Northern Tales (P.O. Box 31178, Whitehorse; tel. 867/667-6054; www.northerntales.ca) offers year-round outdoor adventures. Aurora-watching packages in the winter start at C$125 and run as high as C$800, depending on number of nights. There is also snowmobiling and dog sledding. Between October and March, you can combine two natural phenomena in one great trip with northern-lights viewing in the Yukon and storm watching on the west coast of Vancouver Island for C$1,980.
The rivers of the Yukon were once navigated only by aboriginal canoeists, and the Yukon's swift-flowing wide rivers still make for great canoe trips. In addition to its multiday expeditions, Kanoe People (tel. 867/668-4899; www.kanoepeople.com) offers a variety of planned, self-guided day trips on the Yukon River for C$60 to C$95 per person. It also rents canoes, sea kayaks, and other equipment by the day or week. For day rentals costing C$40 for either canoes or kayaks, as well as a selection of easy day canoe trips, contact Up North Adventures (tel. 867/667-7035; www.upnorth.yk.ca), on the Yukon River across from the MacBride Museum (86 Wickstrom Rd.). You can also rent a canoe for a day and shoot the once-harrowing 40km (25-mile) Miles Canyon-C$75 pays for two shuttles and the canoe rental. Other day trips on the Yukon and multiday trips on the Teslin and Pelly rivers are also offered. In winter, Up North offers ice fishing, snowshoeing, and snowmobile tours, including multiday trips that trace a circuit of backcountry cabins and wall tents.
If you're looking for a short loop hike from downtown, the Millennium Trail (www.city.whitehorse.yk.ca) is an excellent choice. Begin on either side of the Robert Campbell Bridge (the extension of 2nd Ave., south of Whitehorse) and follow the paved accessible foot path to a new footbridge directly below the Whitehorse Dam. The entire loop is 5km (3.1 miles). A longer loop is the Yukon River Loop Trail, which continues from the Millennium Trail on either side, passing the dam and the fish ladder, and following Schwatka Lake to Miles Canyon. Here, the Yukon River cuts a narrow passage through the underlying basalt. Though not very deep, the canyon greatly constricts the river, forming rapids that were once the object of dread to the greenhorn 98ers in their homemade boats. A footbridge crosses the river above Miles Canyon, making a 15km (9.3-mile) loop.
During July and August, the Yukon Conservation Society (302 Hawkins St.; tel. 867/667-5678; www.yukonconservation.org) offers free, guided nature walks in the Whitehorse area. Contact them weekdays between 10am and 2pm for details. Hikes are given Monday to Friday, and on most days, several destinations are offered, including the Whitehorse Rapids Dam and Miles Canyon. Most walks are only a couple of hours long. You must get yourself to the departure point for any hike, and be sure to bring comfortable shoes and insect repellent.
At Fish Lake, just 20 minutes from Whitehorse, Sky High Wilderness Ranches (tel. 867/667-4321; www.skyhighwilderness.com) offers a variety of guided horseback rides starting at C$35 an hour. The 3-hour Midnight Sun ride is a top choice, costing C$95. Sky High Wilderness Ranches also offers hostel lodging and cabins ranging from C$50 to C$150 per person, per day, plus fishing in aptly named Fish Lake. The operation is 24km (15 miles) northwest of Whitehorse on the Fish Lake Road.
Whitehorse-based white-water outfitter Tatshenshini Expediting (1602 Alder St.; tel. 867/633-2742; www.tatshenshiniyukon.com) offers a fantastically exciting day trip down Kluane National Park's Tatshenshini River for C$125. The rate includes lunch and paddling gear, but does not include transportation to/from Whitehorse. Participants must be 14 years of age or older. Longer trips from this outfitter include an 11-day trip down the Tatshenshini from Dalton Post and down the Alsek River to the Pacific for C$3,600. Four- and six-day trips down the Alsek are also available. Call ahead because trip offerings vary from year to year and fill up fast.