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Fun Day Trips From Whitehorse, Yukon


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Crista Deane



Canada is a vast and diverse country, offering a plethora of breathtaking landscapes and captivating destinations to explore. One of the hidden gems of this beautiful country is Whitehorse, the capital city of the Yukon territory. Situated in the northwest corner of Canada, Whitehorse is surrounded by stunning wilderness, making it an ideal base for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.


While Whitehorse itself has plenty to offer, including its rich history, vibrant arts scene, and charming downtown area, it also serves as an excellent starting point for day trips to explore the surrounding areas. Whether you’re looking for breathtaking views, outdoor adventures, or cultural experiences, there are numerous captivating destinations just a short drive away from Whitehorse.


In this article, we will take you on a virtual journey to discover the top day trips from Whitehorse, Yukon. From relaxing in natural hot springs to exploring historical sites and immersing yourself in the stunning beauty of national parks, the Yukon has something for everyone.


So, if you’re ready to venture beyond Whitehorse and embark on unforgettable day trips, let’s dive into the exciting destinations that await you in the Yukon wilderness.


Takhini Hot Springs

Located just a short drive from Whitehorse, Takhini Hot Springs is a must-visit destination for relaxation and rejuvenation. Nestled amidst the picturesque wilderness, these natural hot springs offer soothing mineral-rich waters that are perfect for a relaxing soak.


The hot springs feature two pools, one at a higher temperature and the other at a cooler temperature. Whether you prefer a hot and invigorating soak or a refreshing dip, you can tailor your experience to your desired comfort level. The pools are open year-round, allowing visitors to enjoy the warm waters in both summer and winter.


Aside from the rejuvenating experience, Takhini Hot Springs also offers a range of amenities, including changing rooms, showers, and a cozy café where you can enjoy a hot drink or a snack. The surrounding area is teeming with natural beauty, with trails for hiking and wildlife spotting, making it an excellent place to connect with nature.


Keep in mind that Takhini Hot Springs offers a unique experience during the winter months. If you’re visiting Whitehorse when the northern lights are at their peak, you have the opportunity to soak in the hot springs while marveling at the mesmerizing dance of the auroras overhead.


Whether you’re seeking relaxation, healing properties of the mineral-rich waters, or a chance to witness the northern lights, Takhini Hot Springs is the perfect day trip destination to immerse yourself in nature’s serene embrace.


Miles Canyon

Just a short drive from Whitehorse, Miles Canyon is a stunning natural wonder that should not be missed. Carved by the raging waters of the Yukon River, this breathtaking canyon offers spectacular views and opportunities for outdoor exploration.


Named after the famous explorer Jack Miles, who navigated the treacherous waters of the Yukon River during the Klondike Gold Rush, Miles Canyon is a geological masterpiece. The vibrant colors of the canyon walls, ranging from shades of red to ochre, create a mesmerizing backdrop against the rushing waters.


Visitors to Miles Canyon can enjoy a leisurely walk along the well-maintained trails that wind their way through the canyon. Along the way, you’ll find several viewpoints that offer panoramic vistas of the canyon and the surrounding wilderness. Keep an eye out for the suspension bridge, which provides a thrilling experience as you cross the canyon and take in the stunning views from above.


For those seeking a bit more adventure, Miles Canyon is a popular spot for kayaking and canoeing. You can navigate the river’s rapids and experience the thrill of the rushing waters firsthand. Alternatively, you can enjoy a peaceful fishing trip and try your luck at catching some of the abundant fish that populate the Yukon River.


Don’t forget to pack a picnic and take advantage of the designated picnic areas dotted along the trails. It’s the perfect opportunity to relax, enjoy a meal, and take in the awe-inspiring scenery that Miles Canyon has to offer.


Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, an adventure seeker, or simply looking for a peaceful escape from the city, Miles Canyon is a day trip destination that promises to leave you in awe of its natural beauty and charm.


