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Yukon Trans-Canada Highway Route

The Trans Canada Highway does not pass through the Yukon. Originally called the “Yukon Territory”, this jurisdiction (still legally a territory) dropped the “Territory” from its name in 2002.

There are three major highways, the Alaska Highway in the south, the Klondike highway through the centre of the territory, and the Dempster Highway (unpaved) connecting to Inuvik NWT.

Visit the Yukon. Gold Rush in rugged northern scenery

Northern Roads

Virginia Falls in Nahanni National ParkIn the north of Canada, on roads north of Grand Prairie (Alberta) and Dawson Creek (BC) that head into the Yukon and the Northwest Territories are very isolated and can be quite primitive. You may be several hundred kilometres from the nearest service station, so it is good idea to carry spare gasoline. Many drivers also carry spare tires, tow rope or chain, a first aid kit, extra food, and in winter, cold weather survival gear. You should reserve your accommodation before departing.

In summertime, when roads are gravel, be careful when driving close to other vehicles, as flying rocks can damage your windshield or headlights. Many vehicles have plastic covers over the headlights, and wire grills over the radiator, rubber matting under the gas tank to reduce damage. In the summer times, the roads can get very dusty, especially around construction sites. Keep your windows closed, and install filters over air intakes will reduce the impact. After prolonged rainstorms, the roads can become temporarily impassible, and the local RCMP will be able to give you road updates.

Do not drive fast on gravel roads, as it makes it easier to lose control, and slow down when you see oncoming vehicles, so your gravel does not damage their vehicle. You should not drive in the centre (crown) or the road, since oncoming vehicles doing the same can be around the next corner. Smart drivers always keep their headlights on when driving to increase your visibility.

If you have a mechanical breakdown, stay with your vehicle and flag the next passing vehicle for assistance. Do not go more than 100 metres from the road, to reduce your risk of getting lost.

Yukon – Four motorcycles on paved highway (Leonard Feng) -sliver
Yukon – Four motorcycles on paved highway (Leonard Feng) -sliver

Alaska Highway

The major adventure road leading to the Yukon and Alaska is one of the engineering marvels of the Second World War, stretching 2,288 km (1422 miles) from Dawson Creek, British Columbia to Delta Junction, Alaska. The highway is mostly paved in Canada and all paved in Alaska.

From Dawson Creek, the highway extends almost 968 km (595 miles) to Lower Post, where it enters the Yukon. The highway winds through the Yukon for about 885 km (550 miles) and crosses into Alaska at mile 1221 (km 1964). It continues on to Delta Junction at mile 1422 (km 2288), where the Alaska Highway joins the Richardson Highway for the remaining 98 miles (158 km) to Fairbanks.

Dempster Highway

A view along the Dempster Highway The Dempster Highway starts near Dawson City and runs for 733 km (456 miles) to Inuvik, and is paved only in the beginning. The road between Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk, passes through the delta of the Mackenzie River and is open only in winter.

Eagle Plains has is the only gas station and hotel between the beginning of the Dempster and Inuvik. This road has two ferry crossings, one at Fort MacPherson across the Peel River, and one at Arctic Red River across the Mackenzie. There is no charge for these ferries, and the waiting time is no more than 45 minutes. They do not operate at night, so you have to plan your schedule accordingly.

Klondike Highway

The 526 km (326 mile) Klondike Highway connects Whitehorse with Dawson, at the confluence of the Yukon and Klondike Rivers, which is about midway between the Pacific and Artic coasts, and and about 80 km from the Alaskan Canada-US border.

Kluane National Park- Glacier tracks-sliver
Kluane National Park- Glacier tracks-sliver

Yukon Area Map