Yukon Territory is a thinly populated wilderness, home to Canada’s tallest mountains and the world’s largest ice fields below the Arctic. It’s the place where animals outnumber humans. Tiny towns, villages, and unique places in Yukon are scattered across the land, but they are wide and far apart.
Yukon residents have inhabited these regions for generations and many of Yukon’s communities have a majority of Aboriginal populations. Locals are welcoming to tourists and like to share their traditions.
Best Towns and Places In Yukon To Visit
Facts about towns and places in Yukon
There are long distances between towns in Yukon Territory but most communities can be reached by road all year round. Many roads and highways are gravel. Therefore, make sure your car and tires are up to traversing the Yukon roads. Please do your research and be prepared before heading out. Read more: Road Trip Planner for the Wilderness
Towns and places in Yukon are so different from the rest of Canada. I’m sure that it has to do with the Northern people that make visiting the Yukon towns and places so special.
Old Crow is another tiny place in Yukon that should be included on this list. You need to fly or charter a boat to get to Old Crow during summer, so I have not visited it yet. Once I do, I will add Old Crow to this list.
16 Best Towns and Places In Yukon To Visit
1. Dawson City
Dawson City just has to be on top of my list. If you haven’t been to Dawson yet then of course you have no idea what you have missed. When you first arrive it is like stepping into another world. A world that has gone by a long time ago. Still, in Dawson City, the Klondike theme is fully alive today.
As you wander the dusty streets of Dawson, keep your eyes peeled. You might run into your favourite Gold Rush star you watched on the Discovery Channel. Discovery Channel’s Gold Rush TV show is filmed in the Klondike.
There is plenty to do and see in Dawson City and the surrounding area.
Take a self-guided tour of Dawson and its historic sites.
Check out my Dawson City Travel Guide for more.
Access: Via North Klondike Highway
2. Tombstone Territorial Park
Tombstone Territorial Park is a magical wilderness wonderland of rugged peaks and Arctic Tundra. If you make the effort of getting there and do some hiking, this place will stick in your memory forever.
When driving the Dempster, plan at least an overnight stop at the park. If you are skipping the Dempster Highway to Inuvik, take a drive to Tombstone when you’re in Dawson City. You not only will discover an amazing place, but you also will get a taste of driving the iconic Dempster.
Pull into Tombstone Interpretive Center for maps, permits, and info.
Stay at the Tombstone Mountain Campground.
Enjoy the short hikes near the campground or head out for a longer trek in the area.
Access: Via Dempster Highway
Mayo is a small town on the Silver Trail and Stewart River and is known as the coldest and hottest spot in Yukon.
It’s a special place where I got to experience the local hospitality firsthand and got to spend a great day on River. During that trip, one of many highlights was the sight of a mother bear with two cubs swimming to shore. No good picture to brag about it, unfortunately.
Definitely visit the Binet House and Interpretive Centre for information on local history.
Spend time at Gelena Park at the riverfront and enjoy the view.
Check whether Mike’s Snack bar is open.
Access: Via The Silver Trail
4. Keno City
You will reach Keno City, a weathered collection of wooden buildings at the remote end of The Silver Trail. Keno City is the smallest community in the Yukon but has one of the most colourful histories. I visited this magical place a few times already and I want to go back.
Pelly Crossing became a settlement when the Klondike Highway was built in 1950. A ferry transported people and vehicles across the Pelly River, where the road eventually continued to Dawson City.
The Heritage Center at Pelly Crossing is housed in a replica of Fort Selkirk’s Big Jonathan House. The Centre has a permanent exhibition of works by local artists, as well as locally made beaded clothing, birch bark baskets, traditional baby bunting bag, tools, and more.
Pelly Crossing is a friendly Northern Community and the Selkirk First Nation people are happy to see tourists stopping by. They also have one of the best free campgrounds where I have stopped many times.
Stop at the Big Johnathan House next to the Selkirk Centre.
Spend a night at the Pelly River Crossing Campground
Enjoy the hospitality of this small community.
Access: North Klondike Highway
The small village of Carmacks is the home of the Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation. The river town is named for George Washington Carmack, credited with the Bonanza Creek strike that triggered the famous Klondike gold rush.
Pick up a walking tour brochure at the Carmacks Visitor Centre, located at the Old Telegraph Office, or download here. The Telegraph Office also contains a mini-museum and a display of area geology.
Stop in at the Tagé Cho Hudän Interpretive Centrer.
Walk the boardwalk along the river and learn Klondike history by checking out the interpretive signs.
Access: North Klondike Highway
Faro, on the Pelly River, is one of the two settlements along the Campbell Highway. You will find yourself deep into Yukon’s wild landscape on the way there. Faro once was the Yukon’s largest mining community.
Today, Faro is a delightful friendly community that makes a genuine effort to make visitors feel welcome.
Upon arrival, stop in at the beautiful Visitor and Interpretive Centre, meet the friendly staff and pick up information about the area.
Wander around town to see old buildings and artifacts.
Access: Via Robert Campbell Highway
9. Watson Lake
Watson Lake is a typical road town, long and narrow, spread out along the Alaska Highway. The town came into life as a staging area for the construction of the Alaska Highway in 1943.
