Our favourite self-drive route in the Yukon
The Alaska and Klondike Highway are an unbeatable round trip combo when it comes to exploring Canada’s vast landscapes on four wheels. The fabled highways connect British Columbia and Alaska and are a great opportunity to explore one of the least settled corners of the globe.
To get an idea of the sheer bareness of the land, it’s worth looking at a map of the Yukon. The small pin at the bottom of the map is Whitehorse. The wilderness capital is currently home to 40,000 residents. In terms of cities, this is as big as it gets! In terms of wilderness, this is only the starting point of your adventure!
The town of Whitehorse which is conveniently located at the junction between the Alaska and Klondike Highway is the start and end point of this circular journey. Beyond the city’s boundaries, mountains, tundra and Boreal forests home to wildlife unfold. FYI: The Yukon’s big fauna outnumbers the region’s human residents by a long stretch!
To give you a better idea of what to expect from your self-drive adventure we listed just a few of our favourite sights from the road. We recommend planning in at least a couple of photo stops to admire the works of almighty Mother Nature!
Epic lunch views
Looking for lunch with a view? Fox Lake, just outside of Whitehorse, is a boldly blue lake enjoyed by Whitehorse residents and furry locals in equal measure. Fox Lake will be one of the few lake stops on this journey. A more common sight will be the mighty Yukon River flowing parallel to the road.
In a land reigned by nature, creativity is key when expanding the infrastructure. This is particularly true for engineering work on bridges. Nature provides the brief, engineers follow suit (of course never compromising on safety!). Yukon bridges are a sight for sore eyes and worth appreciating considering the remoteness of the area.
The Yukon is home to five of Canada’s highest mountains, Mt Logan being the tallest of them. Travel past snow-capped peaks, valleys carved by ancient glaciers and moss-covered hills dressed in the colour of the season. In this picture, Bear Summit adds a dash of drama to the view, in true Yukon style!
Dawson’s candy-coloured shop fronts are a welcome sight when the clock strikes ‘ice-cream o’clock’. Indulge in a sweet treat and explore nuggets from the town’s colourful past. We consider a break in town a must-do since this will be your last stop before reaching the Alaskan border. If you do decide to stay the night you’ll find one particular odd custom: The Sourtoe Cocktail.
Beyond the road
Park up and take a stroll on the wild side. A self-drive adventure offers a great degree of freedom and flexibility. Mix things up, scramble up the nearest hill or spend an afternoon in a canoe. The Yukon’s wilderness is begging to be explored by many means of transportation!
A short drive from Dawson lies Tombstone National park, whose craggy peaks live up to their evocative name. If you fancy a hike a visit to these iconic mountain ranges definitely belongs on the top of your activity list!
Plan your adventure with the experts
Ready to explore the Yukon yourself? Get in touch with our Canada experts to go explore the Yukon’s epic landscapes. Check this tour and we’ll help you design your own Yukon adventure.
Photo credits: Header: Northern Lights Resort & Spa, Photo 1: Wikimap Photo 2: Government of Yukon, Photo 2,3,4 : Gov't of Yukon/R Hartmier Photo 5: (C) Government of Yukon Photo 6: of Yukon/F Mueller