The Yukon Territory is an unspoiled and pristine destination to explore. Located in the northwestern corner of Canada, the Yukon offers the most discerning traveler an experience unlike any other. One of the Yukon's greatest assets is the ease of access to its extraordinary backcountry. You can reach many of the natural features and highlights economically and quickly. The Yukon is known for its gold rush past and wide open spaces where guests get to see the wilderness up close. Together, Alaska and the Yukon make for an exciting and memorable itinerary.

Whitehorse

Whitehorse is the capital of the Yukon and named for the historic rapids on the Yukon River which resembled the flowing manes of charging white horses. The city is located along the Yukon River, which connects Whitehorse to Dawson City. In 1900 the completion of the White Pass & Yukon Route railway connected Whitehorse to Skagway, Alaska and Whitehorse became an important center for communications and transportation.

Today, Whitehorse remains the largest transportation center for the Yukon Territory, with international flights arriving weekly. Mining, government employment, and tourism have enabled Whitehorse to grow and prosper. Whitehorse is a frontier city with all the amenities and a must-stop destination for guests traveling along the Alaska Highway.

Accessibility

The Yukon is increasingly accessible with improved road conditions and inbound flights. The vastness of the land particularly encourages active guests to come up and experience outdoor adventures. You can reach Whitehorse by road, train or plane. The WhitePass Yukon Railway, combined with scheduled coach service, connects this city to Skagway, Alaska.

Activities & Attractions

  • Beringia Centre - The Beringia Centre details northern Canada's ice age past, and offers exhibits on the Woolly Mammoth, Giant Steppe Bison, Giant Beaver, and more. There are multi-media presentations, original works of art, and exhibits of discovered remains. The centre provides interpretive information and private guided tours.
  • Frantic Follies - A vaudeville revue that revisits the gold rush era of the Klondike. The show has amused countless visitors over its 38 years in business. There are two performances nightly throughout the summer months with both reserved and open seating. Advance reservations for tours are suggested.
  • MacBride Museum - Celebrate the Klondike Gold Rush by visiting the "Rivers of Gold" exhibition, the largest public collection of Yukon gold in the world. The museum covers half a city block, with four large galleries, open air exhibits, and a gift shop.
  • MV Schwatka - Listen to the call of the wild and follow in the wake of Jack London and his fellow gold rush stampeders. While you cruise up the Yukon River and through historic Miles Canyon, knowledgeable guides aboard the MV Schwatka will recall the drama and excitement of 1898. An optional floatplane flightseeing trip is available in conjunction with the cruise, and departs from Schwatka Lake.
  • SS Klondike - The SS Klondike sternwheeler was built in 1937 and greets most visitors as they enter the city. The ship transported general merchandise as well as passengers between Whitehorse and Dawson until the opening of an all weather road in 1950. Now a permanent fixture and museum operated by Parks Canada, a tour of the ship includes a video presentation.
  • Transportation Museum - The Transportation Museum houses a unique collection of artifacts depicting the Gold Rush transportation heritage. The building of the Alaska Highway is depicted as well as the unusual modes of travel used in the North.

Accommodation

Whitehorse is the center for all travel to the Yukon and thus has both ample availability and a great variety of accommodation. There are full service hotels, riverside motels, and lodges.

Dining

From steakhouses and fine dining to 'northern' offerings such as bison and musk ox, a mix of restaurants is available.

Dawson City

In 1896, gold was accidentally discovered on a tributary of the Klondike River that became known as Bonanza Creek. Soon after, an estimated 100,000 gold seekers left their families and homes for the Klondike. What was for most, the greatest adventure of their lives, the journey took over a year to complete with an estimated 40,000 lucky enough to arrive in boom town Dawson City.

The last great gold rush in Canada's history is kept alive in Dawson City. The past and present are alive in this small town which maintains a frontier atmosphere with wooden boardwalks and old-style building facades. Many of Dawson City's sites have been designated of National Historic significance by the Canadian government.  Restoration and maintenance of numerous gold rush buildings are carried out by Parks Canada.

