Land Use Activities

Recreational land use




The Government of Yukon operates and maintains roadside campgrounds. These provide outdoor recreation opportunities such as fishing, hiking, boating and wildlife viewing. Recreational land use may have a negative impact on the environment “when the level of visitor use is greater than the local environment’s ability to cope with this use within the acceptable limits of change” (United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), n.d.).

For statistical purposes, the Government of Yukon tracks the number of people using Government of Yukon campsites.


Talus Lake backcountry camp site after storm.



What is happening?


  • In 2016, the Government of Yukon’s campgrounds included:
    • 42 campgrounds including the new Conrad Campground on Tagish Lake; and
    • 12 day-use recreation sites.
  • There are more than twice as many non-resident campers as Yukoners camping in the territorial campgrounds (Figure 1).
  • Since 2012, there has been an increasing use of campgrounds by both resident and non-residents.


Figure 1: Number of people camping, 2008-2016.



Taking action


The Government of Yukon has worked to increase the number of campsites available to visitors and residents. Between 2015 and 2016, 82 new campsites were added across the territory, including additional campsites at the Marsh Lake, Wolf Creek, Twin Lakes and Tombstone Mountain campgrounds, along with the new Conrad Campground on Tagish Lake. This has resulted in a 20 per cent increase in the number of campsites within 200 km of Whitehorse (and four per cent across the territory).


View from the Conrad Campground.




Data quality

  • The Department of Environment's Parks Branch track the level of use through campground registrations.
  • Registered visitors are calculated by: number of recorded visitors + (number of unrecorded registered parties × average number of visitors per party). This number includes repeat users.
  • Learn more about Government of Yukon campgrounds.
  • There are other campsites operated throughout the territory including Kathleen Lake Campground in Kluane National Park and Reserve and several private RV campgrounds. Data from these sites are not included.



United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP). n.d. Tourism’s Three Main Impact Areas [cited 2016 Mar 3]. Available from: http://www.unep.org/resourceefficiency/Business/