*Header image courtesy of Travel Yukon

While the Yukon might spend most of the winter bathed in darkness, it more than makes up for it in the summer when the sunlight shines long into the night, lasting a full 24 hours on the day of the summer solstice in June. 

The region also enjoys a temperate clime during the summer, with daily highs around 20 degrees Celsius. The perfect weather to venture out for outdoor activities like hiking the Yukon wilderness as well as canoeing and kayaking down the Yukon River. 

Here are some of the best ways to get out and enjoy a white-hot Whitehorse summer. 

Miles Canyon1

Image courtesy of Travel Yukon

Miles Canyon

Located by the Yukon River Hydroelectric Dam just outside of Whitehorse, Miles Canyon offers gorgeous views of the river and plentiful hiking trails to explore. The canyon also features a century-old suspension bridge where you can see the rushing waters below and snap some great pictures of the surrounding wilderness. 

Created at the Canyon is a special art exhibition that takes place every year where local multimedia artists gather at Miles Canyon and produce works inspired by its beauty, ranging from songs to paintings to poetry. 

Yukon Canoe

Image courtesy of Travel Yukon

Canoeing on the Yukon River 

Follow in the footsteps of gold prospectors and venture out a canoe trip down the scenic Yukon River. Cutting right through the city, the Yukon River runs all the way from British Columbia to Alaska. An important artery during the Klondike Gold Rush at the turn of the 19th century, the river carried countless prospectors and hundreds of tons of gold to and from the mines. 

Today, adventurers can get out and hit the water for canoeing and kayaking excursions lasting from half a day to a multi-day odyssey along the Yukon River. There are a number of providers for guided canoe excursions in the Whitehorse Region, including Adventure Tours Yukon Wild Ltd, Canadian River Expeditions and Nahanni River Adventures. 

Emerald Lake1

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Emerald Lake

Located roughly 40 minutes outside the city along Highway 2, Emerald Lake is a peaceful, secluded body of water lying in the shadow of Surprise Mountain. Named for the emerald-like hue of its crystal-clear waters caused by deposits of calcium carbonate, Emerald Lake is a gorgeous spot for hikes and picnics. Potential swimmers should watch out though! The water remains ice cold well into the summer months. 


Image courtesy of Travel Yukon

SS Klondike National Historic Site

Steam-powered riverboats were once a ubiquitous sight on the Yukon River, transporting people and cargo across the growing territory. The SS Klondike II was once such a vessel, a 64m sternwheeler capable of carrying over 1,000 tons of cargo. 

Once the largest vessel in the British Yukon Navigation Company fleet in the 30s, the ship was run aground in the treacherous Thirty Mile section of the Yukon River and was later recommissioned as the SS Klondike II in 1937. Some say that sections of the vessel’s original hull can still be seen by keen-eyed canoers under the surface of the river. 

Decommissioned in 1955 following the construction of the highway, the ship was converted into a museum ship and moved to its current location in Whitehorse to educate the public and commemorate this era of the territory’s development. 

Designated a National Historic Site by Parks Canada in 1967, the SS Klondike features guided tours around the ships exterior as well as outdoor exhibitions commemorating the perspectives of Yukon First Nations peoples during the riverboat era.

Eclipse Nordic Hot Springs

Formerly known as the Takhini Hot Springs, Eclipse Nordic Hot Springs is set to reopen after a lengthy renovation that has seen its facilities get a whole new lease on life. The revitalized spa will feature newly installed saunas and stream rooms as well as regimens combining the best of Turkish Hammam baths with Icelandic Nordic treatments that emphasize shifting from cold to hot pools. The spa has also adopted an all-new interior design philosophy emphasizing wellness and relaxation according to Japanese principles. The new facility is set to open sometime this year. 

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