The northern lights are one of the Yukon's biggest winter attractions. But what's there to do when you're waiting for the lights to come out? Here are nine winter activities that will soon be on your bucket list—and you won’t even need a bucket to do them.
With electric cars, Ubers and Evos, transportation has come a long way. But no ride-sharing app can ever compare to sharing your ride with a pack of energetic huskies. Whip along snowy trails, through snow-covered valleys and across frozen rivers led by a pack of sled dogs. Try a thrilling half-day excursion, or if you’re a bit more adventurous, consider an overnight or multi-day experience.
With its thick, oversized tires, some call it the “monster truck of biking”—but we wouldn’t because we know it’s actually called “fat biking.” These tires allow you to maneuver in the snow, across frozen lakes, and through untouched trails (but definitely not crush a lineup of old cars, so please don’t try that). Rent a bike in Whitehorse, and we promise it’ll put your previous bike excursions to shame.
If you’ve got an afternoon to spare before checking out the northern lights, why not go fishing? But this isn’t your everyday visit to the lake. After all, you don’t usually start off your fishing trip by snowmobiling across a lake and drilling a hole in the vast wilderness of the most northern parts of Canada. Before you know it, you’ll fall in love with a new hobby—hook, line and sinker. Whether you catch the big one or not, you’ll have more than fish stories to tell after this experience.
You’ve probably casually strolled through a nature preserve, but have you ever skied through one? If you’d like a life-changing experience, rent a pair of skis, drop by the Yukon Wildlife Preserve and glide your way from animal to animal. It’s an amazing opportunity to take photos of animals native to the Yukon, like a moose, arctic fox and muskox. What is a muskox, anyway?
This is a festival celebrating the Yukon’s frontier spirit. You can try your hand at axe throwing, chainsaw chucking and pancake eating. There’s a wide variety of things to do, and you don’t even have to wear plaid to participate.
If you believe hiking is reserved for the summer season, you’re missing out on some prime times in the Yukon winter. The snowy trails with frosty views are other worldly, and snowshoes are the best way to start walking in these winter wonderlands. There are guided tours, or you can rent a pair and head out on your own, but if you’re the frugal tennis-playing type you can always try taping your rackets to your feet and seeing how far that gets you (not recommended).
What’s an activity that will get you familiar with the territory in no time, while having a good time? Cross-country skiing pretty much covers it all. The Yukon has endless trails and routes to glide across. Whitehorse alone has 85km of world-class groomed trails. So get your skis shined up and grab a stick of Juicy Fruit, because this place is gonna move ya.
If your winter tires can’t handle your need for speed, then snowmobiling is a great way to go on an adventure fast. There are countless places to explore—these things are kind of a necessity up here. From Dawson City to Whitehorse to wherever really, heading out on a snowmobile adventure in winter is one of the most exciting ways to tell boredom to eat your dust (or snow).