Yukon is home to Canada’s highest peak, the world’s largest non-polar ice fields, several Canadian Heritage Rivers and healthy, abundant wildlife. From the crimson carpet of the tundra, to the majestic mountain peaks, the vast pristine wilderness of the Yukon beckons.
Yukon’s jaw-dropping natural features are what set this place apart. This is a land rich with dramatic mountain vistas, wild rivers and crystal clear lakes. Close to 80 per cent remains pristine wilderness.
At least twenty mountains in the St. Elias Range in southwest Yukon exceed 4,000 metres, and more than a handful exceed 5,000 metres. Towering over them all and surrounded by vast icefields is Mount Logan, Canada's highest peak at 5,959 m.
The southern part of the Yukon is covered by vast coniferous boreal forest, rugged mountains, and a network of rivers and lakes. In the North, rolling arctic tundra stretches to the Arctic Ocean. Yukon’s north coastline includes beaches, cliffs, sea ice, lagoons and coastal plains.
Yukon has over 70 canoeable wilderness rivers including four Canadian Heritage Rivers. Countless scenic lakes dot the landscape making the Yukon a significant reservoir of fresh water. Almost two-thirds of the territory is drained by the mighty Yukon River, Canada's second longest river.
The Big Salmon, Teslin, and storied Yukon River combine scenery, wildlife viewing, history, fishing and friendly rapids. Exhilarating rivers like the Alsek, Tatshenshini and Firth beckon for rafting. The Snake, Bonnet Plume and Wind rivers flow through one of the most remote regions of North America.
Glacial-fed Tagish, Marsh, Teslin, Bennett and Atlin lakes form the Southern Lakes. Camping and fishing abound along inviting roadside lakes like Kathleen, Fox, Five Mile, Frances, Frenchman and Chapman.
Yukon’s vast wild regions, varied ecosystems, and relatively sparse human population make the Yukon a haven for some of North America’s most rare and impressive species.
Yukon is home to abundant northern species like caribou, wolves and grizzly bears and millions of migratory birds. Lynx, coyotes, foxes and scores of small mammals thrive in its forests. The possibility for wildlife exists around every bend. Keep your eyes open and keep these tips in mind to make the most Yukon’s wildlife viewing opportunities.
Wildlife viewing tips
Take your time and be quiet. Plan on stopping often, and slowly scan the landscape for movement. Wildlife are more active in early morning and evening. Take a short walk before breakfast or after dinner. You may be pleasantly surprised at what you find. Remember, in summer, the arctic evening lasts all night.
Keep your distance and use binoculars, spotting scopes, and telephoto lenses to get a more detailed look or a better photo without scaring the animal away or endangering yourself.
For more information on Yukon species, wildlife viewing tips, etiquette, precautions or self-guided wildlife viewing opportunities check out the Yukon Wildlife Viewing Guide
More than 80 percent of the Yukon is classified as wilderness and our world-class national and territorial parks promise iconic scenery, abundant wildlife and solitude. Visitors come to explore legendary northern parks including Kluane, Tombstone, Ivvavik and the historic Chilkoot Trail. Enjoy park infrastructure ranging from trails to interpretive centres to campgrounds.