Fish Lake

If you’re looking for a serene and picturesque escape from the hustle and bustle of Whitehorse, a visit to Fish Lake is the perfect day trip. Located just a short drive southwest of the city, Fish Lake is a tranquil oasis surrounded by stunning wilderness.


Known for its clear, turquoise waters and beautiful sandy beaches, Fish Lake offers an idyllic setting for outdoor activities and relaxation. The lake is a popular spot for fishing, with anglers casting their lines in hopes of catching trout and northern pike. If fishing isn’t your thing, you can simply take in the peaceful atmosphere and enjoy the scenic views.


One of the highlights of Fish Lake is the abundance of hiking trails that wind their way through the surrounding forest. These trails offer opportunities for nature lovers to explore the area’s diverse flora and fauna. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife sightings, as the lake is home to a variety of bird species and other small animals.


If you’re visiting Fish Lake during the summer months, you can take advantage of the sandy beaches and go for a refreshing swim in the crystal-clear waters. The lake’s calm and tranquil ambiance makes it an ideal spot for relaxation and unwinding amidst nature’s wonders.


For those seeking a little more adventure, Fish Lake is also a popular destination for kayaking and canoeing. Paddle along the serene waters and take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and forests. You can also rent a boat and explore the lake at your leisure.


Whether you’re an avid angler, a nature enthusiast, or simply looking for a peaceful retreat, Fish Lake offers a delightful day trip destination with its natural beauty and recreational opportunities. Pack a picnic, grab your fishing gear or kayak, and get ready to immerse yourself in the tranquility of Fish Lake.


Yukon Wildlife Preserve

For a unique and immersive wildlife experience, a visit to the Yukon Wildlife Preserve is a must. Located just outside of Whitehorse, this expansive sanctuary provides a natural habitat for a wide range of northern Canadian wildlife.


The preserve spans over 700 acres of pristine wilderness, offering visitors the opportunity to observe and learn about native animals up close in their natural habitats. As you explore the preserve, you’ll encounter iconic Canadian wildlife such as moose, elk, mountain goats, woodland caribou, and Dall sheep, among others.


One of the main advantages of the Yukon Wildlife Preserve is that the animals roam freely in large, spacious enclosures that mimic their natural environment. This allows for unobstructed views and incredible photo opportunities. Knowledgeable guides accompany visitors on tours, providing fascinating insights into the behaviors, habitats, and conservation efforts for each species.


The preserve offers both walking and cycling trails, allowing visitors to explore at their own pace. Whether you’re strolling through the peaceful forested areas or pedaling along the designated paths, you’re sure to be captivated by the beauty and diversity of the wildlife you encounter.


For an even more immersive experience, the Yukon Wildlife Preserve offers guided interpretive tours and interactive experiences. These activities allow visitors to learn more about the animals and their habitats firsthand. From feeding a majestic moose to witnessing the grace of a herd of caribou, these encounters provide a rare opportunity to connect with nature on a deeper level.


Visiting the Yukon Wildlife Preserve not only supports wildlife conservation efforts but also allows you to gain a deeper appreciation for the incredible biodiversity of the Yukon. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, wildlife lover, or simply seeking a memorable experience, the Yukon Wildlife Preserve offers an unforgettable day trip filled with natural beauty and awe-inspiring encounters.


Carcross Desert

Contrary to its name, Carcross Desert is not actually a desert but an awe-inspiring natural phenomenon located just a short drive from Whitehorse. Known as the “smallest desert in the world,” it is a unique landscape that offers a striking contrast to the surrounding lush forests and mountains.


Carcross Desert is a vast expanse of rolling sand dunes that stretches for approximately 2.6 square kilometers. The sandy terrain is a result of the glacial activity that took place thousands of years ago, leaving behind a desert-like landscape in the heart of the Yukon.


Exploring Carcross Desert feels like stepping into another world. As you wander through the sand dunes, you’ll be captivated by the stunning views and the sense of solitude. The desert is home to a variety of plant species adapted to survive in this unique environment, adding a splash of color against the sandy backdrop.


