When Is the Best Time
Yukon has equally stunning aspects to offer, both in the cold and the hot months. It depends on what appeals to different individuals. Below is a guideline to help you decide when to visit.
The best time to visit Yukon is in the late spring, summer, or early fall. In the warm summer months, it is busier, but attractions are open and activities like hiking or canoeing are popular. The shoulder months bring less crowds and mostly pleasant weather.
However, even in winter Yukon offers superb opportunities for outdoor adventures. During a Northern Lights tour in winter, you have the chance to gaze at the unbelievable colors of the aurora borealis. Other activities include scenic snowshoeing tours – Whitehorse- Half Day Snowshoeing Tour – via GetYourGuide – Our top tip! – or guided snowmobile trips. Another awesome must-do activity is wildlife viewing: Arctic Day: Wildlife & Hot Springs | Half Day
November-April | Winter – Spring
Yukon in winter
The average temperature in Yukon during the day in winter is high of -13.3C in January to 6.4C in April. During the night in winter, it is a low of -22C in January to -4.6C in April. The average hours of daylight one can expect to get is 4.5 hours in December to 15 hours in April.
Winter is a very constitutive part of the Yukon lifestyle, making it a very interesting time to visit. The Northern Lights are undoubtedly the top attraction during the winter nights.
During the day one can go on dog sledding, ice fishing, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing among many activities. Spring in Yukon is breathtaking with migrating birds returning and wildflowers blooming.
May-October | Summer – Fall
Yukon in May
The average temperature in Yukon during the day in summer is high of 20.5C in July to 4.3C in October. During the night in summer, it is a low of 7.7C in July to -3.1C in October. The average hours of daylight one can expect to get is 20 hours in July to 10 hours in October.
The Yukon summer is typically warm and dry. It has long hours of daylight known as the midnight sun. Long days mean lots of wildlife activities that one can witness. June – August is the best time if you want to canoe the river. The short fall season from late August is breathtaking with cooler days and the spread of vibrant colors across the landscape.
Summer is the ideal time for viewing the stunning wildlife Yukon is harbouring which is 4 species of amphibians, 36 fish species, 66 mammal species, 227 bird species, 1238 plant species, and over 6000 species of insects!
Tip: The key to successful wildlife viewing is being spontaneous and always keeping an eye out. There are specific places, however, where one can go to spot wildlife. The government of Yukon provides a great resource of information on their website: Yukon – Wildlife Viewing
The Northern Lights, the highlight of Yukon, can be seen as long as the nights are dark and without clouds. Therefore the winter months are perfect to spot this mesmerizing phenomenon. Roughly from September to April.
However, with any natural phenomenon, the Aurora Borealis shows up without any precision or timetable when the weather conditions are favorable, usually on clear nights only. What is the best time of day? Your best chance of seeing aurora borealis is around local midnight.
Monthly Weather | Climate
It can get very cold in Yukon Territory during winter. However, the temperatures are often not too unpleasant for most visitors as it’s a dry cold. In fact when the air is dry and cold it feels warmer than cold, humid air at the same temperature. Find the monthly weather details for Whitehorse in the above chart.
Tours from Whitehorse
Hotel Tips & Deals
We spend as much time as possible in the Yukon. We absolutely love it here. There is an abundance of wildlife on offer for all to see. The most amazing untouched wilderness. Great gold rush history. Dramatic seasons, from snowmobiling in the winter at -60 degrees Celsius under the Northern lights to Canoeing the Mighty Yukon River in the summer months following in the paddle strokes of the gold rush pioneers from the 1890’s. The Yukon Territory has something to offer every adventure seeker.
A great trip to do is to Canoe from Whitehorse to Dawson (approximately 500 miles) You will see some of the best scenery you can possibly imagine and more wildlife than most people would normally see in a lifetime. This historic river journey will blow your mind.
Dotted along the river are several abandoned cabins, paddle steamers and even a town. All remnants from the gold rush. The abandoned town is quite a sight to see and only accessible via the river. It is maintained by the government so is in pretty good condition. You can walk around the houses and even go inside them. A real ghost town.
Dawson City itself is a great place to visit. It’s like going back in time or walking onto a set of a cowboy film. Wooden sidewalks, saloon bars and dirt streets. Having said that it has everything you need from a modern city and has some fantastic restaurants to choose from and the most friendly people you could wish to meet.
For all your adventure needs, Canoe hire, snowmobile hire and much more I strongly recommend you use a company based in Whitehorse called Up North Adventures. They are an amazing group of guys/girls and will make your trip in the Yukon one you won’t forget.
Where to Stay (in Whitehorse)
- Best Hotels and B&B. Us the very comfortable search: Enter your preferred dates and then check the list of hotels. Make sure to change the search criteria to your liking at the top bar. We usually select ‘Review Score & Price’.
- Budget Tip: Triple B Bed & Breakfast. Super comfortable and 100% clean cabin. Very friendly and helpful hosts. Delicious homemade breakfast! The only downside: Outside bathroom only. However, the best accommodation for the price.
- White Pass Summit Bus Tour (from Skagway, 2,5 hours): The tour follows the Klondike Highway through the White Pass, with stunning mountain views and excellent guides. Highly recommended!
Place originally created by Nick Hunter. Extended and many parts written by the WHEN to TRAVEL team.