When is the best time to come to the Yukon?
It really depends on what your clients want to do. Summer (late May – September) is perfect for touring, sightseeing, wildlife viewing and outdoor adventures. Winter (November – April) is the time to see northern lights and enjoy winter activities like dog sledding, snowmobiling or ice fishing. Late August and September – the fall season – is beautiful for fall colours and the beginning of northern lights viewing.
Is the Yukon always cold?
Definitely not, but our weather can be quite variable. In summer, the temperature can be as warm as 30 degrees Celsius (80F) and the blazing sun shines around the clock. On average, it can be anywhere from 15 to 25C (59 – 77F).
In winter it can drop to -30 Celsius (-22F). Then again, it could be “mild” at only -5C (23F).
Summers are shorter and cooler than in southern Canada, with the peak summer period being mid-May to September. During summer the days are long with 20 or more hours of daylight, while winter sees short days but makes up for that with beautiful sunrises!
Only the highest mountains in the Yukon have snow all year. In most of the territory, there's usually no snow from late April to late October.
Also see: Environment Canada
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.
Is the Yukon part of Alaska or Canada?
The Yukon is a territory of Canada. Canada has three territories and ten provinces. The State of Alaska, in the USA, is our next door neighbour to the west.
How many people live in the Yukon?
As of June 2015, there were just over 37,000 people living in the Yukon.
What about the Yukon's geography, topography and eco-systems?
The Yukon is known for its wilderness landscapes, wildlife and striking natural phenomena. It’s 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 seems to roll on forever.
What is the capital city of the Yukon?
The Yukon’s capital is Whitehorse, also known as the “Wilderness City.” It’s a lively, fun city where you can always find a friendly face, great places to eat and plenty of entertainment.
How big is the Yukon?
At 483,450 square kilometres (186,661 square miles), the Yukon is larger than California, roughly twice the size of the U.K. and represents 4.8% of Canada's total land area. Despite its size, the Yukon is easy to get around, with a network of well-maintained highways and plenty of accommodation choices to suit everyone’s style.
What's the easiest way to get to the Yukon?
The easiest way to get to the Yukon is by air. Several commercial airlines connect Whitehorse with Vancouver with year-round daily services. Air North, Yukon’s Airline also connects Whitehorse with Calgary, Edmonton, Kelowna, Yellowknife and Ottawa. There are also direct weekly flights from Frankfurt, Germany during the summer season.
It is also possible to drive or take a bus or coach tour from southern Canada. Or your clients can take a cruise ship or ferry up the British Columbia and Alaska coast and take a shorter bus or coach tour from BC or Alaska. The options are plentiful!
Also see: Getting Here and Around the Yukon
What is there to do in the Yukon?
Where do we begin? From outdoor adventures and iconic drives to festivals and events, wildlife viewing and northern lights, your clients will be spoiled for choice on their Yukon vacation.
Is it still possible to find gold in the Yukon?
Yes! There's still plenty of gold out there! It's just a matter of looking in the right place. Tour companies in Dawson City offer gold panning tours. More serious prospectors need to check with the Yukon Government about where you're permitted to pan for gold.
How can my clients find artist studios to visit?
Where can my clients find museums?
How can I find out more about soft adventure options?
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.
Driving Around the Territory
How do I rent a vehicle for my clients in the Yukon?
Whether it's a car, camper or RV you're looking for, you'll find a range of vehicle rental options in Whitehorse. Your preferred local tour operators/wholesalers that sell Canada FIT products will generally also offer vehicle rental in the Yukon.
Also see: Transportation
How can my clients find out about road conditions while they are travelling?
Where can I get more information about campgrounds?
Government of Yukon roadside campgrounds are located throughout the territory. They offer large, pristine sites with free firewood and have basic outdoor toilet facilities. Yukon’s privately operated RV parks or campgrounds offer additional conveniences such as power, water, showers, laundromat, store, sani-dump and Internet. Copies of A Guide to Yukon Government Campgrounds are available any Visitor Information Centre, or may be downloaded from: Yukon Parks
Private RV and campground listings can be found on the travelyukon.com consumer website: Camping and RV Parks
What to Pack
Do you have a suggested packing list for my clients for the Summer/Fall seasons?
With our varied geography and changeable weather, it's important to be prepared for sudden changes in weather and temperature, especially if clients are doing outdoor activities.
Suggested packing list:
Summer: Shorts and T-shirts with layering options. On outdoor excursions, bring along pants and long sleeves. A hat, gloves and windbreaker can come in handy. For sun protection, brimmed hats, sunglasses and sunscreen. Good walking shoes are a must. If clients are going into the backcountry, they should consider packing a bug jacket or hat.
