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The top 10 things to do in Whitehorse

Top 10 Things to do in Whitehorse

The top 10 things to do in Whitehorse

Being the capital of the YukonExternal Link Title, one of Canada's Northern territories and home to just 25,000 people, you'd think Whitehorse would be a small sleepy town without much to do. How wrong you'd be.


In reality it's a place thriving in its relative anonymity; a place that isn't striving to be something it's not. And with incredible sites such as the Yukon River running through the heart of town, some cracking hiking trails, a strong street art scene, and amazing restaurants, the only thing you'll wish you had is more time to explore this unique capital!


Canoeing on the Yukon River

Canoeing on the Yukon River
Canoeing on the Yukon River - Credit: Macca Sherifi

You can't visit the Yukon without going canoeing on the Yukon RiverExternal Link Title. This is a truly Canadian experience and an amazing way of exploring the landscape. Starting on the riverbanks in Whitehorse, you can go on half-day adventures or epic three-day voyages, all with this stunning scenery all around you.


Hiking at Miles Canyon 

Hiking Miles Canyon
Hiking Miles Canyon - Credit: Macca Sherifi

Just on the outskirts of Whitehorse is one of the most beautiful hiking trails in the Yukon. Miles CanyonExternal Link Title is a gorgeous canyon created by the powerful Yukon River. There are a few hiking trails here, some looping all the way round and back into town and a couple of shorter ones. Whichever option you choose, you can be sure that the hiking is absolutely sublime.


Horse riding at Fish Lake

Horse Riding at Fish Lake
Horse Riding at Fish Lake - Credit: Macca Sherifi

Just a short 30-minute ride from Whitehorse is Sky High Wilderness RanchExternal Link Title. There you can go horse riding at Fish Lake, one of the jewels of the Yukon. Riding among the pine trees is so peaceful, and with the snow-capped mountains all around you, you couldn't find a more picturesque setting.


Learn all about the S.S. Klondike

The S.S. Klondike
The S.S. Klondike - Credit: Macca Sherifi

If there's one thing that put the Yukon on the map, it was the Gold Rush of the 1890s. With this influx of wealth, Whitehorse became an extremely prestigious place, so much so that people from far and wide visited to go on luxurious paddle-boat cruises on the Yukon River. Unfortunately, as the prospects of the area waned, so did the popularity of these cruises. The S.S. KlondikeExternal Link Title, a restored sternwheeler located just on the edge of Whitehorse, is a relic of that lost era. On board you'll learn about the impresses ships and the region's Gold Rush history.


Gaze upon the midnight sun

The midnight sun
The midnight sun - Credit: Macca Sherifi

If you’re lucky enough to visit Whitehorse during summer then you’ll be treated to something very special – the midnight sun. Once 10 pm comes around, you may be tempted to go to sleep, but keep those eyes open for another few hours to see the sun up in the sky in the middle of the night. The sight is surprisingly revitalising and always leads to some amazing photos opportunities!


Stand in awe under the Northern Lights

The Northern Lights in Whitehorse
The Northern Lights in Whitehorse - Credit: Northern Tales Travel Services / Stefan Wackerhagen

Once the nights start getting longer and longer, from September onwards, the midnight sun is replaced by dark skies that often become a stage for the Northern LightsExternal Link Title. With hardly any light pollution in Whitehorse you can see the Northern Lights from wherever you're staying, but a short trip outside of town will offer total darkness and the best views.


Discover Whitehorse's history at the MacBride Museum

The Macbride Museum
The Macbride Museum - Credit: Macca Sherifi

From Aboriginal culture to mining history, the MacBride MuseumExternal Link Title paints an amazing picture of how Whitehorse was founded and formed. In the summer there are lots of live demonstrations at the museum, making it one of the most family friendly places in town. Also, no trip would be complete without trying your hand at gold panning. See if you strike it lucky!


Explore the town's surprising culinary scene

Salmon from Antoinette’s in Whitehorse
Salmon from Antoinette’s in Whitehorse - Credit: Macca Sherifi

Okay, so there aren't a million places to eat at in Whitehorse, but that can be seen as a good thing because it means you get to sample all the town has to offer. From a Caribbean twist at Antoinette'sExternal Link Title to freshly caught salmon at Klondike Rib & SalmonExternal Link Title to having a taster flight at Winterlong BrewingExternal Link Title, every place is so delicious you'll want to come back for more.


Watch bluegrass performances and enjoy other sounds of the Yukon

It may come as a bit of a surprise, but Whitehorse has a quality music scene and you can watch live performances at a number of venues. The three most popular places to go to are the Dirty NorthernExternal Link Title, Miner's DaughterExternal Link Title, and The Beer Tasters' Social HouseExternal Link Title - all great places to grab a beer and listen to some bluegrass and the other sounds of the Yukon.


Go for a dip at Takhini Hot Pools

Takhini Hot Pools
Takhini Hot Pools - Credit: Arctic Range Adventure

Packing your bikini might not be at the top of your Yukon list, but make sure you do otherwise you'll miss out on Takhini Hot PoolsExternal Link Title! Located just on the outskirts of Whitehorse, the pool temperatures reach a balmy 47C in winter, making them the perfect place for watching the Northern Lights in comfort. Your body will be nice and toasty but be warned: during winter the outside air temperature is so cold your hair will freeze into icicles! 


This is just a taste of what you could do in the Yukon. For more, check out 28 Photos That Will Make You Want to Visit the YukonExternal Link Title on the An Adventurous World blog.