For the adventurous souls, Carcross Desert offers opportunities for sandboarding and off-roading. Strap on a sandboard and glide down the dunes or hop on an ATV for an adrenaline-filled adventure. It’s an exhilarating way to experience the desert and enjoy the thrill of traversing the sandy slopes.


In addition to the desert itself, Carcross is a charming little town with a rich history and vibrant First Nations culture. Take a stroll through the streets lined with colorful heritage buildings and visit the Carcross Commons, a unique marketplace featuring local arts, crafts, and delicious food.


Make sure to visit the nearby Carcross Desert Interpretive Trail, which provides informative signage detailing the unique ecosystem and the geological history of the area. It’s a great way to learn more about the desert and appreciate its significance within the region.


Whether you’re looking to marvel at an unexpected natural wonder, sandboard down the dunes, or immerse yourself in the culture of a charming town, Carcross Desert offers a captivating day trip experience that should not be missed during your visit to Whitehorse.


Emerald Lake

Located in the southern Yukon, just a short drive from Whitehorse, Emerald Lake is a breathtaking natural gem that lives up to its name. With its vibrant turquoise waters and surrounding lush green forests, it’s a place that will leave you in awe of its beauty.


As you arrive at Emerald Lake, you’ll be greeted by a sight that seems almost surreal. The stunning color of the lake, caused by light refracting off the mineral particles suspended in the water, creates a mesmerizing scene that is truly unforgettable.


One of the best ways to enjoy Emerald Lake is by taking a leisurely stroll along its shores. The surrounding walking trails provide ample opportunities to soak in the picturesque views and immerse yourself in the serenity of nature. As you walk, you’ll be surrounded by towering mountains, lush forests, and the tranquil sounds of birdsong.


For a more adventurous experience, you can rent a canoe or kayak and paddle across the crystal-clear waters of Emerald Lake. This allows you to explore the lake at your own pace, with the option to venture into hidden coves or paddle to the small island located in the center of the lake.


Additionally, there are several hiking trails that start from Emerald Lake, catering to different skill levels and offering opportunities to delve deeper into the wilderness. One popular trail is the Emerald Lake Loop, which takes you on a scenic hike around the entire lake, providing breathtaking views from various vantage points.


There’s also the nearby spectacular Hamilton Lakes, which can be accessed through the Hamilton Creek Trail. This trail offers a more challenging hike, rewarding you with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and alpine meadows.


For those who prefer a more relaxing experience, there is a cozy lodge by the lake where you can enjoy a hot beverage or a delicious meal while admiring the stunning views.


Whether you’re seeking tranquility, stunning landscapes, or outdoor adventures, Emerald Lake is a destination that promises to leave you in awe. Its natural beauty and serene ambiance make it an ideal day trip from Whitehorse, allowing you to immerse yourself in the wonders of this picturesque Canadian gem.


Kluane National Park

Located in southwest Yukon, Kluane National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. Boasting towering mountains, vast glaciers, and pristine wilderness, this national park offers a truly awe-inspiring experience.


One of the main attractions of Kluane National Park is its stunning mountain range, including Canada’s highest peak, Mount Logan. The park is a hiker’s paradise, with an extensive network of trails that cater to all levels of experience. Whether you’re a seasoned mountaineer or a casual hiker, you can embark on breathtaking hikes that lead you through alpine meadows, glacial valleys, and awe-inspiring vistas.


If hiking isn’t your cup of tea, you can still experience the beauty of Kluane National Park by exploring its scenic drives. The park offers several picturesque roads, including the Haines Highway and the Alaska Highway, which wind through stunning landscapes and provide opportunities for wildlife spotting, such as bears, moose, and Dall sheep.


For a more unique experience, consider taking a flightseeing tour over the magnificent glaciers and icefields of Kluane National Park. Witnessing the vast expanse of ice from above is a truly unforgettable experience that allows you to appreciate the grandeur of this untouched wilderness.