Dawson is a quaint historic town that flourishes in the summer for its visitors. The gold rush past contributes to the town's character and keeps the frontier feeling alive.

Accessibility

In the summer you can reach Dawson by road or plane; there are flights arriving almost daily. During the winter months you will not find many businesses open but the road is still open from Whitehorse to Dawson.

Attractions & Activities

  • Dänojà Zho (Long Ago House) Cultural Centre - The Dänojà Zho is both a community centre for heritage activities and a visitor attraction. Visitors learn about the traditional and contemporary life of Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in. Knowledgeable guides lead visitors through the Hammerstone Gallery, which focuses specifically on the last 100 years in the area including artifacts, tools, and stories of Elders.
  • Dawson City Museum - Housed in a 1901 National Historic Site of Canada building, the Dawson City Museum depicts Dawson's early mining history. Photographs and interpretive panels present the history of the city through exhibits, including a steam locomotive.
  • Diamond Tooth Gerties - A place where visitors and locals alike gather to try their luck at the gambling tables and enjoy the nightly entertainment. Diamond Tooth Gerties gambling hall is Canada's oldest legal casino. Visitors enjoy poker, blackjack, and slots alongside shows with live can-can girls, dinner, and drinks. The revenue generated from Gerties is reinvested in Dawson City projects and in helping promote the Klondike area.
  • Goldfields - Several claims exist just outside of Dawson City and many offer visitors the opportunity to pan for and keep their own gold. Parks Canada runs Gold Dredge #4 and offers guided tours during the summer.
  • Midnight Dome - Drive to the summit of the Midnight Dome for a panoramic view of Dawson City, the Klondike, and Yukon River Valleys. The dome provides a great hiking, bicycling, and even parasailing starting point for the more active guests.
  • Palace Grand Theatre - The replica of Arizona Charlie's 1899 frontier opera house was once a magnet that drew the lonely miners from the creeks. Now the theater is open for tours. You will hear the stories of the dancehall girls who entertained Dawson during the Gold rush days.
  • Robert Service Cabin - The two-room log cabin was home to Robert W. Service, bard of the Klondike, from 1909 to 1912. The cabin is open for viewing and a presentation with a reading is offered twice daily.
  • Tombstone Territorial Park - The territory park is located 70 miles up the Dempster Highway north of Dawson City. The Territorial Park's 2000 square kilometers protect the dramatic views created by the sharp mountain peaks and unusual landforms found in the area. Tours can drive north upon arrival for amazing scenery.

Accommodation

Dawson City accommodations vary from modern inns to custom-built old time properties where you may be asked to remove your shoes before entering!

Dining

Restaurants of both modern and old fashioned Klondike style line the streets. Many of the establishments are geared towards smaller number of guests so large tours will need advance reservations outside of the hotels.

Haines Junction

The village of Haines Junction lies in the Shakwak Valley in southwestern Yukon on the doorstep of one of the most dynamic and spectacular landscapes on the planet. It also serves as the gateway to the Kluane National Park and Reserve. The community lies within the traditional territory of the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations, Southern Tutchone people who have lived in the area for thousands of years. The area was important for trade between the coast and interior peoples. Lying at the end of the Chilkat Pass, one of the only three passes that allowed travel between the coast and interior, Haines Junction was used for trading between the Tlingit and Southern Tutchone people. The city, as it is now, was established in 1942 during the construction of the Alaska Highway.

Accessibility

Haines Junction can be accessed by road from Whitehorse, by traveling from the U.S. town of Haines, or from the north.

Attractions & Activities

  • Da Ku ("Our House") Cultural Center - The Center is a 27,000sqft facility that celebrates the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations people. The Center also houses the Kluane National Park Visitor's Centre and features topographic maps, exhibits on the park's natural and cultural history, and information pamphlets about the park.
  • The Village Monument - a 24-foot sculpture depicting the area wildlife is one of the most photographed spots in Haines Junction.

Accommodation

The lodging in Haines Junction is very limited and rustic.

Dining

There are a couple local restaurants and a bakery in town.


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