With its colourful gold rush history and rich First Nation culture, it’s little wonder Yukon Territory is brimming with colourful towns just begging to be explored. Travellers who take the time to explore the villages beyond the capital city of Whitehorse will be rewarded with unique landmarks and welcoming residents who have inhabited these regions for generations.
Home to the Teslin Tlingit First Nations, this quiet, authentic village sits on the shores of Nisutlin Bay on the narrow Teslin Lake. Soak up the true Yukon vibe in this distinctly ‘un-touristy’ township, have a picnic on the shore or paddle the tranquil waters. Picturesque Teslin is a bird-lover’s paradise. In fact, more than 185 different species have been observed at the Teslin Lake Bird Observatory near the campground.
- Watson Lake
The town of Watson Lake is home to one of Yukon’s most famous landmarks – Sign Post Forest. This vast collection of more than 77,000 signs from around the world dates back to 1942 when US soldier, Carl K. Lindley erected a sign marking the direction and distance to his hometown in Illinois. The trend caught on, with locals and visitors from across the globe continuing to add their own signposts.
- Haines Junction
Haines Junction is the gateway to UNESCO site Kluane National Park and a must for the itinerary. Surrounded by the imposing Saint Elias Mountains, the friendly town is the ideal base for a hiking trip. Keep the camera ready to capture mountain goats, moose, caribou, and bears. In Haines Junction you’ll be standing on the traditional territory of the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations. Don’t miss the Da Kų Cultural Centre and join a ‘campfire talk’ to learn more about this rich culture dating back thousands of years.
- Dawson City
Dawson City is truly one of Canada’s most historic and quirky townships. With its colourful gold-rush era buildings and boardwalks, you’ll half expect to see yester-year fortune-hunters stampede their way across the Klondike goldfields as you try your hand at panning for gold. Take a Parks Canada walking tour to explore the national historic sites and enjoy tales of exhilarating adventures from lively interpreters dressed in period clothes.
Perched at the junction of the Yukon and Nordenskiold Rivers, Carmacks is one of Yukon’s best destinations for kayaks, canoes and fishing. Prefer to stay on dry ground? Stroll the boardwalk along the Yukon River to the original historic roadhouse. Check out the Tagé Cho Hudän Interpretive Centre for its amazing artifacts, including a genuine moose skin boat. Alternatively, drive twenty minutes up the North Klondike to the look out point for the beautiful Five Finger Rapids.
One of three Canadian territories, the Yukon is situated in the northwest corner of Canada’s continental mainland. Bounded by the 60th parallel in the south, the Beaufort Sea in the north, Alaska to the west and the Northwest Territories to the east it covers an area of 186,272m2.
It’s a land rich with dramatic mountain vistas, wild rivers and crystal clear lakes. Close to 80 per cent remains pristine wilderness. The Yukon is home to Canada’s highest peak, the world’s largest non-polar ice fields, several Canadian Heritage Rivers and healthy, abundant wildlife. Our wild regions, varied ecosystems, and relatively sparse human population make Yukon a haven for some of North America’s most rare and impressive species like caribou, wolves and grizzly bears and millions of migratory birds.
Take me to the Yukon
Purely Canada offer a 7-day fly-drive to the Yukon from £998 pp. Price includes return flights from London to Whitehorse (via Vancouver) on Air Canada and mid size car for a week for travel in March 2020. To book, visit purelytravel
For further information on the Yukon, visit travelyukon