Whitehorse is located at Historic Milepost 918 on the Alaska Highway, 100 miles southeast of Haines Junction, 282 miles northwest of Watson Lake, 109 miles from Skagway and 396 miles from Tok, AK.
Whitehorse began as the northern terminus of the White Pass & Yukon Route railway from Skagway, AK, which was completed in July 1900. Klondike stampeders landed at Whitehorse to dry out and repack their supplies after running the Whitehorse Rapids.
The community grew as a transportation centre and transshipment point for freight from the WP&YR railroad and the sternwheelers plying the Yukon River to Dawson City. Whitehorse was one of the largest construction camps on the Alaska Highway in 1942. When the Alaska Highway opened to civilian travel after WWII, mining and tourism had a profound effect on the economy of the region.
Whitehorse became capital of Yukon (replacing Dawson City in that role) on March 31, 1953. Today, Whitehorse serves as the centre for transportation, communications and supplies for Yukon and the Northwest Territories. More than two-thirds of the population of Yukon live in Whitehorse.
As a major metropolitan area, Whitehorse offers complete visitor services. Search our Travel Directory for options in Whitehorse: hotels/motels, bed-and-breakfasts, campgrounds, restaurants. It also offers fast-foot outlets, shopping and “big box” stores, supermarkets such as Wykes’ Your Independent Grocer on Ogilvie, garages and gas stations, churches, movie theatres, laundromats and beauty salons. Whitehorse has several banks with ATMs and RV parts and repair locations.
- SS Klondike National Historic Site. Tour this grand old stern-wheeler beside the Yukon River. Interpretive centre open mid-May to mid-September.
- The Waterfront Trolley carries passengers along the Whitehorse waterfront in a historic White Pass & Yukon Route trolley.
- Special events include: the Yukon River Quest Canoe and Kayak Race (late June); Canada Day July 1st; and the Klondike Trail of ‘98 International Road Relay (September).
- Old Log Church Museum, built in 1900, displays artifacts of the northern missions, Inuit and First Nations people, and whaling history. This is one of several historic sites in Whitehorse which are part of Heritage Yukon.
- Historical walking tours of Whitehorse conducted by the Yukon Historical & Museums Association take in the city’s heritage buildings.
- Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre traces the Ice Age in Yukon.
- The world’s largest weathervane—a Douglas DC-3—is in front of the Yukon Transportation Museum, which features exhibits of all forms of transportation in the North.
- Whitehorse Rapids Fishway was built in 1959. Interpretive displays and viewing decks.
- Tour the Yukon Brewing Company, the Yukon’s only brewery, and taste their flagship brands: Yukon Red, Yukon Gold, and Chilkoot Lager.
- Takhini Hot Springs and Hot Springs Campground and Hostel on Takhini Hot Springs Road just off of the Klondike Loop is a popular destination for a soak in a hot springs pool, and full hook-ups available camping.
- Yukon Wildlife Preserve on Takhini Hot Springs Road just off of the Klondike Loop offers interpretive bus tours and self-guided walking tours.
- Take a tour by rail and motorcoach with White Pass & Yukon Route Railway.