There is no shortage of active pursuits or unforgettable sightseeing within Yukon Territory’s mountainous and sparsely populated terrain. However, even the most experienced mountaineers should not attempt to scale 19,550 foot tall Mount Logan, Canada’s highest peak, without the supervision of a local guide. Aerial tours of Kluane National Park are another way to get an up close and personal glimpse of the mountains.
Trekking across Yukon Territory’s vast backcountry should likewise only be tried with assistance from licensed outfitters. This rugged territory contains many of Canada’s most challenging canoeing and mountain biking routes. One of Yukon Territory’s most unique things to do is panning for gold at the original Bonanza Creek claim where the 1898 Klondike Gold Rush began. Dog sledding and Northern Lights tours are the most popular winter activities.
The guided and custom canoeing tours Kanoe People offers take paddlers past thriving First Nations villages and long abandoned mining ghost towns. Tour prices cover the cost of all transportation, equipment and food expenses, but visitors must bring their own gear, sleeping bags, and personal items. The South Macmillan and Tatshenshini rivers can easily be reached by road, but the Firth, Bonnet Plume, and many other Yukon rivers are only accessible by small bush planes.
Yukon Territory’s pristine waters also provide endless fishing opportunities, and Wilderness Fishing Yukon lets visitors choose between nine breathtaking lakes north of Whitehorse during their fly-in fly fishing excursions. All are filled with northern pike, lake trout, whitefish and many more big game tempting anglers. The Yukon fishing season runs the last weekend in May through September.
Boréale Mountain Biking is among the Yukon Territory’s most reputable mountain biking guides. This Whitehorse based company offers cycling excursions of all difficulty levels ranging from leisurely day trips through the capital to challenging multi-day adventures across the area’s most rugged terrain. Some are accompanied by yoga retreats, photography workshops and local food tastings.
Mountain climbing excursions from Up North Adventures are offered in Kluane National Park, home to Canada’s highest peak, Mount Logan. There are several smaller summits waiting to be scaled throughout the Yukon Territory.
Yukon Wild offers countless challenging hiking excursions through Kluane National Park, the Chilkoot Trail, the Coast Mountains, and many other rugged locations. The 33-mile Chilkoot Trail starts across the border near the Alaska community of Skagway and lets trekkers follow the footsteps of countless Klondike Gold Rush stampeders.
No Yukon Territory adventure would be complete without panning for gold at many of the same locations where the original Klondike Gold Rush Stampeders tried their luck over a century ago. Goldbottom Mine Tours and Goldpanning combines guided mine tours with opportunities to pan for gold at two different locations. The company provides lessons, equipment and accommodations at an authentic mining cabin.
Many believe the unforgettable sight of the Northern Lights is worth braving the Yukon Territory’s notoriously frigid winters. Northern Tales Travel Services also gives visitors the opportunity to see these colorful displays during early spring or late fall from the comfort of luxury lodges with spas.
Another popular winter activity is dog sledding, although most locals no longer use mushers as their main form of transportation. The guided sled dog tours from Uncommon Journeys offers across Yukon Territory’s backcountry trips that last from seven to 10 days.