The Yukon, nestled between Alaska and the Northwest Territories, once drew prospectors in search of gold. More than a century after the Klondike gold rush, people are still flocking to the north country for authentic experiences not found elsewhere. One of Canada's three territories, the Yukon is off the beaten path, but it's still a modern, comfortable place to visit. You might expect to find nothing but snow drifts and igloos, but the territory has distinct seasons, outdoor adventure, modern cities, and a surprisingly rich cultural scene.
It's easy to get to here as well. Visitors arrive in the Yukon Territory by land, sea, and air. Regular jet service is available from major cities throughout Canada, including Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta; and Vancouver, British Columbia. You also could book one of the cruises from Seattle or Vancouver. If you want to hit the open road, plenty of highways cross through the Yukon Territory totaling to more than 4,000 miles of paved roads. The old and interesting mining town of Skagway, Alaska, is about two hours by car, while Calgary and Vancouver each are 1,500 miles away from Whitehorse.
As the capital city of the Yukon Territory, Whitehorse is home to the vast majority of the visitor amenities, including excellent shopping opportunities and welcoming hotels. Artists, musicians, and other free souls have found a home here, which you can enjoy in the galleries, free concerts, and music festivals galore. You also could hop aboard a trolley for a narrated tour of the Yukon River and visit the MacBride Museum of Yukon History to connect with the city's gold rush roots.
The other major town in territory, Dawson City, keeps the history of the Klondike alive. With wooden storefronts, gold-panning opportunities, and rides aboard a paddle-wheeled riverboat, you may feel like the gold rush never ended. Don't miss the chance to visit Diamond Tooth Gerties, a casino and live-entertainment can can joint that's miles of unique fun.
No matter how you arrive in the Yukon Canada or where you decide to anchor, you'll be treated to amazing scenery and adventures only limited by your imagination. Many people are drawn to this unique place for its outdoor adventure. More than 80 percent of the territory (which is bigger than the state of California) is considered wilderness, much of which is protected as national and territorial parks.
The wide-open spaces set the backdrop for all kind of vacations, whether you're staying in a tent, lodge, or a comfortable hotel. If you're the kind who longs for adventure and a thrill a minute, you'll find it in the Yukon Canada. But you don't need to be in excellent shape to appreciate the outdoors here, everything from short hikes and sightseeing tours will please even the most mild of souls.
The wildlife watching opportunities are amazing in the Yukon, especially at Kluane National Park. Dall sheep, mountain goats, grizzly bears, and others can be found around this land of lush valleys, ice fields, and the highest mountain in the country, Mount Logan. Skilled and adventurous climbers will found this mountain a challenging climb.
A bevy of guide services and tour companies take Yukon visitors on outdoor adventures they won't soon forget, from flightseeing excursions, canoeing, kayaking, and other adventures are readily available along the glacier-fed rivers. A visit to the Saint Elias Icefield will give you the chance to experience some amazing skiing and climbing, while a relatively easy hike along the Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site follows one of the great trails in North America.
No matter what you choose to pack into your vacation, you'll have the chance to experience life at a northern latitude. If the skies are just right, you can see the northern lights dancing above, a medley of greens, pinks, and delicate light that most often show up around the fall and spring equinoxes. In the summer, the days are long, reaching nearly 24 hours of daylight. Citizens and visitors flock to Yukon Canada during the summer to celebrate the land of the midnight sun. But yet the long, dark days of winter have a charm all their own.