Discover the most scenic Yukon roads. The expansive breathtaking wilderness offers many incredible photo opportunities.
There is an abundance of wildlife to see such as bison, elk, caribou, mountain goats, moose, black bears, and grizzly bears.
Experience the natural wonder of the Land of the Midnight Sun with extra long daylight hours during the summer months.
If you travel from mid-August until mid-April there is a good opportunity to view the Northern Lights on a clear night. Check the Aurora forecast.
Top Scenic Yukon roads
There are seven iconic scenic routes to choose from in the Yukon’s vast wilderness:
- Alaska Highway
- Top of the World Klondike Kluane Loop
- Campbell/Canol Drive
- Golden Circle Drive
- Southern Lakes Circuit
- Dempster Highway
- The Silver Trail
The Yukon has 4,800 kilometres of all-season roads and traffic is never an issue.
We have selected our top five scenic Yukon road trips below.
Let us know if we have missed one of your favourite drives in Yukon in the comments below.
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Yukon Wilderness Travel Safety
Always be prepared for wilderness and remote driving adventures on a Yukon road trip. Services are limited and some areas have no cell phone service.
Bring extra food and an emergency kit. Spare tires are a must as flat tires are common on gravel roads.
Keep an eye on the fuel gauge and fill-up at every available stop. At each fill up, check your tires and make sure your vehicle is in top operating condition.
It’s wise to carry extra gas in a government approved container.
Be well informed before you go. Read more about wilderness travel safety in the Yukon.
Watch for wildlife on the road, particularly in the spring. Never approach wildlife. Carry a bear deterrent, bells, and a whistle.
Read more about wildlife and bear safety in the Yukon.
Yukon borders are now open to residents of Canada.
Download A Path Forward, Yukon’s plan for lifting COVID-19 restrictions.
Apply for vehicle visitor decal to show you are allowed to travel within the province.
Keep everyone safe and healthy. Restrictions are still in place.
Check for the latest updates here.
Top 5 Yukon Road Trips
1. The Dempster Highway
The Dempster Highway is the start of a great Canadian adventure stretching all the way to the Arctic Circle.
The all-weather route, on an unpaved road, starts about 40 kms just outside Dawson City and ends 740-kms later in Inuvik, Northwest Territories.
Travel during late August to experience the most dramatic landscape when the colourful Arctic tundra turns various shades of crimson, gold, and red.
The journey begins by following alongside the Klondike River then enters the sub-arctic landscape of Tombstone Territorial Park often called the “Patagonia of the North.”
Find out more about camping, hiking trails, and wildlife viewing in Tombstone Territorial Park located 1.5 hours from Dawson City.
Cross the important geologically significant Tintina Trench.
The Tintina Trench runs nearly 1,000 kms in a straight line through the Yukon and Alaska before it connects with the Rocky Mountain Trench. It is part of the North American Plate. The trench is proof of tectonic plates and the continental movement of the earth’s surface.
Tombstone Territorial Park, Dempster Highway is one of the top scenic Yukon road trips. Photo Credit: Yukon Government/F Mueller
Mount Adney, located approximately 80 km up the Dempster Highway – just as you cross the Blackstone river on the bridge; morning light, sunrise, wetland. Photo Credit: Yukon Government/Robert Potsma
The Dempster Highway is grizzly bear country. Use binoculars to watch for these bears from the safety of your vehicle. Scan the area for movement as their colouring helps them blend in well with the landscape.
In spring, look for cubs. June through July is mating season. Watch for bears eating berries through late summer before they head for winter hibernation.
Look for Porcupine Caribou from September through May. Most of this region along the Dempster Highway is their winter home.
You may be able to see thousands of caribou along this route in April and May.
Watch for herds of Porcupine Caribou during winter driving on the scenic Dempster Highway in the Yukon. Photo Credit: Yukon Government
Entering the Northwest Territories
If you are planning to go, check for COVID-19 closures and updates for entering the Northwest Territories and review the most recent road conditions and ferry information.
Download a complete Dempster Highway traveloque.
Remember to book accommodations in advance to avoid disappointment.
2. Top of the World Highway
The Top of the World Highway is part of the Klondike Kluane Loop.
Originally a pack trail during the gold rush, the Top of the World Highway was constructed in 1955.
The road runs 127 kms between Dawson City, Yukon, and Tok, Alaska. The Yukon portion is mostly gravel but the Alaska section was paved in 2016.
