Regions: Kluane, Southern Lakes, Whitehorse Region Communities: Haines Junction, Carcross, Whitehorse
Themes: Heritage & Culture Categories: Activities, Hiking, Heritage & Culture, Natural Wonders, Touring, Iconic Drives

Hail, hail, the gang’s all here

The Yukon is a big place, but it has plenty to offer little visitors. If you’re making the trip with the whole family in tow, here are some family-friendly options.

01 Location

The Yukon Wildlife Preserve

This is a great place to help get kids acquainted with local wildlife. The preserve is open year-round, though hours vary, depending on the season. There, you can walk an easy 5-kilometre loop that passes by enclosures that are home to moose, elk, mountain goats, muskox, wood bison, thinhorn sheep and more. Kid-friendly activities are planned throughout the year. In the fall, there’s a Halloween scavenger hunt. In the summer, there’s a 5-kilometre race through the preserve. Spring may be the most popular though, featuring an Easter egg hunt and, usually, the arrival of baby animals. Check out the preserve’s website to keep up-to-date on events as they’re scheduled.

02 Location

Dogsledding

There are a number of outfitters who offer hourly and daylong dogsledding experiences and excursions. Some also offer accommodations and home-cooked meals onsite, so all you have to worry about is enjoying the day with your family. Many of them are open year-round. In the winter, take a day to hang with the huskies and then spend the rest of your stay snowmobiling, ice fishing or snowshoeing. In the summer and fall, some offer hiking trips with the sled dogs.

03 Location

Caribou Crossing Trading Post

Set back from the highway as you drive into Carcross is the Trading Post. The saloon-style “town” features a number of “storefronts” offering tons of family-friendly activities. The petting zoo has goats, llamas, donkeys and more. There are also dog cart rides (those huskies don’t take summers off!) and a puppy pen where visitors can watch and photograph the next generation of Caribou Crossing sled dogs. Finally, as any Yukon town worth its weight in gold would offer, there’s an opportunity to learn how to gold pan and try your hand at it. 

04 Location

Kluane National Park

There are trails of all levels and lengths in Kluane, from short jaunts off the highway, to epic adventures up Mount Logan—the highest peak in Canada. Though the latter requires specialized training, there are ways for families to experience Mount Logan! It can be viewed from the air, by booking a flight tour with a local operator. Family-friendly hiking options include Kathleen Lake. The campground offers incredible views of King’s Throne and the glacier-blue lake. The Kokanee Trail is a 0.5 km wheelchair-accessible boardwalk that allows for a waterfront stroll. The campground itself has everything from tent pad sites to oTENTiks—an A-frame prospector tent with plenty of standing space for the adults and bunk beds for the kids.   

05 Location

Millennium Trail

If you’re in Whitehorse and you’re looking for an impossible-to-lose-your-way walk, the Millennium Trail is it. The five-kilometre loop begins near the S.S. Klondike (another good family attraction) and follows a paved path along the Yukon River. You’ll cross a bridge over the rapids that gave the town its name and then come back through tall stands of birch and pine on the way back downtown. You can also extend the adventure by visiting the fish ladder near the bridge, visiting Bert Law Park, checking out wildflowers in summer and picking raspberries when they’re in season. The Millennium Trail is a level, wheelchair-accessible trail. In the summer, the extensive playground at Rotary Park, accessible from the trail, has water features for kids to cool off.

Additional opportunities for getting wet and wild include the beaches at Bennett Lake in Carcross, where there are also nearby shops selling coffee, ice cream and work from local artisans. Kookatsoon Lake, just 20 minutes outside Whitehorse on the South Klondike Highway, is another warm little lake with a day-use area where families can picnic and relax. Pine Lake has similar amenities. Located near Haines Junction, the lake is often warm enough for a dip during the summer months.  

Yukon Wildlife Preserve

Muktuk Adventures

Caribou Crossing Trading Post

Kathleen Lake Campground

SS Klondike Parking Lot near Millenium Trail