Wander around the famous Watson Lake Signpost Forest and search for a sign of home town or country. Watson Bay is also the perfect base for exploring the backcountry beyond the town. It’s also a good place to stock up on supplies before heading out on the Campbell Highway route.
If you are in town in July, stay for the annual Watson Lake rodeo.
Access: Via Alaska Highway
The village of Teslin is the home to the Tlingit First Nation, one of the largest places in Yukon Territory. Many here still add to their livelihood by trapping, fishing, and hunting, as well as through woodworking crafts, such as canoes, snowshoes, and sleds.
Teslin Tlingit Heritage Centre features exhibits of Tlingit art, traditional demonstrations, and workshops.
Stop in at the George Johnston Museum to learn about John Johnston, whom the museum was named after, and about the area’s history.
Stop at the Nisutlin Bay Bridge viewpoint for a great view.
Putter along the beautiful beach on a long hot summer evening.
Check with friendly villagers about boat rentals and guide services.
Access: Via Alaska Highway
This tiny town is a place you don’t want to miss. It’s a place full of First Nation and gold rush history taking you back in time.
Check out the Railway Station built in 1910. The Cariboo Hotel is one of the oldest buildings in the Southern Lake Region. Stop in at the Matthew Watson General Store. There is so much to see and do in this unique small Yukon town.
Ride the historic White Pass and Yukon Route Railway to Skagway, Alaska.
Plan to trek the famed Chilcoot Trail.
Access: South on the Klondike Highway 2
12. Carcross Sand Dunes
Carcross, Desert, known as the world’s smallest desert is a must-stop. Here you can climb sand dunes surrounded by majestic mountains. The sand dunes are leftovers from a glacial lake, but the climate is too humid for it to be an ‘official’ desert.
Walk up the hill, enjoy walking through the fine sand and enjoy the amazing views.
Access: South on the Klondike Highway 2
Located on the shores of the Yukon River, Whitehorse was once a sleepy village of 500. Not anymore. Today, as Yukon’s capital city, it is a fascinating place with a mixture of modern and pioneer spirit. There is plenty to do here. Stay a few days in Whitehorse and get to know its unique northern character and appeal.
The highway community of Haines Junction is nestled at the base of the St. Elias Mountains, surrounded by breathtaking scenery and amazing landscapes. Home to approximately 800 residents, “the Junktion” offers a wilderness adventure playground right in its backyard.
Here you find restaurants and accommodations, guides and a large selection of tours, and whatever other services you need. The huge Kluane Park Visitor Reception Centre is open all year round and its staff can supply you with heaps of information.
Bucket List Haines Junction:
Stop in at the Kluane Park Visitor Centre.
Visit the uniquely designed Roman Catholic Church and Anglican Church made of logs.
Visit the famous Bakery.
Take a day-trip hiking excursion.
Rafting, canoeing, glacier flights, hunting, and fishing, that’s the place to do it.
15. Kluane National Park and Reserve
Kluane National Park and Reserve in the southwestern corner of the Yukon Territory contains Mt. Logan (5959 m/19,545 ft), Canada’s highest peak. Kluane is joined by Wrangell-St. Elias, Glacier Bay, and Tatshenshini, the parks that make up this World Heritage Site. Here you also find some of North America’s finest wildlife population.
Hiking is Kluane’s most popular activity. Opportunities range from short strolls to multi-day route-finding adventures. Whether you get out for an hour, a day, or a week, there is much to explore in Kluane.
Trailheads can be difficult to get to without a vehicle since there is no public transportation.
One of the oldest settlements in the Yukon, Burwash Landing is now home to the Kluane First Nation a Southern Tutchone people who have lived in the Kluane area for countless generations. Before the Jacquot brothers built a trading post in the early 1900s, the current site of Burwash Landing was a traditional summer camp location for the First Nation people.
Following the construction of the Alaska Highway, Burwash became the administrative centre for the Kluane First Nation.
This website contains affiliate links. At no cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. I only recommend products and companies I use and the income helps keep this website up. Thank you!
TRAVEL PLANNING RESOURCES
Looking to book your next trip? Why not use these resources?
Book Your Flight Start planning your trip by finding the best flight deals on KAJAK or Momondo. Save money on airfare by searching for cheap flight tickets with these two search engines.
Book Your Accommodation Book your hostel with Hostelworld. If you are planning to stay at other accommodation, use Booking.com as it offers the cheapest prices for guesthouses and hotels.
Travel Insurance Don’t forget Travel Insurance. Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It gives you protection in case anything goes wrong. My favourite company that offers the best service and value is Safety Wing.
Get Your Travel Visas Get your Travel Visa hassle-free with iVisa. Apply directly online with their simplified application process and personal assistance. They also offer a passport renewal service.
Need More Help Planning Your Trip? Jump over to Travel Resource Page where I highlight all the great companies that I trust when I travel.
Need New Camping or Travel Gear, Maps, or Outdoor Clothes? Check out Backcountry Store for the best companies.
Get Monthly Backcountry News And Canadian Travel Tips
Yrene lives in the Okanagan, British Columbia, Canada, and is the founder of BackcountryCanadaTravel.com. She was born in Switzerland, lived and worked on different continents and has travelled the world. Yes, that's me, an Entrepreneur, wilderness nut and animal lover who prefers off-the-beaten-track places. I write about things I love. Mostely.