About Yukon Travel
Every day, Tourism Yukon receives queries about what it's really like in the Yukon. Here are some quick answers to questions you may have.
Where is the Yukon?
The Yukon is in northwestern Canada. It sits between the Canadian province of British Columbia and the Arctic Ocean, with Alaska to the west and the Northwest Territories to the east. The Arctic Circle crosses through the Yukon. Use our Yukon Airline Access Routes and Yukon Regional Map to help you find your way to Yukon fun.
Is the Yukon part of Alaska or Canada?
Yukon is a territory in Canada. Canada has three territories and 10 provinces.
What is there to do in the Yukon?
Where do we begin? There are unlimited things to do in the Yukon, from outdoor adventures and scenic drives to festivals and events and historic sites to visit. You'll be spoiled for choice on your Yukon vacation.
When is the best time to come to the Yukon?
Many of our visitors enjoy the summer in Yukon (late May to September) while others prefer the Yukon's winter sports and natural phenomenon such as the northern lights (October to April). Whenever you come, there will be plenty for you to do. From hiking to paddling in the summer to dog sledding and cross-country skiing in the winter, you can find the activities which fit your pace, style of travel and budget. And don't forget to check our Yukon Events Calendar to time your visit with a particular event or festival.
What's the easiest way to get to the Yukon?
The easiest way to get to the Yukon is by air, with daily scheduled flights from Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton. But you can also drive or take a bus or coach tour from southern Canada. Or you can take a cruise or ferry up the British Columbia and Alaska coast and take a shorter bus or coach tour from BC or Alaska.
What about the Yukon's geology, topology and eco-systems?
Known for its wilderness landscapes, wildlife and striking natural phenomena, the Yukon is larger than life. This is a land rich with dramatic mountain vistas, wild rivers and crystal clear lakes. Southern Yukon has vast forests as far as the eye can see, and in North Yukon the tundra rolls on forever. The Yukon is a magical place. In summer, you can enjoy the midnight sun extending your fun into the wee hours and in winter you won't want to miss the mystery of the northern lights.
Why is the Yukon so well-known?
Probably because of the Klondike Gold Rush that took place at the end of the nineteenth century. Thousands of people streamed into the Yukon in search of gold and, at the peak of the gold rush, Dawson City was the biggest city north of Seattle and west of Winnipeg. Writers of the time in particular helped to immortalize the heady days of the gold rush. You may well have heard or read the stories and poems of Jack London and Robert Service. You can still see many signs of the gold rush when you visit, whether you hike the famous Chilkoot Trail or visit the historic city of Dawson, where the Palace Grand Theatre and Diamond Tooth Gertie's Gambling Hall put on nightly shows in true gold rush style.
Is it still possible to find gold in the Yukon?
Are you feeling lucky? There's still plenty of gold out there. I's just a matter of looking in the right place. Tour companies in Dawson City offer gold panning tours. If you're more serious, you'll need to check with Yukon Government about where you're permitted to pan.
What is accommodation like in the Yukon?
There are lots of comfortable accommodation options here in the Yukon. In addition to an excellent network of government and private campgrounds, the Yukon has high quality hotels, motels, wilderness lodges, cabins bed and breakfasts and hostels.
Can I bring my mobile phone to the Yukon?
We have mobile phone coverage in all Yukon communities but check with your own mobile service provider by referring to their map coverage area (usually posted on their website) to find out if yours will work here. For the technically minded, the Yukon's mobile service is CDMA (code division, multiple access) compatible. Satellite phone networks are accessible across the Yukon and satellite phones can be rented in Whitehorse.
What are Yukoners like?
We're glad you asked! We like to think of ourselves as down to earth, funny, friendly and good-natured Canadians, and we're especially proud of where we live in Canada.
Is the Yukon always cold?
Definitely not. In summer, the Yukon is comfortably warm and sunny with temperatures often in the 20s. Summers are shorter and cooler than in southern Canada. Daylight hours are longer, though. In some parts of the Yukon the midnight sun shines all night long. Only the highest mountains in the Yukon have snow all year. In most of the territory, there's usually no snow between the end of April and the end of October. Check the weather in the Yukon right now.
How big is the Yukon Territory?
At 483,450 square kilometres (186,661 square miles), the Yukon is larger than California and represents 4.8% of Canada's total land area. Of Canada's 10 provinces and three territories, the Yukon is the ninth largest. Despite its size, Yukon is easy to get around, with a network of well-maintained highways and plenty of places to stay to suit your style. The capital of the Yukon, Whitehorse, is a lively, fun city where you can always find a friendly face, great places to eat and plenty of entertainment.
How many people live in the Yukon?
As of June 2010, there were 34,984 people living in the Yukon. Of those, 26,418 were living in the capital city of Whitehorse.
Will I see an igloo in the Yukon?
Afraid not. Inuit people, who traditionally build igloos, live in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
How do I rent a vehicle in the Yukon?
Are there bears in the Yukon?
Yes. Yukon is home to healthy populations of grizzly and black bears. Read our bear safety tips and you'll feel right at home with them. The Yukon is lucky enough to have an impressive range of native wildlife including caribou, moose, wolves, wolverines, mountain sheep and lynx. Why not come to the Yukon for a wildlife viewing vacation?
What about those pesky bugs?
There can be blackflies and mosquitos at certain times of the year, depending where you are in the Yukon and what the weather conditions are like. Find out how to ensure you stay bug free on your Yukon vacation.
What are the rules for tipping?
As in many other places, service is rarely included in hotel and restaurant bills in the Yukon. Typical tipping ranges from 10 to 15 per cent of the total bill, before taxes.
What are the smoking laws in the Yukon?
Smoking is banned in most public areas, including all international and domestic flights, airport terminals, public transport, stores and office buildings. Throughout the Yukon Territory, all restaurants, cafés and bars are non-smoking.
Do I need any vaccinations to come to the Yukon?
No. No vaccinations are required for travel in the Yukon.
Can I bring any electrical appliances?
Yes, as long as they're compatible with our electrical voltage here in the Yukon—110AC 60 cycles with two flat-pin outlets.