Travel to Yukon : Vanlife and active life !

To the point Here's how to travel in the Yukon with your points and the must-see places to visit on a van trip!
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We had an amazing time in the Yukon and I thought I’d share our itinerary and favorites with you! Located completely in the northwest of Canada, this little known destination has a lot to offer! Follow us!

Yukon Parc national Tombstone
Parc national Tombstone

Trip to the Yukon

First of all, you should know that we traveled in spring, before the official start of the tourist season. This year, the winter was late and the snow was still present at the beginning of June in most of the trails. There was even a blizzard at Tombstone Park around May 30th!

We had a limited time of 14 days to visit the province and we would have taken several more days if it had been possible because the destination really offers many possibilities.

We had planned to do mostly hiking throughout our stay. The white landscapes were grandiose but we had to adapt our activities because of the thick layers of snow on the trails.

Our flight reservation

To get to Whitehorse, we flew from Ottawa airport with Yukon airline Air North. Other possible stops are Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton with the possibility of flying with WestJet and Air Canada.

The flight goes directly there with a 45 minutes break in Yellowknife during which we stayed on board. The service is perfect and we were served a meal, drinks and snacks. Air North offers free two-baggage check-in and is very accommodating of large outdoor equipment. You can also use Air Canada with a stopover.

Yukon Vol avec Air North
Yukon Vol avec Air North


AirNorth is not an Air Canada / Aeroplan partner. It will, therefore, not be possible to redeem your Aeroplan points for travel on Air North. However, you may be lucky enough to find a flight with your Aeroplan points on Air Canada.

For example, here is an itinerary for next spring with Air Canada departing from Montreal at a cost of 14,500 Aeroplan points one way:

yul – whitehorse – aeroplan – fr

With points from a credit card like the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card, you can afford this flight. And you could benefit from free first-checked baggage for you and up to 8 travel companions!

You can also check flight availability with Canadian North, an Aeroplan partner.

The More Rewards Program

The other option is to be a member of the More Rewards program available in Western Canada, British Columbia. It is offered in food stores such as Save On Foods, PriceSmart Foods but also Vancouver Attractions, Panago Pizza or Urban Fare and many others. You will earn 1 point for every dollar spent on your purchases.

Depending on the discount periods, specific offers may be available to you: an opportunity for you to earn more points. Points can then be redeemed for travel, gift cards and merchandise at participating stores, for example.

No credit cards are attached to the More Rewards program. However, American Express cards are accepted and may allow you to earn rewards faster.

We recommend using the American Express Cobalt® Card.

The American Express Cobalt® Card is the best credit card from American Express, whether you want points for travel or cash back. Here you will earn 5 points per dollar at grocery stores and restaurants.

You can easily use these points as statement credits for everyday or travel purchases. The value is the same for both: 1,000 points = $10.

In addition, this card provides excellent insurance coverage: rental car theft and damage, baggage delay, lost or stolen baggage, flight delay, $250,000 travel accident, hotel or motel burglary, Mobile Device Insurance, Purchase Security, Purchase Protection Insurance.

Our transportation and accommodation

Our means of transport was also our home: the Van Life.

We rented a converted van from Overland Yukon. The price may seem prohibitive to some but we decided to live this experience anyway and we did not regret it.

For $4,000 over 14 days, we enjoyed a great deal of autonomy and were able to sleep in dream places! All this would not have been possible in a hotel!

Yukon Notre van de chez Overland
Yukon Notre van de chez Overland

Andrew, the owner, brought the van directly to the door of our gite and returned to pick it up himself at the end of the trip! Most of the time we slept in provincial campgrounds.

For a small fee of $20, you have access to a site surrounded by trees or on the water (arrive earlier for a nicer site) with a dry toilet. You self-register when you arrive and maybe a park ranger will come and check your ticket.

Otherwise, we used the iOverlander app to find other places to stay BUT our best place was recommended to us by word of mouth from Quebecers who were told by someone else that this place was too good. They say you have to keep it a secret….chut….

Yukon Un des nombreux sites enchanteurs de camping
Yukon Un des nombreux sites enchanteurs de camping

Our Yukon Itinerary

We were inspired by the official Yukon website to guide our itinerary and by the documents provided by Overland Yukon. We changed our itinerary at least three times!

We were originally supposed to go north but the opening of the northern border with Alaska depends on the river melting in Dawson, and this year the customs didn’t open until the first of June. We then modified our route to leave towards the south.

