Bordering the American State of Alaska to its west and British Columbia to its south, trips to Yukon can truly feel like an exploration into the wild unknown. Yukon has an archaeological history that places people in North America at very early points and yet the wild, rugged aspects of the land haven’t dissipated over time. If you are keen on an active holiday you can come to Yukon and climb Mount Logan, the second highest mountain in North America. Or, if you prefer to be closer to the ground, Yukon offers excellent places to canoe. Canada boasts a plethora of waterways, lakes, rivers and streams, and Yukon is no exception. While here, you should plan to visit the stunning Kluane National Park, take a trip down the Yukon River, and spend a couple of days in the town of Dawson.
Kluane National Park
Located in the south western corner of Yukon, the Kluane National Park is an outdoor lover’s dream destination. Here you can camp, mountain bike, hike, horseback ride, boat or canoe. Canada’s Kluane National Park is also home to the world’s largest non-polar ice fields, and from the calm waters of Kathleen, Mush, and Bates lakes you can have the opportunity to see some of the wildlife that the park is so famous for. From the flat waters of the lakes, you will be able to really appreciate the silence of your surroundings and the stunning beauty of the alpine hills and mountains that roll down to the shores. The waters are very cold though, and should be treated with caution.
Taking a trip down the Yukon River
As the longest river in both the Yukon and Alaska, the Yukon River is a major waterway that winds its way across the middle of the Yukon. Each section of the Yukon River offers visitors the chance to challenge their paddling skills, in relation to their own ability and skill levels in a canoe. Canada’s Llewellyn Glacier in British Columbia is the source of the chilly Yukon River’s waters and provides a home to the many varieties of waterfowl and fish. As you cruise down the river, you will have the chance to spot some of the wildlife such as caribou, bears, and maybe even bald eagles nestled along the shore. The Yukon is a relatively smooth and easy going river, but the five finger rapids can test your ability as you navigate your way down towards Dawson.
Not only is the town of Dawson home of the world famous “Gold Rush”, it is also the perfect place to conclude your trip down the Yukon River by canoe. Canada became famous for its gold at the end of the 1800s; when the town was the seat of Yukon’s government (which has since moved to the larger Whitehorse) the population peaked at 40,000 people. Today, though, it has less than 2,000 permanent residents but is a popular tourist destination. While you are in Dawson, recuperating from all the fresh air from your Yukon River canoeing adventure, be sure to visit author Pierre Berton’s House, try your hand at panning for gold, and take solace in the Jack London Museum, if you, like London, don’t strike it rich right away.
Philippa Westwood is Marketing Manager at Windows on the Wild, a specialist of wildlife watching tours around the world. If you want to canoe Canada or go on dog sledding holidays in places like Lapland and Sweden, we can take you on adventurous experiences across the world.