You can camp on public land for temporary recreational purposes in the Yukon.
However, there are some rules you need to follow if you’re using public land for reasons other than temporary recreation.
Identifying public land
When you're out in the wilderness, it’s hard to identify what is or is not public land.
Plan your trip and check if your desired campsite is on public, private or Settlement Land.
You need permission from the:
- landowner to camp on private land;
- relevant First Nation to camp on Settlement Land.
Use GeoYukon to view land maps and to identify what is and is not public land.
Camping is not allowed in the highway right-of-way. This means you should camp at least:
- 30 metres from the centre line on most roads; and
- 45 metres from the centre line on the Alaska Highway.
Camping too close to the road puts you and other travellers at risk by:
- distracting drivers;
- reducing sight lines; and
- obstructing the highway shoulder for emergency use.
Leave no trace
If you're camping on public land, remember that the law requires you to clean up your garbage and waste. Dispose of RV sewage only at approved facilities or RV dumps.
We ask you to follow "leave-no-trace" practices. By planning to leave no trace as you travel, you'll help:
- keep the Yukon green and pristine; and
- minimize damage to our delicate, slow-growing northern ecosystem.
You can use off-road vehicles on public land. To avoid damaging the landscape and local wildlife habitat:
- use existing trails when you can; and
- practise "tread lightly" principles.
Off-road vehicle use can be restricted in certain areas. It's your responsibility to know if there are restrictions in place at your campsite.
You're allowed to have a campfire on public land to keep warm and cook. To have a fire for any other use, you need to apply for a burn permit.
You cannot make a campfire if a fire ban is in effect. Read current information on fire bans and restrictions.
Be prepared: learn about preventing and preparing for wildfires.
The Yukon is true wilderness. As such, you might cross paths with wildlife while camping on public land.
You can prevent surprise encounters with wildlife by following simple guidelines:
- store attractants in a hard-sided vehicle, trailer, locker or box at least 100 metres away from your campsite;
- cook and store food at least 100 metres away from your campsite, preferably downwind;
- be noisy (talk loudly or sing) to make your presence known;
- keep your pets leashed; and
- learn wildlife tracks and cries.
If you spot wildlife:
- stay calm;
- calmly back away from the area; and
- use an air horn or a deterrent only when necessary.
Learn how to stay safe in bear country.