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Yukon River at Schwatka Lake and the entry to Miles Canyon, near Whitehorse, Yukon | Photo: Diego Delso, Wikimedia Commons

Yukon River at Schwatka Lake and the entry to Miles Canyon, near Whitehorse, Yukon

Introduction to Yukon

The Yukon (YT) was named after the Yukon River. Yukon means "Great River" in Gwich'in (Athapaskan). Its capital, Whitehorse, is also the largest city in the Yukon, home to about two-thirds of the population. The second largest city is Dawson. Mount Logan in Kluane National Park and Reserve is the highest mountain in Canada and the second-highest in North America.

More than 80 percent of the Yukon is still wild, with rugged mountains, glaciers, rivers and wildlife, including caribou, mountain sheep, grizzly bears and birds.

Historically, Yukon is known for the gold rush, but it also has mines for lead, zinc, silver, asbestos and copper. Other industries in the Yukon include manufacturing (furniture, clothing), handicrafts and hydroelectricity. Traditional activities such as trapping and fishing have declined over recent decades.

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Did you know?

  • Klondike Gold Rush
  • Midnight Sun
    Whitehorse, YT | Photo: Jeremy Gallman, Unsplash

    Get up to 24 hours of daylight in the Yukon all summer long! The further north you go, the more you can see well lit around the clock. Above the Arctic Circle, the Yukon’s midnight sun doesn’t set for weeks. You'll thrive on all that extra vitamin D! Read 8 Ways to Experience Yukon’s Midnight Sun.

  • 80% Wilderness

Yukon Trivia

Coat of arms
Flower is Fireweed
Bird is Raven

Land of the Midnight Sun

Provincial slogan
Larger than life

License plate slogans
Land of the Midnight Sun (1953-1970)
Home of the Klondike (1971-1977)
The Klondike (1978)

CBC North | Whitehorse Daily Star

Other resources
Books about the Yukon
Best Things to Do in the Yukon video
Canada Cool
Council of Yukon First Nations: History
The ExploreNorth Blog
Get in the Yukon Know
Government of Yukon: History
Relocation to Whitehorse

Interests in YT: Accommodation | Arts & Culture | Eat & Drink | Products & Services | Things to Do

Yukon Facts

Date YT entered confederation

June 13, 1898

Area of YT

482,443 sq km (186,272 sq miles)
(Natural Resources Canada, 2001)


The Yukon has two main geographical regions: taiga and tundra. Taiga is the boreal forest belt with pine, aspen, poplar, and birch trees. Tundra is the vast, rocky plain in the arctic regions, where the extreme climate stunts the growth of vegetation.

Capital city of YT


Population of YT

40,232 (Statistics Canada, 2021 Census)

Residents are known as


Indigenous people of YT

About a fifth of Yukoners are of Indigenous descent and belong to one of 14 Yukon First Nations (8 different languages).First Nations culture and history in the Yukon dates back as far as the last Ice Age (50,000 years ago). Cultural and linguistic traditions of the Athapaskans go back more than 1,000 years. Distinct Athapaskan groups are Gwitch'in, Han, Tutchone, Upper Tanana, Kaska, Tlingit and Tagish.

Main YT industries

Mining and tourism

YT statutory holidays (in addition to national holidays)

Discovery Day (third Monday in August)
Heritage Day (the third Friday in February)

Yukon 775px


The Yukon's climate is subarctic. High altitude and semi-arid climate make for relatively warm summers with temperatures around 25C (77F). Winter temperatures can range from -50C to 4C (-58F to 39F) in the south (colder in the north). Above the Arctic Circle (latitude 66N), the Yukon is known as “the land of the midnight sun” because three months of summer has continuous sunlight. In winter, the reverse is true.

Time zone

Pacific Standard Time (PST)


Bonnet Plume River
Snake River
Tatshenshini River
Yukon River

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