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Yukon and the Northwest Territories

The Yukon and Northwest Territories, often referred to as “The Great North” both offer experiences for visitors unique to the geographic locations they lie in. The easiest way to reach either destination is by plane but the best way is to drive. Driving enables you to soak in the scenery, chat with the locals and find out just what makes these two territories such special places.  

Overlooking Dawson City, Yukon

The Yukon is home to one of the most famous gold rushes in North America. For just over 20 years, starting in the late 1890s, tens of thousands of prospectors were lured to the region from all around the world seeking to find their fortunes. Dawson City was at the centre of that rush and today, this small town and its gold-rush era buildings offer an insight into the history of those thrilling days. Yukon’s capital, Whitehorse, is a pick-up point for RV rentals, enabling you to get out and explore the unspoiled beauty of the province. Whitehorse is a city of around 25000 people and is the main service area for the rest of the Yukon.  

S.S. Klondike, Whitehorese

Whitehorse offers a number of attractions for visitors, mostly dedicated to its historic past. The SS Klondike sternwheeler is permanently moored on the banks of the Whitehorse River and is open for public viewing. Other interesting attractions are the Yukon Transportation Museum, the MacBride Museum of Yukon History, the Old Log Church Museum and the Copperbelt Railway & Mining Museum.  

Outside of Whitehorse, visit the Whitehorse Fish Ladder and Dam, the Yukon Gardens, the Yukon Wildlife Preserve, Miles Canyon and Takhini Hot Springs.  

Along the Dempster Highway

Whitehorse is also a great starting point for trips along the Dempster Highway, one of the most interesting road trips in the Great North. Spanning 738km from a turn-off half way between Dawson City and Carmacks, to the small town of Inuvik, the highway is named for a former North West Mounted policeman, William Dempster. In November 2017, the Dempster Highway was extended with an all-weather highway for a further 145km to reach Tuktoyaktuk, lying on the edge of the Beaufort Sea. One of the highlights of this road trip is reaching the Arctic Circle at Mile 252 (Km 405). The Arctic Circle is the most northerly of the five major circles of latitude shown on maps of the Earth. In this area, on the Summer solstice, the sun is above the horizon for 24 continuous hours.  

Chilkat Peninsula and the Sinclair Mountain near Skagway, Alaska

The Yukon is also the land gateway to Alaska. Thousands of travelers pass through each year en route to Skagway, Haines and other popular places on the Alaskan “Mainland”.  

Roads in the Northwest Territories are few in number. From Alberta, the MacKenzie Highway 35 crosses into the Northwest Territories north of Indian Cabins where it retains its name but changes to Highway 1. At Enterprise, a fork in the road will take you north on Hwy 2 to Hay River. Wood Buffalo National Park is accessible off Hwy 2 via a fully paved road through to Fort Smith.  

Wood Buffalo National Park, Northwest Territories, Canada

Yellowknife is the capital of the Northwest Territories and the only city in the region. Located on the shores of Great Slave Lake, it offers recreational activities for visitors and locals in both summer and winter. During the winter months, visitors flock to Yellowknife to view the Northern Lights while in summer, water sports are popular.  

The western end of the MacKenzie Highway ends in Wrigley, a predominately First Nations community on the east bank of the MacKenzie River. The highway passes though Fort Simpson, one of the gateways to the Nahanni National Park. No roads pass through this Park but sightseeing flights/landings are possible with operators in Fort Simpson.  

Canoeing on the Nahanni River

At the turn-off to Fort Simpson, the road continues west as the Liard Highway which takes you into British Columbia, connecting with the Alaska Highway back to the Yukon.  

Both Territories are easily accessible on an RV vacation and should definitely be on your bucket list.  

Carcross Desert, Yukon

CanaDream has a convenient RV pick up location in Whitehorse, Yukon. We can also offer suggestions for hotels, campgrounds and things to do while you experience Canada's Great North at your own pace.

Check out some of the great itinerary suggestions we have for your Great North RV vacation.

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