This trip involves a ferry crossing from Skagway, Alaska to Haines, Alaska. However, this ferry doesn’t cross every day and the schedule didn’t match our arrival day so we finally went west!

Yukon – Crédit Marie-Noelle Michaud-28
Yukon Crédit Marie Noelle Michaud

Advice before setting off

When planning your itinerary:

  • check the ferry schedule and book in advance;
  • if you travel in the spring or fall, check the opening of the customs near Dawson!
  • You should also ask about the condition of the roads, as they may be closed or covered with snow in the spring.

Once on site:

  • We recommend that you purchase a bottle of bear spray before leaving Whitehorse
  • Carry an emergency satellite connection with you because there is often no cellular network! For our part, this was included in the rental of the van.
  • Also download the maps.me application to access your route offline.
  • Bring a wolf to sleep because the sun hardly ever sets.
  • Finally, don’t forget your passport to cross into the United States!
Yukon Whitehorse
Yukon Whitehorse
Yukon Whitehorse
Yukon Whitehorse

1 - WHITEHORSE, the capital of the Yukon (2 nights)

We landed in the late afternoon, then took a cab to our guest house: The Historical Guest House B&B. This home is conveniently located within walking distance of downtown and the waterfront.

We were able to walk most of Whitehorse from our lodge. However, although a full kitchen was available, the hosts did not offer breakfast, hence the misleading name of B&B… Finally it was only a B! There is no air conditioning and the room can be hot in summer. This was adequate for us in May.

Here are some interesting things to do in Whitehorse:

Hire the services of Terra Riders guides for a morning mountain bike trip along the river and an afternoon trip down the Yukon River. We had excellent service and communication with Daniel, the owner. Our guide Mark was really nice and knows how to accompany beginners. The river is calm and different routes and durations are offered to you, from 3 hours to several days.

Yukon Vélo de montagne avec Terra Riders

Take a walking tour of the city of Whitehorse, especially the old railroad tracks along the river, the main street with its replicas of old storefronts.

Learn how to make glassblowing at Lumel Studio

Rent bikes or walk the Millennium Multi-Use Trail along the Yukon River and head to Miles Canyon.

Once you have your transportation, go enjoy the hot springs of Takihini after spending your energy in some hikes in the area:

  • Spirit Canyon, 1.5h, easy and paying landscape
  • Kusawa Ridge 4.5h, 844m ascent, intermediate
  • Mount Lorne, 7h, 19km, 1200m ascent
  • Fish lake, 3.5h, 10,6km, 520m

On the restaurant side, we ate at the Klondike Rib & Salmon restaurant and we can only recommend it to you! The plates are generous and their fish & chips with arctic char is excellent! Arrive early as there is a good line up.

The Miner’s daughter was also a big hit with us and their alcoholic beverages are worth the price!

Yukon Klondike Rib and Salmon Restaurantud 11
Klondike Rib and Salmon Restaurant - Crédit Marie Noelle Michaud

For a relaxed lunch, go to the Baked Café. The Burned Toast Café will welcome you for lunch or brunch.

2 - Kluane National Park (pronounced nail-a-ni)

Kulane National Park is a world of extremes. It is home to Canada’s highest peak, Mount Logan, at 5,959 metres, the largest icefield and the most diverse grizzly bear population. Hiking enthusiasts will be delighted and the landscapes will enchant you!

Arrive with rested legs to enjoy all the trails the park has to offer! Meet at the Haines Junction or Tetchàl Dhâl Visitor Information Center upon arrival, where guides will provide you with information on the specifics of each hike and can suggest hikes that are appropriate for your fitness level.

Here are some popular trails:

  • Auriol Trail : beginner 4.5h or 15km easy but satisfactory
  • Sheep creek: intermediate 6.5h 15km up to 1,100m and you can see several sheep.
  • King’s Throne: advanced, 8 hrs, 15 km, up to 1,250 m, offering 360-degree views of the national park.

If your legs are tired, take the scenic flight tour of Kluane National Park and Mount Logan or the one organized by Rocking Star or call Icefield Discovery, the only company that lands on the glacier for scenic views! We feel hypnotized by these peaks and these white landscapes.

