Travel tips 5 hidden gems in the Yukon
Plan a journey that’s as unique as our famous cocktail
There’s always plenty to do on a visit to the Yukon, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it just like everyone else. Yes, Miles Canyon is beautiful. And, of course, you can have a sip of a sour toe cocktail—which is still pretty rare. But if you’re looking for some even more out of the box trip ideas, just let your eyes wander down the page.
Ivvavik National Park
Remote and pristine, Ivvavik means, “a place for giving birth.” But that’s not the park’s only similarity to a hospital. Ivvavik National Park protects a portion of the calving grounds of the Porcupine caribou herd. And with over 10,000 square kilometers, it also protects stunning mountains, crystal clear rivers and endless viewpoints. With only a minimal amount of people permitted to experience its complete isolation and untamed natural beauty each year, this is a National Park with a very exclusive guest list.
Plus, there are no roads into Ivvavik, which means you have to arrive either by chartered airplane or helicopter. Unless you’re prepared to throw a saddle on a migrating caribou? Yeah, we didn’t think so.
Silver Trail Region
Bet you didn’t know that the Yukon had a silver rush, too. And if you don’t believe us, you can visit the Binet House Museum in Mayo to learn about the area’s mining history, geology, permafrost and the culture of the Na-cho Nyak Dun First Nation.
And just a short drive from the museum is Keno City, a former silver town of only 20 people that feels like a blast from the past. If you’re up for a hike, take in the views from the top of Keno Hill.
Plus, if you like fly-in fishing, rafting excursions or swimming, be sure to add this region to your itinerary. It could be your best chance to swim outdoors in the Yukon, as neighboring Five Mile Lake is one of the warmest that the territory has to offer. Five Mile Lake Campground is also a serene spot to set up for the night. Just don’t forget to be bear-aware!
Dawson City Cemeteries
If you’re in one of our cemeteries and you feel a chill run down your spine, that just might be the rush of learning something new. A walking tour of the Dawson City Cemeteries is a great way to explore the personal histories of the city’s residents.
At the height of the Klondike Gold Rush, Dawson City was a booming town of around 40,000 residents, and they all had to end up somewhere. There are Catholic, Protestant and Jewish cemeteries, as well as cemeteries for police and various fraternal orders.
Some notable gravestones include that of “The Iron Man,” Percy De Wolfe, who performed the dangerous work of carrying mail between Dawson City and Eagle, Alaska from 1910-1949. He is celebrated to this day with the Percy DeWolfe Memorial Mail Race.
Another notable name is that of Father William Judge, better known as “The Saint of Dawson,” who established Dawson City’s first hospital in 1897 and was well-loved by the community, as people who establish hospitals often are.
River rafting on the Firth River
The Firth River flows through a beautiful and diverse landscape from the British Mountains to the Beaufort Sea—that’s tucked in next to the Arctic Ocean for all you cartographers out there.
A rafting excursion will give you a spectacular chance to see all manner of wildlife, from Dall sheep to muskox, caribou, wolves, foxes, grizzly and even raptors. The birds, not the dinosaurs.
The river also sits along the migration route of the 200,000 strong Porcupine caribou herd. So if you missed your opportunity to be on the guestlist in Ivvavik, this would be a great way to get your caribou fix.
Herschel Island-Qikiqtaruk Territorial Park
Incredibly remote and unique, Herschel Island-Qikiqtaruk was the first territorial park in the Yukon. This island, situated in the Beaufort Sea, is another great place to stand a safe distance away from some beautiful northern wildlife. We even have polar bears up here, so make that an extra safe distance.
If you prefer birds to bears, there are over 100 different species of bird that either live or migrate here, including a large colony of Black Guillemots. You can get to the island by rafting or kayaking the Firth River or by chartering a boat or aircraft. There’s truly no better place to get away from it all. Unless you’re trying to get away from migrating birds. Then you’re out of luck.