With it’s majestic mountains and incredible wildlife, not to mention the heart-stopping northern lights, it’s not surprising the untamed countryside of Canada’s Yukon Territory has endless appeal.
Here we explore five fabulous travel tips for anyone planning to visit this wondrous part of the world.
The Carcross Desert in the Yukon
The dry climate and wind conditions have created 540 acres of sand dunes and forced special vegetation to adapt to the surroundings. 10,000 years ago, this was the bottom of a large glacial lake. Today, the sand dunes run to the shore of Bennett Lake, known for its beautiful beach covered in fine, white sand. Situated two kilometres from the historic village of Carcross and just 70 kilometres from Whitehorse, it’s an ideal day trip destination.
World’s best rafting trip
Conquer the famed river on a guided day or multi-day rafting, canoeing or boat expedition, no matter what your ‘skill or thrill’ level, and explore the Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Wilderness Park, the wild heart of one of the largest bio-preserves in the world. Glide past vast glaciers under towering snow-capped mountains, and enormous lakes filled with icebergs. As you approach the Alaska coast, Mount Fairweather towers above you at 4500 metres. Don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for moose, eagles, salmon, and the elusive blue glacier bear.
Can-can dancers in a gambling hall
A trip to Dawson City might just be the most surprising experience of all. Like a town frozen in time, Dawson City resembles a movie set, with its elaborate dance halls, wooden boardwalks, and historic buildings harking back to the late 1800s, when 100,000 prospectors sought their fortunes during the Klondike Gold Rush.
Try your luck in Canada’s oldest casino, the world-famous Diamond Tooth Gertie’s. Complete with cancan dancers and a flamboyant singing master of ceremonies, this non-profit gambling hall is named after an authentic dance hall queen who famously wedged a sparkling diamond between her two front teeth and made her fortune from the lonely prospectors who readily shared their gold in return for her affections.
Woolly mammoths and Ice Age relics?
With its challenging hiking trails, mountain bike culture, and vast waterways, you’d be forgiven for thinking Yukon is primarily a hardcore-adventure-seeker’s destination. But you’d be wrong. Families with kids of all ages are pleasantly surprised to find an abundance of experiences perfect for creating precious family memories. For mammoths and sabre-toothed tigers direct from the last Ice Age, visit the Beringia Interpretive Centre, with its impressive full-sized replica of the largest woolly mammoth ever recovered and a reconstruction of the 24,000-year-old Bluefish cave archaeological site. Spend the day horse-riding just outside Whitehorse and go for a splash at the natural Takhini Hot Springs. Best of all? Yukon serves up one of the most iconic family road trips in North America. Hire an RV and make the most of the long summer days as you meander through historic communities, meet the friendly locals (some with four legs), and set up camp along the way.
No peak hour
Enjoy road trips or caravanning in Australia, but not sure about driving an RV in Canada? Yukon is the perfect place to try it out. Known as Canada’s ‘outback’, Yukon features almost 5000 kilometres of roadways with almost NO traffic. In fact, it’s not uncommon to pass fewer than 15 cars on the 600 kilometres of road between Whitehorse and Dawson City. With nearly 50 public campsites, most on a lake or river, and many private RV parks with full hook up services and wifi, Yukon is a road tripper’s dream!
Air Canada has daily direct flights to Vancouver from Sydney and Brisbane, with connecting flights to Whitehorse on available on Air North.
Discover other amazing Canadian destinations here: