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4 reasons to check out Yukon’s summer festivals

April 13, 2016 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

Yukon River QuestFrom June to September, Canada’s Yukon Territory celebrates long daylight hours with unique cultural, sporting and music events, drawing visitors from across the globe. Check out four of the best:

Kluane Chilkat International Bike Relay: 18 June 2016

Hijinks and athleticism combine for one of Yukon’s most entertaining summer sporting events. The Kluane Chilkat race is an eight-leg, road bike relay from Haines Junction, Yukon, to coastal Haines, Alaska, attracting joy riders and serious athletes alike.

The course takes participants through stunningly beautiful alpine passes and past ocean views on a variety of flat stretches, long climbs and steep descents. Teams often outfit themselves in hilarious costumes, and the race is one of the most rewarding sporting and social events of the season for participants and spectators alike.

Check out a video of the event here:

Yukon River Quest: 29 June – 3 July 2016

Recognised as one of the toughest adventure events on the planet, the Yukon River Quest is the longest race of its kind in the world, at 715 kilometres, with just two mandatory rest stops.

Navigating the Yukon River from Whitehorse to Dawson City, eager canoeists and kayakers from across the globe paddle the river day and night, cheered on by thousands of spectators, under everlasting sunshine, in a tough test of stamina and strength, both mental and physical.

An Aussie six-man voyageur team, the Down Under Dogs, won the 2012 title in spectacular fashion, crossing the finish line in under 42 hours, nearly an hour ahead of the second-place finishers.

Dawson City Music Festival

Adäka Cultural Festival: 1 – 7 July 2016

Over 150 aboriginal artists and performers descend upon Yukon’s capital city of Whitehorse for the award-winning Adäka Cultural Festival, to share their arts and culture with Yukon residents and visitors under a sun that never sets.

The week-long event, showcasing First Nations art and culture, takes place on the waterfront of the Yukon River, at the Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre, presenting a world-class program of traditional and contemporary music, drumming, dance, storytelling, film, visual art exhibitions, demonstrations and workshops, interpretive programming, and community feasts.

Dawson City Music Festival: 22 – 24 July 2016

Revel in great music, friendly people and authentic grassroots spirit in the heart of Yukon’s Klondike at the Dawson City Music Festival, legendary among performers and music lovers across the world for its annual line-up of Canada’s finest musical talent, presented against a backdrop of spectacular northern wilderness.

Historic Dawson City offers the perfect backdrop to this diverse music festival, offering evening performances and afternoon workshops in intimate venues. Click here to obtain tickets to Yukon’s most anticipated music event under the midnight sun.

Getting there

Yukon’s capital city of Whitehorse is approximately 2.5 hours by air from Vancouver, accessible with year-round daily commercial service. Car hire services and fully guided tour packages are available from Whitehorse. For more information see

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