" is a superb whitewater trip through Tatshenshini-Alsek Park, one of four contiguous parks that are collectively designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A rafting trip on the Tat is either a raucous one-day whitewater excursion or a 10-day river rafting expedition. Either way, you will probably spot lots of wildlife in this lush river corridor and are guaranteed to be spellbound by the raw beauty of the area.
The Most Remote Biking Adventure
There are hundreds of kilometres of old mining roads and trails in the Yukon, and more and more of these overgrown routes are being discovered for mountain biking. The epic Canol Heritage Trail is like no other long-distance wilderness ride. The Canol is a rugged route that was cut through sub-alpine wilderness during World War II to service a long-gone pipeline. Today, the Canol is one of the most remote mountain bike rides in the world, with sweeping vistas and abundant wildlife and absolutely no services or settlements along the way. The 160-kilometre (100-mi.) stretch between Macmillan Pass and the Twitya River offers some of the best riding. Bikers often have to ford a few streams, but the awe-inspiring surrounding scenery is well worth it. This is not a journey for novices or the faint of heart.
Canada's Yukon may be home to twice as many moose than people, but the 35,000 enterprising and creative folks who live there are exceptionally talented. Yukoners celebrate a varied history and a dynamic arts culture, and the vast northern landscapes figure prominently in art and stories. The culture of Yukon's First Nations people evolved over millennia into the rich tapestry of dialects, arts, crafts, cuisines, and practices that they still enjoy today. From festivals to galleries to dozens of museums, historic sites, and interpretive and cultural centres, Yukon's story is brought to life for visitors in so many ways.
Respect for the land, its creatures and the forces of nature, combined with a storytelling tradition, form the foundations of Yukon’s First Nations cultures. If you are planning a trip to the Yukon, take time to explore the cultural diversity and connect with First Nations people across the territory. The Yukon has 14 distinct First Nations, each with their own unique traditions and cultural heritage. Within the Yukon, you’ll find an unparalleled richness of First Nation artwork, craft, storytelling, music and dance. Visit traditional carvers in their studios, listen to elders tell the stories of their people and learn about the living history of Yukon’s first people.
Klondike Gold Rush
In 1896, prospectors found gold in a creek near Dawson City, triggering a stampede to the Klondike. Bolstered by dreams and heartened by stories of riches, thousands of miners struggled across Chilkoot Pass and floated the Yukon River to Dawson City. Soon a rollicking frontier town, Dawson filled up with desperate prospectors, shrewd entrepreneurs, Mounties and dancehall girls. Today, Dawson City is a lively place bursting with heritage sites and attractions. You’ll feel the grit, heartache and golden dreams of the Klondike Gold Rush when you reach this authentic frontier town.
The Yukon may be famous for its gold rush history and diverse First Nations cultures, but there are countless stories that weave the tapestry of its heritage. Woolly mammoths and scimitar cats once roamed this region known as Beringia. Transportation was crucial to the growth of contemporary Yukon: the White Pass & Yukon Route railway, aviation, and the construction of the Alaska Highway. The story of the Canadian Mountie is rooted in the Yukon, and the territory also has a lesser known but just as colourful silver mining history. Here are you few places you may like to visit:
Caribou Crossing Trading Post - Tour Yukon's most extensive Wildlife Museum and stroll among creatures of Yukon's past and present, with favourites including grizzly bears, monster moose and the woolly mammoth,
Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site - The legendary 53-km/33-mile Chilkoot Trail protects the historic gateway to the Yukon once trod by Tlingit First Nation traders and Klondike Goldrush stampeders. The Chilkoot Trail is a component of the
Klondike Gold Rush International Historical Park.
Dawson City Museum - The place to begin your exploration of Dawson and the Klondike Gold Rush. Discover Yukon's First Peoples and explorers, experience the gold rush through the Stampeders, the entrepreneurs, and the demimonde.