Five Epic Places to Visit in the Yukon for travelers on a Budget!

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If you are looking for a getaway where you’re off the grid and in tune with nature you have to visit the Yukon! The Yukon territory truly embodies the Canadian North and allows you to explore some of the most pristine forests in the world — and you can do this all on an extremely strict budget and in the span of five days! It doesn’t get much better than that!

If you’re looking for adventure but are tight on time and money, the Yukon is the perfect destination for you!

Some important considerations when planning your trip!
The time of year

When planning your trip to Canada’s far North you need to know what kind of experience you are looking for whether that is frolloking in a winter wonderland or basking in the sun while floating along a winding river. Depending on your sense of adventure you must plan your trip accordingly!

In the summer months (April to September), the temperature can be 30° Celsius and actually considered the hot spot of Canada (crazy right?) while in the winter (November to March) it can drop to -30° Celsius, so be prepared to bundle up!

In this land of the “midnight sun”, daylight hours in summer can be as much as 20 hours of sunlight a day and in the winter it can be as short as 6 hours a day. So if you are planning a summer trip be sure to pack an eye mask to help block out the sunlight while you are trying to sleep and if you are visiting in the winter a flashlight and a headlamp is a MUST!

Activities

Whether you are into extreme sports or relaxing with nature you are sure to find something that suits your travel style in the Yukon.

The Yukon is an explorers dream! Being surrounded by nature in such a secluded community gives you an experience you won’t find anywhere else in Canada. Activities range from exhilarating rafting adventures to calming canoe rides. Of course, depending on your style of travel your budget will vary.

Budget

Just like any trip you should know your budget before setting off on your adventure. Lucky for you, the Yukon will accomodate any traveller whether you are traveling on a dime or have a bit more money to spend!

For you budget travellers out there, there tons of cheap, and in some cases free, excursions that you can’t pass up during your time in the Yukon!

As you all know, I am an extremely cheap traveller and therefore am always looking for adventures that cost me close to nothing! I am going to share with you the top five must-see places in the Yukon for travellers on a budget!

1. Muktuk Dog Sled Adventures

Puppy hugs from Lady and Skipper!

For those of you who don’t know me I am absolutely OBSESSED with dogs so when I saw that it was FREE to visit the dogs at Muktuk Adventures I was there in a heartbeat!

I was lucky enough to visit the Yukon in the Fall when a brand new litter of puppies were born so I spent hours playing with the new pups! Unfortunately there was no snow on the ground yet so I wasn’t able to see the dogs in action but I am definitely going to return in the winter to get a full taste of the dog sled life.  

If you visit the site in the winter you can actually be taken on tours across the territory, however you will have to be willing to expand your budget for this one. Tours can cost anywhere from $250 CAD for a one day adventure; to $1200 CAD for a three day adventure; and up to $2600 CAD for a seven day adventure. Mind you that all of your accommodation, food, guide, and in some cases gear are included in the price!

But if you are on a strict timeline and tight on cash like I was, visiting the lodge to play with the pups was perfect in itself and you can do that all year round!

Takhini Hot Springs 

Relaxing in the Takhini Hot Springs

One of my favourite things to do when travelling is to look for unique natural experiences that brings me closer to place I am visiting. When I came across the Takhini Hot Springs I knew I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to soak in a mineral rich pool and unwind after a long day of hiking. The hot spring is located right outside of the capital city, Whitehorse, and overlooks its mountainous landscapes creating an overall magical experience.

If you visit the spring Monday through Wednesday entrance to the pool is only $8.00 CAD and every other day is $12.00 CAD. The site is only open from 12pm to 10pm so make sure if you want to visit this beautiful hot spring (and I suggest you do!) that you plan to visit in the evening and who knows, if you’re lucky maybe you’ll get to see the Northern Lights!

BONUS: for you budget travellers out there, the Takhini hot spring is located right beside a convenient campsite and hostel ranging from $20.00 CAD to $35.00 CAD a night!

3. Yukon Wildlife Preserve

The Amazing North American Caribou Reindeer

 The Yukon Wildlife Preserve is an absolute must if you are an animal lover like me! You can enter the park for $15.00 CAD but if any of you are attending university or college or even if you are a recent graduate be sure to bring your student card with you because students get in for half off! The entrance fee will give you unlimited walking access to the park, however, if you want to hire a tour bus that is also an option for $30.00 CAD. I personally suggest the self-guided walking tour because you can take your time and really get to admire the magnificent creatures you will see! The park is situated in a 5km loop that will take you a couple of hours to finish, but the hike is well worth it!

So what kinds of animals will you see you ask? Well, this nature preserve houses 12 different species of northern mammals which are distinct to Canada’s far north. The animals include elk, wood bison, mule deer, thinhorn sheep, snowshoe hare, moose, muskox, mountain goat, woodland caribou, arctic fox, and if you’re lucky the arctic lynx!  

If you are visiting in the winter you can also choose to cross country ski or snowshoe the trail! It doesn’t get much more Canadian than that!

4. Miles Canyon

Admiring the crystal blue waters of Miles Canyon

You can’t miss out on hiking Miles Canyon if you are visiting the Yukon! This pristine canyon is located at the upstream end of the Yukon river and it has a fascinating history!

Apparently, during the Klondike Gold Rush, there were thousands of stampeders travelling down the Yukon River to Dawson, where Miles Canyon and the Whitehorse Rapids were the most treacherous obstacles on their route.

As soon as you walk onto the Miles Canyon trail you are taken away with the sound of rushing water and the sight of never ending evergreens! During your time here you truly realize what Canada’s far north is all about!

There are multiple trails to hike that come in all different forms of difficulty and the best part…they are all FREE! Just be sure to stop by the local information centre in Whitehorse to grab a map so you don’t get lost!  

Which brings me to my fifth and final destination…

5. Whitehorse

Exploring the wonders of Whitehorse

If you are making the trek all the way up to the Yukon you can’t miss out on experiencing its capital city! When you think of a capital city you probably picture bustling streets, expensive restaurants and massive high rise buildings right? Well, Whitehorse is the exact opposite. This capital city only houses 2,014 people!

It may be small but this quaint little city still packs a punch! There are multiple museums you can visit that will educate you on the history of the Yukon including the origins of the First Nations peoples who were the first people to inhabit Canada!  

There are also a lot of ecotourism activities that you can do in the Whitehorse including visiting the Kluane National Park and Reserve which is home to Canada’s highest peak, Mount Logan, as well as North America’s most diverse grizzly bear population…be sure to carry bear spray with you when hiking here (for real though, I’m not kidding!)

As you can see, you don’t need a lot of money or even necessarily time to have a great adventure in Canada’s far north! No matter what you decided to do in the Yukon I can guarantee you that you will have an adventure like no other!

Have any questions about my five day Yukon trip? How about any suggestions? Feel free to leave us a message in the comments below or email us at brightintheworld@hotmail.com

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