Whitehorse, Yukon Territory is located on the banks of the Yukon River, about 105 km north of the British Columbia border. The city's landscape is dominated by Canyon Mountain, also known as Grey Mountain. Whitehorse is the capital of the Yukon Territory and by far the largest city of the territory. Whitehorse lies in the midst of a spectacular scenery and offers itself as a perfect jumping off point for an exploration of the Yukon.
Whitehorse is a city of character, colour and contrasts and is often referred to as 'Wilderness City'. Although Whitehorse is one of the largest urban-designated areas in Canada, the central core is quite small with a unique northern character.
Whitehorse's colourful history is preserved in the restored sternwheeler SS Klondike and the Old Log Church of 1900. Visitors find lots to see and do throughout the year. Whitehorse boasts a vibrant arts and cultural community, colourful festivals and events, and impressive historic attractions.
Whitehorse in Figures
Whitehorse was incorporated in 1950.
Whitehorse is the capital of the Yukon Territory with about 22,879 inhabitants (1999)
Whitehorse encompasses an area of 413.48 sq km.
Most visitors arrive to Whitehorse either by air via Whitehorse Airport or by car coming from British Columbia or Alaska.
Whitehorse can be reached by air in less than a day from anywhere in North America. Whitehorse Airport is located east of town off the Alaska Highway. Scheduled flights operate several times daily from Vancouver to Whitehorse. There is also scheduled service from Juneau, Anchorage, and Fairbanks, Alaska and Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.
Whitehorse is located at kilometre 1476, just off the Alaska Highway, about 105 km north of the British Columbia border.
Bus travelers are served by Greyhound that provides service from Edmonton and Vancouver. The Greyhound Bus Depot is located at 2191-2nd Avenue.
For more information call 667-2223/2772
Gray Line of Alaska provides service to Skagway, Tok, Anchorage, Fairbanks and Haines in Alaska.
For more information call 668-3225 or 1-800-544-2206.
Dawson Creek, BC to Whitehorse, YT 1,430 km (888 mi)
Haines Junction, YT to Whitehorse, YT 158 km (98 mi)
Inuvik, NWT to Whitehorse, YT 1,222 km (759 mi)
Watson Lake, YT to Whitehorse, YT 454 km (283 mi)
Traveling within Whitehorse
Whitehorse Transit offers bus services throughout the city. For bus schedules grab a copy of the city bus guide at the City Information Centre.
Whitehorse is nestled in a protected valley that guarantees a moderate northern climate with warm and dry summers and long hours of sunshine.
Health and Safety
In case of an emergency call 5555 for police (RCMP) and 3333 for medical. If there is no answer for the RCMP number, call 1-(867)-667-5555 (toll-free), or Medical Assistance at 1-(867)-667-3333 (toll-free).
Things to do
Old Log Church Museum
Location: On the corner of Elliot St and 3rd Avenue.
Old Log Church Museum is an original log cathedral that represents an excellent example of pioneer architecture. It was built in 1900 and is the only wooden cathedral in the world. Learn about early northern missionary and whaling history, First Nations culture, and the legendary Bishop Who Ate His Boots.
For more information call (867) 668-2555.
S.S. Klondike National Historic Site
Location: Near the junction of South Access Rd. and 2nd Avenue.
The SS Klondike was one of the largest sternwheelers that travelled the Yukon River. Originally built in 1929 it sunk in 1936 and was rebuild in 1937. Today, it is a National Historic Site and museum and can be toured.
For more information call (867) 667-3910
Takhini Hot Springs
Location: 25 minutes north of Whitehorse at Klondike Highway - km 197.9 (mi 123 ).
Takhini Hot Springs are located in a quiet wooded area offering hotsprings pool for a relaxing day. Licensed Café on site.
For more information call (867) 633-2706
Yukon Transportation Museum
Location: East of Whitehorse at Whitehorse Airport. Alaska Highway - km 1,455 (mi 904 )
Yukon Transportation Museum showcases the transportation history of the Yukon Territory with displays on the Alaska Highway construction, snowshoes, dog sleds, early aviation, riverboats and the Whitepass & Yukon Route. Tours available. Gift shop on site.
For more information call (867) 668-4792
Yukon Wildlife Preserve
Location: 25 km north-west of Whitehorse at Alaska Highway - km 1,455 (mi 904 ).
Yukon Wildlife Preserve is a 280-hectare preserve offering a fine selection of northern animals such as moose, mountain goats, elk, caribou, Dall sheep, musk ox and others. The animals live in their natural habitat but can often be observed at close range.
For more information call (867) 668-3225
Festivals and Events
Frostbite Music Festival
Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race
Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Festival
Yukon International Storytelling Festival
Gathering of Traditions
In 1898, the time of the great Gold Rush, Whitehorse became a temporary stopping point for prospectors on their way to the gold fields. Whitehorse was located on the head of navigation on the Yukon River, past 2 major obstacles on the river, Miles Canyon and the Whitehorse Rapids.
With the completion of the White Pass and Yukon Railway, linking Whitehorse with Skagway, Alaska, Whitehorse became a permanent settlement in 1900. Whitehorse saw a short copper boom that ended as soon as 1920. Later, in the 1920s and 1930s Whitehorse developed a reputation as an outfitting and takeoff base, with tourists coming to Whitehorse.
During WW II, Whitehorse played a major role as link between the north and south. The Alaska Highway was built and opened for the public after the war. This replaced the Yukon River as main transportation route. In 1953 the territorial capital was moved from Dawson City to Whitehorse.