Heritage, Arts & Culture
Yukon museums & cultural centres
Let your curiosity run free.
Experience the Yukon’s unique heritage at these must-visit sites. Learn the traditions of the land’s First Nations, dig deep into gold rush history, explore the geologic phenomena that have shaped the landscape, and hear the stories of years gone by. You can go gold panning, learn the Southern Tutchone language, see centuries-old artifacts—and find out if you have any gold rush history of your own.
Take a trip to Whitehorse’s MacBride Museum of Yukon History and you’ll discover many facets of life, including a 37-foot river workboat and a real albino moose named Blanche (surprisingly not named after one of the Golden Girls). Or if you’re heading north, stop by the territory’s largest historical collection at the Dawson City Museum, which includes exhibits ranging from the early explorers to the raucous gold rush days. Dig into their extensive archival collection and check for your own connection to the Klondike. Who knows, that long-lost rich relative might not actually be a catfishing scam.
For a glimpse into the Yukon's vibrant culture, visit Cultural Centres showcasing the diverse heritage of the Yukon First Nations people. Take in the captivating exhibits at the Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre in Dawson City and the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre in Whitehorse. The Tagé Cho Hudän Interpretive Centre in Carmacks demonstrates the innovative uses of natural materials with examples like a salmon-skin bag, rare tools used for tasks like tanning animal hide, and a full-sized moosehide shelter that visitors can sit inside. If your timing is right, you might catch a tanning demonstration at the Da Kų Cultural Centre in Haines Junction. This impressive venue also offers campfire talks and guided tours, along with exhibits displaying local artwork and treasured heirlooms.
If you want to travel even further into the past, then the ice age heritage of the Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre is definitely for you. With life-like dioramas of woolly mammoths, scimitar cats and giant beavers, you’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven—if your idea of heaven is being the lowest thing on the food chain 20,000 years ago. After your brush with the ice age, walk next door, a few centuries into the future, to the Yukon Transportation Museum. Displays here show the hardships and tenacity that laid the groundwork for some of today’s infrastructure like the iconic Alaska Highway. Learn about bush pilots, dog sled teams, paddlewheelers and other ways people travelled before Uber.
Many smaller, not-to-be-missed attractions include the Thechàl Dhâl Visitor Centre in Kluane National Park and Reserve, the Old Log Church Museum, and the cabin once home to Call of the Wild author Jack London. Watch for other centres throughout the territory, like the Keno City Mining Museum and the George Johnston Museum, named for the local photographer whose car curiously arrived in Teslin more than a decade before the highway did.