Back during the Klondike Gold Rush, the only way to get to Dawson City was via the steep incline of the Chilkoot Trail and the dangerous rapids of the Yukon River. Luckily, much has changed since 1898, and you can now access Dawson a variety of ways.
If you’re travelling by vehicle, you can journey up the scenic and well-maintained North Klondike Highway (#2) through Yukon territory, or seasonally over the enchanting Top of the World Highway (#9) Through Alaska.
Via Whitehorse: Expect your travel time from Whitehorse to be approximately 5 to 6 hours, depending on the season, road conditions, and regional weather. The distance to your destination is 525 kilometres (or 328 miles), with limited cell and fuel service along the way.
Via Alaska: Access the Top of the World Highway by way of the Taylor Highway (Alaska Highway #5). As most of this road is unpaved, travel time can vary depending on the vehicle you’re using and weather conditions.
Please note that the CAN/USA border is opened seasonally, and only open part of the day. Visit the Canada Border Services Agency’s website for up-to-date information.
At the end of the road, you’ll approach a ferry landing. Board the free George Black Ferry, which will take you across the Yukon River to downtown Dawson. The ferry operates 24 hours a day in the summer months.
For up-to-date road conditions, please visit Yukon 511 or call the Visitor Information Centre at 867-993-5566.
Most people fly to Dawson via Whitehorse, but individuals visiting from Old Crow or Inuvik can grab a direct flight with Air North, Yukon’s Airline.
If you’re flying to the Yukon from all other destinations, you can access the Erik Nielson Whitehorse International Airport through Air North, Yukon’s Airline and Air Canada. Westjet also offers flights seasonally (May-September). International flights also fly to Whitehorse directly from Frankfurt, Germany with Condor Airlines (May-September).
The Dawson City Airport (YDA) is approximately 15 minutes from downtown Dawson. Check with your hotel to see if they offer airport shuttle pickup.
Piloting your own aircraft? Then check out Nav Canada for information regarding runways, weather and flight planning.
Before there were roads, the only way to Dawson City was via the Yukon River. Be among hundreds of visitors who canoe, kayak, or raft their way to the Klondike from Whitehorse (or the other upriver communities of Carmacks, Pelly, or Stewart).
For more information on guided and self-guided boat trips to Dawson City, please visit the Yukon Wild website.