Start off your trip in the Yukon’s capital city and see all of it’s hot spots, most of which are within walking distance from each other. Then begin your drive through the incredible wilderness of the Yukon as you explore some of the smallest towns in the territory and some of the biggest. Make sure to not forget your passport as you will be taking the Top of the World Highway and crossing at the most northern border crossing in North America and exploring the eastern side of Alaska before you visit one of the most rugged and beautiful National Parks in the territory. Learn about all the must do activities throughout the Yukon, where to eat and where to camp!
Whitehorse, the wilderness city is the capitol of the Yukon territory and the gateway to an incredible adventure. Whitehorse is the territory’s travel hub with the Erik Neilsen Whitehorse International Airport where visitors from around the world can start their rugged adventures. A trip to the Yukon is not complete without spending at least a day in Whitehorse. Here you have the opportunity to camp at several close by campgrounds.
Some of the major attractions that draw visitors to the city are the Yukon Transportation Museum, Takhini Hot Springs, Yukon Wildlife Preserve, SS Klondike National Historic Site, Yukon Beringa Interpretative Centre, Old Log Church Museum, Kwanliin Dun Cultural Centre and MacBride Museum.
Everything within the downtown core is within close distance and you are able to walk almost everywhere even to or from the airport. A stop in Whitehorse would not be complete without eating at a few of their top spots like the Klondike Rib and Salmon, The Dirty Northern and Alpine Bakery.
Just a short ten minute drive from downtown Whitehorse is the beautiful, natural landscape of Miles Canyon, where the Yukon River has carved its way through the basaltic lava rock to make this incredible dramatic feature in the landscape. Here you can hike for a short walk to the Robert Lowe Suspension Bridge which is almost visible from the parking lot. This bridge will give you a great view of the mighty Yukon river rushing below.
The Miles Canyon is the perfect place for a picnic or you could spend a few hours exploring the footpaths that walk along the canyon ridge.
Five Mile Lake Territorial Campground
Five Mile Lake is a perfect place to camp while enroute to Keno City, Dawson City or anywhere in the North. Located about 400 km from Whitehorse this is a great, private space to stop overnight. At only $12/night for camping there is no power, water or showers, however as with most of the territorial campgrounds in the Yukon it makes up for the lack of amenities with its natural beauty. With a beautiful beach and warm blue waters sitting under a thick cover of black and white spruce, you can hike the entire 5km loop around the lake to further explore the area. Five Mile Lake Territorial Campground works on a first come first serve basis, so no reservations are available. Make sure to bring cash as this park works on the honesty box system and there is no park attendant to take your money.
From Miles Canyon head North along the North Klondike Highway towards the silver mining town of Keno City. Along the way make sure you stop at Braeburn Lodge for a delicious homemade cinnamon bun that is the size of your head. It’s the perfect road trip snack and it will last you a few days! After you pull out of Braeburn Lodge with a full stomach make sure to stop at Fiver Finger Rapids where you can walk down the stairs to the Yukon River and view the rapids
As you get into the final stretch you turn down a gravel road for 60km that leads to the no longer active silver mining town of Keno City. Keno _City_ is a somewhat ironically named place as it is the smallest town in the Yukon with only 20 permanent residents. Here you will find a glimpse of the past of what it was like to live in a remote mining town and see some of the mining equipment left where it was last used 100 years ago.
Spend some time exploring the Keno City Mining Museum, grab a snack at the Keno City Snack Bar or in the Keno City Hotel. Once you have fuelled up drive up the 10.5km winding road to Sign Post Hill. Plan to spend some time at the top of Sign Post Hill as the views are not only spectacular but so are the hiking trails. The trails will lead you through various parts of mountain top including an old abandoned miners cabin.
Dawson City is the hub of northern Yukon and it is a city that is always alive with excitement and filled with so much history. You could easily spend a few days in Dawson City exploring the city, taking in the past and learning all the stories the city has to share.
Some must see activities while in town are visiting the S.S. Keno, taking a ride on the Klondike Spirit down the Yukon River, as well as spending a few hours walking the town and taking in the unique buildings and homes that make up this town that is frozen in time.
To get a different perspective of the city make sure to head up to the Midnight Dome and get an unparalleled view of both Dawson City and the surrounding area. See the tailings from the old mining days and learn about the significance of the Midnight Dome.
If you are brave enough head over to the Downtown Hotel and try out the Sourtoe Cocktail and join the exclusive club only for the bravest around. Will you be brave enough to kiss the toe?
