The lure of the Yukon

Location: Kluane National Park and Reserve, S.S. Klondike, Dawson Historical Complex, S.S. Keno, Discovery Claim and Dredge No. 4 National Historic Sites
Distance: 1,620 km round trip from Whitehorse

Venture to the land of the midnight sun, where rich culture and history intertwines with wide open spaces and opportunity for adventure! From rugged mountains, to charming northern towns, this 8-day itinerary is one to add to your bucket list.

A Parks Canada interpreter talking to visitors next to the boat at the S.S. Klondike National Historic Site.

Day 1

Location: S.S. Klondike National Historic Site, Whitehorse

Explore the grounds of the S.S. Klondike,one of two remaining sternwheelers in the Yukon and the largest of its fleet. Join our knowledgeable guides and hear fascinating stories of life on the river, and what it takes to restore and maintain the dry docked vessels that shaped an entire era of transportation.

From there, stroll the banks of the Yukon River, stopping along the way to visit the McBride Museum and the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre. Spend time relaxing and watch the water sparkle in the northern sun.

Visitors walk under the Palace Grand Theater banner suspended between period buildings at Dawson Historical Complex National Historic Site.

Day 2

Location: Dawson city
Distance: 530 km from Whitehorse

Travel north to Dawson City and check out the magnificent Five Finger Rapids along the way. Once known as the “Paris of the North”, Dawson City blends the legacy of the Klondike Gold Rush and the cultural traditions of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in. Join Parks Canada’s array of programs for tales of this unique place, while exploring historic buildings and industrious vessels.

A costumed guide riding a bicycle in front of the boat at S.S. Keno National Historic Site.

Day 3

Location: Dawson Historical Complex and S.S. Keno National Historic Sites

Visit the waterfront and board Tr’ehcho (S.S. Keno), a small but mighty vessel representative of two cultures who are intimately connected to the Yukon River. Step inside historical buildings and chat with costumed guides to hear the stories of the quirky characters who have walked the wooden boardwalks of this storied town. In the Commissioner’s Residence, thought-provoking conversations about the impact of the Klondike Gold Rush on the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in take place, offering the opportunity to learn about the full scope of our shared history. Opt to challenge yourself in one of two different escape rooms in some of Dawson’s oldest buildings, or find yourself exploring the Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre and hear about Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in stories and traditions. Will you have time to experience it all?

A guide with visitors in front of the dredge at Dredge No. 4 National Historic Site.

Day 4

Location: Discovery Claim and Dredge No. 4 National Historic Sites
Distance: 20 km from Dawson City

Explore the Klondike goldfields! Visit Gah dëk (Discovery Claim) and follow the trail to the spot where gold was found in 1896. Lëzrą kä̀nëchà (Dredge No. 4) will tower up out of the valley; once inside you will be amazed at the story of how it plied the creeks for gold, forever altering the landscape. Don’t forget to visit the abandoned company town site of Bear Creek, eerily frozen in time when the last dredge finally stopped running and the company closed its doors over 50 years ago.

Kluane Lake landscape.

Day 5

Location: Kluane National Park and Reserve
Distance: Haines Junction, 660 km from Dawson City

Make your way to Haines Junction and stop in at the Da Kų Culture Centre to get up-to-date park information and explore the interpretive facility that honours the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations language, stories, connection to the land and living culture.

After a long day on the road, stretch your legs along the Dezadeash River Trail before resting for night. Adventures await tomorrow! There are many ways to experience the park. Book a flightseeing tour to get up close to Kluane’s magnificent icefields and glaciers or get your hiking gear together and set off to discover the amazing landscapes Kluane has to offer by foot!

Three visitors on a bench snap a selfie in front of Kluane Lake on the Soldier's Summit Trail in Kluane National Park and Reserve.

Day 6

Location: Kluane National Park and Reserve
Distance: Thechàl Dhâl' Visitor Centre, 70 km from Haines Junction

Be sure not to miss out on a drive to the northern side of the park! Situated in the Ä’äy Chù Valley, this side of the park boasts incredible scenery and provides an opportunity to learn how climate change has altered the landscape of this region. Soak in the views of Kluane Lake from the Soldier’s Summit Trail and check out fascinating exhibits at the Thechàl Dhâl’ Visitor Centre. Out on the deck scan with a spotting scope, you might get lucky and catch a glimpse of some Dall sheep!

A young girl sitting in the grass writing in a notebook at Kathleen Lake with visitors and mountains in the background, at Kluane National Park and Reserve.

Day 7

Location: Kluane National Park and Reserve
Distance: Mät’àtäna Män (Kathleen Lake), 30 km from Haines Junction

Get your hiking gear together and set off to discover the amazing landscapes Kluane has to offer by foot! Home to 17 of the country’s 20 tallest mountains, including Canada’s highest peak, 5,959-metre Mount Logan, Kluane also has the world’s largest concentration of ice fields and glaciers. Get ready for an adventure and hike up the King’s Throne trail or have a leisurely day enjoying the scenery along the lake. Opt to stay overnight in one of Parks Canada’s signature oTENTiks and camp under the stars at Kathleen Lake campground.

Recommended accommodation:  oTENTik, Kathleen Lake campground

Visitors hiking on Rock Glacier Trail with Dezadeash Lake in the background at Kluane National Park and Reserve.

Day 8

Location: Kluane National Park and Reserve
Distance: Rock Glacier, 20 km from Mät’àtäna Män

Wake up and spend a morning soaking up the magnificent scenery at Mät’àtäna Män. There’s still time to enjoy the views from the Rock Glacier Trail before heading back to Whitehorse.

Distance: Return to Whitehorse, 200 km

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