Yukon – Crédit Marie-Noelle Michaud-15
Yukon - Vol scénique - Crédit Marie Noelle
Yukon Lac Kathleen, Kluane - Crédit Marie Noelle
Yukon Lac Kathleen, Kluane - Crédit Marie Noelle
Yukon Terrain de camping de Congdon Creek - Crédit Marie Noele
Yukon Terrain de camping de Congdon Creek - Crédit Marie Noele
Yukon – Crédit Marie-Noelle Michaud-14
Yukon - Vol scénique - Crédit Marie Noelle

Spend the night at Kathleen Lake Campground where you will enjoy an exceptional view of the turquoise lake in front of its high mountains or at Congdon Creek Campground which offers an equally spectacular view.

3 - Haines, Alaska

Put on your sunglasses because you are going to be dazzled by the beauty and the luminous white of the mountains and snowfields of the road between Haines junction and Haines! The landscapes are simply breathtaking. We had to hold our breath several times in front of so much beauty.

Yukon – Crédit Marie-Noelle Michaud-18
Van Yukon - Crédit Marie Noelle Michaud

After passing through U.S. Customs, you enter the Bald Eagle Preservation Area where a trail allows you to observe these birds in their natural environment. You follow a beautiful large river, the Chilkoot, in which it is possible to fish.

You can bring your own equipment or rent the services of guides. Don’t forget to buy your permit.

Nature is beautiful when driving through Chilkoot Lake State Park. Take the opportunity to go for a hike. Here are some suggestions:

  • Mount Ripinski 12,7km, 977m ascent, 5h40
  • Seduction point, 9,3km, 283m of ascent, 2h40, walk in the forest on a path with roots then you go out in edge of river with sight on the glacier
  • Walker glacier 8.4km, 457m ascent, 3h. You must be an experienced hiker and have mountaineering experience. There is no road to get there, you have to arrange your own air or sea transport.
Oceanside Rv park, Haines
Oceanside Rv park, Haines - Crédit Marie Noelle Michaud

We spent the night at the Oceaniside RV Park, on the edge of a pretty bay with cruise ships sailing against a backdrop of beautiful snow-capped mountains.

The site doesn’t look inviting at first glance as we set up shop in an asphalt parking lot, but the building is clean and offers a rest room with wifi, laundry facilities and showers that are paid for but are warm and have good flow. The view of the bay outweighs the asphalt.

4 - Skagway, Alaska

Book your ferry in advance between Skagway and Haines. Alaska Marine Higway System. It doesn’t sail every day so you may have to adjust your itinerary accordingly.

Once in Skagway, you will discover a tourist village inspired by the gold rush. Visit the stores and then buy your ticket for the Whitepass & Yukon Route which takes you on the railroad following the route that the explorers took. The 3-hour journey is well worth it, and a guide explains the history of the route along the way.

Train de la Whitepass & Yukon route yukon
Train de la Whitepass & Yukon route - Crédit Marie Noelle Michaud

Skagway has developed a network of hiking trails. We walked the Upper Dewey Lake trail. All uphill on the way out, it is considered of intermediate difficulty and extends over 8 km. This trail challenges you with its 922m elevation gain. At the top, you will find two cabins that you must reserve in advance if you decide to sleep there.

For camping, it is worthwhile to go to the Dyea campground on the river. On the way, you can stop at several viewpoints of the city.

Randonnée de Upper Dewey Lake
Randonnée de Upper Dewey Lake - Crédit Marie Noelle Michaud

5 - Carcross

The drive through Fraser to return to the Yukon is breathtaking. Some of the hikes start there, such as theInternational Falls hike, which crosses the Canada/US border, and the Summit Creek hike. However, they are not advertised so use a hiking app to find it.

We were seduced by Carcross. First, a group of buildings painted with traditional designs by artist-sculptor Keith Wolfe Smarsh houses the visitor center and a few stores and cafes.

After chatting with a Quebec store owner and stocking up on supplies, we had the chance to visit the workshop of Mr Keith Wolfe-Smarch. This very generous man talked to us about his job and also about the local native culture. We then met his wife who is a traditional doctor. She guided us through all the plants in her practice.

Yukon Carcross
Carcross Crédit Marie Noelle Michaud

Stroll along the beautiful Carcross beach and ride on the many mountain bike trails! This city is known for its developed trails.

Plage de Carcross - Crédit Marie Noelle Michaud 23
Plage de Carcross - Crédit Marie Noelle Michaud

On the way to Whitehorse, stop off at Emerald Lake for a photo of the turquoise lake and at the Carcross Desert, the world’s smallest desert, to see how it got there!