Make sure to end your night at Canada’s very first gambling hall, Diamond Tooth Gerties, where you not only can gamble, but also watch Gertie and her gold rush girls give you a true old fashion show that the miners were entertained with each night.
Gold Rush Campground
This campground is situated right in the heart of Dawson City, open mid-May to mid-September, it is the perfect place to stay while exploring Dawson City. You can easily park your RV and walk the entire town. With 83 sites offering everything from dry sites to 30 amp power with water and sewer, there is something for all Rv’ers needs. Offering free wi-fi, hot showers and laundry, this is a great place to camp while in Dawson City.MORE ABOUT THIS STOP
Explore the Goldfields
Surrounding Dawson City is both the inactive old mining fields from the Klondike Gold Rush as well as the still active mining operations as the area is still very rich in gold. Try your hand at gold mining at some of the various places you can still pan for gold including Free Claim #6. Head to where it all began, with the first pan of gold back in 1896 that started the famous Klondike Gold Rush, at Discovery Claim. Make sure to visit Dredge Number 4 National Historic Site to see how mining was once done and what caused all the tailing piles in the area.
Ride the Top of the World Highway to Chicken, Alaska
Head to the ferry in Dawson that will bring you across the Yukon River to start your journey along the Top of the World Highway. This 301km highway winds along the top of a mountain range giving breathtaking views. Before starting your drive up the highway, make sure stop in at the haunting Paddlewheel Graveyard, where multiple paddle wheelers were brought ashore as their final resting place after their time in the Klondike Gold Rush. Now they sit collapsed upon each other for visitors to see.
After spending some time along the shoreline of the Yukon River, begin your journey along the Top of the World Highway. If you plan on taking this road make sure you have your passports as you will be crossing at the Little Gold / Poker Creek border. Crossing that is the most northern international boarder crossing in North America. The highway remains open until snowfall but the border crossing closes in mid-September.
Once crossed the border into Alaska make sure to stop in the quaint town of Chicken, named after the abundant Ptarmigan that live in the region. Here they have the Pedro Dredge where you can do a guided tour. The grounds that the Pedro Dredge lives on is owned by the Chicken Gold Camp, an incredible campground for an overnight stop where you can get a hot meal, shower and refresh before your next days drive.
Chicken, Alaska to Kluane National
After you are refreshed and have explored the small hamlet of Chicken, continue down the Taylor Highway to the Tetlin Junction where you meet the Alaska Highway. Here you are heading back into the Yukon! Another quick border crossing brings you back into the Yukon Territory and into the town of Beaver Creek, Canada’s most westerly community. This is the perfect place to stop for gas, groceries or a hot meal before continuing down the Alaska Highway.
Once you have stopped for any amenities you might need, continue down the road towards Kluane National Park. You will begin to see the St. Elias Mountain range in the distance which offers some of the most beautiful scenes as you drive south.
Once you get in the Kluane National Park area there is so much to do you could easily stay for a few days if you like exploring . The National Park campground works on a first come first serve basis so ensure to get there early to get a spot! There is so much to do in the area but be aware that Kluane National Park is a wilderness national park and only has a road into the campground. Beyond that, if you want to explore the park you either need to hike or go on a flightseeing tour with Icefield Discovery. Hikes vary from easy short trails to multi-day overnight hikes – there is something for every age and skill level.
Make sure to check out the ghost town of Silver City. Silver City is tucked away just off the highway and you would easily miss it unless you were looking for it. This former mining town, trading post and home to the Northwest Mounted Police barracks is a really unique place to visit as this place is frozen in time slowly decaying back into the earth.
Kathleen Lake Campground
Pull your RV into one of the 38 large, spacious, private sites that Kathleen Lake Campground has to offer. With firewood, bear-proof storage lockers, and newly built out-houses, this is a great spot to call home-base while exploring Kluane National Park. Kathleen Lake works on a first come first serve basis and no reservations are possible so make sure to show up early to get a spot.
If you want to explore Kluane from a bird’s eye view and get the opportunity to see parts of the national park that most will never get a chance to see, make sure to not miss out on a flightseeing tour. Flightseeing tours take you soaring high up in the sky over the mountain range looking for Canada’s tallest mountain, Mount Logan standing close to 6000m tall. Alongside Canada’s tallest mountain you also get the opportunity to see the largest non-polar glacial icefield and with select packages you can get the opportunity to land on the icefield and get out and discover what it is like to be truly in the middle of nowhere in the mountains.
The pilots are extremely knowledgeable of the area and will point out wildlife in the mountains that look like ants from up in the air, explain how the glaciers and mountains are changing over the years and answer any and all questions you have about the area.