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Exploring Yukon: Canada’s wild frontier

posted October 7, 2015


With rugged landscapes, a colourful history and almost 80% of its area being wilderness, the Yukon is a unique holiday destination. Amidst its picturesque peaks stands Mount Logan, Canada’s tallest mountain and it is also home to world’s smallest desert, the Carcross. It’s a land that is larger than life, and is home to magic skies and wild places.

Covering an area almost twice the size of the UK and with a population of a mere 35,000, more than 80% of the Yukon is wilderness. All year around the Yukon has spectacular views, while the magical midnight sun reigns in summer and clear starry skies with mesmerizing flashes of the northern lights are king in winter. Every season offers a stunning array of rich cultural experiences, spectacular scenery and amazing wildlife.

Yukon View

For those of you who want to venture into the wild, the Yukon is home to an impressive array of wildlife. The Yukon Wildlife Preserve plays host to woodland caribou, polar bear, Canada lynx, Rocky Mountain elk, mountain goats, Alaska Yukon moose, mule deer, muskoxen, wood bison, red foxes, arctic foxes and more than 90 different species of bird.

Yukon Red Fox

The Yukon’s territorial capital and largest city is Whitehorse, situated on the banks of the famous Yukon River. The city is named after the once free-flowing Whitehorse rapids, which resembled the manes of a herd of white horses. Now dammed, the City of Whitehorse retains its name.

If it’s history you’re after, the Yukon has a rich cultural heritage dating back as far as the last ice age (50,000 years). After all, nearly one-quarter of all Yukoners are of Aboriginal ancestry and belong to one of fourteen Yukon First Nations and eight language groups. In historical times, the First Nations people lived off the land, traveling on a seasonal round of fishing, hunting, trapping and gathering. Today, First Nations people play a significant role in all aspects of Yukon society – including its governance, resource management, economy, art and culture.

Yukon's First Nations people

The culture of Yukon’s First Nations people evolved over millennia into the rich tapestry of dialects, arts, crafts, cuisines, and practices that Yukoners still enjoy today. The works of First Nations artists and artisans are highly regarded for their exquisite craftsmanship and include intricate native carvings, masks and jewellery carved from antlers, wood, bone, horn and even mastodon ivory. First Nation music, dance and song are complemented by stories, plays and poems. Beaded moccasins and mukluks can be found in galleries and shops.

Yukon Gold Rush Hut

If you have a penchant for gold, history connoisseurs can visit Dawson City, the epicentre of the infamous Klondike Gold Rush of 1897. The town is an eclectic mix of First Nations Heritage and Gold Rush History blended with an active gold mining community. Whilst the reserves of gold are now limited, the spirit of the adventurers who came to Dawson in search of gold lives on in a host of lively attractions including the can-can dancers at Canada’s first casino, Diamond Tooth Gerties.

Diamond Tooth Gerties

From gold panning to canoeing (you can canoe from Whitehorse to the Bering Straits), museum-perusing to flightseeing, the attractions in the Yukon will keep you entertained for weeks. Take flight and experience the great outdoors with flightseeing over Kluane National Park, part of a UNESCO world heritage site and home to the world’s largest nonpolar ice fields and Canada’s highest peak. At 5,959 metres above sea level, Mount Logan is the highest point in the Yukon and Canada. The mountain is the world’s single biggest mountain block, composed of granite and featuring multiple summits which rise above a snow and ice plateau found at altitudes ranging from 4,500 to 5,400 metres.

Yukon Plane View

 

Whatever you choose to do on your holiday to the Yukon, Canadian Affair can offer help and advice on where to go and what to do. Want to know more? Our team can help – give us a call on 0141 223 751.

 

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