A view of the Yukon River as it traverses Miles Canyon outside Whitehorse

Things to do in  Whitehorse

Yukon say that again...

Yukon’s capital city is a place of rugged beauty. Whitehorse rests on the Yukon River on the traditional territory of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and Ta’an Kwäch’än Council. It’s the perfect home base to explore the remote national parks of the Canadian Yukon. The city is a cultural hub full of festivals (including the Adäka Cultural Festival and Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous), galleries, and innovative restaurants. A visit to Whitehorse immerses you in natural things to do, and, if you’re lucky, you’ll see the northern lights dance over the city.

Top 13 attractions in Whitehorse

Yukon Territory

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The Yukon is the smallest, westernmost, and perhaps wildest of Canada’s northern territories. Its remote mountain landscapes, untamed rivers, and glacier-fed lakes attract casual sightseers and hardcore adventurers alike. Visitors can witness the Northern Lights, hike, snowshoe, or fish in the wilderness, and explore Canada’s First Nations traditions at cultural centers and festivals across the Yukon.More

Yukon Wildlife Preserve

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Vast, wild, and barely touched by humans, Canada’s Yukon Territory is one of the best places to view North American wildlife. At the Yukon Wildlife Preserve, many species native to the region—such as musk ox, Canadian lynx, elk, and bison—can all be seen at relatively close range in spacious natural habitats.More

Miles Canyon

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Just outside of Whitehorse, the Yukon River carves its way through a basaltic lava flow revealing colorful cliffs of volcanic rock. During the gold rush days, the fierce rapids of Miles Canyon posed a significant danger to stampeders, but the canyon has since been tamed with a dam and is now a popular recreation area for locals and visitors alike.More

Yukon River

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The Yukon River stretches nearly 2,000 miles (over 3,000 kilometers) from its source in British Columbia, across the entire width of Alaska, before emptying into the Bering Sea. During the Klondike Gold Rush, the river was one of the few transportation routes for gold prospectors and many historic gold rush sites and relics can be viewed along the river today.More

Kluane National Park and Reserve

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Canada’s highest peak, the largest non-polar ice fields, and North America’s most genetically diverse grizzly populations are all housed in the Yukon Territory’s Kluane National Park. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is packed with glaciers, peaks, rivers, and lakes where visitors can spot wildlife such as Dall sheep, caribou, wolves, grizzlies, and more than 100 different species of birds.More

S.S. Klondike National Historic Site

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Located on the banks of the Yukon River, the S.S. Klondike National Historic Site celebrates the history of riverboats in the Yukon. During the Klondike Gold Rush, the S.S. Klondike played an important role in moving ore, goods, and people up and down the river between Whitehorse and Dawson City. The boat is now a museum and monument to the era of riverboat transportation.More

Carcross

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Nestled on the shores of Bennett Lake and surrounded by rugged mountains, Carcross is a hub of gold rush history, First Nation culture, and outdoor adventure. The small town is a popular stop for visitors who come for gold panning, totem poles, world-class mountain biking, and relaxing on the lake’s renowned beaches.More

Caribou Crossing Trading Post

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Caribou Crossing Trading Post is a hub of gold rush history that gives visitors the opportunity to experience the Yukon Territory through activities such as gold panning and Iditarod dog cart rides. It also boasts a museum, petting farm, husky puppies, a cafe, and gift shop—making it an all-around great stopover on a road trip or tour.More
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Takhini Hot Pools

Takhini Hot Pools

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The Takhini Hot Springs has drawn visitors to its natural mineral waters for more than 100 years. Water enters the first of two large pools at 108°F (42°C) and gradually cools to 98.6°F (37°C) in the lower pool. Nestled in the Yukon wilderness, visitors have the chance to spot wildlife—and maybe even the northern lights—while basking in the springs.More
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Whitehorse Fish Ladder and Hatchery

Whitehorse Fish Ladder and Hatchery

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Each year over a thousand Chinook salmon pass through the world’s longest wooden fish ladder at the Whitehorse Fish Ladder and Hatchery. The fish ladder is part of their journey from the Bering Sea back to their home waters to spawn. This 1,200-foot (366-meter chute allows the salmon to bypass the Whitehorse Dam and is a popular spot to watch the salmon run.More

