Weather in the Yukon

Located in Canada’s Northwest corner, the Yukon is a vast territory of over 480,000 square km. While you might expect the Far North of North America to be purely Arctic, the weather and climate are actually quite diverse, varying from area to area and season to season.


As the territory’s capital and the largest city in Northern Canada, Whitehorse’s weather affects the majority of Yukoners’ day-to-day lives. With its geographic position next to the Coast Mountains and the Pacific Ocean creating a rain shadow, Whitehorse’s weather tends to be milder and drier compared to other Northern cities.

Whitehorse in Winter

Snow often gets an early start in late September to October, with most years featuring snow by Halloween. Winter then starts in earnest in November through the New Year and into March.

Temperatures tend to be relatively mild by Canadian standards, with an average daily Winter temperature ranging from -10C to -15C -but with the occasional cold snap plunging to as low as -40C. Snowfall varies, but with an average of 142 cm of snow per year.

Whitehorse in Spring

The spring melt begins in Mid-March and takes full swing in April, signalling the snow’s end as temperatures begin to rise. The temperature continues to climb to an average daily temperature of 10C as it goes into Mid-May and Summer begins.

Whitehorse in Summer

With the last of the snow gone, June signals the arrival of Summer in Whitehorse. From here until August, the counterpoint to Winter’s long nights arrives, and the city receives nearly 20 hours of daylight per day. With high temperatures averaging 15-20C, Summers are pleasant and a beloved time to get out.

Whitehorse in Autumn

As the leaves begin to change and fall to the ground, Autumn begins in Whitehorse, draping the city in yellow and orange colours. The weather tends to be chilly and windy, gradually dipping to just above freezing over the course of the season. These average 5 – 10C temperatures in late August, September and October then transition into Winter once again.

Dawson City

The Yukon’s former capital city until 1952, Dawson City is the second-largest municipality in the Yukon. With a latitude over 350 kilometres further north than Whitehorse, the weather in Dawson and central Yukon is colder in winter. Still, it receives more sunlight in summer, resulting in slightly warmer summers.

Dawson City in Winter and Spring

Winter begins a few weeks earlier and ends later in Dawson City, with frost and temperatures dipping below freezing by September. Average winter temperatures are about 10 degrees colder than Whitehorse, ranging around -20 to -25C. This continues through to the arrival of spring in April, where temperatures rise to 0C and goes on until the arrival of Summer in Mid-May.

Dawson City in Summer and Autumn

Summer in Dawson is a transformation, as the Midnight Sun bathes the city in sunlight past 12:00 AM. Temperatures are warm and bright through the summer months of June, July and August, reaching 15C averages and 20C highs throughout the long summer days.

As September arrives, so does Autumn, bringing Dawson back to its cooler daily averages of 5C and more regular daylight hours.

Kluane National Park

As the fourth-largest national park in Canada and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kluane National Park is a popular destination for people looking to get out into the wild. As part of their wilderness preparation, every traveller should include appropriate clothing for the weather, which may change abruptly.

In the park, the weather is similar to the rest of the Yukon, but with the added complication of its higher elevation and greater precipitation in the southeast. Snow, freezing rain, and frost can occur at any time of year in the mountains, while frost can similarly appear year-round in the rest of the park.

Winters reach average temperatures of -15 to -20C (October to March), while the Summers (Mid-June to Early September) average 10 to 15C.