Stargazers will be thrilled to know that Kluane National Park is home to some of the darkest skies in North America. On a clear night, the park offers an ideal setting for stargazing, providing a chance to witness the shimmering beauty of the stars and, if you’re lucky, catch a glimpse of the elusive Northern Lights dancing across the sky.


For those interested in learning more about the park’s unique ecosystem and cultural heritage, a visit to the Da Ku Cultural Center and the Kluane Museum of Natural History is a must. These educational centers offer insights into the rich history, wildlife, and geology of the area.


Whether you’re an adventurer seeking thrilling hikes, a nature enthusiast searching for breathtaking vistas, or a curious traveler hungry for knowledge, Kluane National Park is an absolute must-visit day trip from Whitehorse. Immerse yourself in the untouched wilderness, embrace the grandeur of the mountains, and create memories that will last a lifetime.


Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Site

Step back in time and relive the excitement of the legendary Klondike Gold Rush at the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Site. Located in Dawson City, Yukon, this site commemorates the historic event that captured the world’s attention in the late 19th century.


During the Klondike Gold Rush, thousands of prospectors flocked to the Yukon in the hopes of striking it rich. Dawson City, once a bustling hub of gold activity, is now a well-preserved historic town that invites visitors to experience the extraordinary times of the gold rush era.


At the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Site, you can explore the various exhibits and interactive displays that portray the challenges and adventures faced by those seeking fortune in the gold fields. Learn about the hardships endured by the prospectors, the booming gold rush economy, and the cultural diversity that emerged during this transformative era.


Take a guided tour of historic buildings, such as the Commissioner’s Residence or the Robert Service Cabin. These well-preserved structures provide a glimpse into the daily lives of the people who once called Dawson City home. Wander through the streets lined with well-preserved heritage buildings and imagine yourself in the midst of the bustling gold rush activity.


No visit to the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Site would be complete without panning for gold. Try your luck at the Goldbottom Creek Interpretive Site, where you can experience the thrill of gold panning firsthand. Learn techniques from experienced guides and discover the excitement of finding a sparkling speck of gold in your pan.


Additionally, the S.S. Keno National Historic Site, a well-preserved paddlewheel steamboat, offers visitors the chance to explore a relic from the bygone era of river transportation. Step aboard this floating time capsule and gain insights into the important role it played in the Klondike Gold Rush.


Dawson City itself is a living museum, with many historic sites and attractions awaiting exploration. Visit Diamond Tooth Gerties’s Gambling Hall for a lively evening of entertainment and relive the casino culture of the gold rush era. Explore the Jack London Interpretive Center and learn about the experiences of the famous author during his time in the Yukon.


Whether you’re a history buff, a gold rush enthusiast, or simply curious about this fascinating period in Canadian history, the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Site offers an immersive and educational day trip that will transport you back in time to the exhilarating days of the gold rush.


Mount Sima

For outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers, a visit to Mount Sima is a must when exploring the Whitehorse area. Located just a short drive from downtown, Mount Sima offers thrilling activities and breathtaking views that will leave you exhilarated.


With its rugged terrain and majestic slopes, Mount Sima is a popular destination for winter sports. The mountain is home to a ski resort that caters to both beginners and advanced skiers and snowboarders. The resort features a variety of slopes, from gentle runs for beginners to challenging black diamond trails for the more experienced thrill-seekers.


If you’re new to snow sports, Mount Sima offers lessons and rentals, allowing you to learn at your own pace and enjoy the thrill of gliding down the slopes. Experienced skiers and snowboarders can take on the jumps, rails, and features in the terrain park, showcasing their skills and tricks.


But Mount Sima isn’t just a winter destination. During the summer months, the mountain transforms into a hub for outdoor activities such as hiking and mountain biking. Explore the network of trails that wind through the alpine valleys and forests, offering stunning views of the surrounding landscape.