Bennett Lake

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Straddling the border of the Yukon Territory and British Columbia, Bennett Lake is known for its beaches and water sports activities. You can spend the day relaxing on sandy shores and enjoying mountain views or take to the water for canoeing, kayaking, or kite surfing. In the summer, the lake is even warm enough for a refreshing swim.More
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MacBride Copperbelt Mining Museum

MacBride Copperbelt Mining Museum

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The MacBride Copperbelt Mining Museum dubs itself a healthy learning and outdoor fun destination that can entertain anybody between the ages of 2 and 102. The two-kilometer-long “Loki” train ride is the main attraction; however, the museum is a true lesson on both the rich mining history in Canada’s North and the colorful characters that contributed to the development of Yukon’s capital city, Whitehorse.The museum’s wilderness setting, interpretive walking trails and a large picnic pavilion, make it a great place to spend an entire afternoon. Kids will be kept busy, too, with fun activities that teach them to stake a mining claim, scavenger hunts through the museum grounds, and a playground.More
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Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre

Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre

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Delve into the ancient history of Beringia, the land bridge that once connected Asia with North America, at the Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre. You’ll learn about the Ice Age and now-extinct colossal animals like the wooly mammoth, and hear the stories of Canada’s first people. Life-size animal displays and interactive exhibits make this one of the Yukon’s top attractions for kids.More

All about Whitehorse

When to visit

Whitehorse offers adventure any time of the year, so it's best to time your trip to your interests. In winter, you can soak in the natural Takhini Hot Springs or cheer on the teams in the annual Yukon Quest dog sled race. While the city comes to life in summer, with options including the Yukon Culinary Festival and the chance to camp and hike in Kluane National Park and Reserve.

Getting around

The city of Whitehorse has a small public transit system, but it doesn’t run on Sundays and holidays. Traveling in the Yukon is best done by car. Many of the territory’s highlights are spread out, and having your own car allows you to explore at your own pace. Whitehorse is also a hub for tours departing to the rest of the territory, offering another transport option.

Traveler tips

Every February, Whitehorse residents throw a party, rejecting the winter darkness and celebrating the warmth of the region’s people. The Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous festival has been running since 1964 and offers you the chance to experience winter like a local: Marvel at the snow carving, cheer for the new Mr. and Mrs. Yukon, and watch the axe-throwing, chainsaw-chucking, and log-tossing events. To celebrate, sample some maple taffy and dream about the sweetness of spring.

Attractions
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Tours
30
Reviews
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People Also Ask

Is Whitehorse worth a visit?

Yes, it provides an excellent mix of culture and entertainment, as well as proximity to the nature for which the Yukon is famous. Whether you’re on a quick getaway or taking the adventure trip of your dreams, Whitehorse has options.

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What is Whitehorse known for?

Whitehorse is known for its proximity to nature and its status as the largest city in the Yukon. It’s a great place to learn about the region’s history and culture, with spots like the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre, which focuses on the lives of Indigenous people in the territory.

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How many days do you need in Whitehorse?

Spend at least two days in Whitehorse so you have time to explore the city itself and the surrounding nature. If you visit in summer, a longer trip gives you the opportunity to camp under the midnight sun and spend time exploring the remote trails of the region.

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Is Whitehorse expensive?

Due to the cost of transporting food, living in Whitehorse is more expensive than in other parts of Canada. Guided tours and outdoor adventure activities tend to add up as well. Visiting in late January tends to be less expensive, but you can save on accommodation in summer by camping.

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Is Whitehorse walkable?

Downtown Whitehorse is compact and small, so many of its restaurants and businesses are walkable. The city also has plenty of great walking trails. The Millenium Trail follows the Yukon River and starts at the site of the S.S. Klondike sternwheeler. Traveling beyond the city is best by vehicle.

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What are the most popular things to do in Whitehorse with kids?

The MacBride Museum of Yukon History is a great place to start your Whitehorse adventure with kids. Its exhibits cover the history of the Yukon gold rush, the lives of the region’s Indigenous peoples, and artwork of locals, giving your kids a glimpse into the long history of the Yukon.

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Frequently Asked Questions
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