A Gold Rush legacy, First Nations people and amazing wilderness make Yukon a stand-out place to visit if you want to get away from everything. Have you heard of this Canadian Territory? We take a closer look…
Yukon is situated in the north west corner of Canada’s continental mainland and is a land rich with dramatic mountain vistas, wild rivers and crystal clear lakes.
Sitting between the Canadian province of British Columbia and the Arctic Ocean, and with Alaska to the west and the Northwest Territories to the east, close to 80 per cent of Yukon remains pristine wilderness.
It’s home to Canada’s highest peak, the world’s largest non-polar ice fields, several Canadian Heritage Rivers and healthy, abundant wildlife. From the crimson carpet of the tundra, to the majestic mountain peaks, the vast pristine wilderness of the Yukon beckons.
Yukon’s wild regions, varied ecosystems, and relatively sparse human population make it a haven for some of North America’s most rare and impressive species like caribou, wolves, grizzly bears and millions of migratory birds. Lynx, coyotes, foxes and scores of small mammals thrive in its forests. It’s pretty easy to see why you’d want to join the visitors who go exploring in the northern parks including Kluane, Tombstone, Ivvavik and the historic Chilkoot Trail.
Culture, First Nations People and the Klondike Gold Rush legacy
Yukon also enjoys a rich cultural heritage. About one-quarter of all Yukoners are of Aboriginal ancestry and belong to one of 14 Yukon First Nations and eight language groups. First Nations people play a significant role in all aspects of Yukon society – including its governance, resource management, economy, art and culture. The culture of Yukon’s First Nations people evolved over millennia into a rich tapestry of dialects, arts, crafts, cuisines, and practices that are there for you to enjoy when you visit.
Given the nature of the landscape, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that gold rush history infuses everything in Yukon. In August 1896 three men found gold on Bonanza Creek near Dawson City, launching the legendary Klondike Gold Rush. When the gold rush ended in 1903 more than $95 million had been extracted from the Yukon’s rivers. Today, Dawson City is a lively place bursting with heritage sites and attractions. You can feel the grit, heartache and golden dreams of the Klondike Gold Rush when you reach this authentic frontier town.
Yukon Route Railway and the Alaska Highway
Another of the heritage attractions, The White Pass and Yukon Route railway, climbs almost 3,000 feet in just 20 miles and features steep grades, cliff-hanging turns, two tunnels and numerous bridges and trestles. In fact, the steel cantilever bridge was the tallest of its kind in the world when it was constructed in 1901.
There is also the chance to experience what many consider to be one of the world’s legendary road trips – the Alaska Highway. The road to North America’s last frontier was built in 1942 to transport war supplies. Completed in only eight months, more than 30,000 US Army personnel were involved in the construction of over 2,230 km of road to Alaska. Today the Alaska Highway is a scenic paved route that is well-maintained and open year-round.
There are many options out there to help you visit and experience Yukon. Just one is from Complete North America, which offers a new 13 night ‘Just Yukon’ fly-drive with prices starting at £3,229 per person. You can get more information by clicking to www.completenorthamerica.com/just-yukon.