The Yukon may be situated in Canada’s far north, but summertime in this beautiful territory is anything but arctic. Warm temperatures, a sprawling backcountry and twenty-four hour sunlight make this the ultimate outdoor adventure destination. While determined hikers and paddlers can challenge themselves on long distance, multi-day (or week) journeys, there is just as much to see and do without ever leaving Yukon’s highways. From secluded walks among some of Canada’s highest mountains to relaxing soaks in natural hot springs, there is an adventure for everyone in the Yukon this summer.  

Map courtesy of Yukon GPS Maps

 

Tombstone Territorial Park

With the Dempster Highway splitting this park in half, simply driving through Tombstone Territorial Park can be a breathtaking experience, with massive, craggy mountain peaks towering high above multi-coloured grassy plains. However, for a more intimate experience, hiking in Tombstone Territorial Park is the best way to really soak in its supernatural beauty. The Grizzly Lake Trail and the Divide Lake Trail are just a couple of options for exploring Tombstone’s unadulterated wilderness this summer.

 

Tombstone Territorial - toseeg.jpg

Tombstone Territorial Park - @toseeg

Kluane National Park

Home to 17 of Canada’s 20 tallest mountains, including the 5,959 metre (19,550 ft) tall Mount Logan, Kluane is full of epic adventures. Massive ice fields (some up to a kilometer deep) and wildlife that includes horned Dall sheep and mountain goats are just some of the natural wonders to discover here. From short day hikes to challenging multi-day treks like the 96 km (60 mi) Donjek Route, Kluane has something for everyone. No matter how you choose to explore Kluane National Park, pristine wilderness and magnificent views await.

Kluane National Park - @shaunarossphoto

Peel River Watershed

The Peel River forms a watershed that is over 68,000 km² (42,250 mi²) in size, making up one of the largest unroaded natural areas in the world. This wild landscape is home to grizzlies, wolves, moose, caribou, lynx and millions of migratory birds, and has been the home of three Yukon First Nations (the Na-ho Nyak Dun, Tr’ondek Hwech’in and Vuntut Gwitchin) for many thousands of years. The best way to experience this incredible ecosystem is to paddle the Peel River, which will take several weeks and require you to fly in and out from your journey, leaving you with a newfound appreciation for the few truly wild places we have left.

 

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Peel River Watershed - @archbouldphotography

Teslin River

If you are looking for an extended escape into the backcountry this summer but don’t have the skills of a seasoned survivalist, the Teslin is the perfect paddle for you. The usual 370 km (230 mi) route, which includes part of the Yukon river, is suitable for novice paddlers, with wide, gentle rapids and abundant wildlife including moose, caribou, wolves and eagles. In late summer and fall, thousands of salmon swim up the Teslin to spawn. The Teslin was a popular paddling route during the gold rush of the 1890s, and remnants of those days can still be seen all along the river, including old cabins and trading posts.

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Teslin River - @sam_d.e

 

Emerald Lake

Found along the South Klondike Highway not far from the community of Carcross, Emerald Lake is known for its intense green colour, created by a layer of marl along the lake’s bottom. Marl is a mixture of clay and calcium carbonate, formed through erosion from the surrounding limestone hills. With forested mountains rising in the background, this is one of the most photogenic sights in all of the Yukon.

 

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Emerald Lake - Map courtesy of Yukon v7 GPS Maps

Yukon Wildlife Preserve

Spanning over 280 hectares (700 ac), the Yukon Wildlife Preserve features 11 species of northern mammals within their natural habitat, including elk, wood bison, muskox, snowshoe hare, mule deer, thinhorn sheep, moose, mountain goat, woodland caribou, arctic fox, lynx and mountain goat. Regularly scheduled bus tours are available, or you can explore at your own pace. Either way, this is the perfect opportunity to get up close and personal with animals that you would normally have to trek deep into the backcountry to see.

 

Yukon Wildlife Preserve - erynmacgillivray.jpg

Yukon Wildlife Preserve - Instagram: @erynmacgillivray

Blog: Diaries from the Window Seat

Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre

Beringia refers to the prehistoric land bridge that once connected Asia and North America, a treeless steppe home to animals such as wooly mammoths, giant beavers and scimitar cats. It is also over this bridge that the first humans crossed into North America. The Beringia Interpretive Centre features life-size exhibits of ice-age animals, a reconstruction of the 24,000-year old Bluefish Cave archaeological site, First Nations displays and much more.

 

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Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre - @yukondar

Miles Canyon

Located just minutes from downtown Whitehorse, Miles Canyon was once a daunting passage for gold seekers who struggled to cross the canyon or to navigate their boats down its whitewater rapids. These days the canyon is much more calm, thanks to a hydroelectric dam, and is crossed easily via footbridge. Hiking and mountain biking trails span the canyon’s length, perfect for a casual afternoon’s outing during your summer visit to Whitehorse.

 

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Miles Canyon - @lovelylianneg

Carcross Desert

At just 260 hectares (640 ac) in size, the Carcross Desert is often referred to as the world’s smallest desert, though it is actually a series of sand dunes left over from ancient lakes and not a desert in the technical sense of the term. Nevertheless, it is an impressive sight, and is home a thriving community of hikers, ATVers and even sandboarders. The dunes are constantly shifting and changing shape, forcing plants already living in extreme conditions to be even more adaptive. They are also home to several rare species of insects, including eight that have been discovered here.

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Carcross Desert - @mtsears

 

Takhini Hot Springs

These natural, mineral-rich hot springs have been used for centuries by First Nations, and were developed for commercial use back in 1907. Situated amid 120 hectares (300 ac) of gorgeous Yukon wilderness, there are plenty of hiking trails to explore and earn that soak at the end of a day out in the woods. There is also a campground on site, and the pools are available for private rentals. Let your troubles drift away with the steam as you enjoy these one-of-a-kind hot springs.

 

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Takini Hot Springs - @spicy108

 

 

 


 

You can find your way to these and many other adventure with the help of our Yukon GPS Maps, which feature industry-leading cartographic detail and carefully detailed Adventure listings.

 

 

Did we miss you favourite Yukon summer adventure? Let us know in the comments below or share your adventures with us on Instagram using #brmblife for a chance to win prizes and be featured on our feed.