The highway provides stunning views of hills and valleys.
Top of the World Highway is an iconic scenic drive in the Yukon. Photo Credit: Yukon Government
Top of the World Highway is an iconic scenic drive in the Yukon. This is the view of Dawson City and the Klondike and Yukon River. Photo Credit: Yukon Government
Top of the World Highway is an iconic scenic drive in the Yukon. This is km 56 at Castle Rock. Photo Credit: Yukon Government
3. Klondike Kluane Loop
The Klondike Kluane Loop is a seven day scenic Yukon road trip filled with many great adventures. Plan to stay longer to explore more.
- Take a tour of the S.S. Klondike National Historic Site the last sternwheeler to operate on the Yukon River.
- Take a ride of the world famous White Pass and Yukon railway. The White Pass and Yukon railway is also one of the most scenic rail routes in North America. The historic narrow gauge railway a designated International Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.
Klondike Kluane Loop one of most scenic Yukon road trips. RV on Haines Road near Haines Junction, front range of St. Elias Mountains in background. Photo Credit: Yukon Government/Derek Crowe
Kluane National Park and Reserve
Kluane National Park is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to Mount Logan, Canada’s highest mountain, standing 5,959 metres or 19,550 feet. This peak is the second highest in North America. The highest is Denali in Alaska whose peak rises 20,310 feet or 6,190 metres.
Mount Logan is still rising in height due to tectonic movement. It is also the biggest non-volcanic massif in the world.
The park also has the world’s largest non-polar ice field.
In the park you will find the most diverse and largest North American grizzly population, Dall’s sheep, and the biggest subspecies of moose, as well as many other larger mammals. Download a complete list of mammals found in the park.
Lean more about Kluane National Park and Reserve and be sure to review the safety guides for this vast wilderness area.
Rafting in Lowell Lake, Kluane National Park, Yukon. Photo Credit: Yukon Government.
Klondike Kluane Loop one of most scenic Yukon roads Mountain sheep sit on the ridge. Photo Credit Yukon Government
Extend your travel a little further south on this route to Tatshenshini-Alsek Park.
The Tatshenshini-Alsek BC Provincial Park is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. This magnificent park sits between the boundaries of Kluane National Park, Yukon and Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska one of the largest internationally protected areas in the world.
The two river systems in the park, the Tatshenshini and the Alsek, are considered the best in the world. The Tatshenshini River has Class lll and lV rapids providing the ultimate white water rafting experience.
Find out more about river rafting and kayaking in Tatshenshini-Alsek Park.
Download a map of the area.
4. Alaska Highway
The iconic Alaska Highway opened in 1948 and runs through the striking, pristine wilderness of British Columbia, the Yukon, and into Alaska.
The entire highway is 2,232 kms in length. The Alaska Highway starts at Mile 0 in Dawson Creek, BC and ends in Delta Junction, Alaska.
The Yukon portion is 892 kms one way and begins near Watson Lake and finishes close to Beaver Creek at the Alaska border.
It took a workforce of nearly 16,000 people to construct the Alaska Highway, also known as the Alaska Alcan Highway or the Alaska Canada Highway.
The road was built during World War II to help with military defense in connecting the US Mainland to Alaska through Canada.
The historic highway takes you through many First Nations communities, Whitehorse, the capital city of the Yukon and the Kluane National Park and Reserve.
Alaska Highway’s stunning autumn colours. It is one of the most iconic highways in the Yukon. Photo Credit: Yukon Government
5. South Klondike Highway
Drive the South Klondike Highway from Whitehorse, Yukon to Skagway, Alaska. The scenery will leave you in awe. The one way trip is 195 kms.
Along the South Klondike Highway you can ride on a dog sled, see the world’s smallest desert, and learn more about the history of the gold rush.
Stop at spectacular Emerald Lake to view its stunning turquoise coloured waters. This location is one of the most photographed spots in the Yukon.
Skagway is the gateway to the Klondike Gold Rush Trail of ’98. It is also home to the world famous White Pass and Yukon railway.
The White Pass and Yukon railway is also one of the most scenic rail routes in North America. The historic narrow gauge railway a designated International Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.
Find out more about Skagway.
The South Klondike Highway is part of the Golden Circle Route.
Top scenic drive in Canada. View of Bove Island on Tagish Lake. This view is at Km 95 of the South Klondike Highway between Skagway, Alaska and Carcross, Yukon. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©
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