The Yukon, a territory in northwest Canada, is wild, mountainous and sparsely populated. Kluane National Park and Reserve includes Mount Logan, Canada’s highest peak, as well as glaciers, trails and the Alsek River. In the far north is Ivvavik National Park, with protected calving grounds for Porcupine caribou. In the south are numerous glacier-fed alpine lakes, including boldly coloured Emerald Lake.
The region is known for dog-sledding, canoe expeditions, hiking, salmon fishing and other outdoor pursuits, as well as for the colourful Northern Lights phenomenon sometimes seen in its nighttime sky. The small capital city of Whitehorse, on the banks of the Yukon River, is home to historic cabins, museums, churches and unusual “log skyscrapers.” Dawson City’s days as a base for the Klondike Gold Rush are well preserved in vintage boutiques, saloons and other 1890s frontier buildings. The tiny town of Watson Lake is notable for its quirky Signpost Forest, a collection of tens of thousands of street signs and licence plates.
When to visit
Peak travel period is summer (Jun–Aug), when days are long and temperatures are warm. Another popular time to visit is Feb, during the Yukon Quest sled-dog race and the boisterous, week-long Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Festival, with a beard-judging competition and dancehall girls. The territory is extremely cold and snowy during winter and at high altitudes.