The secret is out: Yukon winters are a magical time for snowy adventures. Make your next Canada ski vacation an excursion to the Yukon for some of the best snow conditions in western Canada. Discover the beauty of a Yukon winter while carving turns over White Pass or skiing some of the best cross-country ski trails in Canada. Enjoy a day riding the lifts and skiing or snowboarding at Mount Sima.
Once the skis are off, Yukoners are expert at making every après-ski moment count. Lounge in a wood-fired sauna or indulge in a massage. Learn the secrets of the aurora borealis. Time your visit with a winter music festival or the famous Yukon Quest sled dog race. After an exhilarating day exploring Yukon's glorious snowy landscapes, you'll recharge with delicious food and fun evening entertainment that will make you wish your Yukon ski vacation didn't have to end.
Backcountry Skiing Adventures
For avid backcountry skiers, the Yukon’s expansive, varied landscape is a dream-come-true. Whether you get your thrills from alpine touring or telemarking, or if you’re a backcountry snowboarding enthusiast, you’ll be waxing poetic about the Yukon’s powdery hills.
Popular backcountry destinations in the Coast Mountains and Kluane Ranges are just a short drive from Whitehorse. The Wheaton River Valley, Montana Mountain, Log Cabin and the snow-draped mountains in White Pass are less than an hour away. Auriol Trail, Cottonwood Trail, Mount Decoeli and the alluring landscape of the Haines Pass lure skiers toward Kluane National Park. Venturing further afield, more ambitious adventurers discover the quiet drama of the South Canol, the Tombstones and the Richardson Mountains.
Groomed Skiing Excursions
Whitehorse has an enviable network of ski trails, from more than 75 km of well-groomed trails at Mount McIntyre for classic and skate skiing to groomed community trails in scenic areas like Chadburn Lake, Marsh Lake and the Grey Mountain Biathlon Facility. Other Yukon communities like Watson Lake, Haines Junction and Dawson City also maintain networks of groomed cross-country trails.
Whitehorse Cross Country Ski Club has a wax room and ski base offering equipment rentals, lessons, change rooms and saunas, and all kinds of special events. Time your visit right and you can be on the starting line of a ski loppet or a spectator at a national ski race. This is a town of cross-country skiing fanatics - it’s no wonder so many Yukon athletes are making the national ski squad!
For the more vertically inclined, Whitehorse is home to Mount Sima, with a dozen runs over a 1100-foot vertical drop, terrain park, double chairlift and handle tow. Along with Mount McIntyre, Mount Sima hosted ski events at the 2007 Canada Winter Games. Join skiing or snowboarding lessons at the Snow School, or warm up in the brand new ski chalet. Watson Lake’s Mount Maichen offers T-bars on nine groomed runs over 500 feet of vertical with a day chalet and connecting trails.
It’s Time to Start Planning!
Start your journey at the Yukon bookstore known for its great selection of northern titles. At Yukon Books you’ll find guidebooks, narratives and maps describing everything from ski routes to avalanche skills. Check Whitehorse Cross Country Ski Club, Mount Sima and Mount Maichen websites for programs, rentals, maps, current conditions and prices.
Contact Parks Canada about backcountry skiing in Kluane National Park or at Log Cabin, and with Yukon Parks for winter information about Tombstone Park. Many Yukon operators also offer tours that include these activities as part of their dog sledding, snowmobiling and aurora viewing packages.
Whether you plan a two-hour jaunt or a multi-day expedition, make sure you have the necessary gear and skills before you embark on your ski trip. Winter conditions can be harsh and unpredictable, even during a short ski on local trails. Avalanche preparedness and training is essential before traveling in the backcountry, and there is no coordinated avalanche forecasting in the Yukon.
Contact the Canadian Avalanche Association for more information.
To find information about Yukon backcountry conditions, visit the Canadian Avalanche Centre's discussion forum.
Good planning is the key to a safe and successful skiing adventure.