Emerald Lake Yukon
Emerald Lake Yukon - Crédit Marie Noelle Michaud
Yukon – Crédit Marie-Noelle Michaud-24
Désert de Carcross Crédit Marie Noelle Michaud

Here are some hikes to do in the Carcross area:

  • Caribou Mountain, 4-5h, 8km – not to be done between April and mid-June as it disturbs the calving sheep;
  • Sam McGee trail;
  • Daily Peak, 6.5h, 8km, 1272m ascent. You can observe mountain goats.

You can camp at Annie Lake Road (wilderness camping) or at Conrad campground. As for us, we decided to continue our way to Dawson and sleep further north at
Twin Lakes campground
a provincial campground.

Crépuscule au terrain de camping de Fox Lake
Crépuscule au terrain de camping de Fox Lake

We also recommend you to stop at fox lake campground where we could see a magnificent spectacle of twilight colors.

Twilight at Twin Lake Campground
Twilight at Twin Lake Campground

6 - Dawson

You will feel sucked back into the past as soon as you arrive in Dawson. The old buildings, the dirt streets, everything makes us relive the gold rush!

  • Walk through the historic center and stop at the saloon to try the sour toe cocktail (available on certain nights only);
  • Play at the casino and watch the cancan shows at the Diamond tooth Gerties gambling hall ;
  • Take one of Parks Canada’s guided tours of historic buildings and pan for gold at Free Clai No6.

The icing on the cake, head to the midnight dome (by car or by taking the 8.4km hiking trail) to see the sun not set at midnight. The sky is decked out in its most beautiful colors and it’s really worth staying up late to see this show!

Get a hotel or Airbnb to take a break from camping. Otherwise, you can use the laundry and shower facilities at the Bonanza Gold Motel for a few dollars. The provincial campsites are a bit out of the way but still peaceful on the river bank.

7 - Tombstone Territorial Park

It is a spectacular park. You can get great views without having to climb too high. One must go there by the Dempster Highway which is not paved. Watch out for large trucks and pull over to the side of the road to avoid them throwing large rocks at you.

Stop at the Visitor Centre to ask for information about the area and then head to the provincial campground where you can choose a site by the Roaring River or a more open site with a view of the mountains.

Ioverlander also offers you many unofficial sites where it is allowed to camp. Then drive to the northern border of the park for impressive views and perhaps some wildlife. The road continues until Inuvik but after the management of gasoline becomes difficult.

  • Goldensides beginner 1.5h 4km ;
  • Anglecomb peak 3h 6km. Do not do between May 15 and June 1 because the sheep are calving;
  • Grizzly lake – register at the visitor center to camp in the backcountry. 6h 11km 797m advanced ;
  • Surfbird Mountain.

If you decide to continue and drive the 736km (12-16h drive) to Inuvik, NWT, you can watch the sun not set and rinse the vehicle at the


Esso then continue another 147km to Tuktoyaktuk at 2.5h from Inuvik on the edge of the Arctic Ocean, soak your feet, see the Pingos (ice mountains) and see a traditional house.

8 - Top of the World Highway

The Yukon portion of this road is identified as Yukon Highway 9. You must take the George Black Ferry to the official departure. This route opens at the end of May/beginning of June depending on the melting of the river and passes through the Alaska border crossing which opened this year only on June 1st.

We couldn’t get there and so we turned back to Whitehorse.

If you continue on this road, take a break in Chicken and then head to Tok, Alaska, a perfect place to spend the night. It’s an outdoor enthusiast’s dream and the capital of dog sledding. It’s another perfect place to take a flight and see the landscape from above.

9 - Keno

We didn’t go to Keno because of the short duration of our trip, but if you do go, you can learn more about the Silver Rush and do some great hiking.


  • Monument Hill beginner 2h 5km
  • Mount Hinton intermediate 3h 10km
  • Mount McDonald Advanced 3h 12.1km – only accessible by canoe and summer

10 - The Southern Lakes Region

Another region we did not visit. The travelers we met recommend it.

Yukon Travel Guide

Ulysse Travel Guides offers a guide to this region: Fabulous Alaska and Yukon. Don’t hesitate to buy it before you leave!

guide ulysse yukon

Bottom Line

Finally, you can do this route in any direction you want. North first, or south, or west. Take a look at the menu and choose what suits you best! You won’t be disappointed, especially if you love the outdoors, because the Yukon is larger than life!

Marie Noelle and Her Friend
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Marie-Noelle is passionate about travelling. You could even say she is obsessed with it! In addition to her work in the health field, she spends much of her free time planning her next trip and editing videos of the last country she visited.

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