If your idea of the perfect vacation includes active, adventure-filled days, jaw-dropping views, fresh mountain air and discoveries at every turn, it’s time to move #ExploreYukon to the top of your bucket list. With outdoor activities for people of all fitness levels, four uniquely sensational seasons and unrivalled views of the northern lights, a trip to the Yukon is more than a vacation. It’s an opportunity to energize your body, calm your mind, explore, unplug and reset – all while getting to know one of Canada’s most breathtaking active travel destinations.
Activities from the serene to the extreme
Boasting Canada’s highest peak, immense glaciers and expansive tundra, the Yukon is a dream destination for athletic daredevils and seasoned adventurists. If your ultimate vacation involves thrill-seeking on wild rivers, heart-pumping fun on rugged trails or camping out in the snow, the Yukon is for you.
There are also endless ways to embrace the Yukon that don’t require nerves of steel or Olympic-level athleticism. Summer paddles through crystal clear waters, calm horseback rides in pristine wilderness and mellow hikes observing incredible wildlife are just a few of the many opportunities to get active that don’t fall in the extreme sport category and deliver the same health benefits and authentic Yukon experiences as other more adrenaline-packed options.
Four seasons of play in the Yukon
The list of ways to get active in the Yukon is so long in part because the territory has four distinct seasons for outdoor movement and adventure. Whether you crave the cold, want warmth or fall somewhere in between, the Yukon has a season that will suit you. No matter what time of year you arrive, all the active time outside is sure to enrich both your mental and physical well-being. Stress will melt away as you hike, climb and paddle, taking in the clean, fresh air of some of Canada’s most pristine wilderness.
Spring into adventure
When the long winter ends, the Yukon landscape changes from white to green and creates a fresh, re-energizing environment for movement and exploration. Warmer temperatures open waterways for fishing and paddling. Mountain biking and camping become accessible again. As spring progresses, golf courses re-open, with hot springs offering a relaxing reward for an active day, taking the chill off whatever wintery weather remains.
More sun, more fun
Those who prefer warmer weather will feel comfy during a Yukon summer, as temperatures frequently climb into the 20s (°C). While that forecast may sound familiar, a Yukon summer is unlike anything most southerners have ever experienced, in the very best way.
The midnight sun lights the way for epic adventures packed with possibilities, allowing visitors to explore more trails, take in more jaw-dropping views, putt a few extra holes, raft a little longer, spot more animals and dip their paddle in a few more lakes. The novelty of checking your watch as the sun glows at 2 a.m. takes a while to wear off!
When fall sweeps over the landscape in the Yukon, it’s all about the colour – in the sky and in the foliage. Swaths of gold, red and orange take over the landscape, enticing travellers to the trails, providing a peaceful physical and mental reset. Runners will lose track of their kilometres in the crisp fall air; step counts will soar as one breathtaking view inspires the trek to the next.
Those who prefer to get around on two wheels have endless options as well, whether you want to shred it on world-class technical trails, take a meandering mountainside ride, or hit the road with unrivalled views, fall is an outstanding time to pedal through the territory, building strength and calming your mind while connecting you with nature.
Epic winter wonderland
When the snow blankets the tundra, forests and waterways, it lays a fresh, new playground for adventure packed activities like fat biking and world-class backcountry skiing, where the only crowds you’ll see are the moose and herds of caribou that roam the territory. If you’re into a more mellow excursion, snowshoeing in the Yukon can be so peaceful and meditative you’ll barely realize how much energy you’re using as you traverse the terrain and loop around and across the lakes.
After a winter day of active Yukon exploration, there’s nothing more satisfying than settling in under a clear night sky, with a hot drink in hand, basking in the glow of the Aurora Borealis. And did we mention sleep? After all that physical activity in the crisp winter air, you’re sure to enjoy some super high-quality ZZZs.
The greatest light show on Earth
Finding your corner of dark sky to take in the majesty of the northern lights is arguably the most iconic #ExploreYukon experience (with the best viewing happening between mid-August and mid-April). Witnessing this wonder of the world that the Cree call the “Dance of the Spirits” epitomizes the wonder of the north and is sure to deliver the many mental health perks that come from spending time in the great outdoors.
There is nowhere on Earth better suited to watch this natural phenomenon of neon greens, purples and pinks beaming across the sky. Seeing the northern lights in person is more than a visual wonder — it’s an immersive experience that even the most clicked-on viral video or realistic reel cannot adequately replicate.