Fall: Plenty of light, long-sleeve shirts, sweaters and windbreakers for walks around town or hikes in the woods. Also pack a warm hat, gloves, walking shoes and waterproof boots.
Do you have a suggested packing list for my clients for the Winter/Spring seasons?
Winter: A good parka and insulated winter boots are a must. Local tour suppliers offer rentals of winter clothing packages or include them in the price of their trips. Warm clothes and long underwear plus wind or snow pants if your clients have them. A warm hat, gloves and scarf are essential.
Spring: Pack long-sleeved shirts, pants, a windbreaker or shell jacket, sweaters, a warm hat and gloves, plus walking shoes and waterproof boots.
Will my clients need any evening clothes?
We have a relaxed dress code known as 'Yukon formal'. Things are casual and comfortable here, and clean jeans and shirt are welcome in just about any Yukon establishment.
Can my clients bring any electrical appliances?
Yes, as long as they're compatible with standard Canadian electrical voltage which is 110AC 60 cycles. Canadian plugs are either 2 pin flat pronged or 2 pin flat pronged with a round grounding prong. An adaptor will be needed for any electrical appliances that are not 110AC.
Will my client’s cell phone work in the Yukon?
Before travelling to the Yukon, guests should check with their cellular phone provider to ensure their coverage will not be interrupted during their stay. The Yukon has cellular phone coverage in all Yukon communities, and smartphone coverage in Whitehorse and some communities; however, cell coverage does not extend along Yukon highways. Guests undertaking road travel should ensure they are well-prepared and equipped for a few hours with no cell signal while driving between communities.
As not everyone wants to use their cell phones while travelling, it's always good to know where you can find wifi. The Erik Nielsen International Airport as well as our Visitor Information Centre's across the territory offer free wifi.
What time zone is it in the Yukon?
The Yukon is on Pacific Time (the same as Vancouver). It is one hour ahead of Alaska, and one hour behind Calgary and Yellowknife.
What about banking in the Yukon?
Whitehorse has branches of Canada’s five major banks, a Western Union and a First Nations Bank. Most Yukon communities have 24-hour automated teller machines.
What is the Fair Exchange Program?
Many Yukon businesses participate in the Fair Exchange Program, a Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon initiative, to ensure visitors receive fair value for their U.S. funds.
What sales taxes do you have in the Yukon?
Most goods and services are subject to five per cent national sales tax (GST). The Yukon has no territorial or municipal sales taxes.
What are the rules for tipping?
As in many other places in Canada, a tip for service is rarely included in hotel and restaurant bills in the Yukon except occasionally for larger groups. Typical tipping ranges from 15 to 20 per cent of the total bill (before tax).
What are the smoking laws in the Yukon?
Smoking is prohibited indoors throughout the Yukon, including all international and domestic flights, airport terminals, public transport, stores, restaurants, cafés, bars and office buildings.
Do my clients need any vaccinations to come to the Yukon?
What medical services are available?
Hospital facilities are located in Whitehorse, Dawson City and Watson Lake. All other communities are served by health centres. Travellers should carry medical insurance suitable for Canada.
911 service is currently available in the area surrounding Whitehorse.
Fishing and Hunting Regulations
Do my clients need a fishing licence?
Yes. The Yukon is a dream for fishing enthusiasts and Yukon fishing licences are available at most sporting goods stores, gas stations, other commercial outlets and Environment Yukon offices. A separate National Park fishing licence is required in Kluane National Park and Reserve.
How do I organise a hunting tour for my clients?
The Yukon offers remote hunting experiences in large wilderness regions. The territory has 19 exclusive hunting concessions offering 12 big game species. Non-resident hunters require big game permits and must be guided by a licensed hunting guide. For more information about hunting in the Yukon, contact:
Yukon Outfitter’s Association
Tel: (867) 668-4118
Fax: (867) 668-4120
Are there bears in the Yukon?
Yes. The Yukon is home to healthy populations of grizzly and black bears. They are most visible in the spring and fall, and hibernate in the winter. We are also lucky enough to have an impressive range of native wildlife including caribou, moose, wolves, wolverines, mountain sheep and lynx. Clients visiting the Yukon will most likely see wildlife during their stay.
Also See: Yukon Bear Safety
What about those pesky bugs?
While it’s true there are bugs in the Yukon, a few precautions will help ensure they won’t detract from your client’s visit. Mosquitoes are active in June, July and August, and black flies appear in late August and September. Numbers of both pests tend to increase after rain.
Most Yukon communities have control programs to manage mosquito populations, meaning they are not prevalent within city limits. Bugs can be a nuisance out in the wild – especially in low-lying, marshy areas without a breeze – so clients travelling to these areas should pack or purchase bug repellent or a bug jacket or hat, just in case.