7 Ways To Experience The Yukon This Summer
The Yukon is a vast and breathtaking landscape that has long enchanted travellers. Although the region is best known for its winter activities, the summer season offers an equally stunning array of experiences. With the sun barely dipping below the horizon during the summer months, visitors to the Yukon can indulge in round-the-clock adventures, from hiking and kayaking to cultural experiences.
Read on for the 7 ways to enjoy the Yukon during the summer and be sure to reach out to us if you need help planning the perfect Yukon getaway.
1. Go Gold Panning in the Klondike
Try your own hand at panning for gold in the place where it all started — the Klondike. Head into the Gold Fields about 15 minutes outside of Dawson City to Free Claim #6 where you can pick your own spot in Bonanza Creek and try to find gold. Although it is free to do so, you must bring your own pans and shovels (which can be rented down the road at Claim 33 or bought in town).
For the perfect summer trip that includes immersion in gold rush history, try our Dawson City: Summer Klondike Experience.
2. Soak In The Hot Springs
The Eclipse Nordic Hot Springs is an adults-only facility located approximately 35 minutes outside of Whitehorse in the Yukon. The spa is designed to combine the Nordic practice of thermotherapy (which includes hot, cold and relaxation cycles) with the benefits of the Japanese Onsen style of soaking in mineral waters.
Water exits the source at approximately 46°C but the temperature in the various pools range from 38 – 42°C depending on the weather and season. In addition to the thermal pools, the facility also has sunrooms for relaxation, cold plunges and showers, as well as saunas and steam rooms.
The hot springs experience is included in our Summer Eco Retreat at the Black Spruce package, which includes a stay in an eco-cabin in Whitehorse and a car rental.
Related: Read about Canada’s other incredible hot springs locations.
3. Get an Indigenous Perspective
Oral traditions and archaeological evidence show that Indigenous people have lived in the Yukon for more than 12,000 years. Learning about the land through an Indigenous lens adds immeasurable value to any Canadian travel experience and this is no less true in the Yukon.
Learn about the various First Nations communities in the Yukon and visit a cultural centre, such as the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre in Whitehorse or the Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre in Dawson City. In the summer, you might be lucky enough to catch a festival (visit Indigenous Yukon for a list). On our Tombstone and Kluane Hiking Experience, you’ll have a special opportunity to learn firsthand about the culture and history of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation during either a private experience with a local artist or a foraging walk and plant talk with a local medicine maker. The Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation was one of the Indigenous groups most affected by the Gold Rush and settlers in their traditional territories and have been working actively to reclaim their traditional cultural ways.
4. Paddle The Famous Yukon River
Before there were permanent year round roads in the Yukon, the mighty Yukon River was the primary “highway” for settlement, development and travel. The best way to explore this historic river is to paddle it. Whether you choose to do a short day trip or go on a multi-day paddling adventure, canoeing or kayaking on the Yukon River will be one of your most memorable summer adventures.
Our Yukon River Classic expedition is a 13-day guided paddle from Carmacks to Dawson City. Or make paddling just one part of a larger road trip on our Journey to the Heart of the Yukon getaway.
5. Explore Tombstone
Often called Canada’s Patagonia due to its jagged mountain peaks, Tombstone Territorial Park is a spectacular 2,200 square-kilometre stretch of wilderness near Dawson City. The park’s rugged landscape and permafrost landforms make for fantastic hiking and are even more dramatic when seen from the air.
Explore this park on foot and then fly over the mountains on a scenic Cessna flight with our Dawson City: Summer Klondike Experience or on our Tombstone and Kluane Yukon Hiking Experience.
6. See the Aurora Borealis
Seeing the magical Northern Lights dancing over the clear Yukon skies is an experience of a lifetime. While Aurora viewing is most often thought of as a winter activity — due to the fact that the Yukon summer nights never get dark enough for the Lights to appear — there is actually an Aurora viewing season in the late summer. By mid August, the sky gets dark enough for the Aurora to once again be seen.
Get unobstructed views of the night sky with our Aurora Borealis Adventure package.
7. Fly Into A Wilderness Lodge
If you’re looking to get away from it all, the Yukon is a top choice of destination. Vast and sparsely populated, the territory offers a lot of room to spread out. But for a taste of real wilderness, head out to a fly-in lodge.
Nestled on the shores of a pristine lake near Kluane National Park and surrounded by the stunning Ruby Range Mountains, the Tincup Wilderness Lodge is a remote and exclusive retreat that offers a peaceful wilderness experience to those seeking to fish, relax or explore.