For those seeking a more leisurely experience, take a scenic chairlift ride to the top of Mount Sima. From there, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains and the picturesque Yukon River valley. The breathtaking vistas make for ideal photo opportunities and a chance to appreciate the natural beauty of the Yukon.


In addition to the outdoor activities, Mount Sima hosts various events and competitions throughout the year, from ski races to music festivals. Check the schedule to see if any special events coincide with your visit and experience the vibrant energy and excitement that Mount Sima has to offer.


Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie seeking thrills on the slopes or a nature lover looking to immerse yourself in the tranquility of the mountains, Mount Sima provides an exhilarating day trip option that showcases the stunning beauty and adventure opportunities of the Yukon wilderness.


SS Klondike National Historic Site

Step aboard the SS Klondike and journey back in time to the heyday of river transportation along the Yukon River. The SS Klondike National Historic Site, located in Whitehorse, offers a fascinating glimpse into the history of steam-powered paddlewheelers that played a vital role during the Klondike Gold Rush.


The SS Klondike was one of the largest sternwheelers to navigate the Yukon River, transporting supplies and passengers between Whitehorse and Dawson City during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Today, this beautifully restored vessel provides a captivating experience, showcasing the bustling river traffic that was essential for the economic growth of the region.


As you explore the ship, you can envision the vibrant atmosphere that once filled its decks. Step into the meticulously recreated passenger areas, crew quarters, and cargo holds, all of which provide insights into the challenges faced by those on board during the arduous journeys along the river.


Take a guided tour to learn about the engineering marvels of the paddlewheel, the daily routines of the crew, and the stories of the passengers who sought their fortunes in the Klondike. Listen to firsthand accounts of the trials and tribulations faced by those who traversed the treacherous waters of the Yukon River to reach the gold fields.


In addition to the ship itself, the SS Klondike National Historic Site features interpretive displays, exhibits, and films that delve deeper into the history and significance of river travel during the Klondike Gold Rush. Gain a deeper understanding of the region’s economic and cultural impact as you immerse yourself in the stories of the past.


Surrounded by picturesque views of the Yukon River and the scenic Whitehorse waterfront, the SS Klondike offers a picturesque backdrop for a memorable visit. Enjoy the expansive outdoor deck and take in the scenic beauty of the river, or stroll along the walking path that winds along the waterfront for a leisurely exploration of the area.


Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a fan of maritime heritage, or simply curious about the Klondike Gold Rush era, the SS Klondike National Historic Site provides a captivating day trip that takes you back in time and offers a glimpse into a bygone era of river transportation in the Yukon.



The Yukon is a land of natural wonders, rich history, and unforgettable experiences, and the day trips from Whitehorse offer a fantastic opportunity to explore and immerse yourself in this remarkable Canadian territory.


From relaxing in the soothing waters of Takhini Hot Springs to marveling at the turquoise beauty of Emerald Lake, each day trip reveals a unique aspect of the Yukon’s diverse landscape. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast seeking adventure, a history buff delving into the gold rush era, or a nature lover yearning to connect with the wilderness, there is something for everyone.


The Yukon Wildlife Preserve brings you face to face with native wildlife in their natural habitats, while the Carcross Desert surprises with its sandy dunes amidst a region of lush forests and mountains. Kluane National Park offers stunning mountain vistas and outdoor activities, and the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Site allows you to step back in time and relive the excitement of the gold rush era.


Whether you choose to hike, ski, explore historic sites, or simply soak in the natural beauty, the day trips from Whitehorse will leave you with lifelong memories. The Yukon’s untouched wilderness, rich Indigenous culture, and friendly local communities create an atmosphere that is truly unique and captivating.


So, pack your sense of adventure, embrace the spirit of exploration, and let the day trips from Whitehorse take you on a journey through the heart of the Yukon. Prepare to be immersed in stunning landscapes, rich history, and unforgettable moments that will leave you with a deep appreciation for the beauty and diversity of Canada’s north.