Incredible day trips from Haines Junction, Yukon

Haines Junction, Yukon kluane lake The Yukon Territory in northern Canada lures visitors in droves, thanks to its spectacular natural scenery, frequent wildlife sightings and abundance of outdoor activities. While it’s common to hunker down in Whitehorse, one might say an even better base for exploring is Haines Junction, as it borders stunning Kluane National Park.

Haines Junction, Yukon

The Alaska Highway

The community of less than 900 people is 160 kilometres from the capital, linked by the famously scenic Alaska Highway. Situated in the traditional territory of the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations, it’s also usually the last stop before roadtrippers head to Anchorage or Haines in Alaska. For those planning to explore the area around Haines Junction, here are some ideas for incredible day trips.

Our Lady of the Way Catholic Church was built in 1954 using parts from an old army Quonset hut. Be sure to stop at Frosty Freeze across the highway for milkshakes!

Our Lady of the Way Catholic Church was built in 1954 using parts from an old army Quonset hut. Be sure to stop at Frosty Freeze across the highway for milkshakes!

Kluane Lake

It’s safe to say Kluane Lake is not only one of the most gorgeous water bodies in the Yukon, but could also rival some of the more popular ones in Canada.

Haines Junction, Yukon

Just enjoying the view.

About a one hour drive north of Haines Junction, its turquoise hue is the perfect backdrop for a picnic, a canoeing or fishing excursion, or simply wandering along the shore.
Haines Junction, Yukon kluane lakeOne spot worth making a detour for is Silver City, a dilapidated spot which was originally a bustling community in the early 1900s thanks to its trading post. It has since been abandoned and more closely resembles a ghost town, as the original timber buildings are still somewhat standing. It makes for a striking scene, especially when the vibrant pink fireweed is in season.

Haines Junction, Yukon

An abandoned house in Silver City

Glacier Flightseeing

Here’s one for the bucket list. If budget allows, a glacier flightseeing tour over majestic Kluane National Park is absolutely unforgettable.

Haines Junction, Yukon kluane glacierHaines Junction, Yukon kluane glacierKluane is home to the world’s largest non-polar ice fields, and includes Mount Logan which is Canada’s highest peak at a staggering 5,959 metres. Operations including Kluane Glacier Air Tours load small groups into a tiny Cessna, then soar over the glacier pools, icebergs and snow-covered mountains below, reaching elevations of over 10-thousand feet as fluffy white clouds swirl around.
Haines Junction, Yukon Canada-Yukon-Glacier-Tour-tracksTour options include flying above the Kaskawulsh and South Arm Glaciers, Pinnacle Peak and Mount Kennedy. Those lucky enough to head up on a clear day will be able to see Alaska, and potentially even the Pacific Ocean. Though they can be hard to spot, it’s also possible to see wildlife including Dall sheep and grizzly bears.

READ MORE: Chasing glaciers on a Kluane National Park flightseeing tour
Haines Junction, Yukon kluane glacierHaines Junction, Yukon kluane glacier

Tatshenshini River

An hour and a half drive south of Haines Junction along the quiet Haines Highway leads to the Tatshenshini River, which is a favourite play area for outdoor enthusiasts. Stretching from the Yukon over the B.C. border, the river is famous for its Class Four white water rapids which have names like “Twin Holes” and “Rock Gardens.”

white water rafting yukonOutftters including Tatshenshini Expediting lead groups of rafters and kayakers down the churning river, and those with a sharp eye might even spot spawning salmon or a bald eagle soaring overhead.

READ MORE:  White water rafting down the Yukon’s Tatshenshini River

white water rafting yukon

Courtesy of Tatshenshini Expediditing

Kathleen Lake

It’s no Kluane, but Kathleen Lake is a gem that gives its northern neighbour a run for its money. Just a 20 minute drive south of Haines Junction, glittering Kathleen Lake is a scenic spot surrounded by dramatic, soaring mountains.

Haines Junction, Yukon

Kathleen Lake

The day-use area includes picnic and washroom facilities, and a dock for launching a canoe or kayak off of. There are also a couple of walking trails including the half-kilometre Kokanee Trail which rings around the lake, or the King’s Throne Trail which is a challenging five-kilometre trek awarding hikers with fantastic views of the surrounding mountain peaks.

RELATED: 25 photos that will inspire you to visit Yukon, Canada

Haines Junction, Yukon

Kathleen Lake

Top tip: Stay at nearby Dalton Trail Lodge, a rustic fishing lodge on the shores of Dezadeash Lake. Owned by a Swiss family, the welcoming spot has cozy accommodations, a lounge and a fantastic restaurant—they’ll even cook your catch for dinner!

YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY:

White water rafting down the Yukon’s Tatshenshini River

Must-see spots in Whitehorse, Yukon

Dawson City, Yukon: A guide to the town that time forgot

Tracking the Northern Lights in Yukon, Canada

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Globe Guide explored the Yukon in partnership with Travel Yukon. As always, hosts have no editorial influence over articles.

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4 Responses

  1. September 22, 2015

    […] school buses converted into storage rooms ‘headquarters’) an hour earlier, which are located near Haines Junction right on the border between the Yukon and B.C. After filling out the waivers and signing our lives […]

  2. November 10, 2015

    […] READ MORE: Incredible day trips near Haines Junction, Yukon […]

  3. November 10, 2015

    […] Incredible day trips from Haines Junction, Yukon The first part of our journey had us soaring between Mt. Martha Black and Mt. Archibald. Their […]

  4. March 3, 2016

    […] so most visitors don’t spend too much time in the city before heading off to stunning spots like Kluane Lake or Tombstone Territorial Park. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything worth checking […]

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