Yukon’s Wilderness City is well worth a visit
The City of Whitehorse, with a population approaching 30,000, is the capital of the Yukon Territory. With some of the most spectacular scenery in Canada, it is also a sports, entertainment and culture hub.
When prospectors found gold near Dawson City in 1896, it wasn’t long before more than 100,000 prospectors set out from all around the world, heading here, to find their fortunes.
Less than half of the stampeders in that initial wave of enthusiasm made it to the Yukon. Those that did were joined soon after by businessmen, dancehall girls, gangsters and Canada’s Northwest Mounted Police. Dawson City and Whitehorse were established at this time.
Dubbed the “Wilderness City”, Whitehorse is situated on the banks of the mighty Yukon River and surrounded by mountains and lakes. Its exciting city lifestyle makes it action central in these otherwise quiet, unsettled parts.
Whitehorse connects travellers to all other Yukon communities and to the vastness of the Alaskan frontier. Its economic engine is powered by mining, transportation, tourism and government.
Anyone driving the Alaska Highway should take the time to stop in Whitehorse, if for no other reason than to walk around and enjoy the scenery as well as conversation with the locals.
South of town, the cliffs of Miles Canyon offer many interesting and picturesque vantage points and occupy the site of a former gold rush town.
The Yukon River Loop Trail takes you to the Whitehorse Fishway fish ladder and then onward to the S.S. Klondike, a restored Yukon River sternwheeler.
North of town, the 100-year-old Takhini Hot Pools is one of the most visited locations in the Yukon. Relax in soothing 36° and 42° Celsius waters. The edge-of-the-wilderness location provides access to trails for walking and biking (snow-shoeing and cross-country skiing in winter months).
The town itself is great to explore. You’ll find plenty of heritage sites and attractions. You can stroll boardwalks, tour historic buildings and pan for gold like a Klondike Stampeder!
All Aboard the White Pass and Yukon Route Railway!
The White Pass Trail used to be called the Dead Horse Trail. During the Gold Rush it was strewn with the carcasses of dead and abandoned packhorses.
When the railway was completed in 1900, the White Pass and Yukon Route connected the rough-and-tumble gangster town of Skagway, Alaska with Whitehorse, Yukon.
Trains climb almost 3,000 feet (900 m) in just 20 miles (32 km) on steep grades with cliff-hanging turns, tunnels and trestle bridges en route.
Step inside the Canada Games Centre
Built as a host venue for the 2007 Canada Winter Games, this complex boasts two arenas, a flexihall, a fieldhouse, aquatic centre, fitness centre, indoor running track and flexible event space.
The Canada Games Centre has it all: Aquafit. Zumba. Drop-in activities for all ages. It’s open dawn till dusk at affordable rates!
Featuring: ATCO Ice, Child Play Area, Coca-Cola Fieldhouse, Family Literacy Centre, Flexihall (sprung hardwood floor), Indoor Fitness Track, Leisure Ice, Meeting Rooms, Northwestel Arena, Physio Plus, Subway® Food Services, Wellness Centre, Wellness Studio, Whitehorse Lions Aquatic Centre, Booster Juice.
Go for a flightsee from Schwatka Lake
During the summer, planes operate on floats from Schwatka Lake, a 5-minute drive from downtown Whitehorse. Summer activities include:
Charter flights throughout the region
World class fishing tours
Lodge and camp transfers
Canoe trip transfers
Fly-in trekking tours
Over the winter, planes are operated on wheels and skis from Whitehorse airport, with:
Mountain landings on glaciers
Fly-in ice fishing on remote lakes
By Gareth Sloan from Montreal, Canada (Yukon River) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons