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Klondike Highway Yukon Travel Guide

Epic Road Trip: Klondike Highway from Skagway, Alaska to Dawson City, Yukon, Canada

North Klondike Highway

The 715 km Klondike Highway (Hwy #2) is the main north-south travel route in Yukon and links the Alaskan coastal town of Skagway to Yukon’s Dawson City and the Klondike goldfields. The ferry dock at Skagway is the official start of the South Klondike Highway.

Klondike Highway South – Skagway to Whitehorse

South Klondike Highway
View from the South Klondike Highway

From Skagway, Alaska the South Klondike climbs to the famous Chilkoot Pass before crossing into stunning alpine scenery passing many rivers, lakes, and pullouts with spectacular viewpoints.

Carcross Desert Klondike Highway
Carcross Desert

The South Klondike Highway connects to the Yukon Communities of Carcross and Whitehorse and joins up with the Alaska Highway just south of Whitehorse. The entire road follows roughly the trail of the gold stampeders of 1898 and is full of historical facts.

Klondike Highway - Welcome toWhitehorse

Klondike Highway North – Whitehorse to Dawson City

Right after joining the North Klondike Highway on your journey to Dawson City, watch out for the turnoff to Takhini Hot Springs if you like a hot dip.

Just north of Whitehorse, the Klondike passes by the foot of Lake Laberge, known for Robert Service’s famous poem “The Cremation of Sam McGee”.

Robert Service - Sam McGee

25 km further north you come to Fox Lake, and Twin Lakes, 23 km before Carmacks. The Fox Lake Burn shows the power of a forest fire and the slow forest recovery in the North.

Government campgrounds with shelters and pump water are located along the way.

As you travel north, the highway cuts through the breathtaking scenery of boreal forest and high open alpine valleys. History is alive at every corner.

Fox Lake Burn Yukon - Forest Fire


Carmacks is located 199 km north of Whitehorse, a village of 500 sitting right on the Yukon River. Named after the discoverer of the Klondike Gold strike, Georg Washington Carmack, it was a major refuelling stop for the sternwheelers travelling between Whitehorse and Dawson.

This is the first major community you come across after leaving Whitehorse and heading north. Like all other communities along the Klondike, Carmacks has its own boom-and-bust stories and local historical and cultural sites.

Stop at the excellent Tagé Chao Hudän Interpretive. Learn about aboriginal life past and present and get your Yukon Passport stamp.

A 15-minute interpretive walk by the river provides some insight into their life.

Carmacks offers all major services for visitors passing through. It has the largest grocery store between Whitehorse and Dawson, a good place to stock up and a pleasant place to stop and spend the night.

Carmacks also remains a popular stop for people canoeing the Yukon River.

The Visitor Information Centre is at the Old Telegraph Office on River Road.

Carmacks Visitor Centre Yukon

Carmacks is the Junction with the Robert Campbell Highway #4 connecting Carmacks to Watson Lake.

Five Finger Rapids

Five Finger Rapids - Klondike Highway Yukon

An important attraction you don’t want to miss is the Five Finger Rapids, located a short distance north of Carmacks. The treacherous rapid posed a major navigational hazard to riverboat skippers on the route upriver from the goldfields.

A long stairway and a trail lead 1.5 km to the famous rapids and the Yukon River Valley.


Easily missed, unless you’re travelling by canoe or kayak. A short road leads to Minto, the site of an old settlement. In 1898, the Yukon River froze up and many gold seekers, forced to winter here, starved to death.

Minto is about 72 km north of Carmacks and it is a popular place to start the four to five-day trip down the Yukon River to Dawson City.

Pelly Crossing

Pelly Crossing is the home of the Selkirk First Nation and has a population of about 300. The village is located on the banks of the Pelly River; 282 km northwest of Whitehorse and 254 km southeast of Dawson City. The Selkirk First Nation runs all facilities in the town including the Heritage Centre.

The small settlement has a post office, gas station, grocery store, RCMP detachment, campground, and dump station.

Big Jonathan House Pelly Crossing Yukon
Big Jonathan House, Pelly Crossing

Stewart Crossing

Stewart Crossing is another popular place to launch a canoe, located at the junction of the Klondike Highway and the Silver Trail on the south side of the Stewart River. Facilities include a lodge, campground, and a service station. Stewart Crossing is situated on the Tintina Trench.

Tintina Trench Yukon

From Stewart Crossing you can venture a side trip to the old silver mining towns of Mayo, Elsa, and Keno City on the Silver Trail.

Silver Trail Tourist Information booth
Silver Trail Tourist Information booth

You will find the Silver Trails Information Center and the rest area at the south end of the bridge.

Update 2023: Silver Trails Information Centre is permanently closed. Pit toilets are available.

Highway 11 (Silver Trail) leads northeast to Mayo, Elsa, and Keno.

DETOUR – Silver Trail Highway #11

Dawson City - Keno City Yukon

To tour the Silver Trail and the communities Mayo (51 km), Elsa (97 km), and Keno City (112 m) turn east at km 535.1 which is junction #11 Silver Trail.

The remote Silver Trail region has some of the most amazing terrains in the Yukon. Rolling hills, roaring rivers, and lots of wildlife with less than 450 year-round residents make this trip more than worthwhile. The area is rich with history and the communities of Mayo and Keno City are historic and scenic.

The road is paved to Mayo and gravel to Keno. This was one of Canada’s richest silver mining areas. This area was widely prospected in the early 1900s, but it was the strike of Louis Bouvette in 1919, that made the area famous.

Note: There are no gas stations or grocery stores after leaving Mayo.

North to Dawson City

From Stewart Crossing, the Klondike Highway continues for 139 km to the junction with the Dempster Highway. From here it’s only 40 km to Dawson City.

DETOUR – Dempster Highway #5

Dawson City Inuvik Junction Yukon

The Dempster Highway is a road trip for adventurous travellers only. The 742 km gravel road is Canada’s first all-weather road to cross the Arctic Circle and ends in Inuvik, Northwest Territories. The trip includes two ferry crossings.

Welcome to Dawson City

Welcome to Dawson City, North Klondike Highway
Welcome to historic Dawson City

Welcome to the Wild West town of Dawson City.

From Dawson City, you have several options for continuing your journey:

Where to stay

During the summer months, it is important to make reservations when you travel in the Yukon. Check for accommodation and available dates.


You have plenty of camping choices along the Klondike Highway. For information on campgrounds and recreation sites, go to the Yukon Campgrounds website.

Useful Information

  • The Klondike Highway is a two-lane asphalt road and is open all year round.
  • Watch out for wildlife.
  • Gas stations can be far apart.

Emergency Services

For emergency services dial 911 or phone the local RCMP.

Yukon Travel Information